Monthly Archives: December 2013

Peter Scarff

The Peter Scarff Linwood CSC and the Celtic Graves Society are proud to announce that there will be a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the death of

PETER SCARFF

Celtic Player 1928-1933

At Kilbarchan Cemetery, Bridge of Weir Road, Brookfield, nr Kilbarchan on Saturday 14th December 2013 at 11.30am

Attendees at the event will include:

Members of Peter Scarff’s family
Peter Lawwell, Celtic FC Chief Executive
Anne McElhinney, Peter Scarff Linwood CSC
Jim Craig, Celtic Graves Society Patron
David Potter, Celtic historian

Linwood-born Peter Scarff made his debut in a 5-1 win against Arthurlie in a home Scottish cup tie in January 1929. A newspaper of the time declared: “Scarff is a worthy successor to Jimmy McMenemy – he has McMenemy’s dragging touch and the same ease with the long opening pass to the other wing”. As inside-left Scarff won his first medal with Celtic a year later as part of the team that beat Rangers 2-1 in the Glasgow Cup Final. Later that season he won the Scottish Cup as part of a team that included Jimmy McGrory, John Thomson, Jimmy McStay, Willie McGonagle and Bertie Thomson. At the time he said to his fiancee, Marjory Boyle, “I’m wearing a Celtic jersey and I’m playing for you. Those two things are the most important things in my life.” Willie Maley was putting together a group of impressive young players – however within only six years three of this group had died in tragic individual circumstances.

Eighteen days after John Thomson’s death Peter Scarff was replaced at half-time in a friendly match in Ayr. This was the first indication that he was unwell. Almost three monthd later he played his last game for Celtic against Leith Athletic at Celtic Park in December 1931 when he coughed up blood. He was diagnosed as suffering from the deadly condition, tuberculosis. This favourite of the Celtic crowd was only 23 years old. In his two years as a Celtic player his impressive record read 54 goals in 112 appearances.

A few weeks later he was taken to the Bridge of Weird sanitorium in an attempt to beat the condition. Despite occasional periods of remission when hopes would rise it was annoucned in July 1933 he would never play football again. He died on 9th December 1933, two years after his first diagnosis. “I wonder if the crowds will ever miss me?” he once said while in hospital. His funeral proved that this popular young Celt was indeed missed. The Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette reported, “The mourners stood around with bared heads during the committal service and many of them were visibly affected by the occasion, and the tears were in no way hidden when just before the interment Manager Maley of Celtic laid the green and White Celtic Jersey on the coffin.” The following decade the Peter Scarff Celtic Supporters Club was established in Linwood and today remains the focal point of the Celtic support in the area.

All Celtic Supporters are welcome to attend and flowers/tributes can be laid at the graveside.

There will be a get-together after the event at St. Conval’s Social Club, Candren Rd, Linwood, Paisley PA3 3AP (please note: this is the Social Club and not the Church).

A free bus will be available to transport supporters from the social club to the cemetery beforehand – leaving at 11am. As the cemetery is remote and parking limited, please take advantage of this.

For more information please visit:

www.celticgraves.com

where donations to the work of the Celtic Graves Society can also be made.