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Tournaments | Celtic Games | Honours | Club Records

The Coronation Cup - 1953

Coronation Cup

The Coronation Cup was a one-off football tournament to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 between four English and four Scottish clubs held in Glasgow in May 1953. The eight teams that took part were Aberdeen, Celtic, Hibernian and Rangers from Scotland and Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur represented England This tournament, like the Empire Exhibition Trophy was held in very high regard at the time as it gave teams the opportunity to test themselves against teams from other countries in the days before European football.

The team had just finished eighth in the league, been eliminated at the group stage from the League Cup, and was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.

Despite this poor record, Celtic beat the English champions Arsenal (attendence approx. 60,000) in the first game. Celtic beat Arsenal 1-0 on the 11th of May 1953, Bobby Collins scoring the only goal of the match direct from a corner kick in the 23rd minute. Arsenal were the newly-crowned Champions of England but were swept aside as the Arsenal goalkeeper played the game of his life to keep the score to 1-0. The scoreline does little justice to Celtic's superiority on the day, when only a first-class display by the Arsenal goalkeeper, George Swindin, kept the Londoners in the game.

Against Manchester United (attendance 73,000) Celtic failed to produce the form they had shown against Arsenal, but dug in and were two goals to the goodthrough Bertie Peacock and Mochan, before Arthur Rowley, with Charlie Tully making both goals
United pulled one back to make the final score 2-1.

In the final at Hampden Park they met the outstanding Hibs side who had been champions in each of the two previous seasons. Had goal difference rather than goal average been used to separate them from Rangers, with whom they had tied on points that season, they would have won the League in 1953.

Mochan, who had joined the club from Middlesbrough, scored a magnificent goal from long range after 28 minutes. For almost the entire second half, Hibs laid siege to the Celtic goal, with the Easter Road Famous Five in full flow.

Only keeper Johnny Bonnar stood between Hibs and victory. He broke the hearts of the Hibs players with a series of magnificent saves, especially from Bobby Johnstone and Eddie Turnbull. One report described his goalkeeping as "bordering on the miraculous", and thousands of Celtic fans congregated at the front entrance to chant his name.With just three minutes remaining, Jimmy Walsh scored the second, Celtic coming out the winners 2-0 before 117,060 spectators.

Coronation Cup - Kerrydale Street
The winning Celtic team pose with the Coronation Cup: (back row, l-r) Trainer Alex Dowdells, Mike Haughney, Alex Rollo, John Bonnar, John McPhail, Bobby Evans, Charlie Tully, manager Jimmy McGrory; (front row, l-r) Bobby Collins, James Welsh, Jock Stein, Neil Mochan, Bertie Peacock, Willie Fernie


Coronation Cup - Kerrydale Street

Matchday 1 - Monday 11th May

Celtic 1-0 Arsenal (Hampden) [picsMatch Pics]

Bonnar, Haughney, Rollo, Evans, Stein, McPhail, Collins, Walsh, Mochan, Peacock, Tully
Celtic scorer : Collins (23)
Swindin, Wade, Chenhall, Forbes, Dodgin, Mercer, Roper, Goring, Holton, Lishman, Marden

Celtic scorer : Collins (23)

Att 59,500

Hibernian (2-1 aet) Tottenham Hotspur (Ibrox)

Matchday 2 - Wednesday 13th May

Rangers 1-2 Manchester United (Hampden)
Aberdeen 2-4 Newcastle United (Ibrox)

Semifinal - Saturday 16th May

Celtic 2-1 Manchester United (Hampden) [pics]
Celtic: Bonnar, Haughney, Rollo, Evans, Stein, McPhail, Collins, Walsh, Mochan, Peacock, Tully

Manchester United: Crompton, McNulty, Aston, Carey, Chilton, Gibson, Violett, Downie, Rowley, Pearson, Bryne

Celtic scorers : Peacock (24), Mochan (53)
Manchester United scorer : Rowley (77)

Att 73,000

Newcastle United 0-4 Hibernian (Ibrox)


Wednesday 20th May
Celtic 2-0 Hibernian (Hampden) [pics]
Scorers - Mochan (28), Walsh (87)

Bonnar, Haughney, Mochan, Evans, Stein, McPhail (J.), Collins, Walsh, Mochan, Peacock, Fernie.

Younger, Govan, Paterson, Buchanan, Howie, Combe, Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull, Ormond.

Att: 117,060

"Said Lizzie to Philip as they sat down to dine
I've just had a note from a good friend of mine
His name is big Geordie, he's loyal and true
And his big dirty nose is a bright shade of blue
He says that the Rangers are right on their game
And he asks for a trophy to add to their fame
We'll send them a trophy that the Rangers can win
Said Philip to Lizzie, `Watch the Celts don't step in'
Said Lizzie to Philip they don't stand a chance
I'll send up my Gunners to lead them a dance
With the Celtic defeated, the way will be clear
And a trophy for the Rangers in my crowning year
Alas, and alas, for the wearers of blue
The Celts beat the Arsenal and the Manchester too
Beat Hibs in the final, and to and behold
All of Hampden was covered in green, white and gold
Said Lizzie to Philip when she heard the news
So tell me dear Philip, for you ought to know
How to beat Glasgow Celtic and keep them below
Said Philip to Lizzie, there's only one way
And I've known the secret for many a day
To beat Glasgow Celtic, you'll have to deport
All the fighting mad Irish that give them support"

Coronation Cup - Kerrydale Street