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The Celtic Miscellany

The Celtic Miscellany

by David Potter

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Celtic is an unusual football club, inspiring strong feelings in almost everyone. It is of course virtually impossible to chronicle all that has happened in the history of the club, but this little gem draws together some of the most interesting, quirky, and downright odd events that have taken place over their long and auspicious existence. Packed with facts, stats,


Celtic is an unusual football club, inspiring strong feelings in almost everyone. It is of course virtually impossible to chronicle all that has happened in the history of the club, but this little gem draws together some of the most interesting, quirky, and downright odd events that have taken place over their long and auspicious existence. Packed with facts, stats, trivia, stories, and legend, the reader will delve deep to find out all about the events and people who have shaped the club into what it is today. Featured here are a plethora of stories on this charismatic football club ranging from how the club was formed, to little-known facts about players and managers. Here you will find player feats, individual records, and plenty of amusing quotes. Discussing the rivalry with Rangers, favourite managers, and cult heroes from yesteryear, this is a book no true Celtic fan should be without.

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The History Press
Publication date:
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5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Celtic FC Miscellany

By David Potter

The History Press

Copyright © 2012 David Potter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7524-9059-5



Celtic beat Dundee 11–0 at Parkhead on 26 October 1895 in the Scottish League in what is still a Celtic record score for a competitive match, but one should not really read too much into it. The pitch was frankly unplayable after heavy overnight snow and Dundee were very critical of referee Mr J. Baillie's decision to let the game go ahead. Dundee had three players injured and in the second half took the field with only nine men, but by this time the score was already 6–0 to Celtic, who had to change their strips because the green and white vertical stripes clashed with the blue and white vertical of Dundee. Accounts of who scored all the goals vary, but the general consensus seems to be that Johnny Madden scored 3, Jimmy Blessington 2, Barney Battles 2, Allan Martin 2, James Kelly 1 and Willie Ferguson 1.


This competition is, not without cause, looked upon as Celtic's favourite competition, for they have won it on 35 occasions between 1892 and 2011, and that is twice more than Rangers. Celtic's love affair with the competition started as early as their first season when they reached the final in 1889 only to lose to Third Lanark. It is often felt that there is nothing better than Hampden in the sun on a warm day in April or May for those who wish to see quintessential Celtic football. Certainly there have been many epic Scottish Cup finals in the past – 1904, 1925, 1931, 1965, 1985, 1988 – all of which have been much celebrated in Celtic folklore. Curiously Celtic have never done something that Rangers, Aberdeen, Queen's Park and Vale of Leven have all done and that is win the trophy three years in a row. Of the three hat-tricks scored in Scottish Cup finals, the first two were scored by Celtic players – Jimmy Quinn in 1904 and Dixie Deans in 1972. Celtic's 35 successful Scottish Cup finals have been as follows:

Celtic 5–1 Queen's Park, Ibrox, 9 April 1892

Campbell (2), McMahon (2), own goal

Originally scheduled for 12 March but declared a friendly after crowd encroachment, this was Celtic's first Scottish Cup win and the victory that really put them on the map, causing outlandish scenes of joy in the East End.

Celtic 2–0 Rangers, Second Hampden, 22 April 1899

McMahon, Hodgeˆ

A victory which was all the more creditable as Rangers had been league champions with a 100 per cent record.

Celtic 4–3 Queen's Park, Ibrox, 14 April 1900

Divers (2), McMahon, Bell

Commonly referred to as the 'hurricane' final, this game saw Celtic go in at half time with a 3–1 lead. Despite facing the strong wind in the second half, it was Celtic who scored the crucial fourth goal early in the period and after Queen's Park scored two, they held out to register their third cup final victory.

Celtic 3–2 Rangers, Hampden, 16 April 1904

Quinn (3)

This is the game which made Jimmy Quinn. Celtic were two down, but Quinn levelled before half time then scored the winner in the second half to register the first ever Scottish Cup final hat-trick.

