Celtic’s league winning venues, Paradise aside, Rugby Park tops the list

Celtic make an Ayrshire journey tonight – one from which they hope to return to Glasgow’s east end as Scottish Champions for the 54th time…

In fact, Kilmarnock has always been a happy hunting ground for Celtic when it comes to sealing the title; outwith Celtic Park, Rugby Park is the ground where Celtic have most often done this.

In the Bhoys’ 53 titles to date, 22 of them have been sealed at home venues. This has been Celtic Park on 21 occasions, and once (1971) at Hampden Park, which Celtic were using whilst Parkhead underwent renovation work.

Celtic’s first home title match was also the Bhoys’ first time as Champions. In 1893, a 3-1 victory over Leith Athletic on 9 May put the Celts on 29 points, a figure no other team could reach.

Celtic’s most recent home title party is debatable. The curtailed 2020 season ended with a 5-0 victory over St Mirren, which eventually proved to be the decisive match.

However, the last time Celtic left the Parkhead turf having just become Champions was also a 5-0 match, in this case a five-star humiliation of theRangers in 2018 as Brendan Rodgers sealed his second title as manager.

31 times the Celts have been on the road when the championship champagne could be uncorked. The first time this happened was in 1906, a 6-0 victory over Queen’s Park at Hampden Park leading to Celtic cheers.

Of those 31 away games, Rugby Park has been the most common ground for success. The Bhoys first did this in 1969, as they sealed their fourth title in a row. Since then, they have repeated this Ayrshire feat in 2004, 2007 and 2012.

After Rugby Park, Tannadice, Easter Road and Tynecastle have seen most Celtic title parties, with three each. And outwith Glasgow where Celtic have won the title on 28 occasions, Edinburgh in the next most common town or city with six wins.

Many of these of title-winning games have been momentous occasions, whether the drama of ten men claiming the win at Celtic Park or last day wins at Love Street and Tannadice.

In 1916, the Bhoys even won when playing two games on the same day, beating Raith Rovers at Celtic Park before playing later in the day at Fir Park to seal the championship.

Celtic’s four title parties at Rugby Park have also been the only times that Kilmarnock have been their opponents, with Killie never playing Celtic in a Parkhead party.

In fact, Celtic’s most common opponents when claiming the title has been St Mirren, doing so on six occasions.
A team called Rangers has also been the Bhoys’ opponents on title winning day six times. But of course, that’s two different clubs…

Celtic fans will be hoping that Rugby Park is about to increase its number and that Kilmarnock are about to move onto five when it comes to watching the Celts claim the title.

Come on you Bhoys in green! Win or draw, let’s get this finished tonight!

FULL LIST OF CELTIC’S LEAGUE-WINNING GROUNDS…

In total, the full list of venues is:

ONE
Bayview (1972)
Boghead (1917)
Brockville (1974)
Cappielow (1922)
Cathkin Park (1915)
Douglas Park (1909)
East End Park (1968)
Firhill (2014)
Meadowside (1907)
Pittodrie (2019)
Somerset Park (1919)

TWO
Fir Park (1916, 1966)
Hampden (1906, 1971)
Ibrox (1908, 1967)
Love Street (1938, 1986)

THREE
Easter Road (1954, 1973, 1977)
Tannadice (1981, 2008, 2022)
Tynecastle (1970, 2017, 2023)

FOUR, HOPEFULLY FIVE 
Rugby Park (1969, 2004, 2007, 2012)

TWENTY-ONE
Celtic Park

C’mon Celtic! Champions again! Champions again!…

Matt 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’ is published by Celtic Star Books. And as our Father’s Day promotion has now started, if you order The Bould Bhoys, Glory To Their Name or any of our Celtic books you will also receive a complimentary copy of Matt Corr’s INVINCIBLE which celebrates Brendan’s first title win as Celtic manager.  So you get two books for the price of one!  Father’s Day is on Sunday 16 June. Order HERE.


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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