Martin Donaldson with A Celtic State of Mind – The Croy Express & the 6-in-a-row Trailblazers

Over the years, Celtic have had their fair share of dominant sides in Scottish football. Jock Stein’s side of the ‘60s and ‘70s were consistently involved at the business end of European footballing campaigns, while on their way to securing nine league titles in-a-row. Our current stretch of eight consecutive titles and recent treble-treble victory has cemented our place as the predominant domestic club side of the 21st century.

If you rewind just over 100 years, you will find the original super team of Scottish football. From season 1904/05 through to 1909/1910, Celtic secured six league titles in-a-row and became the first team to secure back-to-back League and Scottish Cup doubles. This record-breaking Celtic side had a prolific strike force throughout their history-making period of success – Alec Bennett, Peter Somers, Davie Hamilton, Jimmy McMenemy and Jimmy Quinn led a dynamic front-five that appeared to score at will.

The legendary status of this forward line found its roots in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park in 1904 when Jimmy Quinn scored a hat-trick to win the cup for Celtic against their city rivals Rangers. With Celtic trailing 2-0, The ‘Croy Express’ scored three unanswered goals to secure the trophy and launch Celtic into a sustained period of domination.

The first of six consecutive league titles was won in the most dramatic fashion the following season, when a play-off match between Celtic and Rangers was required to decide the league champions of Scotland. Celtic won the match 2-1 at Hampden Park with goals coming from McMenemy and Hamilton.

The league and cup double was secured in 1907 as Celtic beat Hearts 3-0 in the Scottish Cup final, two of the goals coming from Peter Somers. The first back-to-back double followed in 1908 after a thumping 5-1 victory over St Mirren in the cup final, with Bennett, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton all helping themselves to goals in the match. These players could be relied upon for the big games by continuing to score goals in the matches that mattered.

Over the course of their careers at Celtic, these five forwards played a combined total of almost 1500 competitive matches, scoring 559 goals. Their achievements and teamwork helped to deliver six league titles in-a-row – a record that stood for over 60 years, until another great partnership arrived to lead Celtic on to domestic and European success.

Martin Donaldson

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