Tom Hosie is a man of multi talents. Not content with just editing the programme, Tom has taken on many different Thistle related roles even though he is not a paid employee. Updating the official website www.ptfc.co.uk, a member of the Alan Archibald’s testimonial committee, co-wrote the Partick Thistle Legends book and just to round things off has been co-opted back onto the Jags Trust board. A position he has previously held.
Tom’s partner Alison also helps out on match day by selling the programme (JH stand South concourse) and counts the programme money despite not actually being a Thistle fan!
Toms first game watching thistle was at Firhill on Christmas Eve 1977. It was a 4-1 win over Ayr United and that was enough to have Tom hooked.
His involvement with the programme began when he became co-editor with Michael Max in 1993. This lasted until the start of the 1998/1999 season when he took over as sole editor.
Tom is a frequent contributor on the jags forum www.jagsforum.net and posts under the name ‘Tam the Bam’.
How did you become a thistle fan?
Had Third Lanark not been murdered in 1967 then I would in all likelihood have been watching the bulk of my football at Cathkin Park rather than Firhill. My father was a big Thirds fan and after their demise he didn’t go to the football again until my elder brother pestered him to take him to a game. To my father’s eternal credit he refused to take him to Ibrox or Parkhead so Firhill was the obviously destination. Once my father and brother were hooked into all things Partick Thistle it was inevitable that I made it a trio rather than a duo in the car to Firhill.
You take on multi roles at Firhill; can you tell us what projects you have been involved in over the last year or so?
The programme takes up the bulk of my time but I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I’ve still ambitions unfulfilled in that direction anyway, namely actually meeting the print deadline for at least one programme.
I also contribute to the club’s official website www.ptfc.co.uk. The Club’s website is, I feel, okay but there is room for obvious improvement. You only need to read the Jags Forum to learn that people miss the highlights package but while we do okay with transfer news etc I feel we could do a little better in terms of news stories (interviews/features) direct from Firhill. Being remote from Firhill, however, prevents me from being able to do that and the time of staff at Firhill is already filled with other tasks that take priority. It’s one of these situations were there is a willingness and a desire to improve things but a lack of resources to do so. It’s frustrating but ultimately nobody’s fault.
I’m a member of the Alan Archibald Testimonial Committee a fact that makes me feel exceedingly old. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I watched Alan Archibald play for the Thistle under 18 team and now here he is enjoying his testimonial season. I wish I could claim that as soon as I saw him play for the first time that I knew he would be closing in on his 300th Thistle appearance in early 2009.
In way of a plug for Alan’s testimonial event we should shortly, may even have done so by the time you read this, be able to announce the next two events. One of which I feel aimed more at the ordinary supporter and gives those Thistle fans that can’t afford to go to a dinner or attend a golf day the chance to pay tribute to an excellent servant to Partick Thistle.
I also co-wrote ‘Partick Thistle Legends, which Alan appears in, which seemed to be received favourably. It’s a strange sensation indeed to be in a book shop and see a book with your name on it. It does your ego no harm at all. I think it is important though to acknowledge the fact that the bulk of the credit for the book should really lie with Niall Kennedy.
It would be nice to see some publication produced to mark the centenary of Firhill. My idea to produce a pictorial history of Firhill hasn’t really gathered any momentum. It’s perhaps something that could be worked on during the close season. Indeed I imagine that the summer months will be spent on working on a few things related to the Firhill’s 100th birthday. In the meantime if anyone has any images/memories/cuttings related to the history of Firhill that they would like to share they can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been co-opted onto the JTB and hopefully I can help out with a few things there and help free up the elected members to concentrate on other things.
One thing that I can almost guarantee you won’t see, or rather hear, me doing again is operating the tannoy system at Firhill. I hate doing it, I’m crap at it and the new system simply has too many twirly, twisting buttons for me. I managed to take Radio Cumbria off the air, albeit only very briefly, when they were providing live commentary of our friendly with Carlisle United at the start of the season. I’m simply not to be trusted with anything remotely technical!
What changes have been made around Firhill over the past year which in your opinion is for the best?
The Kids for Free scheme was a bold initiative especially as in terms of sowing the seeds for future generations of Thistle fans the benefits of it won’t be felt for years to come.
I can imagine the reaction to this but I genuinely feel that the most significant change in the last eighteen months or so is in the mindset of the Club. That’s not to say that every decision has been either popular or correct but there has been a realisation that things needed to change. The Kids for Free is part of that, the deal with Greaves is another as is the increased community involvement.
It’s unfortunate to say the least that that change has come at a time of global financial uncertainty. That is hardly conducive to growing any successful business let alone a football club where so many uncontrollable variables (injured striker, dodgy penalty etc) can impact on the success or otherwise of the club.
Tell us about your experience as programme editor over the last few years. What parts of the job have you been most proud of? Is there anything you regret?
The Thistle programme isn’t perfect by any manner of means but is always nice to hear people say that they enjoy it. That does happen occasionally.
It’s nice too to receive praise from your peers and winning three divisional, guess what years we weren’t in the same division as Clyde, Programme of the Year awards was pleasing.
I’m not sure if pride is exactly the right word but it has been satisfying to see the programme make a decent four figure profit on sales alone this season after a difficult time last season.
And, oh yes, it was nice to piss off Chick Young a few seasons ago.
There have been a few things, particularly editorial comment, that with the passage of time looks a little foolish but provided it was a view honestly and sincerely held at the time I don’t think that is anything to feel particularly regretful for.
There have been the occasional thing that has disappointed me. Someone having a dig at me while sitting in the Aitken Suite Bar having a pint and minding my own business after the last game of last season ended the season on something of a sour note but after the performance that day I guess everyone had an excuse to feel a bit grumpy.
The lowest point was probably a threat from a fellow Thistle fan to take the programme to the Press Complaints Commission. I reproduced sections of an article that they had written for, I think, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ which I felt perpetuated the myth that Thistle were some kind of cuddly toy and were supported by eccentrics – I must have missed the Rastafarian Kafka reading Jags fan that was mentioned in the article. Now I shouldn’t probably have included the article but the reaction to it from a Thistle fan was, to put it mildly, a tad OTT. I had to write a grovelling apology because ultimately it would have been the Club and not me personally that would have caught the flak.
I suppose if I had to pick one regret from this season it would be that we should have done a bigger print run for the Rangers League Cup tie. We could have sold a couple hundred more which would have been a little extra income for the Club. We’ve sold out a few times this season but aside from the Rangers game the last programme has been sold at half-time which means we got the print run more or less spot on. We sold out well before kick-off at the Rangers game which was frustrating. The thing that surprised me was the number of Rangers fans that bought a programme.