27th April – If you know your history
120 years ago … 1902 on this day (Sunday) Celts are licking their wounds having just lost the first ever All-Green Scottish Cup Final
1902-04-26: Celtic 0-1 Hibernian, Scottish Cup Final
Hibs win the Scottish Cup for the only time in the 20th Century!
Hibs last Scottish Cup trophy victory for 100 years when they were to defeat TheRangers/Sevco.
Celtic lose to Edinburgh double, having lost the previous year in the final to Hearts.Match played at Celtic Park following the recent Ibrox Disaster in which a number died (RIP), this match was delayed by two weeks due to that stadium disaster.
The report in the Glasgow Herald newspaper writes of the “meagre attendance” at the game, concluding the Ibrox disaster and fears of the “stability of the terracing” had kept fans away
Leith Observor newspaper refers to Celtic as the “Western team”.
Debut for William McCafferty at Celtic, strange one for a debut. His only other match was v Rangers (1-1 draw in the league).
Atherton, who had seen an effort disallowed for offside, is said to have deceived the Celtic defence with a cry of “leave ra ba” in an impeccable Glaswegian accent.
For Hibs, after the collapse and end to the original Hibs football club, this was a quick ascendency for the new club who went on to win the league the next season.
HIBERNIAN: Rennie, Gray, Glen, Breslin, Harrower, Robertson, McCall, McGeachan, Divers, Callaghan, Atherton
Goals: McGeachan Goal 75′
Manager: Dan McMichael
CELTIC: MacFarlane, Watson, Battles, Loney, Marshall, Orr, McCafferty, McDermott, McMahon, Livingstone, Quinn
Manager: Willie Maley
Stadium: Celtic Park
Scottish Cup memories: How newspapers covered Hibs’ 1902 victory
By Graham Fraser 26 April 2013 07:01 BST
Cup winners: The 1902 Scottish Cup winners Hibs.Scottish Football Museum
Anyone who knows anything about football can tell you Hibs fans have long suffered jibes from other supporters over the last time their side won the Scottish Cup.
It was 1902. Real Madrid had just been formed. Britain was fighting in the Boer War.
But this year, Pat Fenlon’s latest crop will once again have a chance to banish all those bad memories – especially after last year’s 5-1 humbling by city rivals Hearts in the final.
All that stands in Hibs’ way is the considerable challenge of Neil Lennon’s Scottish Champions Celtic on May 26.
The last time Hibs did triumph in the cup, it was against Celtic. The game was played at Parkhead after the initial fixture, which was due to take place at Ibrox, was cancelled after 26 supporters were killed and 547 more were injured following the collapse of a stand at a Scotland vs England match.
Looking at newspaper reports from the time allows us to highlight some similarities between the 1902 and 2013 finals, and also revel in the journalistic style of the period.
On April 26, 1902 – the day of the match – The Leith Observer published a short preview of the game, dubbed the “annual struggle for the Scottish Cup, the blue riband of national football… when the Celtic and the Hibernians oppose each other in the final tussle”.
While referring to Celtic as the “Western team”, the report laments Hibs’ “traditional weakness in the final tie” and cup runs in previous seasons which had seen them lose to Rangers, Third Lanark and Queen’s Park.
Hibs were also “vanquished by the Heart of Mid-Lothian” in the previous season’s competition. Sound familiar?
Alongside a picture of the cup finalists, with moustachioed players and others in cloth caps, the newspaper looks forward to the tie and highlights Hibs’ training regime in preparation for the game.
“The Hibs are a comparatively young set of fellows, some of whom have sprung very suddenly into fame,” the report states.
“The Celts are heavier and more matured players, but anything may crop up to counteract their advantages.
“Hibs are reported as fit as they could be. Their training has been of a very light kind, a walk to Portobello being the hardest part of it, and mild relaxation in the form of a night occasionally at the theatre and a little primitive golf.”
The following Saturday, the same newspaper reports on Hibs’ victory in a column sandwiched between recent cricket scores and an article about the Leith Caxtonian Bowling Club.
Under the descriptive headline Football The Scottish Cup Final, a reporter highlights the key incidents of an apparently poor match.
The article, which describes Hibs as the away side and refers to points instead of goals, describes a game watched by 15,000 fans on a very windy day.
Hibs started the match brightly, but their player John Divers failed to capitalise as he “lost many chances through his inclination to lie offside”.
Celtic then came into the game, but the encounter was a dull affair and the match was all square at half time.
The Glasgow side had the first big chance of the second half, when George Livingstone “shook the uprights with a grand shot” but William McCafferty failed to score the easy rebound.
Bobby Atherton then scored for Hibs, but it was chopped off for offside, and the game was being ruined by the wind much to the ire of The Leith Observer reporter.
“The Celts kicked out freely and endeavoured to keep the ball low. A few high kicks by (Barney) Battles were the means of the ball being blown back to his goal, where (Robert) McFarlane had difficulty in saving,” he commented.
