KRIS Doolan has often been the toast of Firhill, but none more so than last Saturday night as the striker was formally inducted into the Partick Thistle Hall of Fame.

Stuart Bannigan was on a YTS at Thistle when Doolan joined the club from junior side Auchinleck Talbot back in 2012, and while he couldn’t have told you then that such a moment would arrive, he says that his contribution to the Jags since fully merits his place among the greats.

“It was a good night on Saturday and Kris thoroughly deserves the honour,” Bannigan said.

“I wasn’t sure that sort of thing would happen when he first came to the club, and I’m sure he would say himself he would never have dreamed of it coming up from the juniors.

“To handle all that the way he did has been incredible and I think he must be the first person to be inducted while he is still playing, which just shows you how highly thought of he is.

“I was only a YTS when he came to the club, but you see the stature of him about the club now and the high esteem he is held in by the fans. You have to earn that, you only get it by what you do on the park and how you carry yourself off it.

“For years and years, he’s been the one we have looked to to provide that consistent goal threat, and he has very rarely let us down.”

The night in honour of Doolan also gave Bannigan a chance to catch up with some former Firhill favourites, and he is glad that the fans got a chance to show their gratitude to two of those players in particular in the shape of Chris Erskine and Steven Lawless.

“It was good to see them again,” he said. “Obviously Squiddy only left a couple of months ago, so it wasn’t too long ago that I saw the big man, but it was good to catch up with him and Stevie again.

“They are really well thought of by the fans, so it was good for them to see the boys and it was good for Kris to have them there supporting him. It shows the bonds you end up forming at this club.”

Doolan may be the first to be inducted into the Thistle Hall of Fame while still playing, but with Bannigan now approaching a decade of service at the club, he might not be the last. All of that is a long way from the mind of the 26-year-old though.

“I’ve never really thought of that, I’ve just been concentrating on getting fully fit again and getting back to my best,” he said.

“I certainly don’t deserve that at the minute, but if I keep playing here and stay at the club then I guess you never know, but I certainly wouldn’t be brandishing myself as a Hall of Fame man until I’ve achieved anything like what the guys who are in there already have.”

One major step towards cementing himself as a Firhill great would be to help them survive what has been a traumatic first season in the Championship since taking the drop last summer.

Bannigan is starting to see light at the end of what has been a long, dark tunnel for everyone at the club, and hopes that a win over Inverness tonight will further improve their precarious position for them at the foot of the table.

“We’ve put ourselves in this situation with the bad run we had before Christmas,” he said. “We’ve done ok since then to give ourselves a chance of getting out of it, and we know how massive all of our games are.

“It looked like a three-horse race at the bottom between ourselves, Alloa and Falkirk, but now Queen of the South and Morton have been dragged into it. Hopefully we can beat Inverness, which won’t be easy, and keep that pressure on those teams around us.”