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01/20/11 06:11 AM

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About the Team

 

Never mind Celtic, Partick Thistle are the latest treble champions - in America, that is. And it's all thanks to lifelong Jags fan, Las Vegas croupier Billy Smith. Billy (35), from Glasgow, moved to Nevada six years ago and set up Partick Thistle Las Vegas FC. The club has won every competition and tournament it has entered, boasting a team sheet the Maryhill Magyars could only dream of. Players from all over the world, including ex-professionals, are queuing up to join the side that contains former Munich 1860 front man George Varhelyi, as well as players from Austria, England, Hungary, Armenia and America.

This season Billy's international all-stars won the Las Vegas treble of League Championship, League Cup and Las Vegas Cup. He says: "One guy played for Sparta Prague and was with  Munich 1860 for five years and asked if he could come and play a few games for me. We have an American who used to play for Wycombe Wanderers, a couple of former Bristol Rovers players and a Frenchman who thinks he's Eric Cantona."

In his first season as player-manager, Billy swept the board. Now the Las Vegas Platinum Division is the only league in the world where you are likely to see a score of Partick Thistle 8 Liverpool 0. Billy, who has been passionate about Thistle since he was eight, says, "When we were in danger of bankruptcy I went into a state of panic. I sent them $1000. To me it's a bit like marriage, only I'll never get divorced."

Before training as a croupier and moving to Vegas, Billy was a buyer on cruise ships, spreading the word about the Jags from Brazil to Egypt. He says, "I used to organize tournaments for guys on the ships and everywhere I went I told people about Thistle and had them all supporting them and wearing strips."

He once opened a bank account under the name Mr. Partick Thistle! The number plates on his two cars read JAGS FC and THISTLE with the spare tire cover sporting a huge Thistle emblem. He even has a giant red, yellow and black metal thistle on his lawn. Billy says, "I asked a friend to make a thistle for my gate but at five feet it was to big so I put it in the middle of the garden."

Partick Thistle chief executive Alan Dick said, "Billy's team has been very successful. We've had an order for strips from him which we're shipping out. Since Billy started his team our website has had an increase in hits from the Las Vegas area and we've sold more merchandise as a result."
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

This web page was created by Phil Holliday
[Docfromuk@cox.net]
Wonderful Las Vegas
Nevada
U.S.A.

 

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1971 League Cup Winners