It was a humiliation for Rangers, yet another Celtic victory at Ibrox

This game on 9 March 1907 was all about Jimmy Quinn.

Celtic’s goal scoring hero was the talk of Scotland in early 1907 for he had been suspended in the New Year’s Day game against Rangers at Ibrox.

Jimmy’s version was that he skidded on the wet surface into the face of Rangers Joe Hendry who had fallen onto the ground while fouling Jimmy McMenemy, while Hendry’s view was that it had all been deliberate.

Hendry’s version was the one which the referee accepted. Jimmy Quinn was sent off, Celtic lost the game and then Jimmy was suspended by the SFA for the incredible length of time of two months.

Such draconian punishment did little to dispel the widely belief that the authorities were anti-Celtic, but demonstrations and concerts were held to raise money for Quinn, lest he lose some earnings!

The irony was that Jimmy’s first game back was on 9 March at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup quarter final.

Without Jimmy, Celtic has struggled to beat Morton in the previous round, but they were still fairly comfortable at the top of the League, and speculation was beginning to grow about Celtic becoming the first Scottish team to win a League and Cup double.

Glasgow was now in a fervour about this game. Rangers had not won either the Scottish Cup or the Scottish League since 1903, whereas Celtic had already this season won the Glasgow Cup, and were of course League Champions for the past two years.

Willie Loney the centre half however was also out, but was well replaced by Alec McNair. Celtic were marginal favourites, but a lot would depend on how Jimmy Quinn performed on his first game back.

Some say 60,000, some say 70,000 were there on that dull March day with a touch of snow in the air and heavy clouds. The ground was dangerously over crowded, and many people had forced their way in for nothing, climbing over the inadequate wooden walls and simply bursting through an exit gate.

Rangers had taken away their Boys Gate with half price admission, but that did not seem to be a problem for those desperate to see the game.

The game proved that class will always tell.

Sunny Jim Young and Napoleon McMenemy simply took control.

Rangers double-marked and sometimes treble-marked Quinn, but that was a bad mistake for the rest of the team were no slouches either.

Peter Somers “the powder monkey” scored early on, then just on half time James “Dun” Hay scored again with a high drive into the net while the Rangers defence were still obsessed by Quinn, then early in the second half Davie Hamilton “the dancer” headed home a lovely Alec Bennett cross to make it three.

The only threat to Celtic was now the snow which fell during the last 20 minutes, but by then most of the Rangers fans were away home anyway, and as the snow came from the west (it was not a beast from the east!) it did not lie on the wet ground.

The game finished in heavy snow with the Celtic fans wearing bright smiles on their faces. Jimmy “the boy from Croy” did not score that day, but he proved his worth by being a decoy and a nuisance value. There was now no stopping him.

It was a humiliation for Rangers, but Celtic also captured the moral high ground when, early in the game Joe Hendry booted Quinn in the stomach on the blind side of the referee, and Jimmy with all the dignity in the world, did not retaliate.

There was even a smile on his face, as he walked away. The point had been proved.

Celtic won 3-0 and did indeed go on to win the double that season. That hurt Hendry far more than a punch in the face (however well deserved!) would have done.

David Potter

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About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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