11th Apr, 2024 14:30

The Sporting Auction | Part Two: The Celtic Story

Lot 1908


the obverse relief cast with bust of Robert Burns and dated 1759 1796, the reverse inscribed FOOTBALL MATCH SCOTS V ANGLO-SCOTS ST. JAMES'S PARK 27TH APRIL 1027 PRESENTED TO J. THOMSON bordered by ROBERT BURNS' STATUE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, in nine carat gold, in gilt tooled morocco box

Note: John Thomson, The Prince of Goalkeepers, is one of the most important figures in the history of Celtic Football Club.

Having signed for the team in 1926 at the age of 17, his natural athleticism and brave spirit ensured he would become a mainstay between the sticks. He helped the team to two Scottish Cups and three Glasgow Cups. He would also represent the national side and national select XI four times apiece. This medal itself comes from a yearly fixture contested between Scots and Anglo-Scots (Scottish players who played south of the border).

Thomson's name will forever be associated with the tragedy that befell him during an Old Firm clash on the 5th September 1931. The match was played at Ibrox in front of 80,000 fans. Early in the 2nd half, Thomson collided with Rangers player Sam English, whilst both going for the ball. Most people assumed the goalkeeper badly injured as he was stretchered off, Chic Geatons taking his place in goal.

Upon being transported to the Victoria Infirmary, Thomson would soon be pronounced dead. The death of a young goalkeeper in his prime shocked the footballing world. Beyond that, the tragic loss of a young man's life, only 22 years of age and recently engaged, still stands as amongst the most profound moments in sporting history.

40,000 people attended the funeral in his home town of Cardenden, including thousands who travelled from Glasgow, many walking the 55 miles to the Fife village.

(approx. 20g)

4.5cm high including suspension


A condition report is offered as an indication of any issues visible to the naked eye. As none of our staff is a professional conservator or restorer, buyers must satisfy themselves in respect of condition. The condition report does not form part of any contract between McTear's and the buyer, and all lots are offered "as is" in accordance with our Terms of Business available on our website.


Sold for £3,600
Estimated at £2,000 - £3,000

Request a free auction estimate

Complete the form below and one of our specialists will get back to you.

Please upload at least 1 image

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.