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Celtic's Original Bad Bhoy?
PersonalFullname: Thomas Bruce McInally
aka: Tommy McInally
Born: 18 April 1900 ?
Died: 29 Dec 1955
Birthplace: Partick, Scotland
Signed: 1919-22 &1925-28; 22 May 1919; 12 May 1925 (Scout from 16 Jan 1948)
Debut: Celtic 3-1 Clydebank, League, 16 Aug 1919
International Caps: 2 caps
International Goals: 0
BiogTommy McInally was born in Partick and went to school at St. Mungo's in Glasgow a school that was to produce many Celtic players.He was raised by the mother of another ex Celt Arthur McIinally - Tommy was a unique talent who became a massive favourite with the Celtic fans of the early 1920s.
A wonderfully gifted entertainer and crowd pleaser McInally scored 39 goals in his debut season (1919-20) after signing for the Bhoys in May 1919 from junior outfit St Anthony's. On his debut he hit a hat-trick as the Hoops defeated Clydebank 3-1 at Parkhead on August 18th.
McInally's showmanship and light-hearted antics delighted the Parkhead crowds if not his Celtic boss Willie Maley who always had difficulties containing the centre-forward's exuberant nature.
Technically McInally had everything a forward could wish for - an eye for goal, superb ball control, vision, great speed and flair in abundance. But at times his attitude on the field could annoy and frutsrate his manager who thought his player should concentrate more on just scoring goals rather than trying to entertain the support.
The happy-go lucky McInally however did not care too much for the instructions of Maley and he seemed incapable of curtailing his showmanship as time after time he would showboat for his adoring fans. When his cheeky tricks paid off - as they often did - McInally would have the crowd roaring their approval. But when they didn't the only roar would be that heard from the raging Maley.
Teamates who loved Tommy off the pitch were alas also often exasperated by him on it and it was not uncommon for McInally to be involved in a row with other Celts on the field. Patsy Gallacher in particular was never shy of letting his feelings known if Tommy's tricks came to nothing.
Critics argued that McInally was more bothered about playing the clown than being a footballer and on occasions his poor fitness and conditioning meant that games passed him by without him making a contribution of note. So despite his many qualities Maley allowed McInally to be sold to Third Lanark in 1922 and he would spend three season at Cathkin Park before returning to Parkhead as an inside forward and a supposedly more mature player.
Indeed such was the supposed change in attitude that arch-disciplinarian Bill Struth of Rangers was thought to be very keen on taking McInally to Ibrox - where he had previously had trials.
However once back at Celtic Park, McInally again played to the gallery and his cocky brilliance was mostly a joy to behold, although the manager was once more disapproving at his antics and inconsistency. Strangely, despite the bad boy reputation, he was avowedly against any form of swearing, humouring and admonishing anyone who did do so: "You'lll go to the big bad fire son!"
After the bitterly disappointing defeat to Rangers in the Scottish Cup final of 1928 McInally was told his time at Celtic was up for good and he was transferred to Sunderland for £2,500. Again the transfer of their favourite disappointed the Celtic fans but this time there was no be no return.
In total, McInally played 213 times for Celtic in senior competitive matches, scoring 127 goals in his two spells, a great record. He won just two league titles and a Scottish Cup - but despite all his wizardry and entertainment, critics will argue that with the right application he could have given and won so much more. It all depends on who you read, some will laud him whilst many others will criticise him as wasteful as a player, but all will admit he was a great entertainer the likes of which the man on the terracing loves.
Tommy died in 1955 aged 55 years - he is buried in St. Conval's Cemetery,Barrhead.
Quotes & AnecdotesOpposition Centre-Half: "I'll eat you!!!!"
Tommy McInally: "Well at least that will get some football into you!"
Willie Maley: " I saw you coming out a pub at half past nine last night!"
Tommy McInally: " aye, I had to boss, they were shutting at that time"
Willie Maley: "Tommy, you pick the ball up from midfield and run with it"
Tommy McInally: " But boss, I`ll get sent of for handba if a dae that"
"You'll go to the big bad fire son!"
Tommy McInally abhorred bad language and on hearing any on the park or in the changing rooms would turn to the culprit, wag his finger and quip with the above line!
