THE EMPIRE EXHIBITION TROPHY
The Celtic eleven that won the 1938 Empire Exhibition Trophy was, as they say, a team “ahead of its time.”
Coinciding fortuitously with Celtic’s Golden Jubilee, the competition had been organised as part of that year’s great national Exhibition, centred on Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park. It featured four each of Scotland and England’s top clubs; and Celtic disposed of Sunderland and Hearts to face the then-mighty Everton, legendary Tommy Lawton and all, who had seen off Aberdeen and Rangers, in the final on 10th June.
Everton boasted no fewer than ten internationalists, drawn from all four home countries, still at that time the epicentre of world football; but the tournament’s hero was Celtic’s diminutive, wavy-haired centre-forward, Johnny Crum, who banged in three goals, one in each round, including the crucial extra-time winner in the final, the only counter of an epic 120 minutes at Ibrox.
The great Jimmy Delaney always maintained that the Celtic side that conquered Everton that day, renowned for its unprecedented fluid, inter-changing forward line, was the best in which he ever played. The historic “1-2-3-5” line-up was:
Kennaway; Hogg and Morrison; Geatons, Lyon and Paterson; Delaney, MacDonald, Crum, Divers and Murphy.