Jim Craig: Willie Maley v Jimmy McGrory as Celtic win 9-1

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On this day, in 1938, Celtic played host to Kilmarnock at Parkhead. It was the first league match of the new season but the sporting press of the day made it out to be a clash of the managers.

In one corner was Willie Maley, by then manager of Celtic for 41 years, with numerous trophies under his belt.

In the other corner was Jimmy McGrory, the best known and most successful Celtic player between the two World Wars but by then manager of Kilmarnock, his first post in the profession.

On this occasion, it was a no-contest, Celtic winning 9-1, with the goals coming from a variety of sources.

Outside-right Jimmy Delaney was right in form and notched up two, a tally matched by Johnny Divers from the inside-left berth; right half Chic Geatons scored one of only two in his Celtic career; the versatile Malcolm MacDonald, on that day at inside-right also got on the score sheet; as did outside-left Frank Murphy, the first of what would be 13 in that season.

Centre-half Willie Lyon – in his final season with the club before going off to war – and centre-forward Johnny Crum both scored from penalties, the final score leaving the home support with the conviction that they could look forward to a good season.

On this day in 1925, Alec Boden was born in Hardgate.

Alec signed for Celtic in 1943 and over the following 13 years, made 122 appearances in the first team before going on for a short spell with Ayr United.

He later returned to Celtic as a coach in the mid-1960s.

Alec Boden died on 24 January 2011, at the age of 85.

Jim Craig


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  1. Was at Tannadice that day. I for the life of me believed that Harald had scored the winning goal. The visibility lines from the back of the shed and also alcohol impairment ensured that I didn’t discover that it was an OG until the following morning.

    Our car took the wrong turning on the way home. We ended up heading for Fife instead of Perth then doon to Stirling.

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