150 years of Scottish Cup Finals, games, stats and Celtic favourite competition

This Saturday is a piece of Scottish football history; 150 years since the first Scottish Cup Final.

In 1874, Queen’s Park and Clydesdale gathered at the original Hampden Park (now the site of a bowling green) and the Spiders claimed a 2-0 win. Queen’s Park would go on to dominate the early years of the tournament.

Of course, Celtic are no strangers to winning Scottish Cup Finals on historic occasions. This includes winning the 1974 final (3-0 against Dundee United) which marked 100 years since the maiden final.

In addition, the Bhoys claimed the 125th final in 1985 (2-1 versus Dundee United), and beat Aberdeen in 1937 when a Scottish and European record football attendance of 147,365 was set.

Packed terracing at Hampden in the 1937 Scottish Cup final where a record attendance was set.

Tomorrow will be Celtic’s 61st cup final. To date, the Bhoys have won 41 of these and ended up on the losing team on 18 occasions.

So far, Celtic have scored 124 goals in these finals, whilst conceding only 76 times. This explains Celtic’s competition dominance as the most successful side. In terms of finals reached, mathematically observant readers may have noticed 41 + 18 = 59. The gap is the result of the 1909 final.

The 1909 Scottish Cup Final ended in a riot.

This match – between Celtic and Rangers – ended in a riot. Fans were angry at a draw meaning another replay so the cup was withheld that year due to extreme violence.

Given the success enjoyed by Celtic and the original Rangers in the cup, it is no surprise to find that an Ibrox team has been Celtic’s most common final opponents.

Including the unfinished 1909 final, there has been 15 meetings between the two sides. In terms of matches that were actually concluded, Celtic won and lost seven of these.

Many of these Celtic-Rangers matches have been hugely memorable, arguably none moreso than the 1904 final. As well as Jimmy Quinn scoring a hat-trick to give the Celts a 3-2 win, this was also Celtic’s first trophy when wearing the hoops (having changed strips in August 1903).

This was also notable as the game that created the term ‘Old Firm’, based on a pre-match newspaper cartoon, a phrase that was relevant until 2012.

READ THIS…74 players have scored for Celtic in a Scottish Cup Final

Saturday will of course be the first time that Celtic have met the new Rangers team in a Glasgow Derby Scottish Cup Final. Let’s hope Celtic can start their own history of wins against this latest Ibrox incarnation.

The Scottish Cup has been regarded as Celtic’s favourite competition as it’s the one we’ve won the most.  Hopefully we can add to that success story tomorrow.

C’mon you Bhoys in green!

Matthew Marr

Follow Matthew on Twitter @hailhailhistory

Click on cover to order hardback copy.

Matthew’s debut Celtic book titled ‘The Bould Bhoys – Glory to their name’ was published by Celtic Star Books last year and is available to order HERE. This brilliant book is also available on Amazon Kindle for just £3.49 and includes all photo sections that appear in the hardback edition.

About Author

Matthew Marr first started going to see Celtic in the 1980s and has had a season ticket since 1992. His main Celtic interest is the club's history, especially the early years. In 2023, Matthew published his first Celtic book, telling the story of the Bhoys' first league title. He also runs Celtic history walking tours.

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