Happy Birhday to John Hansen, who turned 66 on February 3rd. John is very much a legend down Firhill way having been part of the Partick Thistle team that won the League Cup in October, 1971 beating Celtic 4-1. Within a few weeks of the final, John was chosen to be part of Tommy Docherty’s Scotland squad for the Euro Qualifier against Belgium in November at Pittodrie. This would Tommy’ second game in charge, having won the first one 2-1 against Portugal in October.
John’s international career was not that lengthy as he would only play in two games for the national side but with right backs the calibre of Hibs’ John Brownlie, Rangers’ Sandy Jardine and Celtic’s Danny McGrain it’s hardly surprising.
John was given 11 minutes in the game v Belgium coming on for Jimmy Johnstone, not quite like for like but with David Hay at full back playing, perhaps he was moved in to the midfield. Also making his debut that night was second half sub Kenny Dalglish and Stevie Murray, then of Aberdeen, this would be Murray’s only cap.
In the summer of 1972, John travelled to Brazil for the Independence Tournament but would only feature in one game. Scotland kicked off the tournament with a game against Yugoslavia in Belo Horizonte in front of a crowd of 4,000. Hansen would only be given the second half of the game and who was he substitute for? Teammate Alex Forsyth, making his debut that day at right back also. Willie Donachie of Manchester City was given the left back slot.
Scotland drew the game 2-2 with Lou Macari bagging both the Scots goals. The other sub used that day was none other than Jimmy Bone who had recently moved to Norwich City from the Jags.
Tommy Docherty, in fact also picked Thistle players’ Alan Rough and Denis McQuade for his Scotland squads during his tenure and indeed upon leaving for Manchester United suggested that Thistle manager David McParland should be chosen as his successor.
As for John, he would go on to play over 200 league games for the Jags until injury in 1978 meant he had to retire from the game at the age of 28. Ask almost any Jags fan which Hansen is a legend down Firhill way, and almost to a man they will say John and not his brother Alan. As for John despite only 2 caps, what a season 1971’-72 must have been for him.
So Happy Birthday John and all the best.