13th March Celtic 6 Gala Fairydean 0
As the Scottish Cup of 1962/63 got underway for the senior clubs in January 1963, Celtic fans were reflecting that their side had not been having the best of seasons.
The Bhoys had gone out of the League Cup in the sectional stages, although there had been tough competition in Hearts, Dundee United and Dundee. Eventually, the Edinburgh side won through to the quarter-finals;-
In the league, five losses in the first 18 matches hardly helped the club’s cause and Celtic lay in 5th place in the table, some seven points behind leaders Rangers and six adrift of second-placed Partick Thistle;-
There was also some activity behind the scenes, with Bobby Carroll transferred to St Mirren on 1st February for £7,000 and two days later, Pat Crerand moved to Manchester United for £56,000.
In their first two matches in the Scottish Cup, Celtic had faced First Division opposition;-
28th January 1963 Falkirk 0 Celtic 2 (Hughes, Gallagher) 13,500
6th March 1963 Celtic 3 ( Murdoch, McNamee, Hughes) 3 Hearts 1 38,000
In the draw for the Third Round, Celtic were paired with rather unusual opponents. Gala Fairydean were at that time in the East of Scotland Football League 1st Division and had qualified for the Scottish Cup by winning the Scottish Qualifying Cup (South) the previous year. In the first round, they had beaten Highland League side Keith at Galashiels in front of a crowd of 1,300; in round two, they need a replay to get past fellow-Borderers Duns, this match watched by only 350. So, the players must have been rather overawed when they ran out at Celtic Park on this day in 1963 – with 14,000 watching – to face a Celtic side of Haffey, McKay, Kennedy, McNamee, McNeill, Price, Gallagher, Murdoch, Hughes, Divers, Brogan.
Celtic were two up by half-time and scored another four in the second half to make the score-line 6-0. The goals came from John Hughes (2), Bobby Murdoch (3) and John Divers, the result putting Celtic into the quarter-finals, where they would meet St Mirren.