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PersonalFullname: Joseph Carruth
aka: Joe Carruth
Born: 12 Mar 1914
Died: 26 Nov 1988
Signed: 14 Aug 1936
Left: 6 Sep 1941 (St Mirren, trial)
Position: Centre Forward
Debut: Falkirk 0-3 Celtic, League, 5 Dec 1936
BiogJoseph Carruth was a fine centre-forward who was handed the near impossible task of replacing the legendary Jimmy McGrory. He was said to be the nearest deputy to Quinn & McGrory that Celtic had discovered with the head for leadership.
Signed in August 1936 from Petershill Joe made his first team debut in a 3-0 league victory at Falkirk where he helped himself to a goal. On Apr 9th 1938, he weaved his way through the Motherwell defence to walk the ball into the net for "Parkhead's goal of the season".
As a measure of his ability, on the Ne'er day derby in 1939, before 118,567 people "he got the ball in his own penalty area beat the first man by lifting it over his head, the second he pushed the ball one way and ran the other; he dummied three players with one move, tricked another two, walked round Dawson and shot. Even Bill Struth [arch-bigot Hun chairman] congratulated him".
Combining strength with no little ingenuity Carruth was a danger to any defence on his day but a serious knee injury and long shifts in at a railway engineering company (Hydepark Loco Works) meant that Joe found it difficult to keep sharp. It all was likely to have paid a heavy toll on him combining the two jobs (Celtic training & rail work) in war time and he played few games for Celtic during the war years to the club's detriment.
Possibly his talent was fading with injuries, however he managed to fight through all the setbacks. For example, he had an operation for cartilage in 1940 yet on the return match scored four goals defeating Morton 5-2.
However, he began to drift from the scene and eventually – after various loan spells - he was freed by the club in January 1945.
Joe had played 56 times for Celtic and netted a fabulous 35 goals. A great scoring record, yet amazingly, he never held down a first team place amazingly despite his great return of goals, even when he was at his peak. Club and board management at this time were increasingly poor, and Carruth likely suffered badly from it and in turn so did Celtic.
Celtic were to experience a period of steep decline during the war years, and the decline of Carruth is another reason for our fall from grace. Possibly, if it weren't for the war then we could have achieved more with a better conditioned Carruth who could have been given more opportunities as he was entering his peak years (in age) for football just as the war began. Nevertheless, we still all should remember this wonderful man for his great record and wonder just how even greater it may all have been.
One notable fact is that his name may ring a bell for some. His family owned the 'Carruth Grotto' on the High Street Glasgow. It was a religious articles store that for decades supplied the Priest's vestments and may still do.
He remained a good Celtic follower, and had the good fortune to have been one of five Celts to have been a guest of the club present at both the 1938 and 1988 Jubilee dinners. Sadly however, he passed away later that Centenary year. A good Celt.
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Honours with Celtic[Indicate any known awards (player of the year, etc)]
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, Oct 31 2012, 8:23 AM EDT
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