Who Put The Ball In The Rangers Net?

by William Sheridan
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WILLIE SHARP

30.09.1946 Rangers [h] W3-2 (SFL Division A - game 10)
Kenny Chisholm (1-0, 17 mins); Peter McKennan (2-1, 32 mins); Willie Sharp (3-2, pen 41 mins)

This five-goal thriller in front of 36,000 placed Thistle level at the top of the League after 10 games, Hibs and Rangers only ahead by virtue of goal average.

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Willie Sharp’s 41st minute penalty put Thistle ahead for the third and final time in the game, and it was enough to secure two very big points.

With 9 goals against Rangers, Willie stands as our second highest scorer against them in competitive action. We’ll read about the highest later on, but this post cannot pass without mentioning Willie’s incredible final tally of 239 goals all told – the highest recorded total of any Jags player in history. Willie’s club-records are many and varied, but his FIFTEEN hat-tricks total is outstanding, as is his unique feat of scoring in EIGHTEEN different seasons. Willie, in fact, scored in every season that he played.

That his scheming genius was never utilised by the Scottish selectors remains a great mystery. That said, these are the same people who qualified for the World Cup in 1950 but declined to participate, go figure.

No club held ever held a fear for Willie, and his 9 goals against Rangers were scored in 9 different “League” games, the first of which was registered in a 2-2 Regional League West draw in March, 1940, when he was merely a 17-year-old boy. To be precise, he was 17y, 10m, 0d, and thereby became our youngest known scorer against them. Mind you, he scored a hat-trick on his debut as a 17-year-old, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised. He set the tone early and proceeded to deliver with an uncanny consistency. At the other end of the scale, he scored his last goal against them on Saturday, 15th October, 1955, in a 3-1 defeat at home in the SFL First Division, aged 33y, 4m, 20d. He's only beaten to the oldest spot by Jimmy Davidson. Right there, we have an excellent microcosm of Willie Sharp's Thistle career; long, steady and personally succesful.

Legend of legends!

Publishing date Originally published on 20-Dec-2017 (WAT).
Thistle Archive publishing date Republished here on The Thistle Archive, 07-Sep-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 20-Dec-2017.





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