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
| 1919-22 & |
Honours with CelticScottish League
Two international caps:
- Feb 1926: Scotland 4-0 N Ireland
- Oct 1926: Scotland 3-0 Wales
CELTIC BAD BHOY - THE ORIGINAL SINNERThroughout Celtic's glorious 117-year history, our Club has been both blessed and burdened with so-called ‘bad Bhoys' – players of sensational and mercurial talent who gave their all for the Celtic Cause, but simultaneously could both infuriate and captivate the Faithful. David W Potter reminisces about, arguably, Celtic's original ‘bad Bhoy' – Celtic Legend, Tommy McInally, David writes:
TOMMY McINALLY - A BHAD BHOY?The story of Tommy McInally is a tragedy. In Tommy there burned the passionate love for the Celtic that is the prerequisite of greatness, but there were also the characteristics of self-destruction that seemed in those days to plague so many of the Glasgow Irish. He was loveable, charming, cheeky, kind and humorous, but he could also be irresponsible, disrespectful, selfish and sometimes just sheer stupid. Yet of all those who saw “Snally” or “TommyMac” on the field, one would find it very hard to discover anyone who did not think that he was one of the greatest exponents of the game of all time.
His very life is a mystery. An exhaustive search of Register House will find no Thomas McInally born at the appropriate time i.e. around the year 1900. There are several possibilities for this. He may have been born in Ireland (although he did play twice for Scotland in 1926); his parents may quite simply have forgotten to register him (illegal but common enough); or more likely that Tommy was born under another name and he was subsequently adopted by Mrs. McInally the mother of Arthur who played for Celtic once in 1917.
His early life is thus a mystery, but there is every reason to believe that he lacked a father figure. The first such person that he met was Willie Maley, but by that time the damage had been done to Tommy's character. He had played for St.Mungo Academy, then Croy Celtic, then St. Anthony's the junior team not far from Ibrox. By this time we know that he was living in Barrhead. Rangers were keen to sign him (religion would not have been a problem in the 1910s), but perhaps it was Jimmy Quinn who saw him play for Croy Celtic and suggested him to Willie Maley.
Tommy McInally made his debut in the first game of the 1919-20 season when he immediately endeared himself to the Celtic crowd by scoring a hat-trick against Clydebank. Very soon he was called “The Boy Wonder” and other such complimentary names, and indeed he was a great player and a great goalscorer. He found such adulation hard to live with, and he could never resist showing off. Sometimes Maley loved him, other times he wondered whether the young man was going too far. But there was no point in shouting at him, for all Tommy did was turn on his sweet smile! The goals kept coming, but sometimes Tommy looked lethargic and wooden. Tommy was finding it hard to stay off the booze, and there were times when team-mates would wonder whether he had had one or two the night before a game, or even on that morning. Yet, when sober, there was no greater player on earth.
He was a great runner. Like Maley himself, no mean athlete, Tommy could take on the best at places like Powderhall in Edinburgh and beat them, notably W.B. Applegarth the famous sprinter. But being such a character in 1920s Scotland – in a society which so desperately needed great characters – was not easy for Tommy's fragile
temperament. He was not always very popular with his team-mates, for he was selfish and showed off and clowned when such activities were not in the best interests of the team. Neither 1920 nor 1921 saw Celtic win a major Scottish honour, although the Glasgow Cup and Charity Cup were won in both seasons – and Tommy was outstanding in these performances. But the fans needed more.
Tommy found it increasingly hard to deliver consistent performances and he was held to a large extent responsible for the team's failure to beat Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final of 1922. The League was then won without Tommy in the team. The inference was clear. Celtic were better without Tommy for all his talent, precocious and brilliant though it was. Tommy was off-loaded to Third Lanark at the end of the season, nominally because he had asked for too much in the way of wages, but in fact because his team mates were happier without him.
So for three years between 1922 and 1925, Tommy plied his reluctant trade at Third Lanark. Celtic in the meantime were hardly prospering. Although they won the Scottish Cup in 1923 and 1925, they were consistently losing out in the League to that very fine team that Willie Struth had built up at Ibrox. Tommy was hardly at his best for Third Lanark either, notoriously getting himself sent off for wrestling with the referee when they played Celtic in January 1925, and it was no secret in Glasgow that Tommy was “pining for home”. Maley realised that and back he came in summer 1925 for another three rumbustuous years at Celtic Park.
