Jim Craig – Trooper Joe Cassidy, Celtic’s hotshot

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After the long and wonderful career of the ‘Iron Man’ – Jimmy Quinn, 331 outings, 216 goals – and the shorter but equally successful period when Jimmy McColl was front man – 169 appearances, 123 goals -the next incumbent at centre-forward – Joe Cassidy – was going to have a hard time matching up.

But Trooper Joe, with a spell in the Black Watch and the Scottish Horse behind him, returned to the Celtic team in 1918 and for the next five years knocked the goals in.

In the 1923 Scottish Cup run, Joe scored three against Lochgelly in the first round, four versus Hurlford in the second, one against East Fife in the third and one of Celtic’s two in the semi-final win over Motherwell at Ibrox.

So, when it came to the final, a Celtic- Hibs clash at Hampden in front of 82,000 spectators, you might have put some money on Joe to score and indeed he did, getting the only goal of the game halfway through the second half.

After 204 appearances and 104 goals, Joe Cassidy was transferred to Bolton Wanderers for a fee of £4,500 on this day in 1924.

On this day In 1867, at Old Monkland, Dan McArthur was born.

Dan joined Celtic in August 1902 and over the following eleven years made 120 appearances for the club as a goalkeeper, finishing with a 36% shut-out rate.

That number of matches does not seem a lot over eleven years but the goalkeepers of that era were regularly assaulted in the course of their duties and it was rare for them to last a full season. Dan himself was frequently concussed.

After leaving Celtic, Dan played for Clyde for a month – August 1903 – and had one match for Queen’s Park on 22 August 1904. He moved to Canada in November 1922, returning to Scotland in October 1935.

Dan McArthur died on 11 November 1943 at the age of 76.

Jim Craig


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