Hot Balls semis, Farry, Cadete, robbing Celtic fans and players


98 years. That’s was the last time Celtic beat old Rangers in a Scottish Cup semi-final. Our 1925 5-0 win was after a replay in front of Scotland’s first six-figure crowd – 101,700.

Scottish football then entered its notorious hot balls era. The SFA was not always ethically sound, as we’ll touch on in a moment. In 67 years Celtic and Rangers were only drawn together in the Scottish Cup semi-final once, 1960, when we lost after a replay. The legend is that two of the four balls in the bag for the draw were hot, one with Celtic’s number and one with Rangers’. One hot ball would be drawn against a cold ball.

The SFA had a confidence about them in the 1990s. Celtic were poor, if you were inclined to favour Rangers, there was little to be gained from hot balls. Perhaps as a consequence, the teams met in the semis three times that decade. We lost each; who needs hot balls when you can enjoy beating Celtic?

Before you suggest a lack of balance in the above assertion, that was the era we had the Jim Farry/Jorge Cadete fiasco, which eventually saw Farry sacked in disgrace, after he delayed Cadete’s registration until the player was no longer eligible to play in the 1996 Scottish Cup semi – against Rangers.

We have met Newco three times at this stage, losing on penalties in 2016 (we will always have Hibs), beating them 4-0 in 2018 and losing in extra time last season (never rely on Hearts). Apart from that 1925 win, our only earlier Scottish Cup semi win over Rangers was in 1892, the season the trophy came home with us for the first time.

We live in an era when a great number of historic wrongs are being put right. Win the Cup, and we move clear at the top of the Treble Winners’ table, while we inch ever closer to forcing an opponent to paint over a ‘most successful club’ mural. Imagine the indignity.

Win this one for Jorge, Fergus, Paul McStay, Tom Boyd and Big Pierre. An era of Celtic players and fans were robbed on a level which is difficult to imagine now. Let’s get it done.

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  1. TBB



    Wishing the week away one day at a time. Always giddy a this time of year as my garden starts coming back to life and I get to spend my waking hours outside.

  2. PAUL67 on 28TH APRIL 2023 12:26 PM


    Lovejoysalegend, EV BHoy, I’m an arse. Corrected.




    a bit harsh on yourself!! Probably celebrating hard after those games😎

  3. Hoping for some good news regarding Jota and Reo, If we can start them for first hour then bring on Iwata and Haksa we will be at our strongest.



    Jota terrifies them.

  4. Paul 67,



    Much of the historic wrongs you mention were outwith our control at the time.


    I prefer to concentrate on what we can do now.



    We can continue with the journey that will ensure that on Sunday evening we can proudly state :



    And still the only unbeaten team since domestic VAR was introduced.



    We can also control who enters our home. We can ensure that more of our supporters get to witness the Ange journey in person.



    We can also control pricing and facilities for our fans.



    While we are discussing ” historic ” I am a wee bit uncomfortable about an ” All Catholic ” team quoted in the last article. Why would we even document or discuss that. ?


    Was that ever a topic for Celtic and her support ?



    I grew up knowing that no matter how good I was I could never play for Rangers. No hun scout would ever vist my school. This was factual at the time and a stain on Scottish football.



    We were always better than that and would never stoop down to ” their ” level.




  5. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Nice one Paul.



    I just want to get this game done.



    8 days between matches is brilliant for players and coaches but, frankly, torturous for fans.




    PS – noticed and read the following CQN article with interest.






    With my moniker firmly in mind I’d consider rebranding this to something like







  6. The Battered Bunnet on

    It would be futile expecting anything of wee Hatate on Sunday. Putting him on the pitch at all after so many weeks out is like playing with a man down.



    With only a 3 week break though, if Jota’s fit he’ll be on the pitch at some point – we’re down to two 1st team wide players otherwise and neither have shown much in games against Sevco. One injury or head knock and we’d be forced to change shape without Jota.



    Keeper and defence picks itself. I’d go with Iwata and O’Reilly with CalMac in midfield, and Mooy can come on for the celebrations later in the match.

  7. THE BATTERED BUNNET – I hear you but I think there is some mind games going on with Reo. I have it from a coach who was a guest there the week before last that Reo was participating in training with the other players so it’s not like he has just come off the treatment table.

  8. The Battered Bunnet on

    Deniabhoy, he’s a cracking player but a semi final isn’t the place for finding out if you’re match sharp, and we have good players in there in any event.

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    TBB- tend to agree, start with guys who are match fit,I suppose the extra subs are a help to us.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on




    Been a wee while.



    You seen SOAL and Winningemmel?

  11. TBB – maybe so, but it didn’t stop Ange from playing Mooy a couple of weeks ago when not match sharp. If he is physically fit I think he will play , if not, I hope Iwata should get the nod ahead of Mooy .



    The midfield of Mooy, Calmac and MoR did not have the best game two weeks ago, so I hope that is not the starting three.




