NEWTONGRANGE STAR
1948/49

Back row: W. Young (Trainer), C. Robertson, M. Haughney, G. Dingwall, V. McKay, W. Hutchison, C. Bird,
J. Denholm (Trainer)
Front row: J. Sneddon, J. Allan, J. Young, J. Cockburn, A. Hope

STORY OF THE SEASON
   

Following on their fifth placed finish in 1947/8, Star had another solid season in the Edinburgh and District League, finishing 6th. The leading trio of Bo'ness, Armadale and Bathgate were well clear of the rest of the field in a league where standards varied greatly. Eventual Champions Bo'ness United scored 139 goals that season; bottom club Rosewell Rosedale conceded 173.

The Scottish Junior Cup provided a run to remember. Drawn at home to Dunbar in Round One, Star won 7-3. Dalkeith Thistle were then defeated 4-0 before a crowd of 4000 at the old Kays Park with goals by Cockburn (2), Haughney and Young. Next up were Camelon Juniors who held out for a 1-1 draw at Victoria Park. A special train was chartered to take the Star fans to the replay at Carmuirs Park and they returned home happy with a 4-1 win.

The Fourth Round tie against Blairgowrie turned into a real marathon. The teams drew 1-1 at Victoria Park. Sneddon scored Star's goal, and for the record the line up was: McKay, Haughney, Hutchison, Robertson, Dingwall, Bird, Sneddon, Allan, Young, Hope, Cockburn. For the replay in Perthshire a total of 1200 Star fans made the trip on another special train. Late in the game it looked as if they were going to be disappointed. Star trailed 2-1 going into the final minutes before being awarded a penalty. Mike Haughney drilled it into the net in typical fashion, sparking off a pitch invasion from the travelling support. There were no penalty shoot outs in those days so a third game was required, on a neutral ground. Because of the level of interest the match was played at Cowdenbeath's Central Park and attracted a crowd of just over 8000. Goalless after 90 minutes, the match went into extra time. Tiredness set in and both teams conceded soft goals. Grant gave Blairgowrie the lead in the 95th minute and they seemed to be heading for victory until a late leveller by Hope.

The teams had now met of three successive Saturday's without a result. The press dubbed them the 'Inseparables'. The weather intervened meaning that the Third Replay was postponed for a week. Incredibly the teams again failed to reach a conclusion, with another 1-1 draw, again at Cowdenbeath.

Finally, on March 24th 1948, 6 weeks after the first game, a result as achieved. Goals from Mike Haughney and Allan saw Star to a 2-1 win, and the chance to play Cambuslang Rangers in a much delayed Fifth Round tie. It went ahead at Cambuslang the following week. Local interest and a big travelling support saw an estimated crowd of 9000 inside the ground. Star won 2-1 - Haughney again scoring from the spot, with Sneddon getting the other goal. By this time Haughney's scoring exploits had been recognised by the seniors and he signed for Celtic in January 1949, remaining with Star until the end of the season.

Star were now into the Semi Final where they awaited the challenge of Auchinleck Talbot, Ayrshire's finest. The match was played at Shawfield in Glasgow on May 7th 1949. A crowd of 23,000 turned up and saw an entertaining match. Star led thanks to a goal by Young until Auchinleck equalised with just 9 minutes left to play. The replay, again at Shawfield, ended in disappointment as the Ayrshire side won 2-0. Star's semi final team was: V McKay, W Pryde, C Bird, C Robertson, G Dingwall, J Cockburn, J Young, J Sneddon, M Haughney, J Allan, A Hope.

The other Cup competitions brought little pleasure for Star. Their marathon Scottish Cup run had caused a big fixture pile-up meaning that weakened and tired teams took the field for many games. Armadale knocked them out of the East of Scotland Cup. In the St Michael Cup they fell to Stoneyburn. The Brown Cup and Thornton Shield also brought early defeats.

At the end of the season four of the team turned senior. Striker Jim Young signed for Hibernian. He had three seasons at Easter Road but managed just four first team appearances at a time when Hibs were one of the finest teams in Britain. He later moved to Cowdenbeath, scoring 10 goals in 18 league games during his only season at Central Park.

George Dingwall, who had previously been with Hearts, had a second try at senior football with Airdrie. James Cockburn signed for Clyde. But the most successful Star product of that team was the striker known as the 'Cannonball'.

