Jim Craig – Boxing Day Birthday Bhoys Alec McNair and Steve Chalmers

A number of memorable Celtic moments have occurred on Boxing Day through the years.

Famous stars were born on this day, like Alec McNair (604 appearances) in 1883 and Steve Chalmers (405 appearances ) in 1936.

There were some good victories too, like the 7-1 win over Clyde at Shawfield in the league in 1953; the 3-0 victory over a talented Morton side in another league game in 1970 at Cappielow or the 5-3 triumph against Rangers in the replayed final of the Glasgow Cup at Hampden in 1955.

After those special days, the 0-0 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on this day in 1994 would seem relatively insignificant yet it was a historic moment in the club’s history.

The men who took to the field that day in the north-east of Scotland were Pat Bonner, Tom Boyd, Tosh McKinlay, Tony Mowbray, Brian O’Neill, Peter Grant, Brian McLaughlin, Paul McStay, Chris Hay, Andy Walker and John Collins.

From the press reports, it was not the most exciting of afternoons, with the vast majority of the crowd pleased to hear the final whistle. And the Celtic fans would not have been aware that they were watching a ‘first’ in the annals of the club.

The draw that afternoon meant that Celtic had gone 11 consecutive league matches without a win, something they had managed to avoid since the leagues started in 1890/91.

That Alec McNair mentioned above played for Celtic between 1904 and 1925 in the right-back slot, making 604 appearances and scoring 11 goals. Alec was born in 1883 at Bo’ness; and he died at Larbert on 18 November 1951.

Jim Craig

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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