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?