If You Know The History – 27th September 1948 Glasgow Cup Final Celtic 3 Third Lanark 1

As a Celtic side ran out at Parkhead in the early days of season 1948/49 for a first round tie against Partick Thistle in the Glasgow Cup, the fans in the stands and on the terracings were hoping for a better performance than in recent years in this competition.

The last time the trophy had nestled in the Celtic Park Boardroom had been in 1940, a full eight years previously. And since both the League Championship and the Scottish Cup seemed to be out of Celtic’s reach in those years, the support would like to have seen silverware of some sort coming to the club.

The match against Partick Thistle proved to be an unusual event as it was abandoned after extremely heavy rain flooded the Parkhead pitch, with the score at 1-1. Shortly afterwards, in drier conditions, the two teams met again and this time Celtic won 2-1. That put them into the semi-final, against Queen’s Park at Hampden, where Celtic played well to go through 3-0 and reach the final. Third Lanark would be the opponents.

That match took place on this day in 1948, in front of an excellent crowd of 87,000 gathered in the National Stadium. The Celtic team was Miller, Milne, Mallan, Evans, Boden, McAuley, Weir, W Gallagher, J Gallagher, Tully and Paton. Most of the crowd, naturally enough, were Celtic fans but after seven minutes of the second half, they must have despaired of their side’s chances. Celtic were one-down and Thirds had just been awarded a penalty, no more than they deserved with their play to that point. The penalty was well struck, beat Celtic keeper Willie Miller all ends up but hit a post and then rolled along the goal line and out of play past the other post.

The Celtic players breathed a sigh of relief and put their heads down. Eight minutes later, Willie Gallagher equalised from a Jock Weir pass. Seven minutes from time, Weir scored from 30 yards and four minutes later, he headed a third from a Johnny Paton corner.


NB1. Here are the answers to last week’s questions and they were both about the Celtic and Rangers players who took the field for a league match on 23rd September 1950. The three who captained their country were George Young ( Rangers; Scotland), Bobby Evans ( Celtic; Scotland) and Bertie Peacock (Celtic; Northern Ireland). And the three who went on to manage their country were Bobby Brown ( Rangers; Scotland), Ian McColl ( Rangers; Scotland) and Bertie Peacock ( Celtic; Northern Ireland).

NB2. This week’s question is about a name from that Celtic side listed above. Centre-half Alec Boden was once put out on ‘loan’ by Celtic to another Scottish club where he actually earned more money than he had been getting at Celtic Park. Which club was it?

If You Know The History: 23rd September 1950 Celtic 3 Rangers 2

The years after the 2nd World War were not good times for Celtic. The team struggled in the league and failed to impress in the new competition of the time, the League Cup; while even in the competition regarded as Celtic’s speciality – the Scottish Cup – a semi-final defeat by Morton was the best performance in the four post-war seasons.

However, the team was always likely to spring a surprise and Celtic did so on this day in 1950, when Rangers came on a visit to Parkhead. The teams that day were ;

Celtic; Bonnar, Fallon, Milne, Evans, Mallan, Baillie, Collins, Weir, McPhail, Peacock and Tully.

Rangers; Brown, Young, Lindsay, McColl, Woodburn, Cox, Rutherford, Findlay, Thornton, Johnson, Rae.

The play was the usual hard-tackling, end-to-end stuff, a staple diet of Old Firm clashes. The surprise was that all the goals came in the final 30 minutes. Jock Weir opened the scoring with half-an-hour to go, Rae equalising for Rangers one minute later. In the 74th minute, centre-forward Willie Thornton gave Rangers the lead with a fine header. Six minutes later, Rangers centre-half Willie Woodburn was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and John McPhail equalised for the penalty spot. And five minutes from the end, just as the match seemed to be heading to finish in stalemate, Bertie Peacock popped up to score Celtic’s winner.

NB1 Here are the answers to the questions I posed last time. Frank McGarvey scored the winning goal of the 1985 Scottish Cup final, the game being played on 18th May. On 12th June, he was transferred to St Mirren. And Alec Miller was the Rangers player who later went on to be first-team coach at Liverpool.

