In 1994, Alan Maxwell Archibald joined Thistle at the age of just 16. The left-sided defender would eventually make his debut in April 1997 (against East Fife) under Murdo MacLeod.
Archie quickly established himself as a first-team regular between 1997 and 2003. He even broke through into the Scotland U21s squad, collecting 5 caps at that level.
Alan was a key part of John Lambie’s back-to-back title winning squad, and helped to keep Thistle in the SPL in 2002-03.
Returning to Firhill Road
Archie fell out of favour at United under Craig Levein, and so decided to rejoin Thistle in early 2007. Installed as Club Captain, Alan helped to build a period of relative stability on the pitch. He was at the core of the Thistle XI under managers Ian McCall and Jackie McNamara.
Across both spells, Archibald played for Thistle more than 400 times, and scored 9 goals. Despite that low goals tally, Alan actually scored a brace twice in his Jags career, against Arbroath and Hearts.
Archie earned his Testimonial in 2009 (against a Liverpool select) and was subsequently inducted into the Thistle Hall of Fame in 2022.
Archie’s Thistle Pin depicts an iconic Scottish Cup moment from February 2008. On a cold Tuesday night, the Jags and Livingston still could not be separated, even after a replay and extra time.
As the penalty shoot-out went into sudden death, lesser mortals might have crumbled. But Archie had nerves of steel. He slammed home Thistle’s 7th penalty kick, sending the crowd absolutely bananas.
In the 2012-13 season, Archibald’s Thistle career took an unexpected turn. With McNamara’s abrupt managerial departure, Alan found himself as caretaker, later made permanent manager, chasing Allan Moore’s Morton for the First Division title.
Archie took a talented young side and gave it a streetwise grit it previously lacked. His only defeat as manager that season came against Queen of the South in the Challenge Cup final, as Thistle stormed to the summit and secured promotion to the Premiership.
Archie kept the Jags in the top flight for five seasons. Undoubtedly the greatest of those campaigns was 2016-17, when Thistle finished in the Top Six.
Archibald’s managerial achievements at Firhill are arguably unmatched in the modern era, even by the great John Lambie. As manager, Archie even gained his own song, The Twelve Archibalds (to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas).
The youth player. The Club Captain. The manager. The assistant manager. Alan Archibald is a Thistle legend. We could not be happier to mark his achievements with the sixteenth Thistle Pin.
How can I get an Archie Pin?
At 7pm on Thursday 7th December, the Archie Pin will go on sale at the TJF Shop.
There’s a limited number available, so make sure you’re ready to buy yours, and to make it your TJF Christmas treat.
The shop is open to members, and you can join TJF from just £1 per month.
Each Thistle Pin costs £10 including P&P to any UK destination.*
Thistle Pins are a vital part of the TJF fundraising strategy. They make sure we can meet our £10kpm pledge to the Club in the 2023-24 season and support other projects in the wider Thistle community.
*A small surcharge applies for those ordering to a non-UK address.