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east end jag

What do you remember about...Bertie Auld

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It's June 1974 and Davie McParland shocks everyone with his decision to leave Partick Thistle after a disagreement with the Board of Directors. 

Appointed to replace McParland is Robert 'Bertie' Auld. Maryhill born, Bertie takes his first steps into management with Thistle following a distinguished playing career.

Managing the club twice, 1974-1980 and briefly in 1986, Bertie took charge of over 300 Thistle games.

But what do you remember about Bertie's Thistle? Do you have any stories about Bertie visiting your school on a Wednesday afternoon to let you know the importance of the green cross code? Was a rift in your family opened because he signed and played Brian Rodman, a player who was clearly never Thistle quality but your uncle thought was the missing cog in defence which could seal the league? Did a girlfriend tell you it's me or the Thistle team of 1978 and, 40 odd years on, your not sure you made the right decision to follow the advice of Bertie when you asked him on Maryhill Road what you should do?

Or do you have something else just as special to recall or share about Bertie's time as Thistle manager. Now's the time to tell.

A big thanks to everyone who contributed stories to the Davie McParland thread. Please feel free to do the same with Bertie Auld.

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I remember a game where he set up the whole team on one side of the pitch at kick off , completely confused the opposition and most of the home support LOL

Edited by Tyler Machamilton

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Thistle's style of football in the Premier Division under Bertie Auld  made few friends.  Several opposition managers criticised their defence in depth, sitting in and hoping for a goal on the break. 

On 27 September 1980 the Aberdeen Evening Express carried a report of an Italian league match the previous week. The reporter was unimpressed because the match was "unadventurous,

negative stuff which put you in mind of Partick Thistle first team versus Partick Thistle reserves."

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Ever the showman, Bertie Auld played the numbers game at Easter Road for Thistle's Scottish cup-tie against Hibs on 4 March 1978.  This was in the days when shirt numbers were strictly 1-11

with 2 subs.   He  announced Bobby Houston and Ally Love as substitutes (12 and 14) but played them from the start.  The nominal numbers 6 and 7 (John Craig and Jim Melrose) were on the

bench.  Craig eventually came on.  The effect this had is inconclusive.  It was a 0-0 draw (but Thistle won the replay 2-1).

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The Evening Times reported that before the match with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on 28 February 1979, Thistle refused to announce their team to Aberdeen because (according to chairman Miller

Reid) Aberdeen  had refused to divulge theirs.  The team was still in the dressing room when the public address announcer gave out Aberdeen's team then added that Thistle had  "refused to

name their line-up".

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Against Hearts at Firhill on 5 May 1979, Bertie Auld took off Jim Melrose (who had been the best forward on view and had scored the opening goal) with 13 minutes remaining. Nothing unusual

in that - except both substitutes had already been used.  He played down the incident after the match but it was evident he was displeased with Melrose because  they "had words".  The 10 men

went on to score again in the last minute for a 2-0 win but it was a gamble that didn't impress the fans and Auld was given some abuse at the end.

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Hardly a football comment, but my father ran a butcher shop in Maryhill area and had Bertie as an apprentice butcher, this would have been 1953(ish). 

Apparently Bertie was an awful butcher so his career path was never going to be one that would produce a pie or two. 

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I remember as a kid when he returned in 86, standing down in the old enclosure towards the end of the game Vs Killie when they were all but up, he brings a young Paddy Kelly on with instructions of “just f****** run at them” he proceeds to score twice to win us the game, after the 1st Bertie turned from beside the dugout to take the congratulations and cover me in cigar smoke.  Had high hopes for the following season after Bertie came back, but the DJ messed it all up

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Bernie was a showman, a great publicist for Thistle. He was a very shrewd tactician.  The gems he discovered I'm the market were brilliant. He also brought on a lot of youth.

The guy was am excellent Thistle boss.

 

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He was a great manager and I dont think he got the credit he deserved. 5th place in the premier. 2 scottish cup semi finals ( we were cheated v rangers ). Maybe he was overly defensive at times but I'd take any of his teams right now. 

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Memories can get blurred over the years but I'm sure I can remember shouts at Bertie to get a second man into the box for OUR corners.  28% of his competitive matches in charge were either 1-0, 0-0 or 0-1.

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He always got abuse for supposedly being defensive (probably more in away games) but he had some wonderful attacking players like Somner, Melrose, McAdam, Houston, John Craig and the quite brilliant Donald Park. We beat Rangers and Celtic during his time (Rangers on a few occasions) and most other teams as well. Bertie’s time at Firhill was probably my favourite

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18 minutes ago, jaggy said:

He always got abuse for supposedly being defensive (probably more in away games) but he had some wonderful attacking players like Somner, Melrose, McAdam, Houston, John Craig and the quite brilliant Donald Park. We beat Rangers and Celtic during his time (Rangers on a few occasions) and most other teams as well. Bertie’s time at Firhill was probably my favourite

Perhaps because we had such prolific forwards we could afford to be that bit more cagey? The quality there made it highly likely one of theses players would score or provide an assist. Stop the opposition scoring and the game's probably won.  Turn that around and if you've no or little quality upfront then you have to be more attacking as you're going to have to create so many more chances.

My own memory of the Bertie years were of occasions when we were negative but these spells were isolated and in no way were we serially ultra defensive. On the whole a most enjoyable period.

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Though Auld was a potentially great Thistle Manager he made a big mistake moving to Hibs.  A hard player and a hard manager who knew when a good kick up the backside was needed he first came to my attention as a player for a club in Glasgow's East End. 