Mike Haughney had been a pupil at Dalkeith's St Davids High School when he came to Star's attention. Although born in Paisley, his family had moved to Dalkeith when he was a youngster. Mike was one of a family of eight and he perhaps saw sport as a way of standing out. He had a great scoring record in schools and juvenile football and was given a trial by Celtic in 1944. He wasn't signed at that time, partly because he was in the Army. He rose to the rank of Captain in the Commando Unit of the Seaforth Highlanders. He left the Army at the end of the War and quickly signed for Newtongrange Star. His scoring exploits in 1948/9 renewed the interest from Celtic and they signed him on a delayed transfer midway through 1948/9. It was no great surprise that he had football talent -his uncle Andy Haughney had played for Aberdeen, and his great-uncle Peter Dowds was one of Celtic's early stalwarts in the late 19th Century.

His Celtic debut was in an Old Firm match and Haughney won immediate fame by scoring the winner for Celtic in a 3-2 victory. He was highly rated at Celtic Park despite being a part-time player throughout his time at the club. Mike was a student and graduated from Edinburgh University in 1953 with a B.Comm degree. By that time he had moved back to playing in defence. In total he made 233 appearances for Celtic, scoring 44 goals between 1949 and 1957. He actually scored for the Celts in the 1956 Scottish Cup Final against Hearts when they lost 3-1. Mike was capped by Scotland on one occasion, playing at Hampden against England in 1954. At the end of his playing career he emigrated to the USA. He worked for a bakery firm and rose to an executive position. Latterly he lived in Palos Heights, near Chicago, where he died in February 2002, aged 76.

Source: Newtongrange Star FC match programme [13-Aug-08][16-Aug-08]

EDINBURGH & DISTRICT LEAGUE
PLD
W
D
L
F
A
PTS
Bo'ness United
44
32
5
7
139
66
69
Armadale Thistle
44
31
4
9
120
61
66
Bathgate Thistle
44
28
8
8
148
90
64
Haddington Athletic
44
24
9
11
139
103
57
Tranent Juniors
44
24
6
14
137
77
54
Newtongrange Star
42
22
7
13
120
96
51
Whitburn Juniors
44
22
5
17
122
110
49
Bonnyrigg Rose
44
19
9
16
129
101
47
Dunbar United
43
20
7
16
119
110
47
Camelon Juniors
41
19
7
15
112
100
45
Fauldhouse United
43
18
7
18
103
129
43
Thorntree United
44
20
1
23
103
129
41
Grange Rovers
43
18
5
20
105
110
41
Polkemmet Juniors
44
17
6
21
105
109
40
Ormiston Primrose
43
18
3
22
95
96
39
Stoneyburn Juniors
40
16
6
18
77
82
38
Loanhead Mayflower
43
17
3
23
81
111
37
Arniston Rangers
42
15
5
22
91
97
35
Musselburgh Athletic
44
16
3
25
84
135
35
Broxburn Athletic
44
14
6
24
89
109
34
Dalkeith Thistle
43
10
12
21
78
107
32
Preston Athletic
43
8
8
27
71
119
26
Rosewell Rosedale
43
3
2
38
59
173
8
 
OPPONENTS
VENUE
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
CROWD
Armadale Thistle
H
A
3-4
Robertson, Allan, Sneddon   

Goalkeeper McKay was injured and temporarily replaced in goal by Robertson. Star lost two goals whilst McKay was treated. This was the Star's first defeat in 22 games.

Arniston Rangers
H
2-1
Davidson, Allan
1500
A
Bathgate Thistle
H
A
4-5
Davidson, Young, Allan, Ewing
Bo'ness United
H
2-4
?
A
0-5
Bonnyrigg Rose
H
A
3-0
Young, Sneddon, ?
Broxburn Athletic
H
0-3
A
Camelon Juniors
H
4-1
Whitelaw, Haughney, Wood, McKay   

Goalkeeper McKay played at centre forward and scored a goal.

