What Was On This Day? 5th February 1977 Celtic 4 Hibs 2 Premier Division

At this time of year in season 1976-77, Celtic were vying for top spot in the league. The Hoops had won the New Year clash with Rangers thanks to an o.g. by centre-half Colin Jackson; then had been held to a 1-1 draw by Airdrie in the Scottish Cup, although Celtic won the replay comfortably by 5 goals to nil.

On this day in 1977, a strong Celtic side took to the field at Parkhead for the second league encounter of the season with Hibs, the first having ended in a 1-1 draw. The players involved were Latchford, McGrain, Stanton, MacDonald, Lynch, Glavin, Dalglish, Aitken, Doyle, Craig and Wilson.



Celtic got off to an excellent start with goals from Johannes Edvaldsson – an early substitute for Roddy MacDonald – in 21 minutes and Ronnie Glavin on the half-hour mark. Hibs pulled one back through Smith in 37 minutes but Celtic increased their lead through Joe Craig (57) and Glavin again (72) before MacLeod got another for Hibs, making the final score 4-2.

NB This was Joe Craig’s first season with Celtic, having joined from Partick Thistle for a fee of £60,000 in September 1976. One month later, George Connelly was freed.

NB2 Only 26 days after the above match, former Rangers player Alfie Conn was signed from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £65,000.

What Was On This Day? 29th November 1941 Celtic 4 Albion Rovers 4 League Southern Division

When the 2nd World War got underway, professional football was regarded by the authorities as something of an irrelevance and some restrictions were put in place. These included matches only being allowed at week-ends or public holidays; these matches had to be confined to regional or district groupings; and crowds could not exceed 8,000 or, for large stadia, 15,000.

For season 1941-42, Celtic Football Club had been placed in the Southern Division of the Scottish League, alongside Dumbarton, Queen’s Park, Rangers, Clyde, Hamilton, Morton, Motherwell, Hibs, St Mirren, Partick Thistle, Third Lanark, Airdrie, Falkirk and Hearts. Of the first 16 matches, Celtic had won 8, drawn 5 and lost 3.

Curiously, though, in spite of the restrictions regarding the size of crowds mentioned above, the league match against Rangers at Ibrox on 6th September 1941 – which Celtic lost 0-3 – attracted a crowd of 60,000, while there were also 5-figure turnouts for the matches against Hearts ( 15,000 ; 0-3 (A); 9th August), Clyde (11,000 ; 5-2 (H) ; 13th September), Hamilton (10,000 ; 3-3 (A) ; 20th September), Motherwell (12,000 ; 1-2 (H) ; 4th October and Hibs (15,000 ; 3-1 (A) ; 11th October).

On this day in 1941, in front of a crowd of 6,000 at Parkhead, a Celtic eleven ran out to face Albion Rovers in the second league meeting of the season, having won the first game 4-2 at Cliftonhill in Coatbridge. Manager Jimmy McStay had chosen a side of Hunter, Hogg, Dornan, McDonald, Waddell, McLaughlin, Delaney, Conway, Lynch, Divers, Murphy and right from the start both teams set out to entertain the crowd, moving the ball around and trying to get it into the box as much – and as quickly – as possible. The outcome was that the game finished in a 4-4 draw, the Celtic goals coming from Delaney (2), Murphy and MacLaughlin.

jimmy mcstay


NB Of the team that afternoon, Bobby Hogg, Malky MacDonald, Jimmy Delaney, John Divers and Frank Murphy had been in the side which won the Empire Exhibition Trophy in 1938, beating Everton 1-0 in the final at Ibrox.

NB2 Albion Rovers, of course, was Jock Stein’s first senior club but at the date of the above match, he was still a junior player, turning out for Blantyre Victoria.

What Was On This Day? 25th November 1893 Celtic 6 Hurlford 0 Scottish Cup

When Celtic first competed in the Scottish Cup – in season 1888/89 – 138 teams took part in the first round of the competition. They included names such as Bellstane Birds, Champfleurie, Cambuslang St Bride’s, Carfin Shamrock, Adventurers, 5th Kirkcudbright Rifle Volunteers (5th KRV), United Abstainers and Temperance Athletic

By season 1893/94, the number of teams in round one had dropped to 32, although some unusual names like 5th KRV, Black Watch, Broxburn Shamrock and Orion were still involved. Celtic had been drawn at home against Hurlford and a crowd of around 2,000 turned up on this day in 1893 to see the action.

