US and Canadian Tour 1931This is a featured page

"...one of the greatest adventures of the Celtic Club"US Tour - Pic

Celtic's first tour outside of Europe proved to be a great success as the Bhoys finally fulfilled a long held ambition of playing before their exiled supporters in north America.

In 1910 manager Willie Maley and Celtic director Tom Colgan had travelled to New York to discuss the possibility of a Celtic tour but it was deemed at that time that interest in football in the US was so little that any trip would have been financial suicide on the part of the club. However by 1931 such a tour was finacially viable and so it was, with the recently won Scottish Cup for company, the Bhoys set sail for America.

An estimated crowd of 15,000 gathered on the banks of the Clyde to watch the Celtic party depart from Yorkhill Quay on the good ship Caledonia. The crowd lined the course of the river from all the way down to Greenock hoping to cath a glimpse of their idols and the Scottish Cup. The Celtic playing squad on board the ship consisted of the following 17 players:

John Thomson, Willie Cook, Willie 'Peter' McGonagle, Jock Morrison, Peter Wilson, Jimmy McStay, Chic Geatons, Robert Whitelaw, D Currie, Willie Hughes, Bertie Thomson, Alec Thomson, Jimmy McGrory Peter Scarf, Charlie Napier, Joe McGhee and Hugh Smith.

Fog and heavy seas meant it was not to be plain sailing for the Celts but they arrived in New York on May 22nd safely and to a very warm welcome from hundreds of exiled Scots and Irish desperate to meet their heroes. For some of the north American-based supporters the whole occasion would prove too much, with the sight of Scottish Cup in particular provoking an emotional response .

In 'The Story of Celtic' Willie Maley said: "Not once but on many occasions, I saw tears run down the cheeks of those who actually fought their way through the crowds to get a closer view of it." Indeed the Celtic supporters were a sight to behold, their green and white flags and Celtic songs even raising a curious eyebrow among the normally nonchalent New Yorker.

The hospitality offered by the hosts to the Celtic party was warm and generous, so much so that it perhaps wasn't too conducive to the Bhoys being in peak shape for their games. As it was, the hectic nine-week schedule meant that the Hoops had to cram sight-seeing and partying between a busy fixture programme. And in the days before air-conditioning the hot weather meant that the Celtic party - who spent much time on the road - would find few comforts travelling or in their accommodation.

On the pitch Celtic started well when just a day after landing on American soil they defeated the Pennsylvania All Stars 6-1. Victory over the New York Giants followed but as the intense heat, hard dry pitches and heavy schedule took its toll the Bhoys slipped to a 4-3 defeat to New York Yankees (in a game played when the temperture reached 90 degrees in the shade!) and the next day a 1-0 loss at Fall River - who had future Celt Joe Kennaway in goals.

A bad tempered 3-1 loss at Pawtucket Rangers followed with the Celtic party aghast at their opponents rough-house tactics which the match official was only too happy to ignore. Celtic regrouped and enjoyed a couple of comfortable victories although Jimmy McGrory fractured his jaw in the win over Brooklyn. Celtic again encountered some rough stuff when in a 1-1 draw with Hakoah Charlie Napier and Peter Scarff were sent off in a match when the hosts were seemingly allowed to kick lumps out of their visitors. .

A run of five straight victories - including revenge in a 4-1 trouncing of the Yankees - brought the tour to a close. On the pitch the Celts could be more than happy with their efforts in conditions which were totally alien to them. But it was off the field that the real success lay as the exiled support - and indeed a new generation of Celtic followers - were given memories of a lifetime. Willie Maley described the tour as "...one of the greatest adventures of the Celtic Club".

Celtic Team Line-Up 1930-31 - Pic

Back Row, L-R; Geatons, Wilson, J. Thomson, Whitelaw, Hughes, McGonagle.
Middle Row, L-R; R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, J. McStay, (Capt.) Scarff, Napier, W. Quinn, (Trainer)
Front Row, L-R; Morrison, Cook, Smith, McGhee, Currie.

Matches


DATE
OPPOSITION
SCORE
(CELTIC FIRST)
May 23 Pennsylvania
All Stars
6-1
May 24 New York Giants 3-2
May 30 New York Yankees 3-4
May 31 Fall River 0-1
June 6 Pawtucket Rangers 1-3
June 7 Brooklyn 5-0
June 13 Carsteel 7-0
June 14 Hakaoh 1-1
June 21 Bricklayers 6-3
June 25 Michigan All Stars 5-0
June 27 Ulster United 3-1
June 28 New York Yankees 4-1
June 29 Baltimore 4-1

May 23 1931 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Celtic 6 (McGrory 2, A. Thomson, R. Thomson, Napier, o.g.)
Eastern Pennsylvania 1 (Ryan, pen)
HT: 1-0
Att: 12,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Whitlaw, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Geatons – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff, Napier.
E.P: Cooper – Al Harker, Smith – Laird, Purvis, Larkin – Francis Ryan, Deal, William Lingelbach, Nicols, Davis.

May 24, 1931 at the Polo Grounds, New York, N.Y
Celtic 3 (McGrory 2, Napier)
New York Giants 2 (Gallagher, O’Brien)
HT: 2-1
Att: 30,000
Ref: Charles Creighton
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Geatons – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff, Napier.
Giants: Jock Brown – Teddy Glover, James Martyn – Paddy Flanagan, Hugh Lafferty, Johnny Slaven – Jimmy Gallagher, Herbert Carlson, Davey Brown, Shamus O’Brien, Bart McGhee.

