The Story So Far – Celtic v Hearts in the Scottish Cup


If I can count correctly, Celtic have met Hearts 33 times in the Scottish Cup, have won 21 of them, drawn 5 and lost 7. There have been five Scottish Cup Finals between the two of them, and Celtic have the edge, having lost 4-3 in 1901 and 3-1 in 1956, as distinct from 1907 when Celtic won 3-0 plunging Hearts into almost 50 years of under-achievement and bitterness about Celtic, 2019 when Odsonne Edouard spearheaded a great come back, and 2020, the wierdest Scottish Cup final of them all when Celtic, in Covid times, won on a penalty shoot out in front of an empty stadium, Kristoffer Ajer scoring the last one.

Jeremie Fringpong of Celtic celebrates as his side win a penalty shoot out during the William Hill Scottish Cup final match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Hampden on December 20, 2020 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Let’s deal with the bad news first. Apart from the two Finals (which have one thing in common, namely bad goalkeeping from Celtic, Dan McArthur in 1901 and Dick Beattie in 1956), Hearts have shown Celtic the exit door in 1906, 1913 and 1921 – all at Celtic Park – 1987 at Tynecastle and then that awful semi-final with the crazy penalty converted by Craig Beattie in 2012 at Hampden.

But let us talk about 1907. 0-0 at half time when Hearts had the benefit of the elements. Willie Orr broke the deadlock with a penalty that no-one in Edinburgh forgot about for many years, but then Peter Somers the “powder monkey” scored twice and by the hour mark it was all over, as Celtic became the first team ever to win the Double of Scottish League and Scottish Cup in the same year. And the team?

Adams, McLeod and Orr; Young, McNair and Hay; Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Templeton.

Possibly the best Scottish Cup game of them all was at Tynecastle on 17 February 1962. It showed that the inconsistent Celtic team of that year could sometimes fight back. 35,000 were there, it was claimed and they saw a great game. 1-1 at half-time, then Frank Haffey dropped one for Johnny Hamilton to put Hearts ahead. Then Celtic equalised (frankly even the Celtic fans thought that it looked offside) through Steve Chalmers, went ahead through a great John Divers header, and seemed to have the game won until Danny Paton equalised for Hearts. 3-3 would have been fair (60,000 at Parkhead on Wednesday night into the bargain!) but a penalty for Celtic at the death.

Pat Crerand took it, Gordon Marshall saved, referee Bobby Davidson ordered a retake, Crerand scored this time. Those who thought that Bobby Davidson was in the pay of men from Kilwinning or Larkhall found that one difficult to reconcile with that belief. In fact, the Press generally thought Davidson was right with the penalty decisions, but wrong with Chalmers’ goal.

In recent years, Tynecastle has been a good Scottish Cup ground for Celtic with a 3-0, a 7-0 (a ferocious hammering, that one!) and a 4-0 triumph there, but maybe the best game at Tynecastle was 1951 when “Sonny” Hunter had to keep out Hearts forwards with fans sitting on his goal net, such had been the dangerous crushing at Tynecastle. Something similar also happened in 1966 when the players had to be taken off the field for a spell in the first half of a thrilling 3-3 draw. 1989 saw three red cards at Celtic Park, (one of them Tosh McKinlay in his Hearts incarnation!) and a 2-1 win, and Willie “Argentina” Johnston had the long walk (one of 29, I believe, in his lengthy career of red cards and early baths) in 1983.

Celtic have four times beaten them in semi-finals. Jimmy McMenemy scored twice in 1912 and John Brown once in the first semi-final with a neutral venue (Ibrox), Henry Smith famously dropped the ball in 1988 after Hearts had seemed to have the game won, and in 2005 Chris Sutton headed an early goal and Craig Bellamy scored the other in a 2-1 win.

But 1901 hurt our ancestors, and 1956 hurt those of us who were little children at the time. Dan McArthur should have saved several of the goals in the 3-4 defeat in 1901, and in 1956, Celtic, hampered by a crazy team selection, simply did not compete.

6 April 1901 – Hearts 4-3 Celtic – Ibrox,  Final

15 February  1902 – Hearts 1-1 Celtic – Tynecastle

22 February 1902 – Celtic 2-1  Hearts 1 – Celtic Park

24 February 1906 – Celtic 1-2  Hearts – Celtic Park

20 April 1907 – Celtic 3-0  Hearts – Hampden, Final

30 March 1912 – Celtic 3-0 Hearts – Ibrox, Semi-Final

9 March 1913 – Celtic 0-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

5 March 1921 – Celtic 1-2  Hearts – Celtic Park

20 February 1926 – Celtic 4-0 Hearts – Tynecastle

18 March 1933 – Celtic 0-0  Hearts – Hampden, Semi-Final

22 March 1933 – Celtic 2-1 Hearts – Hampden, Semi-Final

18 February 1939 – Hearts 2-2  Celtic – Tynecastle

22 February 1939 – Celtic 2-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

24 February 1951 – Hearts 1-2 Celtic – Tynecastle

21 April 1956 – Hearts 3-1 Celtic – Hampden Final

17 February 1962 – Hearts 3-4 Celtic – Tynecastle

6 March 1963 – Celtic 3-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

5 March 1966 – Hearts 3-3 Celtic – Tynecastle

9 March 1966 – Celtic 3-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

18 March 1972 – Celtic 1-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

27 March 1972 – Hearts 0-1 Celtic – Tynecastle

12 March 1983 – Celtic 4-1 Hearts – Celtic Park

21 February 1987 – Hearts 1-0 Celtic – Tynecastle

9 April 1988 – Celtic 2-1 Hearts – Hampden, Semi-Final

18 March 1989 – Celtic 2-1  Hearts – Celtic Park

11 March 2001 – Celtic 1-0 Hearts – Celtic Park

7 February 2004  Hearts 0-3 Celtic – Tynecastle

10 April 2005 – Celtic 2-1  Hearts  – Hampden, Semi-Final

15 April 2012 Hearts 2-1  Celtic – Hampden, Semi-Final

1 December 2013 – Hearts 0-7 Celtic – Tynecastle

30 November 2014 – Hearts 0-4 Celtic – Tynecastle

25 May 2019 – Celtic 2-1 Hearts – Hampden Final

20 December 2020 Celtic 3-3 Hearts aet Hampden Final

(Celtic won 4-3 on penalties)

Scott Brown of Celtic lifts the Scottish Cup with teammates after victory in a penalty shoot out in the Scottish Cup final match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Hampden Park National Stadium on December 20, 2020 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In total, Celtic have won the Scottish Cup 40 times as distinct from Hearts 8.

David Potter

Invincible by Matt Corr. Now available on Amazon kindle…

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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