Celtic will shortly embark on their latest attempt to lift the Scottish Cup and if we are successful it will be the 37th time in doing so.
Perhaps the most interesting opposition Celtic face in the Scottish Cup is when they come up against non league and lower league opposition and indeed some of the teams we have played in the past are no longer with us and are renowned names from the dim and distant Scottish football past such as Saint Bernards, Renton, Vale of Leven and Abercorn.
Sadly there are others who have gone defunct in more recent times and many of us have fond memories of playing the likes of Third Lanark, Clydebank, Airdrieonians and Rangers.
Let’s look at a few photos from the NTV archive which will hopefully bring back a few fond memories of Celtic’s Scottish Cup past against teams from the lower reaches of the Scottish game.
Elgin City 1967
Here’s Celtic in action against Highland League side Elgin City in a second round tie from February 1967. Celtic won 7-0 in front of 34,000 spectators with the following line-up taking the field: Simpson; Craig, Gemmell; Murdoch, McNeill, Clark; Gallagher, Wallace, chalmers, Auld and Hughes. Bobby Lennox scored a hat-trick, Willie Wallace got a couple while big Yogi and Stevie Chalmers got the other goals.
In this picture Steve Chalmers can be seen scoring with a header just before half-time only a matter of weeks before THAT goal in Lisbon the following May.
Third Lanark 1962
Pic 2 shows Celtic against Third Lanark from 1962. The match was a querter-final tie which ended in a 4:4 draw (Celtic won the replay 4:0). Thirds’ keeper Jocky Robertson can be seen bravely saving at the feet of the crew-cutted figure of John Hughes. Thirds played at Cathkin Park which is very near to Hampden and many Celtic fans to this day can still be seen taking a short cut along the pitch and old overgrown terracing steps en route to Hampden on match days.
Another team Celtic will never play again in any competition is the old Airdrieonians (not to be confused with Airdrie United) seen here in action against the Hoops in the 1975 Scottish Cup final which Celtic won 3:1 and which proved to be Billy McNeill’s farewell appearance for the club. Peter Latchford can be seen acrobatically claiming a high cross with the Aidrie players in their distinctive red ‘V’ jerseys.
Berwick Rangers 1981
Celtic travelled to England on third round Scottish Cup business in 1981 to play Berwick Rangers. Charlie Nicholas looked to have settled the early jitters with a goal after 19 minutes but the home side fought hard for the rest of the match and it wasn’t until Tommy Burns scored with ten minutes remaining that Celtic were able to relax.
This picture from Shielfiled Park shows Roy Aitken and Mark Reid defending against the home side. This was Celtic’s first ever trip to Berwick and the game is perhaps best remembered for the unprovoked treatment dished out to Celtic fans by Northumberland Police which caused a storm of protest at the time.
Inverness Thistle 1985
This picture shows Frank McGarvey scoring in a 6:0 victory in the fourth round of the cup at Celtic Park against Inverness Thistle in February 1985.
Thistle were at that time a Highland League club and nobody could have foreseen that 15 years later they would amalgamate and return as Inverness Caley Thistle to embarrass Celtic on their own turf on the night that John Barnes infamously lost his job.
As for the number nine in the background – not even Nostradamus could have come up with a prediction for his future.
Clydebank are another club sadly no longer with us and this picture shows a youthful Steve Fulton in action against the ‘Paper Hankies’ (The Bankies) in the Scottish Cup semi final of 1990 at Hampden.
Whitehill Welfare 1996
It may look like Aston Villa or West Ham but this is Morten Wieghorst in action against the gloriously named amateur side Whitehill Welfare in 1996. The amateurs put up a brave fight and only went down to three late goals. A huge crowd turned out at Easter Road to watch the game and give Whitehill a large cheque and a day to remember all round.
Rangers (In Liquidation) 1997
This is Celtic in action against the latest Scottish club to join the ranks of Defunct FC, Rangers. It’s the end of the Old Firm tag as we knew it and here we see big Malky Mackay being the unlikely hero as he bullets home a late header in March 1997 to put Celtic through to the next round, much to the delight of the 71,000 fans in the stadium.
What the Scottish Cup is really all about. After a dramatic game in the 1985 Final Frank McGarvey and Davie Provan lift the famous old trophy for the cameras after a thrilling 2-1 victory against Dundee United. These are the players who scored the memorable goals which brought the cup back to Celtic Park
on that glorious day.
Let’s all hope that we have another enjoyable ‘Hampden in the sun’ day come May and that Scott Brown gets to lift the famous old trophy once again.