David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.32 – Tommy McInally

Tommy McInally was a personality player in an age which badly needed one. He played for Celtic in two spells from 1919 to 1922, and from 1925 to 1928 with a three year interval at Third Lanark.. After 1928 he went to Sunderland but never quite made it there because his heart was always with Celtic. He “pined for home” according to Willie Maley, as he brought him back from Third Lanark.

He was a brilliant inside forward and centre forward and it was the opinion of many Celtic supporters and even Willie Maley himself that he could have been even better than Patsy Gallacher – but he didn’t know how to apply himself or to behave. He kept falling out with Maley but Maley “always had a soft spot for the boy” and went the extra mile for him many times, not always wisely.

McInally’s best year was undeniably 1925/26 when the League title was won with a great deal to spare, and then the following year Celtic won the Scottish Cup.

This is from a match played on 10 June 1923 in Buenos Aires, and features Tommy McInally in the bottom row of players in the pictures.

But he must take at least some of the blame for 1928 when a talented Celtic team were on the cusp of a League and Cup double, and won neither thanks in part to the shenanigans of the Barrhead Bhoy who had the ability to upset so many of his team mates. After his return from Sunderland, Tommy became a well known Glasgow character and much loved by everyone, but his career was one of sad under-performance.

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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