Partick Thistle players show Christmas spirit as Festive Friends to local community

Thistle Festive Friends James Penrice, Rebecca Richardson and community coach Paul Brennan.
Thistle Festive Friends James Penrice, Rebecca Richardson and community coach Paul Brennan.

Local pensioners and those living in hardship will enjoy a Christmas Day treat, thanks to the generosity of the club’s players.

All Partick Thistle FC playing staff - from both men’s and women’s first teams - have this week made a donation to “Festive Friends”, an initiative which which will enable more than 100 local elderly people and those living in hardship to enjoy a special Christmas Day at Firhill.

In partnership with the SPFL Trust, the Partick Thistle Charitable Trust (PTCT) will again open the doors of The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill this Christmas Day so that all invited guests can enjoy festive food, entertainment, a small gift and, most importantly, company.

PTCT set a 2019 Festive Friends fundraising target of £2,000 with the aim of extending the reach of the project this year, aiming to welcome at least 100 people on December 25.

But that figure has been smashed thanks to the generosity of all members of Thistle’s men’s and women’s squads.

All of them have donated £35 each which will pay for a local person’s Christmas Day visit to Firhill and forge friendships that will last forever.

Among the stars happy to help is defender James Penrice, who will celebrate his 21st birthday just three days before Christmas.

He said: “Festive Friends is a brilliant project which has brought a lot of joy to many local people when they need it most.

“Making this donation is the least the players can do and we hope that everyone at Firhill on Christmas Day walks away with lasting memories and new friends.”

Rebecca Richardson, women’s team defender and PTCT development officer, added: “Over three years Festive Friends has provided truly magical experiences and memories for so many people – it provides the platform for football which makes a real difference in communities.

“We’re very proud of all our players who had no hesitation in making the donation which will help the project reach even more people this year.”

Thistle fans can also be a part of this special day.

The Charitable Trust are always looking for people to help - whether you can pour a drink, carry a plate or have a secret talent to keep the guests entertained, your Trust needs you.

Volunteering is simple, just email diane.scott@ptct.org.uk and make sure you are free even for a few hours between noon and 5pm on Christmas Day. A huge thanks goes to all those who have volunteered so far.