Celtic 3–0 Hearts, Hampden, 20 April 1907

Somers (2), Orr (penalty)

Celtic became the first team to win the Scottish League and the Scottish Cup in the same year. Hearts were handicapped by the absence through injury of Charlie Thomson. This was the beginning of Hearts' trophy famine of 50 years and also the start of their perpetual and irrational hatred and complex about Celtic.

Celtic 5–1 St Mirren, Hampden, 18 April 1908

Bennett (2), Hamilton, Somers, Quinn

It would have taken a great team to beat this all-conquering Celtic side, and the Buddies were not that. Jimmy McMenemy controlled the game from start to finish.

Celtic 2–0 Hamilton (after 0–0 draw), Ibrox, 15 April 1911

Quinn, McAteer

By no means a vintage Celtic side, but a great day for the village of Croy which supplied three men for Celtic – Jimmy Quinn, Andy McAtee and Tommy McAteer.

Celtic 2–0 Clyde, Ibrox, 6 April 1912

McMenemy, Gallacher

Another windy final and Patsy Gallacher marked his first cup final with a goal.

Celtic 4–1 Hibs (after 0–0 draw), Ibrox, 16 April 1914

McColl (2), Browning (2)

A superb performance by Celtic in the 'Irish' Cup final on this Thursday evening. Patsy Gallacher played magnificently.

Celtic 1–0 Hibs, Hampden, 31 March 1923


A poorish Celtic side had to work hard for this narrow victory, but Joe Cassidy's goal was the difference.

Celtic 2–1 Dundee, Hampden, 11 April 1925

Gallacher, McGrory

Patsy Gallacher's famous goal in this final was scored with the ball wedged between his feet as he somersaulted into the net. Young McGrory scored the winner with a stereotypical diving header.

Celtic 3–1 East Fife, Hampden, 16 April 1927

McLean, Connolly, own goal

Second Division East Fife did well to reach the final but were outclassed by Celtic. Tommy McInally clowned throughout and deliberately missed chances so as not to embarrass the Fifers. This was the first cup final to be broadcast on the radio and it was listened to in ice cream parlours in Methil.

Celtic 4–2 Motherwell (after 2–2 draw), Hampden, 15 April 1931

McGrory (2), R. Thomson (2)

A great performance after being lucky to earn a replay, yet it is the first game that is the more famous. Celtic were now able to take the Scottish Cup with them on tour to America.

Celtic 1–0 Motherwell, Hampden, 15 April 1933


A dull game on a dull day with only Jimmy McGrory's tap-in separating the sides.

Celtic 2–1 Aberdeen, Hampden, 24 April 1937

Crum, Buchan

Hampden's record crowd for a Scottish Cup final (with a lot more inside than the 147,365 officially given) saw a tight game with Celtic emerging victorious.

Celtic 1–0 Motherwell, Hampden, 21 April 1951


John McPhail's first-half goal was enough to separate the teams and give Celtic their first piece of silverware since before the Second World War.

Celtic 2–1 Aberdeen, Hampden, 24 April 1954

own goal, Fallon

Celtic's hard-earned victory over a spirited Dons side saw the first league and cup double for 40 years.

Celtic 3–2 Dunfermline, Hampden, 24 April 1965

Auld (2), McNeill

A truly epic occasion as Celtic with Jock Stein now at the helm ending their trophy famine in glorious style, after twice being behind.

Celtic 2–0 Aberdeen, Hampden, 29 April 1967

Wallace (2)

The all-conquering Celtic side had just become the first British side to reach a European Cup final on the previous Tuesday, and Wallace's two goals on either side of half time were enough to do the trick.

Celtic 4–0 Rangers, Hampden, 26 April 1969

McNeill, Lennox, Connelly, Chalmers

Celtic completed a domestic treble with this comprehensive rout of Rangers.

Celtic 2–1 Rangers (after 1–1 draw), Hampden, 12 May 1971

Macari, Hood (penalty)

A good win for Celtic on the Wednesday night after a late goal on the Saturday had given Rangers an undeserved replay. George Connelly was superb.

