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  • Hail the Mighty Quinn

    Hail the Mighty Quinn

    By: Joe Sullivan on 12 Jan, 2014 12:01

  • TODAY, Sunday, January 12, 2014, is the anniversary of the great Jimmy Quinn (above, front row, second from right) signing professional terms with the club.

    Due to the obvious lack of video footage from the first two decades of the previous century, the accusation that, ‘You ain’t seen nothin’ like The Mighty Quinn’ can truly be levelled at all Celtic supporters.

    Still, the written word has ensured that names such as Sandy McMahon, Patsy Gallacher, Jimmy McGrory and others have joined the mighty Jimmy Quinn in that pantheon of Celtic greats that was built before the beautiful game was regularly captured in moving images.

    And, it would seem, it is our loss as we simply can’t push the replay button to relive the glory of Jimmy Quinn’s life as a Celt – a life that sadly ended when he passed away at the age of 67 on November 20, 1945.

    He saw his last light of day in the very place where he first drew breath – the Celtic stronghold of Croy.

    His association and love of his hometown never faltered – he began his working life as a miner there and he ended his working life down the same pits – but that close-knit connection with the Croy community almost stopped him joining the institution that was part of the fabric that helped bind that very society together, Celtic Football Club.

    He had to be cajoled into joining the club from the local Smithston Albion when he didn’t want to travel into far away Glasgow by train but sign he did, and on the last day of 1900 he joined his one and only professional club.

    That signature was as a provisional but, just a week after fully signing as a professional, he made his debut on January 19, 1901when Celtic travelled to St Mirren and the youngster scored in a 4-3 victory.

    That was the first of 216 goals in 331 games for Celtic up until he retired from the playing side of the game in 1915.

    Jimmy Quinn became the guiding star and the role model for a whole generation of Celtic fans. Throughout the years from the early 1900s until the outbreak of the First World War, Jimmy Quinn´s was the most talked about name in Scotland.

    His prowess was legendary and Patsy Gallacher, who played with both Quinn and McGrory, said that Quinn was the better player. Coming from that source, that is no idle compliment.

    It was the 1904 Scottish Cup final that made him. This was the first Scottish Cup final to be played at the redeveloped Hampden Park in front of a massive 65,000 – and it was the first one in which Celtic wore their new style of jersey – the Hoops.

    Rangers were 2-0 ahead and looked well on top of a lacklustre Celtic team. But it was Quinn who led the fight-back and his feat of scoring a hat-trick in a Scottish Cup final wasn’t emulated by anyone until Dixie Deans repeated the feat for Celtic against Hibernian in 1972.

    He had started his career on the left wing but manager Willie Maley moved him into the middle and in one of his earlier games there, he scored a hat-trick against Rangers in the final of Glasgow Exhibition Trophy, and that obviously whetted his appetite for netting triples in derby finals against the club’s biggest rivals.

    When added to that Glasgow Exhibition Trophy, five Glasgow Cup wins and four Charity Cup gongs gave him no fewer that TEN winning medals in the era’s so-called more minor trophies but even that was surpassed in the one that really matter.

    He picked up ELEVEN top trophies, six championships (all in a row) and five Scottish Cups in an amazing career with the club.

    Jimmy Quinn scored his last Celtic goal on Boxing Day 1914 at Hamilton Accies in a 3-1 win and hampered by constant knee trouble, Quinn finally played his last match for Celtic, aged 36, on January 30, 1915.

    It was a 1-1 draw with Hearts at Celtic Park. There would be no attempted comeback at Celtic or any other club

    However, he did remain at the club to help Willie Maley and Jimmy McMenemy as one of the Backroom Bhoys as well as returning to the pits in Croy from whence he came.

    On, November 20, 1945, the Collier Boy from Croy died in his home village and was laid to rest in the nearby Kilsyth Cemetery – Celtic had lost another true hero.
     

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