Some weeks ago, Andy Walker and Tom Black gave responses to Rob Boag’s Jock Weir story.
To refresh, Rob had occasion to visit Jock Weir’s pub in Glasgow and was thanked by the pub proprietor for ‘keeping Celtic up that season’.
This was a reference to Celtic beating Dundee at Dens Park at the end of the 1947-48 season when defeat could have relegated them.
In the articles, there was reference to Celtic being awarded a rather soft goal.
“When Jock Weir poured me a pint in his pub and thanked me, as a Dundonian, for helping Celtic stay up that year, this was not a comment made in jest,” suggested Rob.
“Although Celtic did finish with four and five points above the bottom teams, neither Andy or Tom mentioned that the sides below Celtic had games in hand going into the last fixture of the season.
“From Celtic’s point of view, this was a game they had to win.
“Tom described Jock Weir’s third goal as soft.
“The Celtic support saw it as a gift from a divine agency.
“Below is an account of the game from the celticwiki website and is how Celtic supporters saw that 1948 Dens Park game.”
The pivotal game was against Dundee away from home in April 1948, and to say that morale was likely to be low is a bit of an understatement.
The club had just suffered three heavy defeats to Hibs (4-2) and Third Lanark twice (5-1, 3-1) conceding 12 goals, leaving us with the mathematical possibility of being relegated.
Then, late on, Jock Weir popped up with an equaliser and, with only minutes to go, Weir miraculously grabbed a winner to seal a hat-trick for himself.
It was to be a relieving victory for the club to safeguard our situation.
The Celtic fans celebrated as if we had just won the league.
It shouldn’t hide the fact that Celtic were poor but humiliation was averted.
Incredibly, Jock Weir hadn’t really impressed as a goalscorer before this match, so what a time for him to repay back his transfer fee.
Notably, for this game he was moved positions to outside-right from his usual forward position.
Outside-right had been his favoured position at Blackburn Rovers but Celtic had persisted in playing him as a centre-forward due to a complete lack of goals from most else throughout the season.
In truth, there was still a safety catch before we would have been relegated (we had an advantage in the final run-in above others) but it was still all too close for comfort.
Airdrie and Queen’s Park (the latter a former giant of the game) had to face the ignominy of relegation from Division A.
Celtic finished with a paltry 25 points from 30 games, while Hibernian won the league with 48 points.
* It’s been well documented over the years in columns such as this that Dundee United beat Celtic home and away in league games in the season the Parkhead side won the European Cup.
Newport’s Ross Foreman, however, has resurrected that query but adds he thinks United were the only team to beat Celtic in all competitions that season (1966-67).
As Celtic also won the Scottish treble, they were obviously undefeated in the two national cup competitions, League Cup and Scottish Cup. This included winning all six of their section games in the League Cup against Hearts, Clyde and St Mirren.
However, they were also beaten by Vojvodina in the first leg of their Euro quarter-final.
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