TODAY marks a very special moment in Partick Thistle’s rich history.

It’s the 50th anniversary of the club’s 4-1 victory over Celtic in the 1971 League Cup final at Hampden.

‘Sizzling Thistle Roast Celtic’ roared our headline the next day. ‘Goal feast in rip-roaring final,’ we proclaimed.

“Maryhill is a place of mighty rejoicings tonight,” said our reporter. “Partick Thistle are the 1971 Scottish League Cup holders. The Jags have won their first major piece of silverware for 50 years and they did it in fairytale fashion.

“As 62,740 fans looked on in almost total disbelief….the Maryhill marvels, the team that was playing in the Second Division last season, gave league champions Celtic, the hot favourites, a roasting and a hammering in an epic League Cup final.

“Thistle won the trophy and filled their fans with joy with a blistering display of power football in this final. In the first 37 minutes they scored FOUR times and the trophy was then wrapped up and labelled for delivery at Firhill.


“The tale that will be told and retold around Maryhill in years to come is simply summed up. Thistle went for every ball – they beat Celtic at their own game of speed soccer and won almost as they liked.”

Our photographers caught all the action on the day, as these fantastic pictures show.

The surprise win – Jock Stein’s Parkhead side was expected to waltz away with the spoils with even the commentators writing Thistle off before it started – was a historic triumph and it lives long in Thistle fans’ – and players’ - memories.

Glasgow Times: Crowds gather at Firhill, 1971 Pic: Newsquest

Denis McQuade (pictured slotting home to put the Jags 3-0 up) told the Evening Times last year: “I remember being interviewed before the ’71 final by Arthur Montford, and I said ‘well, even if it is 100/1, there is always the chance that this could be that one day…’

“Fortunately, we had a manager in Davie McParland who had a very positive attitude towards these things.

“The Celtic team back then was an incredible side.

“They were in the middle of their nine-in-a-row run, they had been in the European Cup final the year before and lost to Feyenoord, so they were full of internationals and experience.

Glasgow Times: Denis McQuade scores for Partick Thistle. Pic: Newsquest

“It wasn’t a fluke, even Jock Stein said that.

“We absolutely went for it from the first kick off and we could have scored more.

READ MORE: Lifelong Jags fan's happy memories of first Partick Thistle game - 70 years ago

“By the time it came to my turn to hit one off Frank Coulston’s back and in, Celtic were already looking a bit nonplussed. They weren’t expecting this.

“Half-time was just surreal, because we sat down, and it was total silence. We didn’t really appreciate what had just happened.

“McParland basically said that if we could keep them under control for the first 15 minutes, then we were going to win, and he was absolutely right.”

On match day, Grandstand presenter Sam Leitch famously proclaimed: ‘’In Scotland, it’s League Cup final day at Hampden Park, where Celtic meet Partick Thistle, who have no chance.”

Hope he ate his words.

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