The Glasgow Football Association Cup, now more often referred to as ‘the Glasgow Cup’, was first contested in 1887-88. It was in its time an important competition and had the status of a first class tournament. It was contested as fiercely as the League Championship or the Scottish Cup by Glasgow FA member clubs who were all senior clubs in the Glasgow area. The winners received a magnificent silver trophy, one of the oldest in world football, which is still competed for today.
Not surprisingly the competition has been dominated by the two Glasgow giants, Rangers and Celtic, but the other Glasgow FA member clubs, Partick Thistle, Clyde, Queen's Park and the now defunct Third Lanark, Cambuslang, and Cowlairs had their day too. After the Second World War, the Glasgow Cup diminished in status, mainly due to the more cosmopolitan fare provided by the developing European Competitions.
Traditionally the Glasgow Cup had always been played early in the season, with the Glasgow Merchants' Charity Cup concluding the season after the completion of the Scottish League and Scottish Cup. Following the demise of the Charity Cup in 1960, Glasgow Cup fixtures were fitted into the fixture list at any convenient point, with the Final being played at the end of the season, if at all.
After the 1971 competition, the Glasgow Cup was not contested for three years. It was resurrected for the 1974-75 season but its appeal was limited and interest was luke-warm at best. Sometimes the competition would be left incomplete, and on some occasions, the Final was held over until the beginning of the following season.
However, when it came to an Old Firm Final, Rangers and Celtic would usually put out pretty much their full first teams. This was the case as late as 1986 when, on the Friday evening before the Scottish Cup Final, a capacity crowd of over 40,000 saw Rangers take the trophy with a 3-2 win over the Scottish Champions, Celtic, courtesy of an Ally McCoist hat-trick to give Manager Graeme Souness his first trophy, just days after taking charge at Ibrox!
This however was essentially the swan-song of the tournament as a first team tournament. Rangers retained the trophy the following season in another Old Firm Final, this time at Parkhead, but only 15,000 were there to see what were effectively the Reserve teams compete.
The following season's tournament, 1987-88, was never completed; officially there were no suitable dates available to fit ties in, but in reality the competition was long past it's sell-by-date and as the days of the UEFA Champions' League rapidly approached, its significance had reduced.
For season 1988-89, the competition was relaunched as a tournament for member clubs' Under-19 sides, and the 1989 Final remarkably saw neither of the Old Firm clyubs represented, Partick Thistle beating Clyde 2-0 on this occasion.
Unfortunately, from the end of this season until 2007, there is a gap in our records and only the result of each season’s Final is available. From season 2007-08, the Glasgow Cup was relaunched, as a youth tournament, and was competed for by member clubs' Under-17 teams. This format extended through to the completion of the 2017-18 competition.
For 2018-19, the City of Glasgow Cup will be contested by member clubs’ Under-20 teams.
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