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  • Jimmy McGrory’s record goalscoring day for the Hoops

    Jimmy McGrory’s record goalscoring day for the Hoops

    By: Joe Sullivan on 14 Jan, 2019 09:31

  • THE history books record that a crowd of just 4,000 gathered at Celtic Park on this day (January 14) in 1928 to watch Celtic take on Dunfermline. Those hardy souls who had braved the elements in the hope of seeing a victory for the Hoops would not be disappointed.

    In the event, they saw more than just another Celtic win. They witnessed one of the most impressive and incredible goalscoring feats ever produced in top-class football, and something which has never been repeated by any Celtic player since.

    On that cold January day, Celtic defeated Dunfermline Athletic 9-0 and Jimmy McGrory scored EIGHT of those goals.

    Indeed, he remains the only player in Scottish football to have achieved this, and it’s a record that is unlikely ever to be equalled or surpassed.

    McGrory had been on a rich vein of form ahead of the Dunfermline match – he scored two hat-tricks in the two games prior to the fixture – and he would finish the season with 47 league goals to his name, but no-one could have predicted the phenomenal tally he chalked up that day.

    He was a powerful presence in the air and was reputed to have scored around half of his eventual 468 goals tally for Celtic with his head, but on that January day in 1928, it’s reported that none of his eight goals against Dunfermline were headers.

    And it may well have been a popular quiz question of the time to ask who scored Celtic’s other goal in that 9-0 victory. The answer is Alec Thomson, a fine goalscorer in his own right, who managed to net 98 goals in 451 appearances for the Hoops between 1922-34.

    This match summed up McGrory’s extraordinary ability, with the striker scoring a hat-trick in the opening nine minutes of the match. His performance set a British record for the number of goals in a single top-flight match and the only Celt who has come close to beating it was Dixie Deans in November 1973, when he hit SIX against Partick Thistle.

    The 69-year-old McGrory was waiting for Dixie in the tunnel as he walked off the park that day, embracing the striker with the words: ‘Son, I really thought you were going to take my record there!’

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