On 27th January 1951, at Bayview, Celtic were quite fortunate to gain a draw in a first-round Scottish Cup tie with East Fife, the equaliser in the 2-2 draw coming in the 80th minute through Bobby Collins.
On this day in 1951, the teams ran out at Celtic Park for the replay, with a good crowd of 36,000 in the ground. The Celtic team that evening was George Hunter, Sean Fallon, Alex Rollo, Bobby Evans, Jackie McGrory, Joe Bailie, Jock Weir, Bobby Collins, John McPhail, Bertie Peacock and Charlie Tully.
PHOTO: BOBBY EVANS
From the start, Celtic took control of the play and got early rewards for their endeavour, getting goals from McPhail ( 12 & 25 minutes), Peacock (15) and Collins (34) to go four-up by the interval.
Although slightly shell-shocked at the start of the second half, East Fife fought hard to get back in the game and, as Celtic began to sit on their lead, the Fifers pulled two-goals back, one from future manager Jimmy Bonthrone in 55 minutes and then Scottish international centre-forward Henry Morris five minutes later.
However, when the final whistle blew, the score was still 4-2 to Celtic and that result put them into the second round, where a tie with non-league Duns was the outcome of the draw.
After winning every available trophy during the 1966-67 season, the following one of 1967-68 did not prove quite so fruitful.
On the debit side, Celtic had gone out in the first round of the European Cup to Dinamo Kiev and lost in the final of the World Club Championship to Racing Club of Argentina.
On the plus side, Celtic had won the League Cup – beating Dundee 5-3 in the final – and were just two points behind Rangers in the race for the League Championship.
On this day in 1968, Dunfermline Athletic arrived at Celtic Park for a first-round tie in the Scottish Cup. As the Pars were lying 5th in the league table at the time, it was not expected to be an easy match for Celtic. However, no one expected that Dunfermline would be so dominant and score two goals, in the 64th and 72nd minutes, which put Celtic out of the competition.
It was one of the biggest shocks for Celtic in the Scottish Cup for some years and the press went to town on the story, many of them talking about a decline in the team’s performances and now expecting that Rangers would be a good bet for the league title. Rather than depress the Celtic players, however, the loss seemed to inspire them, as they went on to win every one of the final 15 league games of the season, eventually winning the title two points ahead of Rangers.
PS Fortunately, I was blameless in the defeat by Dunfermline Athletic, as I was out with a bad shin injury, ironically received against the Pars in a league match just after the New Year. In fact, I did not even see the match, as Jock Stein had sent me on a scouting mission to check on Hearts.
John Gilchrist was a right half who joined Celtic from St Anthony’s juniors in May 1919 at the age of 20 and made his first-team debut against Dumbarton in a league match on 18th August 1919.
Over the following four years, John made 134 appearances for Celtic, his meagre tally of six goals suggesting that he was a defensively – rather than offensively – minded performer. Unfortunately, he also seemed to be the type of character who stood up to Willie Maley rather than kow-tow to him and they had more than one set-to. Even worse, John seemed to be the type of guy who had ‘a good conceit of himself’ and this self-belief was only increased when he was picked for Scotland versus England at Villa Park on 8th April 1922.
PHOTO CELTIC 1921-22; JOHN GILCHRIST EXTREME RIGHT BACK ROW
Unfortunately, in the months following his ‘cap’, John’s behaviour deteriorated and in January 1923, he was suspended sine die by the club for ‘wilful inattention to training’. On this day in 1923, John Gilchrist was transferred to Preston North End for the princely sum – at the time – of £4.500.
The years around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries were ones of transition for Celtic Football Club. A new team was evolving and sides take time to achieve their potential. Celtic were lying second to Rangers in the league at this time in 1901 but had won a great victory by beating the Light Blues 1-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup, a rare stage of the competition for the two sides to meet and an even more unusual goal-scorer, as it was Rangers’ left-back Drummond’s own goal which broke the deadlock.
On this day in 1910, for the final match of the league season, St Mirren arrived at Celtic Park. With the final placings already decided, manager Willie Maly decided to give a run out to a promising new boy, so when the sides ran out that afternoon and lined up, a young man by the name of Jimmy Quinn made his debut at outside-left. It turned out to be a most promising start to his Celtic career, his bustling and aggressive style going down well with both management and fans; and the fact that scored one of Celtic goal in the 4-3 win just put the icing in Jimmy’s cake. A new star had arrived!
The season of 1926-27 was a tough one for Celtic. They had won the First Division title the year before and, as a result, were targeted by the other sides, all of them desperate to do well against the champions. By mid-January, Celtic were lying 3rd in the table, just behind Rangers and Motherwell, only a few points ahead of Airdrie and Dundee.
On this day in 1927, a Clyde side struggling for form and way down the table in the bottom six, travelled to Celtic Park no doubt the players wishing they were playing someone else.
Everyone expected Celtic to win and indeed they did, by 7 goals to nil, outside-left Adam Mclean getting two and Jimmy McGrory scoring the other five. It was the third time that season that McGrory had scored five in a league match. The first had come against Aberdeen at Parkhead on 23rd October when Celtic won 6-2; and the second came in another home match, against Dundee United on 27th November in a 7-2 victory.
Over the season McGrory hit 49 goals, which went a long way towards helping Celtic win two trophies. Firstly, the Glasgow Cup, at Hampden on 9th October 1926 with a 1-0 win over Rangers, thanks to a McGrory rocket; and secondly, the Scottish Cup, again at Hampden on 16th April 1927, when Celtic beat East Fife 3-1.
PS Paddy Turner joined Celtic from Morton on 31st May 1963, made 14 appearances during the 1963-64 season and departed for Glentoran on 16th June 1964.
PPS What ‘first’ occurred at the Celtic v East Fife Scottish Cup final in 1917?