BERTIE AULD will always be more closely associated with Celtic than any other team but across Glasgow, there is another club where his legacy remains to this day: Partick Thistle.

The Jags handed the Lisbon Lion his first role in management in 1974 and Auld remained in post for six years before eventually moving on to Hibernian.

He could hardly have faced a more daunting task at Firhill. Auld replaced Davie McParland, who had masterminded the club’s greatest achievement just three years earlier as they hammered Jock Stein’s Celtic 4-1 in the 1971 League Cup final.

They were enormous boots to fill but Auld did precisely that. He led Thistle to the First Division title, kept them in the top flight in the subsequent seasons and guided his side to three domestic cup semi-finals, not to mention recording seven wins over Rangers in four years. But according to Gerry Britton, the club’s chief executive, his legacy extends well beyond the confines of a football pitch.

“Bertie picked up the baton from Davie,” Britton explained. “Davie had obviously transformed the whole history of the club when he won the League Cup so it was a hard act to follow for Bertie. It was his first managerial role.

“We had just missed out on the cut for the Premier League in his first season so we had to stay in the First Division, which he then went and won at his first attempt. For the four years that he kept us in the league thereafter, he set a benchmark. He picked up where Davie left off but he set the benchmark for every manager since to follow.

“He worked the players very, very hard but he got the best out of them. From what I’ve seen of managers since, he set up a really successful formula for our club.

“That personality that we saw in John Lambie and that we see in the current manager [Ian McCall] – I see a lot of traits that Bertie brought to the club in terms of work-rate and personality. Not just staff but the players as well – he wanted a squad that could relate to the supporters and that the supporters could relate to.”

It’s these values – demanding 100 per cent effort from his players, his man-management, working with a small group – that Britton feels are Auld’s greatest legacy at Firhill. He might not have a trophy cabinet bursting at the seams to mark his tenure in Glasgow’s West End but Britton insists there have been shades of Auld in every successful Jags side since.

“We don’t have unlimited resources so we need to have people in charge that make the right decisions and Bertie did that,” he said.

“If you’re going to have a small squad you need players that are versatile and can adapt, and I think any successful Thistle squad since has taken on what Bertie and Davie before him put in.

“The great thing about Bertie is that everyone knew he was a local lad; he grew up on Panmure Street and played for Maryhill Harp before he went to Celtic. He was a local legend even before he came to manage the club.

“Even supporters in subsequent generations who haven’t seen his teams play – the respect and the aura that he had if he came to a game shone through from everyone. Everybody says it but he was a gentleman: he never walked by you, he always talked to you. He was so giving of his time to all our supporters and staff.

“He set a great benchmark. He was very successful here and the traits that he showed in terms of working with a small group of players and getting the most out of them – it is a perfect example that we’ve tried to follow ever since.”