Jun 4 2012 By Gordon Parks
WILLIE KINNIBURGH insists he put his family first after deciding to leave Partick Thistle and start pounding the beat.
The former Motherwell defender stunned the Jags this week by walking away from a one-year deal to start a career with the police.
The 27-year-old, who has made 70 appearances for the Firhill club, admits he’s lived the dream and it’s now time to quit the professional game.
He said: “It’s a big decision to leave Partick as I’ve had some great times there.
“Playing football for a living is what every wee boy dreams of doing and I’ve been lucky enough to do that for a couple of clubs.
“But I’ve got a young family too and I have to think about the future so when the opportunity came up to join the police I took it.
“It’s been a long process getting in, but I’ve made it and I’m looking forward to the new challenge that lies ahead.
“When the boys are starting pre-season I’ll just be going off to police college.
“But I’ve enjoyed my time at Firhill and I’ll drop by and see the boys when I can.”
Meanwhile, Thistle have finally managed to secure the signing of midfielder Sean Welsh who is arriving from Hibs after a successful spell on loan with the Jags last season.
The news is a huge boost to the Firhill support while Welsh, who has established himself as a fans’ favourite, insists it’s a relief to get his future confirmed.
The 22-year-old said: “It’s great to get the new deal done and dusted.
“It has been dragging on for a bit but now I can relax and enjoy my summer holidays.
“I’m really excited about the season ahead.
“The gaffer has signed some really good players and having someone with the experience of Hugh Murray around can only help my game.”