Hibs then got a crucial goal on 75 minutes. After a second successive corner by Paddy Callaghan, Andy McGeechan struck the ball between Celtic defenders Hugh Watson and Willie Loney into the back of the net.
Celtic tried to make a comeback, but it was not to be. Hibs were crowned Scottish Cup winners for 1902.
Wild celebrations? Perhaps. But The Leith Observer reporter was a little more sedate in his summary of the final moments: “The visitors were having less of the play now, and as time drew nigh, the efforts put forth by the home side were worthy of a better fate. The whistle sounded shortly afterwards, leaving the Hibs winners of a dull and spiritless game.”
Meanwhile, a report in the Glasgow Herald newspaper writes of the “meagre attendance” at the game, concluding the Ibrox disaster and fears of the “stability of the terracing” had kept fans away.
It also notes how a weakened Celtic side, without the presence of striker John Campbell, may have contributed to Hibs’ victory. “The Celts were without Campbell, and this let in McCafferty again, a lad with plenty of dash but still lacking in balance for a game of such importance.”
The report added: “Campbell’s absence, however, could scarcely account for the disjointed and listless play of the Celts, who seldom had the appearance of a winning team.
“The Hibs, on the other hand, played from the outset with a vigour and dash which commanded success, and were well worthy of a much greater victory.”
After the game, the Hibs players attended a special function at the Alexandra Hotel in Glasgow where the cup was presented by the SFA to Philip Farmer, the President of Hibs and a relative of the current owner Sir Tom Farmer.
The players later returned to Edinburgh to continue the celebrations. The Leith Observer reported: “A hearty send off was given to the players and officials at Queen Street Station, and the train was left at Haymarket station where a band played ‘see the conquering hero’.
“The Hibernian party then mounted a four-in-hand which was waiting outside the station and proceeded by the band. They set off, amid loud cheers, for Princes Street, the captain of the team holding the trophy aloft.
“All along the route their reception was most enthusiastic and there was no lack of evidence that the Hibs’ success in following the example of the Hearts last year was most popular with all sections of the community.”
Since the 1902 triumph, Hibs have finished runner-up in the Scottish Cup on nine occasions.
Regardless of which team wins on May 26, websites like this and other media outlets will no doubt produce vast swathes of content to mark the occasion.
For Hibs fans, they will be hoping and praying that they will finally have some contemporary match reports to frame and hang on their walls rather than the reflections of reporters who have long since passed.
In other news:
A few days later a consequence of aforementioned Ibrox disaster, Rangers organised a tournament to raise funds:
1902-04-30: Celtic 5-1 Sunderland, British League Cup
aka: the Glasgow Exhibition Trophy, the British League Cup, the Ibrox Disaster Trophy or the (first) Coronation Cup
Trophy competition organised by Rangers to provide funds for the victims’ relatives of the Ibrox Tragedy of 1902.
Sunderland’s Ned Doig (1866-1919) was a Scottish goalkeeper who played for various teams north and south of the border, most notably Sunderland. He was also a Scottish internationalist.
A surprisingly poor attendance of 4,000 turned up to see the English League champions Sunderland, including Scotland goalkeeper Ned Doig, in the semi-final of this tournament which can be called the Glasgow Exhibition Trophy, the British League Cup, the Ibrox Disaster Trophy or the (first) Coronation Cup.
It had been won by Rangers in 1901, but they put it up to raise funds for the Ibrox Disaster fund, and invited Sunderland, Everton and Celtic to take part.
This was however a great performance by Celtic whose fans were far from pleased with them following their feckless display in the Scottish Cup final the previous Saturday
Edmonds, Watson and Battles; Loney, Marshall and Orr; Livingstone, McDermott, Campbell, McMahon and Quinn
Goals: Ferguson og,7, McDermott 20, 42, McMahon 27, Campbell 70
Doig, Annan and Watson; Ferguson, McAllister and Jackson; W Hogg, R Hogg, Miller, Gemmell and McLatchie
Goal: Ferguson pen 86
Referee: Mr T Robertson, Queen’s Park
5th April 1902: A heartbreaking image from The Ibrox Disaster during a Scotland v England game, caused 25 deaths (RIP) and 517 injuries.
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1904 The Australian Labor Party under Prime Minister Chris Watson becomes the first Labor government in the world
1916 The British renew their assault on the Irish Volunteer position in Mount Street; shelling also sets the buildings on fire
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1998 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Madonna, Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Roberta Flack….
Sorry folks no Sting here.. but any old excuse to play some Emmylou, Mary Black & Dolores Keane…
Note: The excellent Celtic Wiki site is the font of all knowledge on things Celtic. Most of the Celtic stuff above is from that site. The guys who set it up and painstakingly keep it updated, deserve no end of credit, praise and thanks. A treasure trove for Celtic fans young and old – and new- and free to view.
Respect Bhoys !
Guest article by SeS
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