12th September 1931 Celtic 2 Queen’s Park 2
After the accidental collision at Ibrox on the 5th September 1931 which led to the death of John Thomson, there was, naturally, an outpouring of grief in the following days
There were thousands at his funeral in his home village of Cardenden in Fife and the papers were full of tributes from the football community of Scotland, the political establishment and the ordinary fans. It was a time when rivalries were forgotten and sympathies expressed.
For Willie Maley, though, while obviously devastated, some decisions had to be taken and he met them head on
Firstly, he decided that Celtic would not ask for a postponement of their next league game, due only 7 days later
Then, he had to deal with the problem of another goalkeeper. John Thomson had been so consistent and regular that others seldom got a chance
On this day in September 1931, with a lone piper in attendance, visitors Queen’s Park walked out on to the pitch at Parkhead, followed by the Celtic team – without a goalkeeper. They all turned towards the empty goal at the west end of the ground as the piper played a lament.
Then, after a short silence, reserve goalkeeper John Falconer walked out to take his place and the game began, the players coping manfully on what was an extremely emotional occasion to record a 2-2 draw.