‘The Maleys Would Have Enjoyed This!’ David Potter

No great lover of English football (well, I support Newcastle United but don’t tell anyone!) I nevertheless have been enthralled with this year’s title race, and Monday night was a good watch with the great bonus that Brendan Rodgers got beat! (We had another doze of this nauseating “I love Celtic” stuff, I notice, from BR recently – kinda like Quisling everyone how much he loved Norway, Judas Iscariot saying how much he loved Jesus Christ or the other Judas (Mr Johnston) wanting to buy a season ticket for Parkhead!).

This result gives Manchester City the initiative. Indeed the Sky Blues could do a domestic treble (they can’t win a quadruple because you have to be really good and the year has to be 1967 or 1908!) and there is the possibility that this could be the unique season of a treble in Scotland for Celtic and a treble in England for Manchester City.

Celtic and Manchester City! In 1904 we had the situation of a pair of brothers managing the teams who won the Scottish Cup and the English Cup. On April 16 1904, Willie Maley’s Celtic won the Scottish Cup with the immortal Jimmy Quinn scoring his famous hat-trick in one of Celtic’s best ever Cup Finals. The following week, April 23 Celtic beat Kilmarnock 6-1 in a meaningless League match (Third Lanark won the League that year) and Jimmy Quinn, cheered to the echo every time he touched the ball, scored 5 of them.

But Willie Maley wasn’t there to see these goals. He was at the English Cup final at the Crystal Palace as a guest of his elder brother Tom Maley (“Handsome Tom”, as he was called) who had played for Celtic and several other Scottish teams but was now the Manager of Manchester City. City won 1-0 against Bolton Wanderers with the only goal of the game coming from the Welsh Wizard Billy Meredith, a legendary figure and as famous in England and Wales and Jimmy Quinn was in Scotland.

Tom Maley

Sadly Tom Maley found himself involved in a bribery scandal a little later, and had to move from Manchester City. He went to Bradford Park Avenue for a spell, but returned to Glasgow to support his younger brother’s Celtic before he died in 1935. Billy Meredith became a cult hero for Manchester City, Manchester United and Wales and suddenly in November 1945 turned up at Kilsyth Cemetery for the funeral of Jimmy Quinn, saying that Jimmy was the greatest of them all. So he was, of course!

So this morning in their mansions above, in the other Paradise, are the Maley brothers smiling?

David Potter

*Manchester City last night wore their black armbands in memory of their former manager, Celtic legend Billy McNeill.

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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