Born on this day 1904, Celtic’s brilliant goalscorer, James McGrory

On this day one hundred and twenty years ago one of the greatest players in the history of Celtic football club was born…

4 January 1928: The Great Jimmy McGrory scores eight goals against Dunfermline to create a record which stands to this day

His name was James McGrory and he would go down in folklore as the highest goalscorer in Celtic’s illustrious and unbroken history, a feat that will unlikely ever be equalled or beaten.

472 goals in 445 appearances is a sensational record, not only the highest total of any player in the history of Celtic Football club, but of any player in the British isles. Astonishingly, but not surprisingly regarding Celtic players during those days, Jimmy’s international career was limited to only seven caps in which he scored six goals. Makes you wonder does it not?

Classic McGrory diving header photo against Aberdeen from the Celtic Wiki


His feat was recognised in 2007 when a study put him in eighth place of all time in terms of the greatest strikers in the game, with only the likes of Pele, Romario and Puskas ahead of him. A fine accolade indeed. Obviously the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have since pushed Jimmy down the standings, but still, it’s great company to be in.

Jimmy’s goals helped the club win 15 honours in his 16 year career in the hoops. His ability to put the ball in the net attracted interest from the more financially equipped clubs down south, particularly Arsenal who bid a then massive £10,000 for Jimmy who refused, much to Celtic’s dismay.

Jimmy McGrory

That refusal to boost his own wealth and stay at the club made him all the more popular amongst the supporters and made sure he went down as a legend in Celtic folklore. As the great man himself said:

“Jimmy McGrory of the Arsenal would never have sounded as good as Jimmy McGrory of Celtic”

Jimmy would further his connection with the club by being named Manager in 1945. It’s a position he would hold for two decades before being replaced by the great Jock Stein.

Jimmy McGrory takes over as Celtic manager in 1945.

His managerial career wasn’t exactly a success during a tough period for the club. But he won a host of honours including the 1952 Coronation Cup, and of course led the side to the famous Hampden in the Sun 7-1 skelping over Rangers in the 1957 League Cup final.

Jimmy McGrory will forever be remembered as a legendary figure in the history of Celtic Football Club and in the songbook of the Celtic supporters…”And they gave us James McGrory and Paul McStay…”

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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