A
1-5
?
Dalkeith Thistle
H
1-2
Cockburn
A
3-1
?
Dunbar United
H
A
2-0
Cockburn, Young
Fauldhouse United
H
A
3-2
Cockburn 2, Kinghorn
Grange Rovers
H
5-1
Haughney 3, Cockburn, Kinghorn
A
<won>
?
Haddington Athletic
H
1-0
Cockburn
A
3-6
?
Loanhead Mayflower
H
4-0
Young 2, Allan 2
A
Musselburgh Athletic
H
5-2
Haughney 3, Kinghorn 2
A
Ormiston Primrose
H
2-0
Hope, Cockburn
A
3-1
Watson 2, Cockburn
Polkemmet Juniors
H
A
1-4
?
Preston Athletic
H
5-2
Haughney 3, Allan, Cockburn
A
2-1
Sneddon, Purves
Rosewell Rosedale
H
2-1
Cockburn 2
A
Stoneyburn Juniors
H
4-0
Young 2, Cockburn, Hope
A
Thorntree United
H
5-1
Cockburn 2, Watson 2, Young   

McKay, Pryde, Haughney, Dingwall, Ewing, Bird, Sneddon, Allan, Young, Cockburn, Watson.

A
4-1
Newman, Kinghorn, Haughney, Young
Tranent Juniors
H
2-0
Sneddon, Cockburn
A
Whitburn Juniors
H
A

SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
CROWD
1
Bye
2
H
Dunbar United
7-3
Hope, Cockburn, Young 2, ?
3
A
Dalkeith Thistle
4-1
Haughney, Cockburn 2, Young
4000
4
H
Camelon Juniors
1-1
Young   

McKay, Pryde, Hutchison, Robertson, Dingwall, Bird, Sneddon, Allan, Young, Cockburn, Haughney.

4000
A
Camelon Juniors
4-1
Haughney 3, Young
4000
5
H
Blairgowrie
1-1
Sneddon   

McKay, Haughney, Hutchison, Robertson, Dingwall, Bird, Sneddon, Allan, Young, Cockburn, Hope.

A
Blairgowrie
2-2
Allan, Haughney   

Star equalize with a penalty scored by Haughney in the last ten minutes. Over 1200 Star supporters travelled to the game and there was a 'pitch invasion' when the penalty was scored.

N
Blairgowrie
1-1
Hope   [report]
N
Blairgowrie
1-1
OG   

One supporter suggests - 'Take 5 players from each side, toss for the goalkeeper and play the eleven against Cambuslang.'

N
Blairgowrie
2-1
Haughney, Allan   

McKay, Pryde, Robertson, Cockburn, Dingwall, Bird, Haughney, Young, Speirs, Allan, Hope.

QF
A
Cambuslang Rangers
3-1
Haughney, Sneddon, ?   

Press report: Exciting scenes were witnessed at Cambuslang, when the Star supporters paraded the streets until the special train was due, and 'escorted' the fleet of buses, with a triumphant song, as they left with other enthusiastic supporters on the way home.

9000
SF
N
Auchinleck Talbot
1-1
Young   

McKay, Pryde, Robertson, Haughney, Dingwall, Bird, Sneddon, Cockburn, Young, Allan, Hope.

   [programme]
23,000
N
Auchinleck Talbot
0-2
The Star team pictured before the semi-final on the 7th May 1949.
Back row: W. Pryde, C. Robertson, V. McKay, M. Haughney, G. Dingwall, C. Bird
Front row: J. Sneddon, J. Cockburn, J. Young, J. Allan, A. Hope

THORNTON SHIELD
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
A
Fauldhouse United
4-1
Haughney 2, Young, Sneddon
2
?

EAST OF SCOTLAND CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
A
Haddington Athletic
4-4
?
H
Haddington Athletic
2-1
Haughney, Cockburn
2
A
Armadale Thistle
0-1
Star line up before the East of Scotland Cup tie against Haddington Athletic at Victoria Park on 27th November 1948.
Back row: Cockburn, Haughney, Robertson, Davis, Hutchison, Bird
Front row: Sneddon, Young, Pryde (captain), Dingwall, Hope

ST MICHAELS CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
A
Stoneyburn Juniors
0-1

BROWN CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
H
Dunbar United
5-2
Haughney 3, Young 2
2
?

BENEFIT MATCH
A benefit match was arranged between the Star's Scottish Junior Cup winning side of 1930 and a select team in aid of the Newtongrange and District Burns Club's Old Folks Fund.

Newtongrange Star 1930 3

Newtongrange Star XI 1
Allan (2)
Barclay
Currie, Todd, Letham, McPherson, Henderson, Marman, Thomson, Walker, McAuley, Allan, Barclay O'Rourke, Duncan, D. Stoddart, Kirk, Morris, Dryden, Fletcher, Blythe, Hay, McCartney, H. Imrie