Why 13 could be Celtic’s lucky number in Scottish Cup Final

Some people think that 13 is an unlucky number. But that could be the opposite for Celtic in Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final. To date, 12 nationalities (based on international team) have played and scored for Celtic in Scottish Cup Finals; perhaps a 13th might step in with this weekend’s winning goal?

Unsurprisingly, most of Celtic’s Scottish Cup Final scorers have been Scottish. To date, 55 Scots have netted for Celtic in in the final, scoring 94 goals in total.

Neil McCallum

The first Scottish Celt to score in a Scottish Cup Final was also Celtic’s first ever scorer, Neil McCallum. He netted in 1889 as his team lost 2-1 to Third Lanark in the Bhoys’ first final.

The next nationality to get on Celtic’s cup final scoresheet was Ireland – but it can debated who was the first person was to achieve this.

Willie Maley – Celtic’s legendary manager – scored in the 1894 final as Celtic lost 3-1 to Rangers. Maley was born in Ireland however he lived in Scotland almost his entire life, and played for the Scottish national team. The first Irish player – who also played for Ireland – to score for Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final didn’t hit the target until almost two decades later.

Patsy Gallacher

In 1912, Celtic beat Clyde 2-0 to claim the trophy; Donegal-born Patsy Gallacher was on the scoresheet that day. After the 1912 final, it was more than eight decades until a Celtic player not from Scotland or Ireland scored in the Scottish Cup Final.

Pierre Van Hooijdonk scores the winner for Celtic in the 1995 Scottish Cup Final

In 1995, Pierre van Hooijdonk “rises up into the air, and brings the Scottish Cup to Paradise”. The Netherlands’ player’s headed goal gave Celtic a 1-0 win over Airdrie. From this point, overseas goalscorers became much more common for Celtic. Next up in the list of nationalities was Sweden, with only one possible candidate.

26 May 2001: Henrik Larsson lifts the trophy after completing the treble in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden. Photo Laurence Griffiths/ALLSPORT

Henrik Larsson scored doubles in the 2001 and 2004 finals to give Celtic 3-0 and 3-1 victories over Hibs and Dunfermline respectively.

The 2002 final ended in disappointment for Celtic as they lost 3-2 to Rangers. However it did see two new nationalities added to Celtic’s final scorers list: John Hartson from Wales and Guinea’s Bobo Balde (born in France but played for the African side). Since then Joe Ledley of Wales has also scored in a final.

22/05/04 SCOTTISH CUP FINAL DUNFERMLINE v CELTIC HAMPDEN  – Bulgarian Stilian Petrov celebrates securing the Scottish Cup success with Celtic’s third goal.

When Henrik Larsson scored twice to help make it 3-1 to Celtic in the 2004 final, he was not the only foreign scorer that day. Stilian Petrov of Bulgaria also netted, and in doing so became the seventh nationality to do this for Celtic.

England were added to Celtic’s cup final records when Alan Thompson’s goal against Dundee United in 2005 was enough to give Celtic a narrow 1-0 win. Garry Hooper also scored in the 2013 final.

The next nationality is a similar issue with the earlier Balde situation. Other Celtic Scottish Cup Final scorers have played for Cameroon – but on both occasions that goals came from French-born players.

In the 2007, Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé made it 1-0 to Celtic against Dunfermline. Although born in France, he played international football for Cameroon. This is also true for Olivier Ntcham, who scored in 2018.

In the 2011 final, Celtic had a comfortable 3-0 win over Motherwell. One of the strikes came from Celtic’s tenth scorers’ country, South Korea; Ki Sung-yueng did the honours that day.

The 11th country to score for Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final was Australia. In the 2017 final, Tom Rogic’s late winner became an iconic moment as Celtic completed an Invincibles domestic season with the treble.

Celtic’s 12th nationality to grab a cup final goal was France. Odsonne Edouard got the two crucial goals in the 2019, and added another in the 2020 fixture.

You might add that one Northern Irish player had also helped Celtic; Stephen Craigan’s 2011 own-goal is one he’d rather forget, although this list deals only with Celtic players’ goals.

This Saturday, Ange Postecoglou’s team can complete their own treble against Inverness. If they do this, will there be a 13th (or even 14th) nationality in Celtic’s scoresheet?

There are plenty of options for this. Based on last Saturday’s starting team, Kyogo of Japan is the most likely, but other possibilities include Canada (Alistair Johnston), Portugal (Jota) or Israel (Liel Abada).

Whoever scores the goals, c’mon you Bhoys in green!

Matthew Marr

Matthew Marr’s first book is out now. ‘The Bould Bhoys! Glory to their name’ tells the full story of Celtic’s first ever league title. You can buy it from Celtic Star Books at:

‘The Bould Bhoys! Glory to their name’ by Matthew Marr

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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