David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.16 – John Divers (the first)

The first John Divers has no blood relationship, as far as can be ascertained to the other two of the same name.

He joined the club in 1893 and was in the side that won the Scottish League in 1894, playing alongside great Celtic players like Sandy McMahon and Dan Doyle, but he is forever tainted with being one of the three players, along with Barney Battles and Peter Meehan who went on strike in November 1896 and refused to play unless a journalist was removed from the Press box.

The result was the disastrous year of 1897 and a move to Everton. He was brought back by Willie Maley in 1898 and won Scottish Cup medals in 1899 and 1900.

He was a tricky player – “too much artistry” said Maley – but he was allowed go in 1901 to Hibs.

This was clearly the wrong decision for he was in the Hibs side which beat Celtic 1-0 in the Scottish Cup final of 1902. Little seems to be known of his subsequent life but he died in 1942.

David Potter


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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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