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The Glasgow player who won at Celtic Park

The Glasgow player who won at Celtic Park

By Hugh Barrow
21st May
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Two Scottish rugby caps have already won at Parkhead


Although Rugby League has been played at Celtic Park in 1908 I don’t think Union has ever graced the stadium
However Glasgow soccer stadia have been happy hunting grounds for Scottish international teams with a Calcutta Cup win at Second Hampden in 1896 and a decade later a win over the first Springboks team at the Third Hampden the present site .
Ibrox also hosted the highly successful Commonwealth Games Sevens of 2014

When Warriors arrive at Celtic Park seeking glory in the Pro 14 Final they will have several Scottish Caps in their lineup
If they succeed in winning it will not however be the first time that Scottish Rugby Internationalists have triumphed at Parkhead .
Two spring to mind Robert Stronach who played for Glasgow in the Inter City during the early 1900s and of course Eric Liddell in the 1920s

Robert Stronach who played his rugby for Glasgow Accies , was a member of the Accies Championship winning team of 1905 and was capped straight from school in 1901 as a flanker He won the British 120yds Hurdles Championship on three occasions 1904-06 winning once at Stamford Bridge
He was a regular competitor at the Celtic FC Sports promoted by their famous manager Willie Maley in the early 1900s .Stronach even advertised the merits of OXO in the sports programme and lived up to its billing
Maley had been a Scottish Sprint champion running for Clydesdale Harriers along with his brother Tom who later took Manchester City to their first ever FA Cup win

The Herald reported
“.   Again RS Stronach had a popular win over in the hurdles over E Amsler of America.   This is the fourth time in succession that the Scot has beaten Amsler.   On Saturday however he had less to spare than in the other races, the American running him to a couple of yards.   Where Stronach  excels is the facility with which he clears the lights “

In the years leading up to the 1924 Olympics one of the two Chariots of Fire and Scottish rugby international Eric Liddell was a regular at the Celtic Sports
Liddell at that time would often train and compete at Ibrox sometimes training alongside the Rangers team with the encouragement of Bill Struth who had also been a very fine athlete as he built towards Olympic glory. His last race before the triumphant Paris Olympics was at the Hearts Sports at Tynecastle and when he returned victorious his first race back in Scotland was on Greenock Morton’s track at Cappielow in a Scotland v Canada contest

In 1922 The Herald reported
.   “The result of the first race, a victory for EH Liddell, pleased the crowd and the procedings were greatly enjoyed throughout.   The opening event was the 120 yards scratch race that was substituted for the handicap originally contemplated.   Liddell was to have received a yard from HFV Edward, but as it turned out he did not need it, winning by rather more than that margin.   It was a well-run race, Edward and Liddell being level until this last quarter of the distance when the Edinburgh man drew steadily away.   Again in the 220 yards handicap, Liddell gave a fine display.   He had two yards on Edward who showed some improvement on his previous running, but not enough to catch Liddell who won comfortably.”

The overlap between athletics and rugby runs deep all the way back to 1883 when two Glasgow rugby clubs Glasgow Accies and West of Scotland were founder members of the Scottish Amateur Athletics Association and this remains in place today with Warriors sharing Scotstoun Stadium with Victoria Park Glasgow Athletics Club

From all at Glasgow Hawks good luck to Warriors for the last push The bell has rung and the final lap beckons

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