21st December 1935 McGrory breaks record
As the Celtic and Aberdeen teams came out at Celtic Park on this day in 1935 for a league match, the home fans in the crowd were full of anticipation.
Not only did their heroes – the Bhoys – have a chance of pulling back the Don’s four-point lead in the table but their top man, Jimmy McGrory, had the chance to set a new British scoring record for league goals. The top tally was held by ex-Motherwell player Hughie Ferguson on 364 goals, with Jimmy McGrory close behind on 362.
On that afternoon, Celtic got off to a good start, McGrory scoring in 7 minutes. Aberdeen equalised on the half-hour mark but after Johnny Crum had sent over a great cross from the right, McGrory headed home – to put him level with the record – and then a Willie Buchan shot made it 3-1 at the interval.
Three minutes after the break, from a cross by inside-forward Willie Fagan, McGrory threw himself at the ball and powered it into the net, to give him a new record of 365 goals and his 4th hat-trick of the season.
Aberdeen did fight back but a wonderful individual effort by left-winger Frank Murphy made the final score 5-3 for Celtic, which reduced the deficit between the teams to two points, with half the campaign remaining.