What Was On This Day? 27th January 1962 Morton 1 Celtic 3 Scottish Cup

Towards the end of January 1962, Celtic were lying in 3rd place in the league table, just behind Dundee and Rangers but ahead of Partick Thistle and Dunfermline. The League Cup campaign that season had been poor, Celtic failing to qualify from a group involving St Johnstone –who topped the section – Hibs and Partick Thistle; but the club’s involvement in the Scottish Cup competition had started promisingly with a 5-1 demolition of Cowdenbeath at Parkhead in round one.

On this day in 1962, Celtic travelled to Cappielow in Greenock to meet Second Division Morton in round two. It would be fair to say that the fan base was pretty disgruntled with the form – and success rate – of Celtic at this time of their history. The last trophy won had been five years previously in the League Cup; and it had been almost 8 years since the league/ Scottish Cup ‘double’ was achieved, the last time those two trophies had come to Celtic Park.

With a record like that, it was no wonder that the fans were unhappy and they were fully expecting that their team would comfortably get past a Second Division side. Manager Jimmy McGrory was well aware that he was also under pressure and took no chances with his team selection, putting out a strong eleven of Haffey, McKay, Kennedy, Crerand, McNeill, Price, Chalmers, Jackson, Hughes, Divers and Carroll.



In front of a crowd of 21,000, Celtic started brightly and got the opening goal through Bobby Carroll in 21 minutes but Morton fought back hard and inside-right Paddy Turner scored the equaliser15 minutes later. At the interval, the teams were level and in the second half, although Celtic had most of the play, the Tail o’ the Bank club were not out of it.  It was Celtic, though, who got the goals that mattered – through John Divers in 56 minutes and Mike Jackson seven minutes from time – and when the final whistle blew, the 3-1 win took Celtic through to the next round and a visit to Tynecastle to face Hearts.

NB  That display and goal by Paddy Turner must have impressed the Celtic officials, as, just over one year later, on 31st May 1963, he was signed by the club for a fee around £10,000.

What Was On This Day? 23rd January 1892 Celtic 4 Cowlairs 1 Quarter-Final Scottish Cup

By the time Celtic Football Club got underway – in season 1888/89 – Cowlairs FC, a team from the district of Springburn in the north of Glasgow, had been in existence for some years.

The sides first met in the Glasgow International Exhibition football tournament on 6th September 1888, the competition being part of the extravaganza of that year, held in Kelvingrove Park. On that occasion, Cowlairs won 2-0 to end Celtic’s participation in the tournament but only 16 days later, in the 2nd round of the Scottish Cup, the Celtic players got their revenge with a resounding 8-0 victory.

The teams met twice more that season, firstly in a friendly at Springburn on 13th April 1889, when Celtic won 1-0; and again on 11th May 1889, in the final of a local competition called the North-Eastern Cup, held at Barrowfield Park in Bridgeton (home of Clyde FC), Celtic winning 6-1 to pick up the club’s first-ever trophy.



Two years later, both Celtic and Cowlairs became founder members of the new Scottish League Division One, along with Abercorn, Cambuslang, Dumbarton, Hearts, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren and Third Lanark. This meant the that teams met twice in the league that season of 1890/91 – Celtic winning both, 2-0 (H) and 5-0 (A) – but at the end of the campaign, Cowlairs were placed in bottom spot and were forced to drop out, to be replaced by Clyde. In season 1891/92, the sides were drawn together again in the Scottish Cup, Celtic having beaten St Mirren 4-2 in Paisley in round one and Kilmarnock Athletic 3-0 at Parkhead in round two.

On this day in 1892, a crowd of around 4,000 gathered at Celtic Park for the quarter-final tie. A Celtic win was expected and that is exactly what occurred, goals by Sandy MacMahon, Johnny Madden and Alec Brady giving Celtic a 4-1 victory and putting them into the semi-final, where Rangers were a-waiting.

NB Celtic retained the North-Eastern Cup in season 1889/90, beating Northern 2-0 in the final, again at Barrowfield Park. However, the club, no doubt with bigger competitions in mind, did not take part in the competition again. The North-Eastern Cup is on display in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park.

NB2 Cowlairs were suspended the following season for breaches of the regulations concerning professionalism. They came back in 1893 and continued for two seasons but the heart had gone out of the club and some of their experienced committeemen had moved elsewhere. By 1895, Cowlairs severed their connection with League and shortly afterwards, the club folded completely

What Was On This Day? 19th January 1957 Queen of the South 4 Celtic 3 League

Celtic had some good times in the early years of the decade of the 1950s, like the St Mungo Cup and Scottish Cup wins of 1951, the Coronation Cup win of 1953 and League/Scottish Cup ‘double’ of 1953/54. That league win was the first since football had started up officially again in 1946/47 after the Second World War and to be blunt, it was not a competition that Celtic had starred in very often at that time.

That lack of empathy with the league continued in season 1956/57. Just before the turn of the year, Celtic were lying in 7th place in the table, behind Hearts, Motherwell, Rangers, Raith Rovers, Dundee and Aberdeen. During the autumn months of 1956, however, some good news had come to the club when Celtic won the League Cup for the first time, beating Partick Thistle 3-0 in a replay after a 0-0 draw in the first game.

From the New Year onwards, matters did not improve for Celtic. A 0-2 loss to Rangers was followed by a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock and a 0-2 defeat by Queen’s Park before a 2-1 win over Motherwell put some gloss on the situation.

