Jimmy Quinn (footballer, born 1878)

James Quinn (8 July 1878 – 21 November 1945) was a Scottish footballer who played for Celtic for 15 years, becoming one of the club's leading goalscorers of all time. He also represented Scotland.

Jimmy Quinn
Celtic vs Heart of Midlothian 1912 (cropped).jpg
Quinn in action for Celtic, 1912
Personal information
Full name James Quinn
Date of birth (1878-07-08)8 July 1878
Place of birth Croy, Scotland[1]
Date of death 21 November 1945(1945-11-21) (aged 67)[1]
Place of death Croy, Scotland[1]
Playing position(s) Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Smithston Albion
1900–1915 Celtic 272 (188)
National team
1904–1912 Scottish League XI 8 (8)
1905–1912 Scotland 11 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



A native of the village of Croy, North Lanarkshire and signed for Celtic aged 22 by Willie Maley from junior club Smithston Albion in 1900,[1] Quinn took several seasons to make his mark, playing at outside-left then inside-left before being moved to centre. Like so many players of the time and since, he was a coal miner.[1]

A man who was strong and powerful in stature but shy and unassuming in character,[1] the foundations of Quinn's enduring fame were laid with a hat-trick in the 1902 British League Cup final against Old Firm rivals Rangers,[2][3] and cemented in the 1904 Scottish Cup Final against the same opposition. At half-time Rangers led by two goals to nil. In the second half, however, Celtic came back to win 3–2, Quinn scoring all the goals.[4][5] This was the second hat-trick in a Scottish Cup Final; it was 68 years before the feat was repeated by Dixie Deans in Celtic's 6–1 defeat of Hibs in 1972.[4] That cup final hat-trick was the first a Celtic player scored against Rangers in a major competition, and Quinn also scored the second, in a 3–0 league victory on New Year's Day 1912. He was the only player from either side to have twice scored a hat-trick in an Old Firm match until Ally McCoist emulated him in the 1980s.[a]

1908 Celtic team photo with the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup, Scottish Cup and Glasgow Cup trophies; Quinn is bottom row, second from right

Quinn won six successive championship and five Scottish Cup medals with Celtic[1][8] as the focal point of a forward line which became well known across the country: Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton. He scored 218 goals in 331 appearances in the two major competitions – 188 in the League (273 appearances including a playoff in 1905) and 30 in the Scottish Cup from 58 appearances, eight of them in finals (1904,[9] 1908, 1909,[10] and 1911),[11] plus dozens more in various minor tournaments.[8][b]

His strike rate of 0.65 – almost two goals every three games – is surpassed among Celtic goalscorers only by Jimmy McGrory, Henrik Larsson and Sandy McMahon. As a scorer of league goals, his total of 187 is behind McGrory alone. Quinn was the first Celtic player to score 200 goals for the club, and only four others have done so—McGrory, Bobby Lennox (273), Larsson (242), and Stevie Chalmers (228). Ninety years after his retirement, he remains the club's fifth highest goalscorer.

He received a benefit match in 1926, in which Celtic played against a Scottish League team, ending in a 3–3 draw.[13]

His grandson of the same name also played for Celtic.[14]


Quinn scored seven goals in 11 appearances for Scotland including four out of five goals against Ireland in 1908, and eight in as many games for the Scottish League XI.[15]



  1. ^ McCoist scored all three goals in Rangers' Glasgow Cup final victory in May 1986[6] to add to the treble he'd netted against Celtic in the League Cup final two years earlier.[4][7]
  2. ^ Source includes tallies for the Glasgow Cup (21 in 38) but not the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup, Inter City Football League, British League Cup or Benefit Tournament.[12]
  3. ^ Did not play sufficient games in 1913–14 (1) or 1914–15 (6) to be credited with honour
  4. ^ No cup awarded due to rioting by fans after the replayed final[10][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Hail the Mighty Quinn". Celtic F.C. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. ^ Coronation Cup Tie Final, Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 June 1902, via The Celtic Wiki
  3. ^ The British League Cup 1902, Before The 'D'...Association Football around the world, 1863-1937, 11 November 2015
  4. ^ a b c d "The elite players who scored cup final hat-tricks". The Scotsman. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b "The Old Firm story: When fans joined forces to riot". The Scotsman. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Rangers 3-2 Celtic, Glasgow Cup Final - Pictures (newspaper reports)". The Celtic Wiki (hosting site for scans). Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Now you know: Ally McCoist was Rangers' hat-trick hero when beating Celtic 3-2 in 1984 League Cup Final". Evening Times. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Celtic player James Quinn profile". Fitbastats. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Football: Scottish Cup Final – Rangers v, Celtic". The Scotsman. 18 April 1904. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via The Celtic Wiki (scan).
  10. ^ a b "Six classic matches: the birth of the Old Firm and the day Hampden burned". The Herald. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Scottish Cup – Replayed Final". Glasgow Herald. 17 April 1911. Retrieved 12 October 2018 – via The Celtic Wiki (scan).
  12. ^ Celtic: Pride and Passion, Jim Craig, Pat Woods (Random House, 2013), ISBN 9781780577630
  13. ^ Celtic, 3; Scottish League Select; 3, Glasgow Herald 19 August 1926 (via Partick Thistle History Archive)
  14. ^ Dykes, Paul John (24 March 2014). "The Quality Street Gang: The Greatest Team That Never Was". In Bed with Maradonna. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". Londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  16. ^ Murphy, Alex (19 May 2005). "Another championship nailbiter thanks to mighty Quinn". The Times (hosted at The Celtic Wiki). Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  17. ^ Hannan, Martin (27 November 2010). "1905: The last time Scotland drafted in a foreign referee". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  • Factfile - Celtic ed Chris Mason, pub Parragon 1998
  • David Potter, The Mighty Quinn: Jimmy Quinn, Celtic's First Goal Scoring Hero (Tempus, 2005)

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