Craig Allan Image 3 Chelsea 1935

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Description

Paisley, Renfrewshire born centre half Allan Craig played junior football for Paisley Carlisle in 1922 and Saltcoats Victoria in 1923 before joining Scottish League Motherwell in 1924. A towering centre half who brought stability and strength to the ‘Well defence at a time when the club was more famous for its attacking prowess, during his nine years at Fir Park he represented Scotland three times, twice in a 1929 tour against Norway and The Netherlands and once against England in April 1932, and he also represented The Scottish League twice in 1929 and 1932. Craig was part of the Motherwell side that won the Scottish League Championship in the 1931-32 season.

Yet for all his success at Motherwell he was to be remembered as the scorer of one of Scottish football’s most dramatic own goals. In the 1931 Scottish Cup Final Motherwell seemed set to win the Cup for the first time. They comfortably led Celtic 2-1 and with the seconds slipping away it seemed that silverware was heading back to Lanarkshire. Then in injury time, Bert Thomson whipped in a hastily delivered cross, Motherwell full back Johnman shouted “go for it, Alan”, keeper Alan McClory and Allan Craig both challenged for it but unfortunately hit Craig’s head and spun into the empty net. Hampden Park was stunned, silence greeted the blunder and 100,000 spectators looked on as Allan Craig beat the ground with his fists in sheer frustration. Celtic went on to win the replay 4-2.

He moved to First Division club Chelsea in January 1933 after 3 goals in 284 appearances for Motherwell,  making his Football League debut against Huddersfield Town a few days later. The Daily Express said of him in the 1930’s “his game is the very essence of security. His tactics are the best known for combatting the liberties granted to forwards by the new offside regulations”. He played for Chelsea until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, making 211 appearances before joining Dartford in 1939.

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