David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.38 – Jimmy McMenemy

“Napoleon” was possibly not quite as good a player as Patsy Gallacher, but his contribution to the club was possibly greater as he spent a few years as Trainer in the late 1930s and played his part in bringing the Empire Exhibition Trophy to Celtic Park in 1938.

Celtic Trainer Jimmy McMenemy with Abdul Salem

He joined the club from Rutherglen Glencairn in 1902 and was possibly the star of the great forward line of Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton which dominated Scottish football when King Edward VII was on the throne.

Jimmy “Napoleon” McMenemy 

In 1912 McMenemy of his own volition volunteered to move to inside left to allow the prodigious Patsy Gallacher to play at inside right . The reward came in 1914 when Celtic once again won a League and Cup double – and continued their great form throughout the Great War.

McMenemy took ill with the Spanish flu in November 1918 just at the time of the Armistice, but he survived and came back in December to lead Celtic to another Scottish League success in 1919. He won an astonishing 9 Scottish League medals, and 6 Scottish Cup medals with Celtic, and then one with Partick Thistle in 1921.

His career was a truly astonishing one and he played a great part in developing other players by his infectious enthusiasm and his famous war cry of “Keep The Heid, Celtic!”. He played 12 times for Scotland, his most famous game being the time in 1914 when Scotland beat England 3-1.

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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