I went to Hampden to see the European Cup semi-final  versus Leeds Utd - the all conquering English Champions. 

Auld didn't like the way Norman Hunter (the English League's no.1 hard man) and Billy Bremner were treating Jimmy Johnstone. Following yet another crude tackle on Johnstone and while he was getting treatment Auld spoke to the referee. Clearly getting no joy he turned to Hunter and Bremner (standing about 15yds away) and pointed at them. Having got their attention he then made out that he was holding a pen in one hand and writing something  on a piece of paper with his other hand being the paper. Finishing his short note he again pointed to Hunter and Bremner. 

I was told by a (OK I'll say it)  home fan Auld had 'marked their card'. During the next 10 minutes both needed a lengthy period of treatment!  Neither went anywhere near Johnstone for the rest of the game. 

That was Bertie Auld!! 

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My memories of Bertie are of being in the Charing Cross Hotel on Saturday nights & seeing Bertie & his family leaving after their meal with Bertie puffing on a cigar as they left onto Sauchiehall St.

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Great Thistle manager. One story I heard was that Bertie used to wear his European cup winners medal around his neck and would pull it out when he was having a managers rant saying ‘ have you got wan of these Have you got wan of these’ 

One time while absolutely tearing into Tony Higgins he used that phrase to which Higgins replied as long as your my manager I’ll never get wan of them. Great reply

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Thistle had an evening match one midweek under Bertie and the next day the famous Herald scribe Ian Archer said that before the game Bertie had intimated that he would be setting up the team in the old fashioned 2 3 5 formation . The article went  on that after twenty minutes of woeful Jags  play " it was obvious Thistle were at their more usual formation of sixes and sevens" !!

The  famous Craig Levein one of  4 6 0 might have been more usual for the wee man when he managed us.

Is there not some fantastic footage of Bertie in the world club final against South American cloggers  going up when there was a break in play and having a good kick from behind at somebody?

He certainly knew the score whether it was playing or managing.

 

 

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The accusation of negative play was perpetuated by one of the old firm after Alan Rough’s incredible performance which I think had us briefly at the top of the league.

Then we beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie with Roughie again magnificent and they jumped on the bandwagon. It was all bull.

From memory we played with the great Somner and Craig as dual strikers along with Denis, Badger and Parky(not all at once). Hardly defensively minded.

Then he returned to save us with ‘The Magnificent 7’. A truly diabolical team that he saved from relegation to 3rd tier getting 4 wins out of 7 games.

Then he was replaced by our worst, laziest, stupidest, fattest, most ignorant balloon of a manager in Derek Johnstone and disappeared forever.

Auld was a fine Jags manager.

Regrettably Bertie appears to have forgotten about his time at Firhill which was superb, as he never mentions us.

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Couple of Bertie stories which I was told seemingly there was an offer from Leeds United for Bobby Houston in the region of 100k which Bertie turned down , so Bobby goes into the managers office and asks why the offer was turned down to be promptly told by Bertie he was doing him a favour as he shat himself in front of 5000 fans At Firhill and he had no chance in front of 25,000 at Elland Road.

The other one was at half time at Love Street when we were getting beaten and I think it was John Marr who stuck the heid on one of his teammates going up the tunnel .

John Marr didn’t get fined as Bertie thought he was showing “ character “

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8 hours ago, jagfaelivi said:

Thistle had an evening match one midweek under Bertie and the next day the famous Herald scribe Ian Archer said that before the game Bertie had intimated that he would be setting up the team in the old fashioned 2 3 5 formation . The article went  on that after twenty minutes of woeful Jags  play " it was obvious Thistle were at their more usual formation of sixes and sevens" !!

The  famous Craig Levein one of  4 6 0 might have been more usual for the wee man when he managed us.

Is there not some fantastic footage of Bertie in the world club final against South American cloggers  going up when there was a break in play and having a good kick from behind at somebody?

He certainly knew the score whether it was playing or managing.

 

 

I think that was Tommy Gemmell.

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6 hours ago, Weebaw1 said:

The accusation of negative play was perpetuated by one of the old firm after Alan Rough’s incredible performance which I think had us briefly at the top of the league.

Then we beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie with Roughie again magnificent and they jumped on the bandwagon. It was all bull.

From memory we played with the great Somner and Craig as dual strikers along with Denis, Badger and Parky(not all at once). Hardly defensively minded.

Then he returned to save us with ‘The Magnificent 7’. A truly diabolical team that he saved from relegation to 3rd tier getting 4 wins out of 7 games.

Then he was replaced by our worst, laziest, stupidest, fattest, most ignorant balloon of a manager in Derek Johnstone and disappeared forever.

Auld was a fine Jags manager.

Regrettably Bertie appears to have forgotten about his time at Firhill which was superb, as he never mentions us.

Just this morning I was thinking about ex OF players who pitch up at Firhill as managers. For too many I think it was probably just a nice wee retirement plan (and of course the same goes for far too many ex OF players): Scott Symon, Bertie, Fatso Johnstone, Murder McLeod, Derek Whyte... I might have forgotten some. Play around at the wee Thistle while milking the Ibrox/Parkheid link for all its worth. They had basically zilch interest in PTFC, and looked on the club and supporters as a wee earner, nothing more. 

Ian McCall really comes across as an exception, with a genuine passion for the Jags.

Incidentally, in the seven games McCall played for us in 1996-97 (of which I have no recollection), his record was W4 D2 L1. I'd settle for that for the rest of this season!

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