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

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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


Celtic

W. O’Hagan (Fordsons)

G

C. Shaw

P. Kavanagh 

(Shelbourne)
FB

A. McNair

J. McCarthy (Bohemians)

FB

H Hilley

E. McKay (St. James’s Gate)

HB

H. P. Wilson

V. Harris (Shelbourne)

HB

J. McStay

M. Foley (Shelbourne)

HB

J. McFarlane

J. Simpson (Shelbourne)

F

A. McAtee

A. Kirkland (Shamrock Rovers)

F

P. Gallacher

Dr. O’Flaherty (University College)

F

J. Cassidy

J. Dowdall (St. James’s Gate)

F

A. Thompson

J. Fagan (Shamrock Rovers)

F

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

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