The northern Glasgow suburb of Maryhill is not known for its famous surrounds and this is a traditionally working class district which spreads extensively across Glasgow’s northern tip. The area was once known for its lawlessness particularly during the Victorian era which gave rise to the Scottish Temperance movement.
It was here that the detective series Taggart was regularly filmed. Likewise, the world famous Trainspotting movie may have the Scottish capital of Edinburgh at its core but many of the scenes were set in and near Maryhill. Once known as the ‘little Venice’ of Glasgow due to its canals the area was also a centre of the glass industry during the Industrial period. Perhaps its most famous resident was Hitler’s second in command Rudolf Hess although his stay was only temporary since he was a prisoner in Maryhill Barracks after his surprise solo landing during 1941 near Glasgow.
If the stay of Hess was temporary Partick Thistle FC are now permanent residents of the area.
The story of Partick Thistle goes back some 140 years with the club formed in 1876 in the nearby Glasgow Burgh of Partick. The side had various homes before arriving at the current home of Firhill in 1909. The first game at Firhill arrived on 18th September 1909 when Dumbarton Harp were visitors in a Scottish Qualifying Cup match. The two greatest achievements on the footballing front for Partick Thistle have been winning the Scottish Cup in 1921 against Rangers and the shock Scottish League Cup in 1971 when Celtic were defeated. Not long after the League Cup win Honved were welcomed to Firhill in the UEFA Cup 1st Round.
The side has never won the top division in Scottish football but is currently enjoying a long run in Scottish Premier League with the 2016-17 season seeing the club finish 6th.
Some unusual facts are that the club was the first Scottish side to participate in the now defunct UEFA Intertoto Cup coming up against a strong Metz side, Keflavik, NK Zagreb and ASK Linz.
Now a stable club after various periods of financial adversity firm leadership on and off the pitch makes Firhill an interesting place to watch football if the Giants of Glasgow – Celtic and Rangers – are not your thing. Given the club’s proximity to all of Glasgow’s Universities, they regularly attract a student crowd and a loyal fan base from the Maryhill district.
Firhill Stadium still stands and hosts football just as it did way back in 1909. These days it is largely a modern stadium with three stands. The aforementioned Taggart had a number of its episodes set in and around the ground. One of the most distinctive features these days is the disused grassy banked end. Behind this end, there is a range of murals dedicated to Partick Thistle and the clubs place in Glasgow’s industrial heritage. This area has been earmarked for development although the building of a new 500 seat stands for away fans has been delayed for some time. Because of this, the old traditional main stand continues to be used to house visiting fans despite the wooden interiors and high maintenance costs.
Most commonly Partick Thistle are known for its distinctive red and yellow kit although the club was originally known for wearing blue home colours.