Celtic vs Irish Free State XI: The Highest Paid Football Experts in the World

On 23.02.24 a warmly received Glasgow Celtic played a hastily arranged friendly against an Irish Free State XI in Dublin. Celtic won 3-0. There was a 20,000 crowd that spilled onto the pitch and perched on the roofs of stands.  
The match was a fundraiser to help send an Irish Free State team to that summer's Olympics. Takings were £1,200, which , after tax, expenses and  paying for the ground left £400 for the fund. 
Acknowledging the efforts of the outplayed home team, the Dublin Evening Telegraph stated 'They were opposed by what probably the best football on earth, the highest paid football experts in the world'. 

Irish Free State FA

W. O’Hagan (Fordsons)
C. Shaw
P. Kavanagh (Shelbourne)
A. McNair
J. McCarthy (Bohemians)
H Hilley
E. McKay (St. James’s Gate)
H. P. Wilson
V. Harris (Shelbourne)
J. McStay
M. Foley (Shelbourne)
J. McFarlane
J. Simpson (Shelbourne)
A. McAtee
A. Kirkland (Shamrock Rovers)
P. Gallacher
Dr. O’Flaherty (University College)
J. Cassidy
J. Dowdall (St. James’s Gate)
A. Thompson
J. Fagan (Shamrock Rovers)
A. McLean

Goals were scored by Thomson, McAtee and Cassidy (all Scotland internationalists).
The Celtic line up featured Irish international Patsy Gallacher, who would later represent the Free State.
There was talk of another Celtic visit to Ireland in May, when Croke Park was proposed as a (much larger) venue, but this never took place. 

Andy McAtee
Alec 'EverReady' Thomson 
'Trooper' Joe Cassidy


Bert Bliss

Tottenham Hotspur's Bert Bliss with an overhead kick in the 1921 FA Cup Final. Bliss was an inside forward who made 215 appearances for Tottenham (106 goals). He later played for Clapton Orient and Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic. His one appearance for England (vs Scotland) came 2 weeks before this FA Cup Final.
Tottenham's opponents in the final at Stamford bridge were Wolverhampton Wanderers. 20 year old winger Jimmy Dimmock scored the winner in the 55th minute.


Morning Advertiser 18.01.1869

The County Ground at Islington (also known as The Cattle Market Ground) was no longer in use for cricket in 1869. 
Some familiar names in the line ups.


Woodward vs Scotland

Vivian Woodward played 23 'full' internationals for England, scoring 28 goals.
This match, played on April 4th, 1903 was his third. Woodward put England ahead in the 10th minute, scoring from close range following a corner.
Scotland won thanks to second half goals from Finlay Speedie and Bobby Walker scored within the space of 2 minutes.


A goal by Pablo Dorado

As I've written before, if I had a time machine I think the first football match I would go and watch would be the 1930 World Cup Final.

In the 12th minute 22 year old outside right Pablo Dorado of Club Atlético Bella Vista fired through the legs of Bottaso at his near post. 1-0 to Uruguay.


Sam Wadsworth

Always play fair; be always ready to congratulate your conqueror and you’ll never be sorry for it. I’ve always played fair and tried to play fair.

Sam Wadsworth survived the 1914-18 war but suffered from 'Shell Shock' .
Released by Blackburn Rovers on his return from Military Service he joined Huddersfield Town, with whom he won 3 League Championships and an FA Cup. He also represented England 9 times (4 as captain).
He later enjoyed success as a manager in The Netherlands.