SC Final 1912

The Hampden Riot- which occurred after the final whistle of the replayed Scottish Cup final of 1909 – had nothing to do with the stadium itself, which accommodated the crowd of 60,000 quite comfortably. However, although it hosted the Scotland/England clashes of 1910, 1912 and 1914, Hampden missed out on the Scottish Cup finals of 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1914, all of which were held at either Celtic Park or Ibrox Stadium.

The photograph shown here was taken during the Scottish Cup Final of 1912 between Celtic and Clyde, when Ibrox was the venue. We can see from the wording on the stand that advertising was in vogue in the stadia of that time and the crowd present that day was 46,000, lower than some previous years.

This had been the first season in the Scottish Cup when semi-finals were held on neutral ground and Celtic had beaten Hearts 3-0 at Ibrox on 30th March 1912. Seven days later, the Bhoys were back in Govan for the final, on a nippy afternoon, when a high wind spoiled the play.

The photograph shows Celtic centre-forward Jimmy Quinn – the ‘Iron Man’, with a record of 216 goals in 331 appearances between 1900 and 1915 – just rising to meet a cross from the left. Note the powerful frame and how his concentration is only on the ball, although he would have been well aware that defenders and goalkeeper would have been only too keen to clash with him. The Clyde keeper, Grant, is closest to Quinn and seems to be wearing a shirt with a collar rather than the one worn by his right-back Gilligan, covering behind him. Until around 1911 ( although there does seem to be some doubt about the actual date) goalkeepers wore the same outfit as other players, a cap being the only means of identification. The jersey on Grant does look like a specific one for goalkeepers, although certainly not the yellow one most popular at the period.

Celtic won the final 2-0. They took advantage of the wind behind them to push forward and took the lead through Jimmy McMenemy just before the interval. After the break, they continued to dominate and got a second through Patsy Gallagher. It was the club’s 8th Final success.


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