Patsy Gallacher

Patsy Gallacher

Patsy Gallacher was born on the 16th March 1891 in the small town of Ramelton, Co. Donegal.  At 3 years old, his family moved to Glasgow, Scotland where he played for the school’s team at Redeemer Primary School.  Patsy held the position of captain for the team and tended to most of its organisation as all teachers at the school did not have much of an interest in the sport.  Having played for a few juvenile league teams, Patsy moved to Cyldebank Juniors where he began to attract the attention of scouts from senior clubs.  He received trial offers from Clyde F.C. and Celtic.

Producing an impressive performance at his trial for Celtic he soon signed for the club and was swiftly promoted to its first team.  Within six months he secured his first winner's medal scoring in the 2–0 victory over Clyde in the 1912 Scottish Cup final.  His Parkhead career would last 15 years in which time the Hoops won six league titles, four Scottish Cups, four Glasgow cups and eleven Glasgow charity cups.  In total, Patsy Gallacher played 464 times for Celtic and scored 192 goals.  He also won international caps for both Eire and Northern Ireland.  He became the highest paid international player at the time, and over 50,000 turned up at Windsor Park (N Ireland) to see him in his debut. 

The Donegal-born forward is commonly regarded as one of the most gifted footballers to ever wear the famous green and white Hoops and some would argue that he was the most talented Bhoy of them all.  Patsy died on the 17th June 1953 aged 62.  He is buried in Arkleston Cemetery on the outskirts of Paisley.  Many footballers at the time of his death commented on the impact that Patsy had on the game.  

Former Celtic player and Manager, Jimmy McGrory stated:Many people have asked me how Patsy would have stood up to the rigours of the modern game.  He would have strolled through it.  There is no present day player in this country that I would put anywhere near his class.  Even Jimmy Johnstone, with all his talents, never reached the Gallacher heights.  Gallacher was always advancing; there was no doubling back and playing across the field.  Everything he did was positive’.  

Former Rangers and Scotland player Alan Morton claimed: ‘Within 20 yards of goal Patsy Gallacher was the most dangerous forward I have ever seen.  You never knew what he would do.  Often he would wriggle through, past man after man, with defenders reluctant to tackle in case they gave away a penalty kick… There never was a player like him, and I often wonder if we shall see his like again…’.

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