What Was On This Day? 15th April 1916 Two Matches In One Day

The advent of the First World War, which for Britain began in August 1914, had serious repercussions for Scottish football.

The FA and the SFA agreed to abandon international matches; the SFA also decided to scrap the Scottish Cup competition.

Players’ wages were to be reduced by 25% and later were fixed at £1 per week.

No wages were paid during the close season and footballers were expected to take their places alongside the other workers in the shipyards and munitions factories.

League matches were confined to Saturdays and holidays and players could only take part if they had worked the rest of the week.

The latter condition could have been greatly to Celtic’s disadvantage in the 3rd of their four-in-a-row league title wins between 1913/14 and 1916/17. The club’s away match against Motherwell on 25th March had been postponed because of snow. That meant that 7 matches were still left for Celtic to play and as they could only take place on Saturdays or holidays, there were not going to be enough suitable dates for them to be played before the last day of the season – 29th April.

Games were under-take against Morton (0-0) on 1st April and Falkirk (2-0) on 8th April. That left five matches left and to relieve the pressure, Celtic agreed to play two matches in one day and these took place on this day in 1916. The first took place at Celtic Park against Raith Rovers with a 3.15pm kick-off, when the team was Shaw, McNair, McGregor, Young, Dodds, McMaster, McAtee, Gallacher, O’Kane, McMenemy and Browning. Celtic won 6-0, the goals coming from Gallacher (3), O’Kane (2) and Dodds.

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The players then had a quick bath and got on to a bus which took them to the next game, at Fir Park against Motherwell. This match began at 6pm and the only change in the side from the earlier contest was at centre-forward, where Joe Cassidy replaced Joe O’Kane. Celtic won this one too, this time by 2 goals to one, thanks to a Joe Dodds penalty and a Jimmy McMenemy strike.

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