Jim Craig’s 7am start: Peter Johnstone’s Celtic debut

ON this day in 1909, Celtic travelled down to Love Street in Paisley on league business and came away with a single goal victory.

On the same afternoon, England were hosting Scotland at the Crystal Place and two Celts, Alec McNair and Jimmy Quinn, were in the blue shirts. Sadly, Scotland lost 0-2.

The loss of those players meant that Celtic to make some adjustments to the side to compete against St Mirren and the team chosen was Davie Adams, Bobby Craig, Jimmy Weir, Jim Young, Joe Dodds, John Mitchell, Dan Munro, Davie McLean, Willie Kivlichan, Peter Johnstone and Davie Hamilton.

From the press reports, it would seem to have been a pretty competitive encounter, with Davie McLean getting the only goal of the game in the first half. The two points gained put Celtic into third place in the league table, 10 points behind Dundee and 4 behind Rangers.

The watching crowd also saw a 21-year-old making his debut for Celtic. Utility player Peter Johnstone had joined Celtic from Glencraig Celtic the previous year and had shown up well in the reserve side, so Willie Maley put him in for the match at Love Street.

Peter went on to make 233 appearances for the club, managing to combine these games with his ‘other’ job, serving firstly in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then with the Seaforth Highlanders during the First World War.

Peter Johnstone lost his life at the Battle of Arras, sometime between 12 May and 16 May 1917.

Jim Craig

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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