NB2. This week’s question concerns the names in the teams listed above. Three players went on to captain their respective countries and three later managed their national sides; who were they?

Jim Craig


If You Know The History: 19th September 1981 Rangers 0 Celtic 2

19th September 1981  Rangers  0  Celtic  2  League

Celtic had started the 1981/82 league campaign in convincing fashion by winning the first three matches, against Airdrie (5-2; H), Aberdeen (3-1; A) and Morton (2-1; H). On this day in 1981, Celtic travelled across the city to Ibrox for the first of the season’s clashes with the Light Blues and a crowd of 40,900 was there to watch.

It was a big day for Rangers, as they opened their new £4million pound stand but when it came to the football, they were frankly never in the game and Celtic dominated the play. The goals came early and late, Tom MacAdam in 11 minutes and Murdo MacLeod in 86 but in-between, every Celtic player rose to the challenge and never allowed their opponents the space or time to perform.


Rangers; McCloy, Jardine, Forsyth, Stevens, Dawson, Miller, Bett, Redford, Cooper, Johnstone, Johnston.

Celtic; Bonner, McGrain, Aitken, MacAdam, Reid, Sullivan, MacLeod, Burns, Provan, McGarvey, McCluskey

NB.  Here are two questions for you.

(1) Which of the above Celtic players was transferred to another Scottish club 24 days after scoring the winning goal in a Scottish Cup final?

And (2), which of the above Rangers players became first-team coach at Liverpool.


Jim Craig

If You Know The History – 15th September 1982 Celtic 2 Ajax 2

One week after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Partick Thistle in a first leg, quarter-final tie in the League Cup, Celtic faced tougher opposition in the European Cup, when Ajax arrived at Celtic Park on this day in 1982.

It was a first round, first leg tie and a crowd of 56,229 had turned up to see how Celtic, at that point top of the league table after three games, would cope with the Dutch stars. Manager Billy McNeill had put out what most people would have regarded as his strongest side – Bonner, McGrain, McAdam, Moyes, Reid, McStay, Burns, MacLeod, Provan, Nicholas, McGarvey – while the name of Johann Cryuff was the one catching the attention in the Ajax side.

In only 4 minutes, the visitors took the lead through inside-left Olsen; ten minutes later, Celtic equalised from the penalty spot through Charlie Nicholas after Cruyff, of all people, had up-ended Tommy Burns well inside the penalty area; in 18 minutes, Ajax went 2-1 up, Cruyff steering a fine pass through the Hoops defence into the path of Lerby, who chipped the ball over Pat Bonner; and Frank McGarvey made it 2-2 in 27 minutes, latching on to a Davie Moyes header and shooting under the Dutch goalkeeper.


After that exciting first half-hour, the match rather went into stalemate, with the defensive modes of both sides proving stronger than the attacking ones. Celtic should perhaps been awarded a penalty when Tommy Burns was sent tumbling but overall, it was felt that a draw was about the right result and both managers were fairly happy with the outcome.

It had been good performance by Celtic in particular but would it be enough to survive an Ajax onslaught in the second leg?

If You Know The History – 11th September 1968 Celtic 10 Hamilton 0

Celtic had won the league cup in 1965 and 1966 – both against Rangers – and again in 1967, this time versus Dundee. So, everyone at Celtic Park, together with the vast array of supporters, was keen for four-in-a-row the following year.

The club did well in the sectional matches, winning all six of them against Rangers, Morton and Partick Thistle, when Willie Wallace – with a total of nine – and Bobby Lennox, with 6, led the goal-scoring list aided and abetted by John Hughes , who got two and Bobby Murdoch.

On this day in 1968, Lou Macari made his first appearance of the season as Celtic ran out at Parkhead for a League Cup Quarter-Final tie against Hamilton, with Joe McBride making only his second showing after a serious leg injury. On the night, however, the show was stolen by two other forwards, Stevie Chalmers scoring five of Celtic’s 10 goals before a crowd of some 26,000, while the other five were knocked in by Bobby Lennox, who, like Chalmers, got two in the first half and three in the second.

Chalmers Lennox

It was a particularly great night for those two and the fans. Unfortunately, the guys at the back, like me, had very litle to do and were rather bored by the end of the 90 minutes.