Celtic Photo Section blog: 1931


This photograph was taken just before the Scottish Cup final of 1931 and shows the players of the day caught in the middle of a training session.


It is great to see on display the eleven players who beat Motherwell 4-2 at Hampden in the final replay on 15th April in front of a crowd of 98,509 yet part of me is also surprised – indeed disappointed – by certain aspects. First of all, the training gear looks terrible. Those polo-necked sweaters, made of wool in those days, must have chaffed the skin on a constant basis, stretching in the wet and then shrinking when dried. The shorts, socks and training shoes do not look up to much either. The running track also leaves a lot to be desired. Obviously cinder-based, it would have been merely been raked prior to the session. On a dry day, there would have been a lot of dust; in heavy rain, the cinders would have stuck to the trainers, making them much heavier. It looks like a case of the players winning in spite of the training set-up rather than because of it.

Celtic had beaten East Fife 2-1 at Methil in the first round; Dundee United 3-2 at Tannadice in the second; Morton 4-1 at Cappielow in the third; Aberdeen 4-0 at Celtic Park in the quarter-finals; Kilmarnock 3-0 at Hampden in the semi-final; and then, at the same stadium, they drew 2-2 with Motherwell in the final before a crowd of 104,863.

From left to right, the players are;

Back row – Willie Cook, Peter McGonagle, John Thomson.
Middle row – Chic Geatons, Pater Scarff, Peter Wilson, Alec Thomson
Front row – Jimmy McGrory, Charlie Napier, Jimmy McStay, Bert Thomson

Only John Thomson, Jimmy McStay, Peter Wilson and Alec Thomson survived from the team which won the Scottish Cup final four years previously in 1927; and within six years, three of the 1931 side – John Thomson, Peter Scarff and Bert Thomson – had passed away.

Jim Craig


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