What Was On This Day? 31st October 1956 Celtic 3 Partick Thistle 0 League Cup Final Replay

In the first full season after the 2nd World War – that of 1946/47 – a new trophy was put up for competition by the Scottish League. The Scottish League Cup was open to all clubs in Divisions One and Two and these sides were drawn into sections of four, from where the winner progressed through to a two-legged quarter-final, then semi-final and final.

For the remaining seasons of the decade of the 1940s – 46/47, 47/48, 48/49 and 49/50 – Celtic failed to qualify each year from their section. Matters were slightly better in the first few years of the 1950s, with Celtic reaching the quarter-final stage in 50/51 and the semi-finals in 51/52. After that, though, they disappointed their fans again in seasons  52/53, 53/54, 54/55 and 55/56, each time failing to get through their section.

With that record, it would have come as no surprise that the Celtic support was not particularly enamoured with this particular trophy and had little enthusiasm for the tournament as it got underway again at the start of season 1956/57. Much to everyone’s surprise, though, Celtic reached the final. They overcame Aberdeen, East Fife and Rangers in their section, comfortably disposed of Dunfermline 6-3 in the quarter-final, then beat Clyde 2-0 in the semi-final to reach the final, where they would meet Partick Thistle.

On 27th October 1956, a crowd of 56,794 at Hampden saw Celtic give a poor performance, even when the Jags had to play the whole of extra-time with only 10 men due to injury. In fact, if keeper Dick Beattie had not pulled off two wonderful saves, the afternoon could have been a most embarrassing one for Celtic.

On the evening of this day in 1956, 31,156 were present for the replay, when the Celtic side was Beattie, Haughney, Fallon, Evans, Jack, Peacock, Tully, Collins, B McPhail, Fernie and Mochan. This time Celtic did rise to the challenge and won convincingly. New signing Billy McPhail from Clyde hooked the ball over Thistle’s goalkeeper Ledgerwood for the first in 49 minutes….



…then, three minutes later, good work by Neilly Mochan out on the left allowed him to square the ball for McPhail to get his second; and in 61 minutes, a pass from Bobby Evans let Bobby Collins race through the Jags defence to send a low shot out of Ledgerwood’s reach. 3-0 to Celtic and the League Cup went back to Celtic Park for the first time.

NB Centre-half John Jack – born Jonas Kaduskeviechi – joined Celtic from junior club Stonehouse Violet in 1950 and made 68 appearances over the following 9 years before leaving for Morton.

What Was On This Day? 27th October 1979 Celtic 1 Rangers 0 League Dom Sullivan debut

On 26th October in season 1979/80, Celtic signed Dom Sullivan from Aberdeen for £80,000. 24 hours later – on this day in 1979 – Dom took his place in the Celtic eleven which ran out at Parkhead to face Rangers in a league match. It comprised Latchford, Sneddon, Aitken, MacDonald, McGrain, Sullivan, MacLeod, Burns, Provan, McCluskey and MacAdam.

Celtic had started well in the League, winning 6, drawing 3 and losing 1. They had also reached the third round of the League Cup, beating Falkirk in round one ( 1-2 (A); 4-1 (H)) and Stirling Albion in round two ( 1-2 (A) ; 2-0 (H)). In the European Cup, Celtic had overcome Partizan Tirana of Albania 4-2 on aggregate in the first round but only three days before the match versus Rangers mentioned above, they struggled somewhat to beat Dundalk of the Republic of Ireland 3-2 at Celtic Park in a second round first-leg tie.

It was not an ideal result only three days before an Old Firm contest and Rangers would have received a boost from it. However, from the start of the game that afternoon, Celtic took control but thanks to some excellent work by the Light Blues defence, the Hoops were given few opportunities to create chances. The further the match went on, though, the occasional gap began to appear and with 10 minutes to go, a Davie Provan cross into the box was met perfectly by Roddy MacDonald, who rose high above everyone else to head home.



In the final 10 minutes, Rangers caused the Celtic defence more problems than they had in the first 80 but at the whistle that single goal was enough to give the Hoops victory and their fans in the crowd of 56,000 went home deliriously happy.

NB Of the 22 players who started the match, 21 were Scots, the only ‘outsider’ being Peter Latchford, born in Kings’ Heath, Birmingham.

NB2 On 17th November , just under four weeks after his goal at Celtic Park against Rangers, Roddie MacDonald turned down a move to Dundee. 18 months later, in July 1981, Roddie moved to Hearts, where he spent the following six years. However, Roddie was back in the Hoops when Celtic won the Old Crocks Six-a-side Championship in 1992, alongside Peter Latchford, Danny McGrain, Ronnie Glavin, Dom Sullivan, Jim Casey and Joe Craig.

NB3 In a four-year Celtic career, Dom Sullivan made 113 appearances, scoring 15 goals. He freed by the club in June 1983 and had trials with both Dundee United and Manchester City before joining Morton on 8th November 1983.

What Was On This Day? 24th October 1891 Celtic 6 Vale of Leven 1 Scottish League

When Celtic first began to play regular matches, initially in the Scottish Cup then from season 1890-91 also in the Scottish League, they came up against sides which had been in existence much longer.

One of these was Vale of Leven FC, which came from the area just to the west of Dumbarton, a region which produced another of the early ‘star’ teams in Renton. Founded in 1872, Vale of Leven won the Scottish Cup in 1877, 1878 and 1879, one of only four Scottish sides to win the trophy in three consecutive seasons ( the others are Queen’s Park, Rangers and Aberdeen) and were founder members of the Scottish League, finishing 9th in the 10-team division in the inaugural season of 1890-91.

