If You Know The History: 6th April 1926 Neil Mochan born

6th April 1926 Neil Mochan born

On this day in 1926, Neil Mochan was born in Carron, Stirlingshire. After his way through the ranks in schools and youth football, Neil had a spell in the junior grade with Dunipace before turning senior with Morton in 1944.

After seven years at Cappielow, Neil signed for Middlesbrough in 1951, going on to play 38 matches (with 14 goals) in the following two seasons. Celtic’s scouts had been keeping an eye on his form and on 8th May 1953, he put pen to paper for the Bhoys, manager Jimmy McGrory very satisfied with his capture. He was so pleased that, on the next night, he put him straight into the side which ran out to face Queen’s Park in the final of the Charity Cup at Hampden, where a crowd of 40,600 had gathered. And Neil did not let his manager down, laying on the first goal for Willie Fernie and scoring two himself as Celtic won 3-1.

In the same month, Neil also played his part as Celtic captured the Coronation Cup, scoring a goal against Manchester United in the semi-final and lashing home a 30-yarder against Hibs in the final.

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For the rest of the 1950s, Neil was there for the best Celtic moments. The League/Scottish Cup ‘double’ of 1953/54; the first-ever League Cup victory, against Partick Thistle in 1956; and the repeat performance the following year, when Celtic beat Rangers 7-1, Neil blasting home a great shot from a very narrow angle. He was also in the Scotland squad which went to Switzerland for the World Cup Finals in 1954.

On 17th November 1960, Neil Mochan moved to Dundee United to continue his playing career. He would have been sad to leave the club he had always supported but fate was to play a part in his life and it would not be long before he returned to Parkhead in a different role.

Jim Craig

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