The first season of 1925-6 was excellent. The old wizardry was there, the young McGrory fed off him and the League was won. The Cup was lost by only the narrowest of margins. Tommy was virtually an ever-present and seemed to behave himself, and everything looked fine. 1927, although not quite so good in the Scottish League, saw McInally at his show-off best in the Scottish Cup Final against out-classed, Second Division East Fife. He clowned perpetually in front of the big crowd and the radio commentator (it was the first ever Scottish game to be broadcast on the wireless), and after the game was well won thanks in no small measure to his trickery, Tommy “delighted the now happy Celtic choristers with a few of the balloon variety” i.e. by deliberately kicking the ball into the crowd.
Being the character that he was, jokes spread about Tommy. The referee said: “I'll send you to the Pavilion, McInally!” “Could you no mak it the Empire, ref? There's a better show there!” A huge centre half said: “I'll eat you, McInally!” “Ah well, it'll get some fitba intae you, then!” Maley said: “McInally, you were seen coming out of a pub at 10 o'clock last night!” “Aye, boss, I had tae come oot, they were closin'”
But it was a series or events in 1928 which lead to the permanent departure of Tommy. He had put on a great deal of weight and was often the butt of unkind remarks, being called for example “Billy Bunter”, the “House End” or the “Glaxo Baby”, a reference to an advertisement with a fat baby who enjoyed Glaxo milk – a potent image in the poverty stricken 1920s. Yet he could still play, masterminding, for example, Celtic's 1-0 win over Rangers on January 2nd 1928.
Troubles began early in the New Year, however. He disappeared mysteriously from the Celtic hotel after a Scottish Cup tie at Keith, then took the huff when at Seamill Hydro before another game, some of his team mates phoned up and impersonated a journalist wishing to talk to him. He then walked out – and the team did well without him. Then Maley made the fatal mistake of looking for him, like the father looking for the Prodigal Son, and bringing him back – to the chagrin of his team mates. The team then lost three games in early April, one of them the Scottish Cup Final against Rangers and the season finished trophyless. Maley might have done better leaving Tommy to stew.
Tommy's time was now up, and in the close season he and left wing partner Adam McLean were off to Sunderland. He did not stay long there either and after an odyssey round Bournemouth, Morton and Derry he was back in Glasgow where he lived until his death in 1955, finding it difficult to control his alcohol problem, but occasionally contributing sensible pieces to football papers. He was also employed as a scout for Celtic for a short time. He would also be seen at night clubs, sometimes as a professional singer. He had long since made his peace with Willie Maley and was frequently seen at Maley's Bank Restaurant, acting almost as a tourist attraction. Maley would describe Tommy as the “stormy petrel”, “the prodigal son” or his “paragon of deceit”, but on a serious note when asked who his best player was, would sit and think, then say “Best player? Why that was Tom McInally!”
It is hard for us 80 years later to appreciate what Tommy did for Celtic fans. When they needed a lift he could give them one. He was a great Glasgow character, loved by Celtic fans and even the more sensible of the Rangers ones who loved a great entertainer. His relations with women were many, varied and usually disastrous, but he had a couple of great and famous male friends. One was Jimmy Maxton the ILP MP who lead a successful campaign against the Orange gangs of Billy Fullarton in Bridgeton throughout the 1920s and who was once expelled from the House of Commons for describing a Conservative M.P. as a “murderer” for denying children free milk, and the other was the great Ranger Bob McPhail. “Greetin Boab”, austere, Presbyterian, establishment figure that he was, loved Tommy in whom he saw, in spite of everything, a kindred spirit. Bob tells us that whatever Tommy's faults were, he never swore! The pair of them, religious and dutiful in their different ways would sit on train journeys and laugh at bigotry asking each other questions like “Tommy, is God a Catholic?” “I don't know, Bob. After all I don't get to hear his Confessions!”
Songs about Tommy were legendary.
