You Couldn't Make It Up!

by Jack Little

As many reports down the decades will testify, matches at Airdrie were often controversial. Various newspapers reported that at a Scottish Qualifying Cup-tie on 14/9/1895 Thistle had protested before the game that 3 Airdrie players were ineligible because they were professionals "and had failed to have their offences condoned". During the game Pat Smith the Thistle keeper hit the referee and there was a crowd break-in. At the subsequent SFA Committee hearing Thistle's appeal was upheld on 2 of the players and a replay was ordered. The same meeting found Smith guilty of hitting the referee on the lip and cutting it. Smith, in his defence said he intended to hit the referee but had missed. He was suspended for the rest of the season. One committee member said he should have been suspended for life. Both the referee and Smith left the meeting together. A minute later the referee returned and was "allowed to slip out the back door". Thistle won the replay 5-1 but Airdrie then lodged an appeal that Proudfoot and Bryce had broken the registration rules. Thistle replied that Airdrie had not appealed in the prescribed manner (before or during the match) and that Proudfoot had played one match for them as an amateur before signing for them. Bryce did not play for them on the date in question. Airdrie's witnesses failed to appear. Their case was dismissed.

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

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