The season of 1895-96 was turning out to be a pretty successful one for Celtic Football Club. They had won the League Championship, with a record of P18, W15, D0, L3, F64, A25, Pts 30; and picked up the Glasgow Cup with a fine 6-3 thrashing of Queen’s Park in the final.
Alas, in the first round of the Scottish Cup, on a very heavy Parkhead pitch, the Spiders’ long ball game proved more efficient than Celtic’s short passing style, Queen’s Park winning 4-2 in front of a crowd of 26,000. Now, there was only one trophy left to compete for in the season, the Charity Cup and after Celtic had gone through to the final with a comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Rangers, they found themselves once again up against Queen’s Park.
The game was played on this day in 1896 at Ibrox, where the Celtic team was McArthur, Meechan, Doyle, McEleney, Kelly, Battles, Madden, Blessington, Martin, MacMahon and Ferguson. A crowd of 11,000 had turned up on a scorching afternoon and they would have been disappointed by the fare, both teams looking tired or perhaps just not used to playing in such torrid conditions.
At the end of normal time, the score was tied at 1-1, so the match went to extra-time, with Celtic scoring the winner in the 104th minute. They owed their victory mainly to their very sound defence, the forward line having some injury problems – Jim Blessington lame for most of the match and Johnny Madden playing with an injured shoulder. The feat of winning three trophies in a season matched that of the 1891-92 side, who had won the three cups, Scottish, Glasgow and Charity.
NB Centre-forward Alan Martin only played this one season before joining Hibs but he ran out for 17 of the 18 league matches plus that one Scottish Cup tie. In those 18 games, he scored 18 goals.