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.