David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.24 – John Divers II

The nephew of Patsy Gallacher and father of John Divers III, this one was born in Clydebank in 1911 and was arguably the best of the three player to bear the name of John Divers.

His moment of glory came in 1937 after the retirement of McGrory and the transfer of Willie Buchan to Blackpool so that the forward line of Delaney, Buchan, McGrory, Crum and Murphy moved seamlessly to Delaney, MacDonald, Crum, Divers and Murphy, the two inside forwards having the good fortune to be coached by one of all time’s greatest exponents of that art – trainer Jimmy McMenemy.

This was the team that won the Scottish League and the Empire Exhibition Trophy, Divers’ best game being against Sunderland where he dominated the game.

For some reason that no-one could explain, 1938’s form was never replicated in 1939, and then of course after that came the disruption of World War II. Divers played for Celtic (and later, Morton) throughout the war, sometimes being seen to arrive at Celtic Park in his overalls and with a piece bag, having worked his shift in the Clydebank Shipyards that morning.

Back Row (L-R): Geatons, Hogg, Kennaway, Morrison, Paterson, Murphy. Front Row: Delaney, Divers, Lyon, Carruth, Crum.

His career never reached any glorious height again, but his Celtic career, short though it was, was a significant one. He earned one cap for Scotland, and really ought to have had a great deal more. Someone really should do a history of Celtic in the 1930s…watch this space.

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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