If You Know The History: 17th June 1902 ‘British Championship Final Tie’

17th June 1902 ‘British Championship Final Tie’

The first two years of the 20th century had been a mixture of triumph and disaster for Rangers Football Club. In the summer of 1901, the Light Blues had won the football tournament at the Glasgow International Exhibition, collecting a very fine trophy; then, on 5th April 1902, when a large crowd had packed into Ibrox for the annual clash between Scotland and England, part of a wooden stand collapsed, leaving 25 dead and around 500 injured.

In order to help with compensation for the families of the deceased and those suffering from injury, Rangers put the 1901 trophy up for competition and invited perennial rivals Celtic, English League champions Sunderland and runners-up Everton to take part. Celtic crushed Sunderland 5-1 in one semi-final and in the other, Rangers eventually beat Everton after a replay, so the scene was set for an Old Firm final, held at Cathkin Park on this day in 1902.

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ABOVE: GLASGOW INTERNATIONAL TROPHY

7,000 were present to see the action and at the end of 90 minutes, the teams were level at 2-2, both of Celtic’s goals having been scored by Jimmy Quinn, having been moved for the occasion from his normal left-wing berth to the centre-forward position. And two minutes from the end of extra-time, young Quinn rose to the occasion again, rising above the Rangers defence – although it was suggested some years later that he had used his team-mate Tommy McDermott’s shoulders to heave himself into the air – to head home the winner.

Jim Craig

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