John Lambie: Partick Thistle and Hamilton lead tributes for late former manager

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John Lambie tributes as former Partick Thistle and Hamilton boss dies

Partick Thistle and Hamilton Academical have led the tributes to their former manager, John Lambie, who has passed away aged 77.

Lambie had four spells in charge at Firhill and two at Hamilton, as well as a stint at Falkirk.

Both said they were "deeply saddened" to learn of Lambie's death.

"All at Partick Thistle are devastated to learn that former manager, hall of fame inductee and Thistle legend John Lambie has passed away," Thistle said.

Hamilton added: "John was certainly a unique character as manager.

"He twice took us up to the Premier and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

Lambie's colourful language and fondness for cigars and pigeon racing famously featured in a BBC Scotland fly-on-the-wall documentary, "Grasping The Thistle", focusing on the final stages of Thistle's successful bid to become First Division champions in 2002 - a second-successive promotion.

Players and managers union PFA Scotland said: "There will be many an anecdote being told across football about this unique character. He put a smile on many a face."

Born in Whitburn, Lambie was a full-back with his local junior club before joining Falkirk and St Johnstone.

John Lambie (centre) with the First Division trophy in 1988 while with Hamilton
Lambie (centre) led Hamilton to the top flight twice

He helped the Perth side reach a Scottish League Cup final and played in their first campaign in European football after finishing third in the league before joining the coaching staff.

His first foray into management came with Hamilton in 1984, when he stepped up to succeed Bertie Auld after a spell as assistant to the former Celtic midfielder.

He led Accies to the First Division title in 1986 and, despite being relegated the following season, his side enjoyed a shock Scottish Cup win over Rangers at Ibrox and bounced straight back up with another title.

Lambie moved on to Thistle that year, returned to Accies a year later but then was back at Firhill in 1990.

His side won promotion to the top flight in 1992 and he kept them there for three seasons before moving on to a short spell with Falkirk.

After three years out of football, Lambie returned to Firhill and led Thistle to successive league titles and a jump of two divisions to the top flight.

Lambie retired as manager in 2003 and took up a seat on the club's board but subsequently had a spell as caretaker manager in 2004.

He had been battling a long-standing illness prior to his death.

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