In the following season of 1891-92, the First Division had been extended to 12 teams and this time round, the Vale were finding matters tough. By the time they came up to First Celtic Park on this day in 1891 to face the Green and Whites in what would be their ninth match of the season, they had not won a single game.



By contrast, Celtic had been impressive. Admittedly, they did lose the first league match of the season to Hearts at Tynecastle by 3 goals to one but then went on to win the following 7, scoring 25 goals in the process and losing only 6. The Celtic team that afternoon was Duff, Reynolds, Doyle, W Maley, Kelly, Dowds, MacCallum, Brady, Madden, MacMahon, Campbell. No doubt the Vale of Leven players were quite apprehensive before the game; afterwards, they would have been quite despondent, as Celtic had run riot, scoring 6 goals through Alex Brady, Sandy ‘Duke’ MacMahon and Johnny Madden, who scored 4.

NB Celtic finished 2nd in the league that season with 35 points from 22 matches, just 2 points behind winners Dumbarton.

NB2 Goalkeeper Tom Duff played one more league match ( v St Mirren 26th December 1891) and one Scottish Cup tie ( v Kilmarnock Athletic 19th December 1891) before taking to the field in the Celtic side which played a friendly versus Dumbarton on New Year’s Day 1892, the first time goal nets had been used in a match at First Celtic Park. Unfortunately, poor Tom got to know the nets quite well, as he picked the ball out of them 11 times ( three were disallowed) in the 0-8 loss to the Sons. Whatever the reasons ( see Celtic; Pride and Passion. Jim Craig and Pat Woods) Tom carried the can and never played for Celtic again.

What Was On This Day? 20th October 1993 Celtic 1 Sporting Lisbon 0 UEFA Cup 2nd Round; 1st Leg

Liam Brady was the man in the hot seat for season 1993-1994 and the team did not start well. Of the first 9 League matches, Celtic had won 2, drawn 5 and lost 2 ; in the League Cup, they had been knocked out of the competition 0-1 by Rangers, after disposing of Stirling Albion (2-0 A), Arbroath ( 9-1 A) and Airdrie (1-0 H) in the early rounds ; while in the UEFA Cup, Celtic had been drawn in the first round against Young Boys Berne, the Swiss side proving difficult opponents, only a single goal in the home leg putting Celtic through.



With results like that, there could be little doubt that the manager was under pressure and matters came to a head after Celtic visited Perth to play St Johnstone in their 10th league game of the season on  6th October 1993, where they lost 1-2. Brady decided that he could not go on any longer and informed Chairman Kevin Kelly on the bus journey back to Glasgow that he would be resigning. And that led to a fairly chaotic following few days.

After only one day in charge as caretaker Boss, Brady’s assistant, Joe Jordan, also left the club and Frank Connor, back at Parkhead in a coaching capacity, took over. And it was Connor in charge when Celtic ran out at Parkhead on the evening of this day in 1993 for a first leg, second leg tie against Sporting Lisbon. The side chosen was Bonner, Grant, Gillespie, Mowbray, Boyd, Byrne, McGinlay, McStay, Collins, Creaney and Nicholas.

The Portuguese side was under the managerialship of Bobby Robson and controlled the play for most of the 90 minutes. It was Celtic, though, who scored the only goal of the contest, in the 9th minute, through Gerry Creaney and although the visitors always looked threatening, they could not put the ball in the net, leaving Celtic with a single goal lead to take to Lisbon for the second leg.

NB On the day of the match, it was announced that Celtic had received permission from the directors of Stoke City to approach their manager Lou Macari and had also agreed compensation terms.

NB2 In the number 10 shirt for Sporting Lisbon was a player by the name of Jorge Cadete.

NB3 The League Cup tie against Arbroath mentioned above was played on 25th August 1993. Celtic’s 9 goals were shared between Mark McNally, Pat McGinlay, Charlie Nicholas, Frank MacAvennie (3) and Andy Payton (3), the latter coming on as a substitute. Sadly, the Arbroath manager was Danny McGrain.

What Was On This Day? 16th October 1971 Celtic 3 Dundee 1 Scottish League

In the early days of season 1971-72, the usual challenge from Rangers had not been the case, the Light Blues having started poorly. Instead, it was the Dons from Aberdeen who made the early running, so it was crucial for Celtic to rise to this new challenge. The League Cup campaign had gone well, Celtic coming through a tough section ahead of the rest.

P W D L F A Pts

Celtic  6 5 0 1 13 2 10

Rangers 6 4 0 2 11 5 8

Morton 6 2 1 3 4 5 5

Ayr United 6 0 1 5 2 18 1

In the League campaign, Celtic had won 5 of the first 6 matches, the highlight the 3-2 win at Ibrox on 9th September, although the ‘goals for’ tally of 21 over those 6 games was equally encouraging. The only loss was to an excellent St Johnstone side at Parkhead on 2nd October.

On this day in 1971, a strong Dundee side arrived at Celtic Park for a league match and manager Jock Stein put out a side of Williams, Hay, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Connelly, Johnstone, Dalglish, Hood, Callaghan and Macari. From the start, Celtic dominated the play, egged on by a crowd of 32,000. Kenny Dalglish opened the scoring in 35 minutes and got another one minute the interval.



Dundee pulled one back almost straightaway but in 51 minutes, Dalglish got a third to claim a hat-trick and give Celtic another win.

NB This match was unusual for another aspect – Tam Gemmell missed a penalty!

NB2 Three days later, John Hughes and Willie Wallace were transferred to Crystal Palace; and six days after that, Denis Connaghan came in from St Mirren.