The best is to the tune of “Roamin in the Gloamin”
he's the toast of ground and stand
Tommy McInally, he's the greatest in the land
Even though I get the sack, how I love my Tommy Mac
Oh, I love my Tommy McInally!
What a player! What a man! But if only there had been some common sense in this flawed genius, they would not now be talking about Pele and Maradona. They would be talking about Tommy McInally.
From Theants.co.uk (link)Tommy started his footballing career playing centre half for St Mungo's College in Glasgow and it was here he was spotted by an official of Croy Celtic, who invited him to play against Yoker Athletic in the Dumbarton challenge cup at Kilbowie.
His parents however were less than enamoured by the prospect of this. "Your a kid" one of his family said, "You'll get killed at that level of football", Tommy however had different plans and accepted the offer. He had to scrape together a couple of shillings to pay his fare and in due course arrived at Kilbowie, where he proceeded to ask for Mr Logan, the Official in charge of Croy Celtic at that time. "I'm McInally of St Mungo's, I hear you want me to play centre half" Logan looked at him and then he looked at McInally's wee school cap and gasped with astonishment, "We don't need a centre half and besides your too light".
Tommy replied with the airy confidence of an extreme youth "Oh that's all right, I'll play anywhere". In the end he was chosen to play inside right. With 20 minutes to go Croy were 1-0 down, Just then a chance came Tommy's way, but it was a difficult chance. A high ball from the wing across the goal-mouth, He jumped but as he did so he realised he could not reach it with his head, so he did what many youths would have done in his situation, he used his hand, and he recalled "That's the first of many times i've seen a referee 'kidded' by the actions of a football player". From that day on his place in the Croy Celtic team was secure.
This delighted Tommy as Croy Celtic were the team that Tommy's footballing hero Jimmy Quinn had 'Graduated' from. His only bad experience with Croy came in the replayed final of the Dumbarton Cup, an event Tommy feel should not have occurred as he had missed a great chance in the first match. He recalled "I had got right past the opposition save for the keeper, and instead of slipping the ball to the corner of the net I shot it straight at his body" In the replay Croy were beaten 4-0, a match that saw two men sent off from both teams. The two Croy player's who had received their marching orders then came back onto the field of play stripped to the waist and dying for a fight!!. Eventually they were calmed down but while the trouble lasted Tommy had the wind up.
Croy Celtic at the end of that season asked Tommy to re-sign and he would have liked to have but other arrangements were being made for Young McInally. His brother Arthur played an integral part that would see Tommy sign for the Ants.
"If you have any ambition at all you'll go and see the St Anthony's people" he told Tommy "You know what that means, if you are any good at all you'll have a chance of making a name for yourself at the Govan club". As like any young player he had the ambition to make a name for himself and Tommy decided that by joining The Ants this would make it easier for him to do so. He had a conversation about joining and the club dropped several hints about the possibilities should he join up with them. He was told how good the team for the forthcoming season would be and he was also asked how many players had gone from Saint Anthony's to Celtic and other big clubs.
When he signed and joined up at Moore Park the standard was indeed as good as he was informed, The team included some well known names of the time who moved on to bigger things, Shea and Paton, two rather small full backs, Pat McAvoy who joined Celtic, Cahill who went to East Fife, Dalgleish whom Hamilton Accies signed up, Burns who became another recruit for Celtic and Sailsbury who went on to sign for Partick Thistle. It was indeed a tip-top junior side and not a few of the players had offers made to them by senior clubs. In his first year at the club he was repeatedly "bothered" by senior agents, I say bothered but to the young McInally it was a bother that he was quite willing to undergo.
Although a youngster he wasn't so young as to be unable to appreciate the value of being "tapped" and of listening to the tales pitched and offers held out by the "big noises". One manager must have thought Tommy to be simple surely. He was an official Tommy came to know well later on, although he never played for his club. After the preliminary enquiries about Tommy joining his club he said to Tommy " I suppose you'll be thinking of turning senior some day McInally" "oh aye", replied Tommy with a laugh "Unless I'm found out before that". The manager replied " Your alright but you have a wee bit to go, You'd find good coaching at my club and they're a right good lot of boys what do you say to fixing" Tommy had never known of a manager who didn't assure him of good coaching, good team mates and happy times if he signed up but a professional footballer had to think of other ways and means - in other words - hard cash.
