14th February Jimmy McMenemy’s last match
Jimmy McMenemy was a classy inside-forward whose Celtic career lasted from 1902 till 1920. In the 2-3-5 system of those days, the inside-forwards were the providers of the passes out to the wings and up to the centre-forwards and McMenemy was among the best in the role.
His playing record in the Hoops was remarkable. 168 goals in 515 appearances; eleven League Championship titles ( six between 1905 – 1910; four from 1914 – 1917; then 1919); six Scottish Cup medals ( 1904, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1912 and 1914); plus seven Glasgow Cup and eleven Charity Cup badges. If we add to that list 12 Scottish Caps – at a period when Scotland only played against England, Ireland and Wales – then his Celtic career could be described as sensational.
For some strange reason, though, as season 1919/1920 progressed, McMenemy was deemed to be surplus to requirements. Rumours abounded that those behind the scenes wanted to cut costs and a player like Jimmy, by then in his 40th year, was an obvious target. He made his final appearance for Celtic on this day in 1920, in the 3-0 victory over Albion Rovers at Parkhead. But if the fans expected Jimmy McMenemy to drift away quietly into retirement, they were sadly mistaken.
He signed for Partick Thistle in June 1920 and ten months later, controlled the play in the Scottish Cup final to pick up his seventh winner’s medal as the Jags beat Rangers 1-0 before a crowd of 28,300….ironically at Celtic Park!