If You Know The History – 28th February 1995 Real Madrid 2 Celtic 0 Friendly

On this day in 1995, Celtic travelled to Malaga in Spain for a friendly against Real Madrid.

The side at that period was under the leadership of Tommy Burns and was having an indifferent time in the league campaign, with a record for that season of P26, W6, D16 and L4. So, in some ways, a trip to sunny Spain in February was just what the doctor ordered; the players would benefit from a touch of the sun and a match against such well-respected opposition might just raise morale…and form?

The venue was the Estadio de La Rosaleda, a crowd of some 40,000 turned up for the contest and the Celtic side was Pat Bonner, Tom Boyd, Tosh McKinlay, Brian O’Neil, Tony Mowbray, Peter Grant, Charlie Nicholas, Paul McStay, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Andy Walker and Phil O’Donnell.


From the reports of the match, it seems that Real were always in control although Celtic were never out of it. Alfonso opened the scoring for the Spanish side in 18 minutes and only six minutes later Butragueno got another, this time from the penalty spot. And those two early counters wrapped up the game for Real. However, the whole trip may have a decided benefit for Celtic, as only three months later, they won the Scottish Cup, beating Airdrie by a single goal at Hampden, the club’s first success in the competition for six years.

One part of Celtic’s pre-match warm-up that the crowd that night would not have witnessed was the ‘Huddle’. The first time this took place was still nearly five months away, just before the friendly match against Kickers Emden in the German town of Jheringsfehn on July 23rd 1995.

If You Know The History: 25th February 1967 Stirling 1 Celtic 1 League

25th February 1967 Stirling 1 Celtic 1 League

On this day in 1967, a bright, fresh Central Scotland afternoon, a team of Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld and Hughes ran out at Annfield to face Stirling Albion in a league match……and hit rock bottom!



At the time, we were three points head of Rangers in the League, had won the League Cup and were still involved in the Scottish and European Cups, so there was no question of us being able to relax or drop our standards. However, for whatever reason, that is exactly what happened that afternoon and the fans were not slow in venting their displeasure.

We could have come up with some excuses, like a smaller pitch (true), an uneven surface (true), a tricky slope( also correct) or a hostile crowd ( they were everywhere) but the truth is that on the afternoon, we just did not play and even talking about it today, 46 years on, I can find no reason for the poor display.

In some ways, we got out of jail. At least we picked up a point. They took the lead in 23 minutes through Peebles and it took us until the 52nd minute before John Hughes got the equaliser. That gave the support at least something to cheer about but to say they were not happy overall is an under-statement. We were not happy ourselves; only a few days later (1st March) we would be facing Vojvodina in the quarter-final of the European Cup. We had to shakeup!

Jim Craig

If You Know The History: 23rd February 1959 Celtic 4 Clyde 3 Scottish Cup replay

23rd February 1959 Celtic 4 Clyde 3 Scottish Cup replay

Celtic were a lowly 10th place in the league table when they met Clyde at Parkhead in the middle of February 1959 for a second round Scottish Cup tie. A rather disappointing crowd of 32,000 – perhaps reflecting the league position – were in the ground and they witnessed an enthralling contest which ended in a draw, Matt McVittie scoring Celtic’s only goal in 53 minutes, Celtic fan Tommy Ring getting the equaliser twenty minutes later.

On this day in 1959, the teams ran out at Shawfield for the replay, with Celtic represented by Haffey, McKay, Mochan, Smith, Evans, Peacock, McVittie, Colrain, Lochead, Wilson and Auld.



The attendance numbers for the replay may have appeared small – 26,087 – but they can still make a terrific noise in a ground like Shawfield and that proved to be the case on the day. Play swung from end to end, with the Bully Wee always forcing the pace. 1-0 Clyde; 1-1; 2-1 Clyde; 2-2; 3-2 Clyde; 3-3. That was the score after the final whistle blew, so the match went on to extra-time; and after only three minutes of the extended period, Bertie Peacock – sitting right in the middle of the front row of the photo above – pounced to score the winner, putting Celtic into round three and an Old Firm clash.

Jim Craig

If You Know The History: 20th February 1957 Rangers 0 Celtic 2 Scottish Cup

20th February 1957 Rangers 0 Celtic 2 Scottish Cup

Only four months after Celtic had won the League Cup for the first time, beating Partick Thistle 3-0 in a replayed final, they were drawn against their main Glasgow rivals in the sixth round of the Scottish Cup, the tie to be played at Celtic Park.

A crowd of 50,000 was there to watch the action and they certainly saw plenty of that, the match finishing in a 4-4 draw, with Rangers equalising only five minutes from time. Four days later, on this day in 1957, a massive gathering reputed to be around 88,000 was crammed into Ibrox for the replay. Both sides put out the same teams as in the first match;

Rangers; Niven, Shearer, Caldow, McColl, Davis, Baird, Scott, Simpson, Murray, Morrison, Hubbard.

Celtic; Beattie, Haughney, Fallon, Evans, Jack, Peacock, Higgins, Fernie, McPhail, Mochan, Collins



On a frosty, heavily sanded pitch that evening under the lights, Celtic played all the football and Rangers tried the tough approach but there were quite a number of Celts in the team who could handle themselves and that tactic just failed to work. Goals by John Higgins in 15 minutes and Neil Mochan in 35 minutes gave Celtic an early lead and they worked hard to hold on to this for the rest of the match.

Jim Craig

If You Know The History: 17th February 1962 Hearts 3 Celtic 4 Scottish Cup

17th February 1962 Hearts 3 Celtic 4 Scottish Cup

Speak to any ex-Celtic player of any generation and they will all tell you that Tynecastle is one of the most atmospheric grounds in the country. The whole stadium is hemmed in by tenements, a school and offices, the roads leading up to it are always crammed before the match and when you run out on to the pitch, the crowd seems to be very close to the action.

That would have been the case on this day in 1962, when a crowd of 35,045 was present for the Fourth Round Scottish Cup tie between the Jam Tarts and the Bhoys. Celtic were represented by Haffey, McKay, Kennedy, Crerand, McNeill, Price, Chalmers, Jackson, Hughes, Divers and Carroll; while in the Hearts line-up were future Celts Gordon Marshall and Willie Wallace.

The crowd certainly got their money’s worth. Divers opened the scoring for Celtic in 12 minutes.



Blackwood put Hearts level nine minutes later. Hamilton then made it 2-1 for the Edinburgh club in 71 minutes; Chalmers equalised in 75. Divers got another to make the score 3-2 for Celtic in 79 minutes, Paton brought it back to 3-3 in 82 minutes, then Crerand struck the crucial winner, from the penalty-spot four minutes from time to put Celtic into the quarter-finals, where Third Lanark were a-waiting.

Jim Craig