The Glasgow Celtic Football Club, soccer cup holders of Scotland, defeated the New York Giants in a game at the Polo Grounds, yesterday, 3 to 2. It was a hard-fought game from beginning to end, with the Celtic scoring the winning goal only to minutes before the game ended. The Giants led at half-time, 2 to 1.

May 30, 1931 at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Celtic 3 (A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff)
New York Yankees 4 (Patenaude, Gonsalves 3)
HT: 0-3
Att: 8,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Geatons – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff, Napier.
Yankees: Johnny Reder – Charlie McGill, George Moorhouse – Bill McPherson, Dave Priestley, Billy Horner – Alex McNab, Billy Gonsalves, Bert Patenaude, Ballantyne, Tec White.

May 31, 1931 at Mark’s Stadium, Northrth Tiverton, Rhode Island
Celtic 0
Fall River F.C. 1 (Watson)
HT: 0-0
Att: 7,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Geatons – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff, Napier.
Fall River: Joe Kennaway – Tommy McMillan, Johnny Rebello – Billy Watson, Jimmy Montgomerie, Johnny Caldwell – Scott, Willie Ballantyne, Bill Paterson, Mike McLeavy, Tom Florie.

June 6, 1931 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Celtic 1 (Napier)
Pawtucket Rangers 3 (McIntyre, McAuley 2)
HT: 1-2
Att:
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Geatons – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Scarff, Napier.
Pawtucket: Joe Begos – Ned Tate, Donald Ferrie – Robert Fleming, Hugh Coyle, Billy Pitt – Arthur Scott, Sam Kennedy, Bob McIntyre, Andy Auld, Jimmy McAuley.

June 7, 1931 at Ebbets Field, In Brooklyn, New York
Celtic 5 (Scarff, R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory 2)
Brooklyn Wanderers 0
HT: 1-0
Att: 10,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Whitelaw, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Scarff – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Napier, Hughes.
Brooklyn: Johnny Pentland – Deszo Grosz, Alex Wood – Willie Ballantyne, Jimmy McGuire, Pepi Schneider – James Brown, Leslie Lyell, Willy Crilley, Jimmy Wardrop, Josef Eisenhoffer.

June 13, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec
Celtic 7 (Scarff 5, Napier, Hughes)
Montreal Carsteel 0
HT:
Att: 6,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Whitelaw – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, Scarff, Napier, Hughes.
Carsteel: Dick Shorrock – McLain, Bob Calder – Bob Campbell, Bill Finlayson, Bill McKean – Erno Schwarz, Sam Chedgzoy, Marks, Jack, Dave McEachran.

June 14, 1931 at the Polo Grounds, New York, N.Y
Celtic 1 (Napier)
New York Hakaoh 1 (Nikolsberger)
HT: 0-1
Att: 20,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Whitelaw – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, Scarff, Napier, Hughes.
Hakaoh: Fischer – Ludwig Grosz, Laszlo Sternberg – Philip Slone, Bela Guttmann, Pavel Mahrer – Josef Gruenfeld, Moritz Haeusler, Rudolph Nickolsberger, Siggy Wortmann, George Moorhouse.

Note: Guttmann and Nikolsberger (Hakaoh) and Napier and Scarff (Celtic) were sent off.

June 21, 1931 at Cubs Park, Chicago, Illinois
Celtic 6 (R. Thomson, Wilson 2, Napier, Hughes, McGhee)
Chicago Bricklayers 3 (Imrie, Cuthbert)
HT: 3-0
Att: 11,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Scarfe – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, Hughes, Napier, McGhee.
Chicago: Neate – Bob Gregg, Hugh Davidson – Bob Thompson, Tom Scott, Billy Ogilvie – Greenless, Baba Vicek, Imrie, Clem Cuthbert, Willie McLean.

June 25, 1931
Celtic 5
Michigan All Stars 0

June 27, 1931 in Toronto, Ontario
Celtic 3 (McGrory 2, A. Thomson)
Toronto Ulster/Scottish 1 (Hagen)
HT:
Att: 10,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Scarfe – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Napier, McGhee.
Toronto: Bobby Kirk – Dave Eadie, Dick Pryor – Joe Clulow, Billy Somers, Davie Weir – Andy Spence, Johnny Cairns, George Graham, Jimmy Hagen, Andy Stevens.

June 28, 1931 at Yankee Stadium in New York
Celtic 4 (R. Thomson, A. Thomson, Napier, ?)
New York Yankees 1 (Patenaude)
HT: 1-0
Att: 10,000
Ref:
Celtic: J. Thomson – Cook, McGonigle – Wilson, McStay, Scarff – R. Thomson, A. Thomson, McGrory, Napier, Hughes.
Yankees: Johnny Reder – Charlie McGill, George Moorhouse – Bill McPherson, Dave Priestley, Bobby Ballantyne – Alex McNab, Moritz Haeusler, Bert Patenaude, Billy Gonsalves, Tec White.

June 30, 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland
Celtic 4
Baltimore Canton 1


Pictures

S.S. Caledonia passenger list


Presented to Celtic by The United States FA to mark the 1931 summer tour by the Scottish Cup Winners.

US Tour - Pic

US and Canadian Tour 1931 - The Celtic Wiki



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