Jim Craig – Jimmy McGrory was in scintillating form

On this day in 1931, the players from East Fife arrived at Celtic Park for a league match.

It was a first – ever season for the men from Methil in the first division and they were struggling, having lost the first league match against Celtic by 6 goals to 2 at home. And from the referee’s whistle at 2.32pm that Saturday afternoon, Celtic blasted into action again, with Jimmy McGrory in scintillating form.

His first goal came early, a shot almost from the bye-line which hit the far post before going in. The second was a fine left-foot shot and he got two more before half-time, one a fierce effort from just outside the box, the other a neat shot which just slipped inside the post from 15 yards.

Three minutes into the second half, McGrory got his 5th, this one just pushed in from close range.

Other guys also made the score sheet. Peter Scarff claimed a hat-trick, one before the interval , one on the hour mark and one 7 minutes from time. And nine minutes from the end, outside-right Bertie Thomson added another.

9-1 was the final score, a result to keep the fans happy…..and they just could not stop talking about Jimmy McGrory!

Born on this day in 1882 at Kilmarnock, right half Jim Young moved round a bit – spells at Dean Park, Kilmarnock Rugby X1, Stewarton, Shawbank FC, Barrow and Bristol Rovers – before joining Celtic on 1 May 1903.

Over the following 14 years, Jim played 443 times for the club – with 13 goals to his name – and retired from the game on 12th May 1917.

Tragically, he died on 4 September 1922, when the motorcycle on which he was a pillion passenger was in collision with a tramcar on the Wellington Bridge between Kilmarnock and Hurlford.

Jim Craig

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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