Hilley Hugh Image 2 Glasgow Celtic 1925

Hilley Hugh Image 2 Glasgow Celtic 1925


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Garngad, Glasgow born left back Hugh Hilley played for Glasgow junior club St Anthony’s before being signed by Glasgow Celtic in May 1921, making his Scottish League debut in a 0-0 draw at Third Lanark in March 1922 and went on to be a regular for The Boys over much of the remainder of the decade.

In 1925, his nose was so frequently broken his face was almost permanently in plasters. Against St Mirren in a Scottish Cup game at Ibrox in 1925 with Celtic leading 1-0 and a minute to go: “I had lost so much blood I was seeing half a dozen balls. I missed my kick and Jean McFarlane brought down Gillies. Peter Craigmyle gave a free just outside the box but St Mirren would settle for nothing less than a penalty. They refused the free kick and the hullabaloo ended with Craigmyle blowing for full-time.” Jean McFarlane later admitted it was a penalty. Hilley recovered and helped Celtic beat Rangers in a wonderful 5-0 victory in the semi final, and Celtic then beat Dundee 2-1 in the Final.

The following season was a high point as Hilley played in practically every League & Cup game (bar one) which pushed Celtic all the way to a Scottish League Championship, and almost captured a coveted League & Cup double. He helped Celtic to further silverware with the Cup win in 1927, as they beat East Fife 3-1 in the Final. However tragedy then struck for Hilley. In a match versus Hamilton Academical on 20th August 1927, he left the field in a state of exhaustion that sadly led onto a nervous breakdown. He never played for the first team again. Hilley played 195 appearances in the League & Scottish Cup without ever scoring for Celtic before being finally released and retiring in 1930, albeit he hadn’t featured for nearly three years by the time of his retirement.

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