Celtic 6–1 Hibs, Hampden, 6 May 1972

Deans (3), Macari (2), McNeill

A great victory for Celtic with Dixie Deans equalling the feat of Jimmy Quinn in 1904 with a cup final hat-trick, one of them celebrated with a somersault.

Celtic 3–0 Dundee United, Hampden, 4 May 1974

Hood, Murray, Deans

Dundee United's first Scottish Cup final appearance and they were defeated by a Celtic team which had possibly passed its best, but was still too good for anyone in Scotland.

Celtic 3–1 Airdrie, Hampden, 3 May 1975

Wilson (2), P. McCluskey

Billy McNeill announced his retirement after this game. A Celtic victory was all the more essential because Rangers had won the league for the first time in a decade.

Celtic 1–0 Rangers, Hampden, 7 May 1977

Lynch (penalty)

A miserable rainy day and the first time that the Scottish Cup final had been televised live for twenty years. Celtic's goal came from a disputed penalty, but they were the better team in any case.

Celtic 1–0 Rangers (after extra time), Hampden, 10 May 1980

G. McCluskey

A reasonable game of football overshadowed by the Hampden Riot afterwards as idiots from either side battled it out on the field after the game to the undisguised delight of the media.

Celtic 2–1 Dundee United, Hampden, 18 May 1985

Provan, McGarvey

A great Celtic comeback in the last 15 minutes over a stuffy Dundee United defence was much needed to give the support and manager Davie Hay something to cheer about after a dreadful season.

Celtic 2–1 Dundee United, Hampden, 14 May 1988

McAvennie (2)

Almost a carbon copy of 1985, but Billy McNeill was now the manager and this victory gave Celtic the double of league and cup in their centenary season.

Celtic 1–0 Rangers, Hampden, 20 May 1989


Joe Miller scored the only goal of this Cup final just before half time.

Celtic 1–0 Airdrie, Hampden, 27 May 1995

van Hooijdonk

A poorish game but Celtic's early goal was enough to give manager Tommy Burns the only trophy of his managerial career.

Celtic 3–0 Hibs, Hampden, 26 May 2001

McNamara, Larsson (2, 1 a penalty)

This game over an outclassed Hibs side sealed a treble in Martin O'Neill's first season in charge.

Celtic 3–1 Dunfermline, Hampden, 22 May 2004

Larsson (2), Petrov

A good Celtic comeback after a dodgy Dunfermline goal in the first half in what was Henrik Larsson's last competitive game for the club.

Celtic 1–0 Dundee United, Hampden, 28 May 2005


Celtic had disappointed their fans by throwing away the SPL at Motherwell the previous week in what became known as Black Sunday, and then Martin O'Neill announced his resignation to look after his ill wife. Not the greatest ever Celtic performance on a wet and misty day, but a welcome win nevertheless.

Celtic 1–0 Dunfermline, Hampden, 26 May 2007


A poor game but the late goal from the unlikely source of Cameroon international Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé was enough to do the trick for Gordon Strachan.

Celtic 3–0 Motherwell, Hampden, 21 May 2011

Ki, Wilson, Mulgrew

A businesslike performance from Celtic to give Neil Lennon his first honour after the SPL had been lost in a strange performance at Inverness.


A brave piece of swimming by a Scottish tourist which saved an Irish girl from drowning one day on Lough Gill, County Sligo, in the summer of 1947 had important consequences for Celtic. The Scottish holidaymaker was Joseph McMenemy, son of the great 'Napoleon' and the local girl was Lily Fallon. Naturally the hero was invited back to the Fallon household for tea, and conversation turned of course to Glasgow Celtic to the particular interest of Lily's brother Sean, a talented player for some local teams. In 1950, Sean Fallon signed for Celtic, and then contributed hugely to the club for the next sixty years.


