Sign in or
|H | Player Pics | A-Z of Players|
PersonalFullname: George Irwin Hunter
aka: George Hunter, Sonny Hunter
Born: 28 Aug 1930
Died: 10 May 1990
Signed: 27 Dec 1949
Left: 30 Apr 1954 (free); 10 June 1954 (Derby County)
Debut: Celtic 4-2 East Fife, Scottish Cup, 31 Jan 1951
BiogGoalkeeper George Hunter was signed by the Bhoys in December 1949 from Neilston Juniors.
After a year in the reserves the Troon born keeper made his first team Celtic debut in a 4-2 Scottish Cup victory over East Fife on January 31st 1951. He would win the Scottish Cup with the Hoops later that season and in August was part of the side that claimed the St Mungo Cup. In the Scottish Cup final he made a miracle save midway through the second half from a Wilson Humphries half-volley.
Notably, he played a strong part with a stand out role in the Scottish Cup match at Hearts on 24th Feb 1951. Prior to the match in the week, rumours were that Celtic were to sign Roy Henderson (Queen of the South) as the new goalkeeper, but Hunter was the goalkeeper and did a splendid job. So Celtic owe him in part for the eventual trophy win.
He went down with tuberculosis, and Celtic sent him to Switzerland for treatment. George returned to the fold in 1952 (ligher but an inch taller) but he would never regain the form and composure which saw him first break into the team. He was said to drop balls time after time. On Ne'erday against Rangers in 1993, he erred badly to let Billy Simpson score what he described as "the daftest goal I've ever let through".
He actually then asked to be dropped after a defeat by Clyde soon after in 1953. However, this then let John Bonnar take on from him and be the main man in time for the celebrated Coronation Cup. When George replaced John for a couple of games he let in 5 & 4 goals respectively to Aberdeen & Rangers respectively, and Andy Bell took over after that. However, George was still given an opportunity when Andy was injured. The fans were said to keep willing him to get back to his best (but that was now long ago). The writing was on the wall.
Having lost his regular place, by April 1954 he had been released by the club. George played 38 times for Celtic. He later went on to join Derby County and various others.
As said for others during this period, Celtic were in the doldrums. He played a major in helping put smiles back on our faces with the Scottish Cup win and for that we respect him. However, Celtic's problem were far deeper with coaching and board management in a poor state. Who knows how better it might have been for George if things were better at Celtic and the tuberculosis hadn't occurred. Regardless, for his prime role in the Scottish Cup win of 1951 we will always respect him.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticScottish Cup
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Mar 24 2012, 7:38 AM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by joebloggscity
- complete history)
Keyword tags: George Hunter
More Info: links to this page