Ten things you might not know about Celtic legend Willie Fernie

Ten things you might not know about Celtic legend Willie Fernie…

1. In 1948, Willie broke his jaw while playing in the Scottish Juvenile Cup Final for Leslie Hearts, a game which was won by Leslie Hearts. (Not unlike Kieran Tierney in the 2017 Scottish Cup Final playing for Celtic against Aberdeen).

2. Before his first major Cup final for Celtic (against Rangers in the Glasgow Charity Cup final of May 1950) the crowd was entertained by the American comedian and singer Danny Kaye.

3. Willie played (brilliantly) in the Coronation Cup final against Hibs in May 1953 but only because Charlie Tully was injured.

4. In between the Scottish League Cup final of 1956 and its replay in the Wednesday night, Willie married Audrey Douglas, the secretary of Celtic manager Jimmy McGrory.

5. Willie, clearly the best player on the field, scored the penalty in the 7-1 game against Rangers. Some felt that the penalty should have been given to Billy McPhail who already had a hat-trick, but it was Willie who scored the seventh goal.

6. It was believed, although it can never be proved, that Willie was transferred to Middlesbrough in 1958 in order to pay for the floodlights that were being built.

7. When with Middlesbrough, he played alongside Brian Clough, but the two of them were never close friends.

8. His return to Celtic Park on October 8 1960 was greeted by an invasion of the park by enthusiastic fans BEFORE the start of the game.

9. Willie is one of the few players to have played in two successive Scottish Cup finals for two separate teams – and lost them both. This was for Celtic in 1961 and St Mirren in 1962.

10. Following his sacking from the job of Kilmarnock manager in October 1977, Willie retired from football altogether and became a Glasgow cabbie driver.

David Potter

The Celtic View feature on Willie Fernie Putting on the Style

David Potter’s biography of Willie Fernie, titled Putting on The Style is available now via Celtic Star Books, all Celtic FC stores and also on Amazon. Click on the image below to order a copy signed by David Potter…

Click on image to order your copy of Willie Fernie – Putting on the Style

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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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