This man does not figure prominently in histories of Celtic, yet he has a 100 per cent record of winning every game he played in, and of scoring against Rangers at Ibrox. It was autumn 1913 and Celtic were struggling with injuries to McMenemy and Quinn, while George Whitehead was struggling to find a place in the Hearts first team. He was therefore borrowed, played a brilliant seven games at centre forward beside Sniper McColl and Patsy Gallacher, but the club them let him return to Hearts – a decision that was not all that popular with the support. Hearts then promptly sold him to Motherwell! During the First World War, he served in the Royal Navy, was torpedoed twice and happily survived!


Celtic played in an astonishing game at East Fife on 17 February 1973. East Fife had fought their way back into the old First Division after many years in the Second Division, and their ground at Bayview was packed with 11,000 spectators. The game ended 2–2 with Celtic earning their draw with a late goal from Dixie Deans who had also scored their first – but that was not the whole story. Celtic had been awarded two penalties (both justified, of course!) and three separate players – Bobby Murdoch, Harry Hood (with the retake of Murdoch's) and Kenny Dalglish – had missed them! East Fife were more grateful – when they were awarded a penalty, they took it and scored. Even after Deans' late equaliser in the 88th minute, there was a late appeal for a penalty, but most fans were delighted and relieved when referee George Smith of Edinburgh said 'No'.


Joe Cassidy signed for Celtic in 1913, but the First World War delayed his career until the 1920s. He served in the Black Watch and won a Military Medal in the closing days of the conflict in November 1918. He was back in time to play in the New Year's Day game of 1919, but it was the following season before he was able to resume his career in earnest.

He won his spurs on New Year's Day 1921 at Ibrox when his two goals sent the faithful into raptures and had the fans declaring that he was the new Jimmy Quinn. Indeed he was big and strong and had the added advantage of being good-looking as well, thus winning the hearts of so many female fans. He was originally an inside left, but Tommy McInally's temporary departure in 1922 opened the door for him as a centre forward.

His annus mirabilis was certainly 1923 when he rescued a dreadful season by scoring 11 goals in the triumphant Scottish Cup campaign, scoring in every game except one (and even in that one, he hit the post!). Before the crowd had settled, he grabbed a goal in the first minute against Motherwell in the semi-final, and the only goal of the game with a header against Hibs in the final, which brought the Scottish Cup to Parkhead for the tenth time overall and for the first time since the war.

He was unfairly scapegoated for the awful 1923/24 season and allowed to go to Bolton Wanderers in summer 1924, but not before he had played his part in grooming the young McGrory to stardom. He never settled in England and returned to Dundee but he was always Joe Cassidy of Celtic. He later went to Ireland and won an Irish Cup medal with Ballymena in 1929. He won four caps for Scotland.


It was just as well that the Scottish Cup had been won the week before, because Celtic chose the night of Friday 30 April 1937 to play one of their worst ever games as they went down 8–0 to Motherwell at Fir Park. No excuse was possible, other than that the game was totally meaningless and that they were just about to embark on the overnight sleeper to London to see the English FA Cup final between Sunderland and Preston North End. Nevertheless it was a distressing experience for the many Celtic fans in the crowd.


It is sad that Kenny Dalglish is so much associated with Liverpool rather than Celtic, for so much of his career with Celtic was superb and much reminisced about by those fortunate enough to have seen him play. Even at the interval of thirty-five years since his departure to Liverpool, it is hard to analyse one's own feelings and to refrain from using words like 'tragedy' in the context of the loss of Kenny Dalglish.

Kenny joined Celtic in the momentous summer of 1967, was farmed out to Cumbernauld United but then played his debut in 1968. He played only occasionally for the first team until he really broke through in 1971, famously scoring a penalty against Rangers at Ibrox on the opening day of that season – but not before he had bent down to tie his lace first!


Excerpted from The Celtic FC Miscellany by David Potter. Copyright © 2012 David Potter. Excerpted by permission of The History Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

David Potter is a semi-retired teacher who has written over 20 sports books, including The Encyclopedia of Scottish Football and biographies of several Celtic players. He lives in Kirkcaldy.

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