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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.
Matchday 1 - Monday 11th MayCeltic 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) |
Hibernian (2-1 aet) Tottenham Hotspur (Ibrox)
Matchday 2 - Wednesday 13th MayRangers 1-2 Manchester United (Hampden)
Aberdeen 2-4 Newcastle United (Ibrox)
Semifinal - Saturday 16th MayCeltic 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)|
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.