Jim Craig’s 7am start. Go to the 1923 Scottish Cup Final? My gran said no! Remarkable footage

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There are a number of sayings about the value of statistics, not always in favour of the science. There are though, times, when stats are crying out to tell you something. Just take a look at the records of the two sides which will meet at Celtic Park this afternoon and tell me that you are not convinced of something –

P   W    D   L.   F    A    Pt
Celtic (Top)              30  20    8   2  59  20   68
Ross County (12th)30    5    7  18  33  53  22

Let’s be honest, whom would you put your money on?

In the Scottish Cup campaign of season 1922-23, Celtic had a fairly straightforward run to the Final.

A 3-2 victory over Lochgelly United in Fife, a 4-0 win over Ayrshire side Hurlford at Celtic Park and then a narrow 2-1 success over East Fife, also at Parkhead, put Celtic into the quarter-finals.

Raith Rovers proved tough opposition before a single goal made all the difference and then in the semi-final, at Ibrox, in front of a crowd of 71,500, centre-forward Joe Cassidy – who had scored 3 against Lochgelly, 4 versus Hurlford and 2 against East Fife – got a first goal for Celtic in the opening minutes, Andy MacAtee getting the other in the 2-0 win.

That put Celtic into the final, where the opponents would be Hibs…..and this is where my Dad comes into the picture. Dad was born and brought up in Great Junction Street, Leith ( just head down Leith Walk and turn left) and was a Hibbie. He was dead keen to go to the Final, pestered his father – my Grandfather – about going but was rather fobbed off with the comment that my Gran would have to OK the outing.

Gran said no! Apparently her reasoning was that “there would be hooligans from Glasgow at the final and I don’t want my wee Jimmy getting bothered by them”. ‘Wee Jimmy’ at that time was three months shy of his 13th birthday.

Anyway, Gran’s decision was law and Dad stayed at home. A host of Hibs fans did travel to Hampden on this day in 1923 to help make up the attendance of 82,000 and they witnessed their side’s attacking efforts fall short against a Celtic defence marshalled by 40-year-old Alec McNair.

In the second half, a chance fell to that man Cassidy and he took it, heading home the only goal of the game, giving Celtic a Scottish Cup win for the 10th time. Here’s some remarkable footage from this Scottish Cup Final which was played in front of a crowd of 80,000.

Celtic:
Shaw, McNair, W. McStay, J. McStay, Cringan, Macfarlane, McAtee, Gallacher, Cassidy, McLean, Connelly
Goals: Cassidy

Hibs would have a wait to win the Scottish Cup, it would be a rather long wait too. However when the time came they certainly enjoyed it – as did most Celtic supporters!

Jim Craig

‘I want to be here for 10-in-a-row,’ magical words from Scotty Sinclair

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