  12. 67 European Cup Winners on

    PAUL67 on 28TH APRIL 2023 12:26 PM


    One mistake does not make an arse


    Don’t be so hard on yourself



    BTW age does that !!! I know




  13. SAINT STIVS on 28TH APRIL 2023 1:14 PM


    GINGERNUT on 28TH APRIL 2023 11:52 AM







    That is a good addition and insight. And very interesting.







    This is hopefully taken in the spirit I intend, there is no captain hindsight, just a little bit of an alternative view







    Old Mooney, effectively my foreman for 10 years or so, had been on the books at Celtic Park in the early 60s.





    He absolutely loved talking all things Celtic and I loved listening about the same.







    As a Greenock catholic man, he told me this “walk over broken glass” to get to Celtic park was just a soundbite, an impossibility for kids who had apprenticeships, often married young, and money earned would still go the household, and you got just enough cash back to get to work the following week.







    Getting to Celtic Park for evening training, and often a midweek game somewhere, was not paid for upfront, you spent your money and claimed it back, the kit a lucky dip from the boot-room, so better to have your own training gear, well what you could afford.







    Even the hassle of getting home from somewhere across Glasgow he would often get on the “wrong train” as it was the only option to just to get back to somewhere in Greenock, and then a walk to his house.







    He ended up playing at Morton, and then the Juniors, honestly telling me an overtime shift in Joys then IBM paid more than a game of football, and anyways I wasnt that good. Something I dont believe as anyone who ever talked football to me would tell me he was a brilliant young player.







    So back to Jim, he had a fearsome temper, never to me, but to anyone who decided to go against our department or our team, an argument would often finish with his retort to someone , that is me got to go to confession in the morning because of you, and i will need to pray for you at mass an awe.





    He would also advise me, your too smart for this shit, let me do the arguing and you keep your heid in the books.







    He told me these things that maybe go against popular opinions. Reinforce attitudes about Robert Kellys “ownership”







    After Jock left the reserves staff, there was a tightening of the net with scouting and spending. The default being easy to harvest the catholic high schools, all close to glasgow, and that there were plenty of ex players with access to the schools football systems, and a call to celtic park would get a kid a step up.







    But get this, the scouting was unpaid, grace and favour tickets for the big games and occasions. Some expenses but not on the books per se.







    Jim was really critical of this waiting game, and that proper experienced players, a player like a Peackock or a Stein, would have steered a young team to better things. quicker, because the talent was there. But needed help on the park, and maybe whisper, someone not bedded in to the needs of the parishers as such, someone outside the circles.







    He also felt the discipling of Bertie and the transfer of him held the team back. Less so with Paddy as brilliant as he was, Bobby was coming up next.







    When Jock did come back and we know after all that to-ing and fro-ing, you can be assistant to sean, you can be joint manager, ok you can be manager, ok you can have full control, Jim felt the often told story







    “you have a choice of players, a catholic and a protestant, who are you going to sign ?”







    “well obviously the protestant, becasue the catholic is coming anyway”







    was as much a dig about the set up of a catchment from the catholic schools almost exclusively, a few notable excepetions Tam and Bertie, and not to the other schools and even the juniors.







    They have tied their own hands, the lesson from all our history is we must be open to all, and even to our first advantage, we stopped scoring the open goal presented from their sectarian hiring policy, did we just get lazy or parsiminuos.





    When Jock came back all of a sudden we are watching the other teams, and heading up closes to rangers supporting homes, to get their boys to sign s forms. Kenny and Danny anyone, what is they had went to the other mob.







    Next, who can be churlish about the way it all turned out, 2 years and two months after his appointment, we are champions of europe.







    Jim used to laugh about the “all born within 30 miles of celtic park” and counter with “all born on a glasgow bus route that stopped on the london road, and bobbys dad had a car, and i didnt have the train fare”







    a wee meander.







    But those all catholic teams of the early 60s, losing semis and cup finals, but developing to become euro cup winners cup semifinalists, ……….. well what might have been

  14. kevinlasvegas on

    Great article Paul.



    Looks like Ange playing games if Reo and Jota on tbe Gin are both fit.




  15. KEVINLASVEGAS on 28TH APRIL 2023 1:22 PM


    Great article Paul.


    Looks like Ange playing games if Reo and Jota on tbe Gin are both fit.




    On the gin? Was that when he was in The Brazen Head this week😎

  16. Greenpinata



    An all Catholic team –



    Was that ever a topic for Celtic and her support ?


  was mooted.away way back



    I would take time and read Brendan Sweeneys


    Trilogy Celtic The Early Years,and parts 1&2 of The fight for Celtics soul.covers Celtics founding to 1897


    Ian McCallums Glasgow Irish 5 books from origins to 1916.


    Both detail factually our clubs undiluted origins in Catholicism and Ireland.A fantastic merit to Scotlands champions.





  17. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 28TH APRIL 2023 1:03 PM





    Been a wee while.



    You seen SOAL and Winningemmel?




    No, its been a while

  18. Seems there was a bob Kelly update


    According to GINGERNUT


    I never knew.every days a ….

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