You Couldn't Make It Up!

by Jack Little

Thistle's 1-0 defeat of Rangers on 27/10/1894 in the Glasgow cup was so unexpected that it made quite a number of English-based newspapers as well as the Scottish ones - such was Rangers' statute and Thistle's more modest credentials. "Scottish Referee" commented that "If the sensational character of the result awakens the Rangers…to the indifferent character of the play they have been purveying since the season began, it may even prove a blessing in disguise". (Apologies for being better than Rangers on the day!) Echoing another sentiment that would continue to the present day, the "Glasgow Herald" commented that "the result of the match will detract from the interest in the final, as the public were looking forward to a meeting between the Celtic and the Rangers". (Very sorry for getting to the final Glasgow FA!) Sad, but strange to relate, the "Dundee Courier" reported on 30/10 that "In the excitement about Partick Thistle's victory over Rangers on Saturday an old woman, Mrs Baker, was run over by a tram and killed". It is not clear if this was in Glasgow or whether the excitement had spread as far as Dundee. Rangers, doubtless sore after complaining the referee had firstly allowed then disallowed their late "equaliser" (the ball was fisted in), clearly saw their chance to appeal by claiming that Pat Smith the Thistle keeper was ineligible to play. It was widely reported that Thistle had announced that Smith had signed for them on 31/7, had played for Duntocher Harp in a 5-a-side match on 4/8 but had only been registered as a Thistle player on 6 or 7/8 and was therefore eligible to play. Rangers' appeal was heard by the Glasgow FA on 8/11. The "Dundee Advertiser" reported on 9/11 that a large crowd had gathered opposite the Glasgow FA's offices and that they had been told that Rangers' appeal had been upheld. The committee were satisfied Smith had played for Duntocher Harp after he has been signed as a professional by Thistle. The "Lancashire Evening Post" reported on 9/11 that Thistle had given notice to appeal to the SFA and the right to take legal advice, maintaining that Smith's registration had not been properly completed by the crucial date. It was also reported that Thistle refused to participate in the replay that had been ordered. The "Glasgow Herald" reported that witnesses for both clubs had been heard and that Thistle asserted that Smith had played for Irish National Foresters (presumably the opposition) and not Duntocher Harp. Thistle's "appeal against the appeal decision" was thrown out and a second match took place on 10 November with Rangers winning 5-3. However, the "Edinburgh Evening News" reported on 12/11 that Thistle (cannily having waited to see the result of the re-ordered match!) had lodged an appeal with the SFA over the Glasgow FA's decision maintaining that Smith had only received his registration certificate 3 days after the Duntocher Harp match and that if they did not entertain their appeal they would take legal advice. The SFA met on 13/11 and the following day the "Dundee Courier" reported that the committee had declined to interfere with the decisions of an affiliated body (the Glasgow FA.) "Normality" was thus restored, the public got what they wanted - a Celtic v Rangers final. (Celtic won 2-0.)

Delve straight in to any given year via the links below:

1875 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1943 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1969 1970 1971 1975 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1995 1997 2004 2005 2006 2007

Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 07-Sep-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 02-Jun-2020.


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