Ye'll No' Believe Who Scored It!

by William Sheridan
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JIMMY HENDERSON

Wednesday 28th August 1957
League Cup Section 2 - game 5
Rangers [a] W3-0

So far it’s been central defenders all the way – time for the appearance of an attacker methinks. Not that this is the sort of feature in which a forward would wish to appear. However, this one really stuck it to the so-called “bears” in their own den – all is forgiven as far as I’m concerned.

Jimmy, a wee guy at 5’ 6, was a left-sided forward noted for his turn of speed and his trickiness – a Pat Nevin without the goals if you will. He signed for the Jags as a 16-year-old in October, 1951. Previewing season 1952-53, the Daily Record listed him as the youngest professional footballer in the country, aged 17. He made his debut later in that season but was never able to make the regular breakthrough into the first team. Today’s game was his 14th appearance out of 19, all of which were thinly spread between 1953 and 1958.

The weirdest team in Scottish football came into this one on the back of four straight League Cup defeats, having already lost to Raith Rovers (twice), Rangers and St Mirren. However, after just 13 minutes play they were leading 3-0 at Ibrox! Furthermore, they played for an hour with the equivalent of a ten man team, the lame Jimmy Davidson, after a period off the field, having been condemned to see out the match as nothing more than an occasional wing area nuisance.

Thistle were one of the unluckiest sides in the country with this type of thing – reporter Jimmy Barr ran an article on the subject pointing out that we finished matches with 10 or even 9 men on no fewer than 15 occasions in the past three seasons.

All three of Thistle’s goals came in an astonishing five minute spell. Two right-foot shots from Tommy Ewing in the 8th and 10th minutes had us on cloud nine. Rangers 0 Partick Thistle 2.

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Cloud nine wasn’t high enough though – we reached cloud ten after just 13 minutes! John McIntosh shrewdly slipped a ball through to the on-rushing JIMMY HENDERSON, playing at inside right for the evening, who touched it nicely with momentum past future-Jag George Niven in the Rangers goal – 3-0 to Thistle. Sensation!

Despite some inevitable second half pressure from Rangers, the depleted Thistle side still managed to create several chances to score, with Niven pulling off some wonder saves in goal. Only the post prevented Joe Hogan, and only the crossbar prevented Davie Mathers from making it four.

It was reported that the unsporting Rangers fans clapped and cheered when Jimmy Davidson went off injured in the 30th minute. By the end of the game, it was further reported that their cheers for the oppositions injured men had turned to jeers for the performance of their own players. This must have been music to the ears of manager David Meiklejohn, not to mention the Jags fans who had ventured south to Mordor.

It had taken wee Jimmy almost four years since his debut to get his goal. This doesn’t seem to have affected his confidence any. In the dressing room after the game, he was in the mood for a bit of banter: “I must be a great player – this is my first game of the season and already I’m second top scorer” he quipped to his team mates. And he was right. After 5 games the full list read: Tommy Ewing, 3 goals; Jimmy Henderson, 1 goal.

His banter was perhaps a tad premature however – the wee man never scored again! Ach, still, 3 nil at Ibrox? That’ll do for me. Gaun’ yersel’ Jimmy.

Publishing date Originally published on 16-Dec-2014 (WAT).
Thistle Archive publishing date Republished here on The Thistle Archive, 17-Dec-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 14-Dec-2020.

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