If You Know The History – 28th March 1896 Third Lanark 1 Celtic 4 Glasgow League

In season 1895-96 ( as was also the case between 1892/93 and 1899/00) every team involved in the First Division of the Scottish League would play 18 matches, of which obviously half were at home. That meant that the clubs were guaranteed to receive an income from only 9 matches during the season.

There were also cup competitions of course – the Scottish Cup and in the case of Glasgow clubs, the Charity and Glasgow Cups – but the problem with them was that gate income had to be shared and an early exit was always on the cards. Taking all that into account, it was fairly obvious that clubs could do with some extra income and in season 1895-96, a Glasgow League was started up to fill in any free dates on the calendar and provide some possible extra income for the clubs.

1896 Celts

In the first season, four clubs took part – Celtic, Rangers, Queen’s Park and Third Lanark – and on this day in 1896, Third Lanark hosted Celtic in the competition at Cathkin Park. In the two league encounters that season, Celtic had twice been victorious, by 2-1 and 7-0 and were undoubted favourites for this match. And the players did not disappoint the fans, rising to the occasion to win by four goals to one. The competition lasted till 1905-06 and Celtic’s record was;

  Season        Entries             Celtic’s Place           Champions

  1895-96      4                       2nd                             Rangers

  1896-97      5                       3rd                              Queens Park

  1897-98     5                        3rd                              Rangers

  1898-99     6                        1st                               Celtic

  1899-00     6                        1st                               Celtic

  1900-01     6                        4th                              Third Lanark

  1901-02     6                        2nd                              Hearts

  1902-03    9                        8th                               Hearts

  1903-04    9                        Competition Unfinished

  1904-05    5                        5th                             Third Lanark

  1905-06    6                       4th                             Third Lanark

If You Know The History – 24th March 1928 Celtic 2 Queen’s Park 1 Scottish Cup Semi-final

Celtic fans tend to look back on the decade of the 1920s with some fondness, assuming that, with players like Patsy Gallacher and Jimmy McGrory in the side, it must have been something of a golden age.

Unfortunately, matters did not work out like that.  In fact, if we look at the success record of the two major Glasgow clubs during the first seven seasons of the decade, we can see how close the figures were. I have included the Glasgow Cup and Charity Cup on the list as, in the absence of European competition, they were quite important trophies at the period;-

Season        League           Scottish Cup             Glasgow Cup           Charity Cup

1920-21      Rangers                                              Celtic                          Celtic

1921-22      Celtic                                                   Rangers                     Rangers

1922-23     Rangers         Celtic                           Rangers                    Rangers

1923-24     Rangers                                              Rangers                      Celtic

1924-25     Rangers         Celtic                           Rangers                  Rangers

1925-26     Celtic                                                                                     Celtic

1926-27     Rangers         Celtic                           Celtic

Rangers had not won the Scottish Cup since 1903 and as the initial rounds of the 1927-28 competition started, their fans in particular were desperate for their team to win the trophy. And both halves of the Old Firm got off to good starts. Celtic beat Bathgate 3-0 at home in round one ( 3,000 present); thrashed Keith up in the Highlands (6-1) in round two (5,800) ; found Alloa a tougher proposition in round three at Parkhead (2-0; 7,000); and knocked out Motherwell by the same score in the quarter-final at Fir Park (23,000).

These results put Celtic into the semi-final, held at Ibrox on this day in 1928, when a good crowd of 54,000 turned up. Celtic were at full strength – J Thomson, W McStay, McGonagle, Wilson, J McStay, McFarlane, Connolly, A Thomson, McGrory, Doyle and Mclean – and took control from the start, scoring two goals in the first half through Jimmy McGrory and Adam McLean. The Spiders did pull one back in the second half but, in truth, Celtic were always comfortable and went through 2-1.



In the other semi-final at Tynecastle, Rangers beat Hibs 3-0, so the stage was set for another Old Firm final……and what a surprise result came up in that match!

If You Know The History – 20th March 1974 Celtic 4 Basle 2 European Cup Quarter-final 2nd Leg

In season 1973-74, Celtic were still in Europe by this stage of the campaign, having knocked out Turku of Finland (9-1 on aggregate) in round one and Vejle of Denmark (1-0 on aggregate) in round two.

On 29th February 1973, Celtic travelled to Switzerland to meet FC Basle in the first leg of a quarter-final tie in the European Cup. A serious defensive error gave Basle the chance to take the lead in three minutes; Paul Wilson equalised in 20 minutes; Celtic conceded a penalty which the Swiss side converted for a 2-1 lead and Basle made it 3-1 two minutes later; Kenny Dalglish pulled one back nine minutes after half-time but Basle held out for a fine 3-2 victory.

