Celtic won the League Championship in season 1914-15 for the second year running but, for the 5th consecutive year found trouble in the Glasgow Cup, losing 0-2 to Clyde in the first round. The Scottish Cup had been suspended for the duration of the war, of course, which made the two Glasgow competitions – the Glasgow and Charity Cups – all the more important.
Having seen their team disappoint in the Glasgow Cup, the Celtic support was looking for better fortune in the Charity Cup and the campaign got off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Queen’s Park in round one. That put Celtic into the semi-final, where Partick Thistle gave then a tough contest at Firhill before the Hoops went through on the rather quaint system used in this competition to decide drawn matches, winning the tie by one goal and four corners to one goal and three corners.
Rangers were the opponents in the final on this day in 1915 at Hampden, with 25,000 managing or, because of war-time conditions, even being allowed to attend. The Celtic side was Shaw, McNair, Dodds, Young, Johnstone, McMaster, McAtee, Gallacher, McColl, McMenemy and Browning.
There was plenty of enthusiasm in this match, certainly too much bad temper and some indifferent football. Rangers opened well with the wind behind them and although Dodds scored the opener in 12 minutes much against the run of play, Rangers replied twice before the interval to go 2-1 up.
Celtic had played the tactical game in the first half against the wind, slowing the game down, taking plenty of time with corners, goal kicks etc. Not unexpectedly, the Light Blues did the same in the second half but Celtic kept pressing, got an equaliser from John Browning and a then a winner from Jimmy McMenemy two minutes from the end.
It was a deserved triumph. Rangers at their best were as good as Celtic but the latter lasted better.
NB When Jimmy McColl came into the Celtic first team in 1913, he had a big job on his hands. His predecessor Jimmy Quinn had been such a huge star for the club that anyone with the un-enviable task of replacing him was on a hiding to nothing. In contrast to Quinn, McColl looked frail but appearances were deceptive and he went on to amass an excellent record in the centre-forward role, scoring 123 goals in 169 appearances, a tally which compared well to Quinn’s 216 goals in 331 matches.