On this day in 1957, a very hopeful Celtic squad plus manager and directors headed to the south of Scotland, to Palmerston Park in Dumfries, where they would face Queen of the South. The reason for the hopefulness was the form of the Doonhamers, which was pretty dire that season, pushing them down into the bottom four.

Manager Jimmy McGrory put out a side of Beattie, Haughney, Kennedy, Evans, Jack, Peacock, Higgins, Tully, Sharkey, Fernie, Mochan and was keen to stress the importance of the game to the players as they got ready. The first half turned out to be fairly even, only enlivened by two own goals, the first by Queen’s left-back Binning for Celtic and the second for the home side by centre-half John Jack.

After the interval, though, the Doonhamers took the game by the scruff of the neck and quickly got three goals, in 52, 56 and 61 minutes. Celtic were a bit shell-shocked but worked hard to get back in the game and did so with goals by John Higgins (75) and Neilly Mochan (87). But when the final whistle blew, it was still 4-3 for Queen of the South, a result which deepened Celtic’s January woes.



NB At the end of the season, Celtic were placed 5th in the league table; Queen of the South finished third bottom. Celtic also reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, losing 1-3 to Kilmarnock in a replay after a 1-1 draw in the first match.

What Was On This Day? 15th January 1938 Celtic 5 Aberdeen 2 League

The early and middle years of the 1930s were only reasonably successful ones for Celtic Football Club, as can be seen from the table below, which includes the Glasgow and Charity Cups, important competitions in those pre-European football days;-

League      Scottish Cup     Glasgow Cup     Charity Cup

1930-31    Rangers         Celtic                 Celtic              Rangers

1931-32   Motherwell    Rangers            Rangers            Rangers

1932-33    Rangers         Celtic               Rangers            Rangers

1933-34    Rangers         Rangers            Rangers            Rangers

1934-35    Rangers         Rangers             Partick Th.       Partick Th

1935-36     Celtic            Rangers            Rangers               Celtic

1936-37    Rangers           Celtic              Rangers               Celtic

In season 1937-38, Celtic had lost 1-2 to Rangers in the first round of the Glasgow Cup but in the league, things were going better, the stats in mid-January being;-

P W D L F A Pts

24 16 5 3 68 27 37

On this day in 1938, a crowd of 29,000 had gathered at Celtic Park for the visit of Aberdeen, a repeat of the Scottish Cup final of the previous season. The Celtic team that afternoon was Kennaway, Hogg, Morrison, Lynch, Lyon, Paterson, Carruth, MacDonald, Crum, Divers, Murphy; and they off to a perfect start with a goal from Johnny Crum in eight minutes. Apart from the goal, it was a rip-roaring first half, with the Dons giving as good as they got.



In the second half, though, Celtic took control, scoring further goals by Joe Carruth, Malky MacDonald and Crum again before Aberdeen pulled one back to make it 4-1. Frank Murphy then got on the score sheet to get Celtic’s fifth and just before the end a penalty for Aberdeen which inside-left Mills to make the final tally 5-2.

NB 73 goals in the first 25 games was pretty impressive and many modern fans would have imagined that Jimmy McGrory had a lot to do with that tally. Actually, McGrory had left in October, by which time he had scored only 5 times. The main scorers were Joe Carruth (16), Johnny Crum (21), Willie Buchan (12) and John Divers (20).

NB2 Jimmy McGrory’s final match for Celtic was at Parkhead on 16th October 1937 against Queen’s Park, when he scored in the 4-3 win. In goal for the Spiders that afternoon was Desmond White, who later became Secretary and then Chairman of Celtic.

What Was On This Day? 11th January 1977 Celtic 1 Rangers 0 League

At this time of year in 1977, three sides – Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee United – were vying for top place in the league, with Rangers only a few points behind.

On this day in 1977, 52,000 turned up at Celtic Park for the third meeting of the Glasgow giants that season. The first one, at Parkhead, had ended in a 2-2 draw; while the second, at Ibrox, was won by Celtic, the solitary goal by Joe Craig.


JOE CRAIG   4th From Right

For this third encounter, the teams were;

Celtic- Latchford, McGrain, Lynch, Stanton, MacDonald, Aitken, Doyle, Glavin, Craig, Dalglish, Wilson.

Rangers – Kennedy, Jardine, Miller, Forsyth, Jackson, Watson, McLean, O’Hara, Parlane, McKean, Johnstone.

Celtic scored the only goal of the match and it came from an unlucky o.g. by Colin Jackson. After Andy Lynch and Johnny Doyle had indulged in some short passing from a corner, Lynch crossed to the far post where Roddy MacDonald headed the ball rather weakly towards goal. It seemed to be covered by Rangers goalkeeper Kennedy but a deflection by Jackson carried it into the net with 76 minutes gone.

From then till the end, the Light Blues possibly had the better of the play and two minutes from time, they nearly equalized when a lob by Tommy McLean beat Peter Latchford before being scrambled away by Roy Aitken. However, when the final whistle blew, that single own goal was enough to give Celtic victory.

NB The Hoops fans were delighted with the win, which put Celtic on course for the League title and their happiness only increased when their heroes beat Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final to do the ‘double’. They celebrated all summer and were looking forward with anticipation to the new season of 1977-78. Unfortunately, that euphoria was dampened when news came through that Kenny Dalglish had been transferred to Liverpool on 10th August 1977 for the sum of £440,000