On this day in 1974, an excellent crowd of 71,000 was at Celtic Park for the return leg. Celtic were a much-changed side from the team of the late 1960s, Jock Stein putting out an eleven of Dennis Connaghan, Davie Hay, Jim Brogan, Stevie Murray, Billy McNeill, George Connelly, Jimmy Johnstone, Harry Hood, Kenny Dalglish, Dixie Deans and Tommy Callaghan.

Celtic got off to a dreadful start when George Connelly was taken off within the first five minutes with a broken ankle, Pat McCluskey coming on as replacement. In 12 minutes, though, Kenny Dalglish opened the scoring with a header from a Tommy Callaghan free-kick; three minutes later, Stevie Murray’s fine pass allowed Dixie Deans the chance for a clear run on goal and he made no mistake. 2-0 Celtic. In 33 minutes, though, left-back Mundschin made it 2-1 and right on the half-time whistle, centre-forward Balmer got the equaliser.

Celtic regained the lead in 57 minutes when Callaghan volleyed home  a Deans flick from a Jimmy Johnstone corner and in spite of repeated attempts by both sides, the match finished 3-2 to Celtic, 5-5 on aggregate, so the match went into extra-time. Much to the delight of the Celtic faithful, in only the 4th minute of the extra period, the winner arrived for the Hoops. Jim Brogan pushed the ball down the wing to Harry Hood, who crossed to the far post where Stevie Murray was waiting to nod it into the net.



The 6-5 result on aggregate put Celtic into a European Cup semi-final for the 4th time.

If You Know The History – 16th March 1929 Celtic 3 Aberdeen 0 League

Celtic found the season of 1928-29 a tough one in both league and Scottish Cup. In the league, Rangers drove everyone aside like a juggernaut, ending with a record of P38, W30, D7, L1, F107, A32, Pts67; Celtic, by contrast, had figures of P38, W22, D7, L9, F67, A44, Pts51.

In the Scottish Cup, Celtic went all the way to the semi-final, where they met Kilmarnock at Ibrox in front of a crowd of around the 40,000 mark. Celtic were the favourites, having beaten the Ayrshire club twice in the league and their fans turned up at the ground full of confidence. One goal made all the difference by unfortunately, it was scored by Kilmarnock, who took a boost from the result and continued their good form in the final, where they also beat Rangers.

On this day in 1929, only three days after beating Motherwell in a replay of a quarter-final tie, a Celtic eleven ran out at Parkhead to face Aberdeen in a league match. Ten of the side were well-known names to the Parkhead faithful,  John Thomson, Peter McGonagle, Peter Wilson, Jimmy  McStay, John Donoghue, Paddy Connolly, Alec Thomson, Jimmy McGrory, Peter Scarff and Willie Gray; the eleventh was making his debut.

The natural position of 20-year-old Chic Geatons was at wing-half but on that day against Aberdeen, he came into the side at right-back and acquitted himself well as Celtic managed a 2-2 draw , thanks to goals by Paddy Connolly and Jimmy McGrory.



It was the first match in a 14-year, 345 match career for the young man from Lochgelly in Fife, which ended with his retirement in 1941. In 1945, Chic came back to Celtic Park as a part-time coach and then moved up to full-time in this role in 1946, a position he held until 1950.

Chic Geatons died in 1970 at the age of 63.

If You Know The History – 12th March 1892 Celtic 1 Queen’s Park 0 Scottish Cup Final

It is easy to look at the events in the football world of the early 1890s and dismiss then as embryonic but that would be to do a dis-service to many people. When the idea of a club called Celtic first became common knowledge, the small coterie of supporters involved grew quickly and within a remarkably short period of time, thousands of the new ‘fans’ were following the fortunes of ‘their’ side and attending the matches.

Reaching the final of the major trophy in Scotland – the Scottish Cup – in the club’s first season had given Celtic’s image a great boost. Even though they were beaten at the hands of Third Lanark, the fact that the first match – played to a finish in heavy snow and then declared a friendly by the SFA -caused such controversy, only made the club’s name better-known to more football fans in Scotland.

Two seasons later, in 1891-92, Celtic reached the final again, after disposing of St Mirren (4-2; A), Kilmarnock Athletic (3-0 ; H), Cowlairs (4-1; H)and Rangers (5-3; H) along the way. The opponents in the final would be Queen’s Park, regarded as one of Scotland’s top sides at the time, a team well used to the feeling of winning the Scottish Cup, having collected the trophy nine times.The first match of the final attracted a gate of 40,000, on this day in 1892, by far the biggest up to then and was won 1-0 by Celtic, although due to crowd encroachment, it was classified as a friendly.



On 9th April 1892, the teams took to the field at Hampden again, Celtic represented by Cullen, Reynolds, Doyle, W Maley, Kelly, Dowds, McCallum, Brady, Madden, Campbell and MacMahon. In this match, Celtic were at their dazzling best, particularly in the second half, when goals by Sandy Mac Mahon (2), John Campbell (2) and an own goal, took the Scottish Cup home to Celtic Park for the first time.