If You Know The History: 2nd February 1889 Scottish Cup Final

2nd February Scottish Cup Final 1889

Way back in Celtic’s first season of 1888/89, their ever-increasing fan base was keen for them to do well in the biggest competition of the time, the Scottish Cup. No one, though, could have anticipated or predicted just what a sensational run the club would have in their first attempt at lifting the trophy.

​​01/09/88​Shettleston​ (H)​5-1
​​22/09/88​Cowlairs​ (H)​8-0​6,500
​​13/10/88​Albion Rovers​ (H)​4-1​600
​​03/11/88​St Bernard’s​ (A)​4-1​6,000

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​​24/11/88​Clyde​​ (H)​0-1​7,000

Celtic’s protest was based on three factors. Firstly, that Clyde had arrived late for the kick-off; secondly, that the start had been further delayed when three Clyde players had been ordered to remove illegal bars from their boots; and thirdly, that due to the late start, the match had finished in semi-darkness and stormy conditions. The protest was upheld and the game ordered to be replayed. The Clyde players turned up all ready for the replayed match at 1st Celtic Park but refused to enter the pavilion.

​​08/12/88​Clyde​​ (H)​9-2​9,000
​QF​15/12/88​East Stirlingshire (A)​2-1​3,000
​SF​12/01/89​Dumbarton​ (A)​4-1​5,000

Towards kick-off time on the day of the final, this day in 1889, the weather deteriorated, heavy snow covering both the pitch and terraces of 2nd Hampden. The supporters still turned up though, some 18,000 of them, to see how Celtic, in their newish strip of green- and – white vertical stripes, would cope with the stiff opposition of Third Lanark, finalists on two previous occasions. Such was the interest that the SFA raised the entrance fee from sixpence (2 and a half pence) to one shilling (5p).

Unfortunately, due to some discussions – about the weather and the possible problems it might have on safety – between the two clubs behind the scenes, this crowd, having paid £920 6s 8d (£920.35p) in total ( the largest gate ever taken at a Scottish ground) was unknowingly watching a ‘friendly’. That was probably just as well, since Celtic went down to a 0-3 defeat!

Jim Craig

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