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PersonalFullname: William McGonagle
aka: Peter McGonagle, Willie McGonagle
Born: 30 April 1904
Died: 20 Dec 1956
Birthplace: Hamilton, South Lanarkshire
Signed: 28 Oct 1926
Left: 25 Apr 1936 (free); 27 July 1936 (Hamilton Accies)
Position: Defender, Full-back (left-back)
Debut: Celtic 3-0 Falkirk, League, 27 Aug 1927
International: Scotland; Scottish League
International Caps: 6; 5
International Goals: 0;
|"Peter was one of the truly great Celtic players."|
The strong tackling McGonagle joined Celtic from Duntocher Hibernian in October 1926 and he made his competitive debut on August 27th 1927 in a 3-0 home league win against Falkirk.
Originally a left-half Hamilton-born Peter converted to left-back and he went on to establish himself as one of the very best full backs in the game.
Energetic and with great stamina McGonagle was an all action player who never gave the opposition a moments peace. He was a great striker of the ball and possessed great positional sense which allowed him to anticipate attempted raids on the Celtic goal.
Off the pitch he was renowned for his generosity, humour and loyalty to his friends and club. On the pitch he was renowned for his courage, competitiveness, a fiery temper and a tendency to zealously over-protect his less physically strong team-mates.
In one notable incident during the Ne’erday clash with Rangers at Ibrox in 1935 McGonagle was infuriated by a late challenge on Joe Kennaway from Rangers’ big forward Jimmy Smith, which had laid out the Celtic keeper.
Smith – a player who relied on brute strength rather than skill - had a reputation for his overtly-physical approach to the game and on this occasion McGonagle thought he had gone too far. With Kennaway receiving treatment and Smith sat in the penalty area, the enraged McGonagle picked up the match ball and marched over to where the Rangers forward was sat.
Standing directly over Smith, he slowly raised his arms and with considerable force bounced the ball off Smith’s head. McGonagle was sent off for his actions and for some Celtic directors it was an indiscretion too far for Peter and from that moment his days at Parkhead looked numbered. However, the Celtic support loved it!
The following two quotes likely sum him up, in that they summarise both his hard but decent character:
WG Gallacher of the Daily Record said of him: "I never saw anyone with more courage!"
Peter Wilson said of him: "He was a real clubman... off the park, he'd give you his last shilling!"
He was eventually freed by Celtic in the summer of 1936, after 325 appearances and 8 goals.
Peter McGonagle died at the age of 52 in 1956. To reflect his love for the club, Peter McGonagle was buried in his Celtic shirt (this was confirmed by his son).
Jimmy McGrory wrote warmly of him stating:
"The death of Peter McGonagle means that I have lost a personal friend. Peter was one of the truly great Celtic players."
[...over 300 games, we owe him a greater biography, needs filling out a lot....]
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with Celtic[...]
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Apr 29 2013, 3:56 AM EDT
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18 words added
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- complete history)
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