Jimmy Delaney

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The photograph shows Celtic’s biggest star of the 2nd World War years – Jimmy Delaney – under pressure from a regular opponent, Jock ‘Tiger’ Shaw of Rangers. The hairstyle of the time makes Delaney look a lot older than he was – he was 30 at the time – but there is no doubting the determination and concentration of both men as they try to get possession of the ball.

The shot was taken in season 1944/45 and from the wide spaces round the pitch, I would imagine that either Ibrox or possibly Hampden was the venue. If it was Ibrox, then the only possible date was the 1st January 1945, when Celtic won 1-0. If the match was played at Hampden, then there were two possible dates, the Glasgow Cup final of 7th October 1944 or the Charity Cup final on 21st May 1945, both of which Rangers won.

Jimmy Delaney joined Celtic from Stoneyburn Juniors in September 1933 and over the next 13 years, made 305 appearances, scoring 160 goals, an excellent return from an outside-right. He then moved south to Manchester United for four years, then played for Aberdeen, Falkirk, Derry City, Cork Athletic and Elgin City, where he retired in 1957, at the age of 43!

In one memorable week in 1937, he appeared before nearly 300,000 spectators at Hampden, firstly for Celtic in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen ( 147,365) and then the following Saturday for Scotland versus England ( 149,415). Delaney also picked up cup winners badges in three countries – the Scottish Cup in 1937, the FA Cup in 1948 and the Irish Cup with Derry City in 1954- but missed out in the final of the FAI Cup with Cork Athletic.

Jim Craig

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