Sign in or
The Coronation Cup 1953(by TheHumanTorpedo)
In the seven seasons since the post war resumption of league football Celtic’s best league placing had been a rather pathetic fifth in 1949-50. The Scottish Cup triumph of 1951 had provided a little cheer in a post-war era where mediocrity was the norm at Parkhead.
There was however nothing mediocre about the Celtic support. The faithful may have been frustrated at the club’s recent demise but their devotion to the cause meant that the Bhoys remained crowd pullers and a box office attraction. Indeed it was gate receipts rather than football prowess which, controversially, ensured the Hoops were invited to compete in a special tournament in the late spring of 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The competition would feature the top clubs from England and Scotland and be held along similar lines to the Empire Exhibition Trophy of 1938. Given Celtic’s history and the political leanings of the Bhoys’ founders it was of course a great irony that the Parkhead club emerged triumphant on that occasion.
It would be equally ironic if this club of Irish and Catholic origin were to emerge victorious from a competition celebrating the crowning of the British monarch and defender of the Protestant faith. But for most commentators such a prospect was remote in the extreme.
Celtic, who had just finished eighth in the league, would be joined in the tournament by champions Rangers, runners-up Hibernian and Aberdeen. England were represented by their champions Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United. The Bhoys faced the might of Arsenal in their opening tie and roared on by a 60,000 crowd they eliminated England’s top side by claiming a deserved 1-0 victory after Bobby Collins had scored direct from a corner.
The score line failed to reflect the dominance of the Hoops who took their surprisingly excellent form into the semi-final with Manchester United.
United, like the Gunners before them, had no answer to the rejuvenated Celts and goals from Bertie Peacock and new signing Neil Mochan secured a 2-1 win, again at Hampden, and booked the Bhoys a shock berth in the final.
For that final on May 20th the slopes of Hampden would be shrouded in emerald green as Celtic faced the impressive Hibernian in a game which would attract 117,060 fans. Thousands were locked outside as two Scottish clubs with a shared Irish-Catholic heritage went head-to-head on this most regal of British occasions.
Hibernian, a wonderful attacking team, had reached the final with victories against Tottenham and Newcastle. They would provide the sternest of tests and just two months previously had comfortably defeated Celtic 3-1 at Parkhead. It was the Celts though who started the final brightest. They dominated early exchanges and took a deserved lead thanks to a wonderful 30-yard drive by Mochan.
That superlative strike was scant reward for Celtic’s overall prominence in the opening 45 minutes and when Hibs, with their much lauded forward line, began the second period on the charge it looked like the Glasgow team would regret not making the most of their earlier dominance.
As the Edinburgh team pressed forward it appeared a matter of when rather than if they would score. But time after time their efforts were thwarted by the inspired John Bonnar. A frustratingly inconsistent performer, the Celtic keeper picked the perfect moment to produce the finest 45 minutes of his career.
Brilliant save followed miracle stop as the Celts defied the famed Hi-bee’s forward line time after time. The Bhoys would hold out for a memorable and remarkable victory which ensured another famous trophy would find a permanent home at Parkhead.
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Nov 28 2012, 4:28 AM EST
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by joebloggscity
2 words added
- complete history)
Keyword tags: None
More Info: links to this page