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John Freebairn

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Heard last night that ex thistle goalie from the late 50s early 60s John Freebairn passed away, I knew John from his athletics days where he was a top level and community coach for many many a year, as well as still competing himself. Many a long chat with him about football once we realised the thistle connection, good interview with him from a few years back in the Scotsman, https://m.startfitness.co.uk/puma-manilla-gtx-mens-trainers-green-353598-03.html

Condolences and thoughts to his wife and daughters.

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Always saddened to hear that an ex-Jag has gone. George Niven (RIP) had just replaced JF when I first started going to Firhill, but my uncles told me he was a good 'keeper.

Condolences to his family and friends.

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I saw Freebairn a number of times and thought he was the sort of keeper a defence could have confidence in and rely on. Perhaps lacking the  'wow' save but a technically very good keeper. 

A fondly remembered Jag. C ondolences to 'big John's' Family. 

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2 hours ago, jaggy said:

Great article, thanks for sharing. He seems to have been quite a character

Absolutely. What a guy! Loved the John Hughes story.

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I was a ball boy when big John Freebairn made his debut for the Jags. He commanded the penalty area really well.  He could jump so high catching  the ball in his chest but with a leg high out in front him. This intimidated opposition  attackers.  At first when he kicked the ball up the park it went high and well into the opposition half - not common at that time.  I remember the crowd always giving his kick out clearances  a big roar.  He became a regular in the team which seemed to be the same every week - Freebairn, Hogan, Baird, Wright Harvey, Donlevy,  etc.  As ball boys we got free tickets for the Glasgow cup final and John had a great game that day in our 2-0 win over Celtic.  It was common during my time there  for ball boys to take in autograph books to the dressing room. The first time I dit it,  I forgot a pen. John kindly gave me his good fountain pen for all the players to sign.   Great memories  for a wee ten year old at that time.  

Condolences to big John's family.

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