David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.19 – Jimmy Blessington

Jimmy Blessington was one of the truly great early Celts, along with Dan Doyle and Sandy McMahon, but is not so well known, mainly one feels because he never won a Scottish Cup winner’s medal, the honour that was looked upon as the most important in Victorian Scotland.

The two Scottish Cup finals that he played in were narrow, unlucky defeats to Queen’s Park and Rangers in 1893 and 1894. On the other hand, Jimmy was a vital cog in the three League Championships of 1893, 1894 and 1896.

Jimmy joined Celtic in 1892 in the wake of the implosion of Hibs. Blessington was playing for Leith when he suddenly appeared for Celtic with Leith complaining about “poaching” and the player suspended for a couple of games.

Once he started playing, however, the fans saw what the fuss was all about for he was a super inside forward with strength, passing ability and an eye for goal.

He was good enough to play four times for Scotland, twice against England at Celtic Park in 1894 (an honourable draw) and 1896 (generally reckoned to be Blessington’s best ever game when Scotland won 2-1).

He left the club in 1897. He was one of the few successes in the Arthurlie defeat of that year, but when it became known that he also worked with an illegal bookmaker, Celtic disapproved and he was on his way to Preston.

But in general terms, what the newspapers said about “Celtic were blessed by Blessington” was substantially true. He died in 1939.

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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