6th March 1956 Willie Loney died in Glasgow
On this day in 1956, a man called Willie Loney died in Glasgow at the age of 77.
Willie had started his career as a centre-half with Denny Athletic, then signed for Celtic in June 1900. This was an uncertain time for Celtic, as the good side of the late 1890s broke up and a new one was developed under Willie Maley. That took a few years to accomplish but by 1904, by which time Willie Loney was a mainstay of the side, the new Celtic came good, winning Scottish Cups in 1904, 1907 and 1908 and collecting six consecutive league titles between 1905 and 1910.
The centre-half of that era was a playmaker and Willie Loney was very secure in that role, stamping his authority on the play alongside two other stars, Jim Young and Jim Hay. That half-back line was the backbone of Celtic’s success during that period and Willie Loney finished his Celtic career with a record of 305 appearances and 29 goals. He truly does deserve to be included in any list of Celtic’s greatest players but nowadays, with his career having taken place a century ago, his name is barely remembered.
PHOTO; WILLIE LONEY IN MIDDLE WITH BALL
NB Willie Loney probably made his final appearance on Celtic Park on the 10th August 1953, when he was one of two ‘escorts’ – Jimmy McMenemy was the other – who brought Willie Maley on to the pitch to meet the players before the latter’s testimonial match between Celtic and Bohemians of Dublin. It was a grand afternoon; only the play was a bit of a let-down, as Celtic won 10-1!