We’ve now reached the tenth Thistle Pin in the series. We have sold more than 1700 Pins to date, to more than 400 different members, which is well beyond our most optimistic of expectations.
Your enthusiasm on this journey has enabled us to raise funds not just for TJF, but also Jags For Good (including their Energy Fund and their partners at the Glasgow Baby Food Bank) and the Partick Thistle Women’s team. We thank our members once again for your phenomenal support this season.
Building on that success, we are delighted to announce… the Banzo Pin!
Banzo the Younger
A local Bishopbriggs boy, Stuart Bannigan joined Partick Thistle as part of the youth development squad, signing professional terms almost exactly 14 years ago to the day. During Ian McCall’s first tenure as manager, he made his competitive debut for the first team, in a Challenge Cup game against Clyde.
Banzo spent a spell on loan later that season, with Ayr United, as Thistle sought to guarantee the 17-year-old dynamo game time. He made a positive impression at Somerset, helping the Honest Men to promotion via the play-offs. That experience would set him on a path to being a Firhill regular, especially in McNamara’s side.
He loves the Jags, he gets a Pin!
Banzo the Player
Stuart had to wait until the last game of the 2011-12 season to score his first Thistle goal, in a 2-2 draw with Hamilton. From there he really kicked-on, scoring a spectacular goal at Hampden in a thrilling 5-4 cup victory over Queen’s Park.
It is easy to forget that Banzo was just 20 years old when he helped Thistle lift the Scottish First Division title and secure promotion to the Premier League. He went on to establish himself as a no-nonsense robust Premiership regular in the middle of the park. Had it not been for a serious knee injury, which took two of his prime playing years to recover from, he may well have moved on to bigger things.
As it stands, we are lucky to have held on to Stuart, who would serve for a while as Thistle captain and help us out the doldrums of the third tier. He joins a surprisingly long list of Jags to have played in Red and Yellow in three different divisions. Fourteen years of service at one club in the modern game is a rarity, and one that will take a long time to match.
Banzo the Booked
Of course, Banzo still has a bit of a reputation. His no-nonsense style can get him into trouble. In just over 360 appearances for Thistle, Stuart has picked up a staggering 76 bookings and 5 red cards.
Put another way, Bannigan has been cautioned more often than he has been substituted. This reputation is so ingrained that, at his Hall of Fame inauguration earlier this year, the Club played a game of “Booked or Hooked”.