Hurlford FC was a junior club from Ayrshire, founded in 1875, which had already featured in the Scottish Cup on several occasions. Unfortunately, in their first venture into the competition, in season 1879/80, after beating Catrine 2-0, Maybole Carrick 8-1, Cumnock 1-0 and drawing with Kilbirnie – after a replay, both teams went into the next round – Hurlford made the long trip outside their native country to Glasgow, where they lost 1-15 to Queen’s Park at Hampden.

This first-round tie in 1893/94 would have been regarded by everyone at Celtic as a ‘formality’ yet the committee which picked the side gave full respect to the visitors by choosing a full-strength eleven for the occasion, comprising Cullen, Reynolds, Doyle, McEleney, Kelly, Curran, Divers, Blessington, Cassidy, MacMahon and Campbell.

celtic sandy mcmahon


Right from the first whistle, Celtic went on the attack and never gave Hurlford a chance. By half-time, they had scored three and by the end of the 90 minutes had reached six without reply, the scorers being John Campbell (2), Jim Blessington (2), Joe Cassidy and Sandy MacMahon.

NB The John Divers named in the team listed above was the first of three players of that name who wore the Hoops, although he was no relation to the other two. In 87 matches, he scored 40 goals.

NB2 There have been three players by the name of J Cassidy to play for Celtic and all of then were either centre-forwards or outside-lefts. The one in the side listed above had come in from Newton Heath ( the future Manchester United) in June 1893 and spent two seasons at Parkhead, scoring 17 goals in 36 matches.

What Was On This Day? 17th November 1973 Celtic 7 Partick Thistle 0 League

Around this time of year in season 1973-74, Celtic FC was on top of the First Division, with Hearts, Aberdeen, Ayr United and Dundee United close behind. Of the 10 matches played, Celtic had won 8, drawn one and lost one ( 1-2 versus St Johnstone at Muirton Park Perth on 29th September 1973), scoring 22 goals in the process while only losing 8.

On this day in 1973, a crowd of 22,000 had gathered at Parkhead for the visit of Partick Thistle, who were placed in the lower quarter of the table…and were struggling! Jock Stein put out a team of Hunter, McGrain, Quinn, McCluskey, McNeill, Murray, Lennox, Hood, Deans, Callaghan and Wilson; and right from the kick-off, Celtic took control.


Dixie Deans ran riot, scoring in 8, 16, 24, 56, 74 and 89 minutes to reach a tally of 6, a post-war club record for a competitive match. It was certainly Dixie’s day, so much so that when Bobby Lennox scored Celtic’s other goal in the 64th minute, he almost apologized to Dixie for stealing some of his glory.

NB The club record for goals in a competitive fixture belongs to Jimmy McGrory, with 8 against Dunfermline on 14th January 1928 at a rain-swept Celtic Park.

NB2 After McGrory’s 8 and Deans’ 6, a whole host of players scored 5 in one match, including Sandy MacMahon (1891), Johnny Madden (1892), George Allan (1897), Jimmy Quinn (1904), Jimmy McGrory ( on four occasions in 1926 (twice), 1927 and 1931), Johnny Crum (1931), Neil Mochan (1960), John Hughes (1965), Bertie Auld (1965), Steve Chalmers (in 1965 and 1968) and Bobby Lennox (also in 1965 and 1968).

What Was On This Day? 14th November 1928 Celtic 4 QP 0 Dental Cup

14th November   1928  Celtic 4 QP 0  Dental Cup

The Glasgow Dental Hospital Cup was promoted by the Glasgow Football Association in 1928 to raise funds for the local dental hospital, which would open its doors for the first time in 1931. A nice cup was at stake, with gold medals for the winners.

celtic 1927

CELTIC SIDE OF 1927/28 – from top to bottom

J Thomson

W McStay McGonagle

Wilson              J McStay          McFarlane

A Thomson   McInally

Connolly           McGrory       McLean

The first time Celtic were involved was on this day in 1928, when a fairly strong side ran out at Parkhead to face Queen’s Park. About 4,000  turned up see John Thomson in his customary goalkeeping position and Jimmy McStay was at centre-half, by that time beginning to assume more of a ‘stopper’ role.

But there were also new boys, like Dan McColgan at right back, who had come in from Baillieston Juniors and outside-left Bob McWilliam, just arrived that summer from Denny Hibs.

It was another new boy, though, Joe Riley, a B.Sc. student at Glasgow University who got the first two goals – in the 7th and 30th minute -and an older star, Tommy McInally, who scored two more in the second half to give Celtic a 4-0 victory and a place in the second round against Partick Thistle.