WHENEVER you see a photo of Andy or Jamie Murray running around in Keith Wright Hibs jerseys, I am probably somewhere just in or out of shot in a Texstyle World-sponsored Partick Thistle top. Like them I am best known for tennis but football has always been a part of my life.

My dad grew up in Milton and he was a Thistle fan. I have an older brother too, Michael, who is four years older than I am. He was always been right into his football so when I was a wee guy I just used to copy what he did. Michael actually originally supported Aberdeen back in the semi-glory days of Duncan Shearer and Theo Snelders and all these guys. But with my dad being a Thistle fan, somehow we found ourselves getting tickets for their games, rather than the Aberdeen ones. That is how we have found ourselves Thistle fans for most of our lives basically, back from the days of John Lambie. I still remember standing on the terraces before the Jackie Husband stand was built.

My dad and my brother remain season ticket holders to this day, but I have come and gone with it. When I was at university I had a season ticket and I used to go to quite a lot of away games on a Saturday. I had to give that up with all the travelling involved in tennis. And as it stands now, having a job and a young family, so I only get to two or three matches a year at most.

But I do have got my Jag Zone subscription, so when I am travelling abroad I am able to watch the matches. That means attempting to stream matches live if I am at an airport, waiting to check in or whatever. It sounds mental when you talk about it but you know what it is like when you follow a team. You are always supporting them or trying to find out the result. It is part of who you are.

I’ve even been playing a bit of 5-a-sides recently, but I’ve had to take myself out of the firing line in the last few weeks because I always find when I go in goals I can’t quite bring myself to be one of those guys who just lets the shot in. I played a couple of weeks ago and just felt my wrist a little bit, and with all the tennis coming up over the summer as national coach for Scotland I don’t want to risk an injury.

I used to play for youth teams affiliated with Linlithgow Rose, my hometown team, but I was never a hot prospect or whatever, that would be stretching it. I did like to play but I suppose similar to Andy, gradually the commitment to tennis meant that anything else wasn’t really possible. I wasn’t really attending any training and would have been missing all the matches at weekends. Tennis gradually took over and that is the way it goes.

The interest in football in this country is a challenge and not just for tennis. In fact, tennis is probably in a good position compared to some minority sports, because while football will always dominate the headlines, tennis is more on the map than it has ever been and hopefully it will continue to grow.

But I am usually following it wherever I am. I might be in a commentary booth for Eurosport at the French Open or whatever and I will be checking Twitter or checking the website for live updates from Maryhill.

I have also got to know a few of the guys who have played for them in recent seasons. There is James Craigen, who has moved onto Falkirk, Sean Welsh, who has actually just been released and Stuart Bannigan. We all play a bit of golf together and James and I have never lost to Stuart and Sean. You can print that if you want!

don’t really ask them too much about football though, I know it is the same with me and tennis, it does get a bit wearing, because that is what these guys do day in day out. So we just talk about other things.

I am sure any football fan would resonate with this story, which encapsulates the ups and downs of supporting Thistle - sometimes even within games - although I guess it could be any team. Back when I was at Stirling Uni, I recall going with my brother and another friend up on the supporters bus up to Dingwall to take on Ross County. We went all the way up there and I think Thistle were 2-0 up within 10, 15 minutes, and they gradually went on to lose the match 3-2. Gradually, the thought of that bus journey, all the way back down the road after such a deflating defeat, having been so high early in the game, dawns on you.

The thing I love most about going along is while going with my brother and my dad, but I also meet other friends. Firhill is not far from the West End, so you can make a decent day of it if you want. But normally if I have the kids I am bolting back after the game.

On that subject, my daughter Rose is two and a half and my son Alex is six months. They have both got Partick Thistle bibs. Poor kids, eh!