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PersonalFullname: John McMaster
aka: Johnny McMaster
Born: 4 January 1893
Died: 27 December 1954
Birthplace: Port Glasgow
Signed: 3 May 1913 (from Clydebank Jrs)
Left: Aug 1916 (RAF); Apr 1918 (Royal Engineers); 1 May 1923 (free); 7 July 1923 (Queen of the South)
Position: Defence, Centre-half
Debut: Celtic 3-2 Rangers, Charity Cup, 10 May 1913
BiogThe great Johnny McMaster was signed by Celtic in 1913 from Clydebank Juniors.
He made an impressive debut in a tremendous 3-2 victory over Rangers in the Charity Cup final at Parkhead on May 10th 1913. Port Glasgow born Johnny was a no-nonsense centre-half. His no-frill performances may have made few headlines but while not the most spectacular of player Johnny was certainly among the most dependable.
His Celtic career was interrupted by World War One despite originally being passed up due to a partial deafness. The army took him onto the Motor Transport Section of the Service Corps. To keep spirits up, when a member of the Royal Army Service Corp he was loaned to Fulham and Birmingham among others. Johnny however loved to play for Celtic and took every possible opportunity to return to Parkhead.
When based in Edinburgh during the winter of 1917/18 Johnny was granted four days leave over the New Year period and he was desperate to turn out for the Bhoys in the Ne’erday game against Rangers. However the army had marked on his leave pass that Johnny was not allowed to travel by train during his short time off (effectively barring him from turning out for Celtic). His pass was endorsed as "not available for travel by train" (a sinister move in Celtic eyes).
Determined not to miss out at this chance to pull on the Hoops Johnny took matters into his own hands and walked from Edinburgh to Glasgow along with four mates! A love of this magnitude for his club and city has little if ever been matched by any other.
He would be injured serving in France later that year but made a full recovery and was able to resume his football career.
Such determination underlines exactly the type of Celt Johnny was. He won the Scottish Cup with the Bhoys in 1914 and the league in 1915, 1916 and 1922. He made a total of 218 appearances – and scored six goals – before being released in 1923.
After Celtic, he returned to his trade as an electrician, and worked for the Daily Express newspaper in this role.
Johnny McMaster was a great Celt, and one we should all fully admire.
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Honours with CelticScottish Cup
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