At the time he was studying to take up the teaching profession like his brother Arthur and one of his sisters so he enquired what the offer would be, The manager told him but it fell short of Tommy's valuation of his services, the manager then raised this offer but still it fell short of Tommy's own valuation. The manager was shocked by this and said " Look here, I know you and you know me, now I know your not in football altogether for the money, Your in it for the love of the game aren't you? Come on now Tommy what about signing" But this didn't pull the wool over Tommy's eyes who replied forcefully " What are you in the game for? The love of it", "Well a manager's different" came the reply from the official. Knowing that the manager was himself a former professional player Tommy then put an end to the negotiations and he remained at St Anthony's for the time being. Another early effort was made to part Tommy from the club, 'Kilty' Cameron who had been associated with Bury and some other clubs approached him to ply his trade in England, but Tommy was loath to cross the border, More out of curiosity about what would be on offer down south Tommy spoke to him.
His offer was a very good, the wages on offer on par with what most Scottish senior players of the time were receiving but eventually after consulting his mother and brother's he decided once again to stay at Saint Anthony's. Next came interest from Manchester City and Mr Magnall the manager approached him rather openly not in the usual hole and corner way that some officials went about the business of luring a junior player to turn senior. He had just played for The Ants against Petershill in the Glasgow challenge cup at Ibrox and went down the outside stairs of the pavillion at Ibrox, Most of the crowd had since dispersed but two gentlemen remained, obviously waiting for someone.
Tommy recognised one of the two men as Jimmy Craig who was beyond doubt the most active and successful agent in Scotland, he had a finger in the pie at almost every major transfer of the past decade. Tommy said "Hello something is doing today, I wonder who is pal is" to himself and he was soon to learn, Jimmy came up to him "Tommy" he said "I'd like you to meet a friend of mine from England", "Right-o" was Tommy's reply and he was introduced to Mr Ernest Magnall of Manchester City. Mr Magnall was a powerful force in the English game and had took many a star player to the Manchester club. Tommy was offered what he described as "The highest wages of I have ever been offered and a considerable term over and above"
It was a big temptation to Tommy and he felt like accepting the offer , but again he was influenced by his fierce love of home and rejected this offer. Tommy's time in the senior ranks soon followed though as he left the club to sign for Celtic and made his debut in spectacular fashion, scoring a hat-trick against Clydebank on the opening day of the 1919-20 season. This saw him labelled with titles like "the boy wonder" and other such complimentary monikers, however tragically he found the adulation too much to take the bottle to be too much of a temptation and there were times his fellow players would wonder whether he had one or two the night before a game as he appeared lethargic. The goals kept coming however and it is said that when he was sober at the time there was no greater player on earth. It became clear that there was friction within the camp caused by Tommy's troubles and at the end of the 1921-22 season he was offloaded to Third Lanark where he plied his trade for 3 years before Willey Maley brought him back to Celtic.
For a season or so it looked like the old wizardry was back as the young James McGrory fed off of Tommy as Celtic won the league, yet a series of events starting in the new year of 1927 spelled the end for Tommy at Celtic and indeed by the end of 1927-1928 season he and left wing compatriot Adam McLean were off to Sunderland, After a brief spell on Wearside he was soon offloaded to Bournemouth, Morton and Derry before returning to Glasgow. He briefly held a position as scout for Celtic and also was seen in Nightclubs performing as a professional singer. He had long since made his peace with Willie Maley and could often be found in Mr Maley's Bank restraunt where he was somewhat of a tourist attraction. Maley referred to him as "The Prodigal Son" but on a serious note when asked who his best player was he would sit and think then reply "Best Player? Well that would be Tom McInally".
Songs about Tommy were legendary and this little ditty would often be heard sung at matches
It has been said he was a great player and a definite character. If only there was some common sense in the flawed genius that was Tommy McInally the Ants could have helped produced a player that would have been on par with the likes of Pele and Maradona. Tommy Died in 1955 Aged 55, after finding it hard to control his alcoholism
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