If You Know The History ...

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  1. regicfc Banned!

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    Born Andrew Kerins, in 1840, in Ballymote, Sligo, in the West of Ireland, Brother Walfrid would experience, at the closest of proximities, the full horrors of the Great Famine in Ireland, before 'escaping' his rural life to join the Marist Order, where he became a schoolteacher.
    Sligo was fated to endure the worst of the Famine, though it is not known how the Kerins family fared during the turmoil. However, being that the Kerins family was of farming stock, it is safe to assume that they would not be left untouched by tragedy.
    A consequence of the Great Famine, Ireland's rural population fled the countryside to the towns and cities where, in Ireland, the disaster was no less biblical in its proportions. The result was an exodus of Irish folk to mainland Britain (and some also to The New World), and specifically the cities of the Industrial Revolution - notably, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, London, Edinburgh and Dundee.
    Awaiting them was work, albeit poorly paid, menial and unskilled, and, of course, slum living conditions, disease and terrible, unimaginable deprivation.

    Sadly, the establishment, the ruling classes, the Government and the Protestant Churches of Scotland and England did more than their fair share to alienate the Irish immigrants, who were seen to be and treated as though they were less than human. Glasgow was no exception to the British rule, as the Irish and Brother Walfrid would discover.
    Brother Walfrid had taken his religious name, as was the practice of the Marist Order, to signify the cutting of all ties with 'life in the world', but he would remain a man that was haunted by that which he had witnessed in Ireland. It was a horrific reality that would not be exorcised amongst the grotesque slums of Glasgow's East End, where Brother Walfrid arrived in the early 1870s.


    The squalor, deprivation, poverty, decay, disease and human suffering of the 'Empire's Second City' - the most densely populated city in Europe, at that time - can scarcely be imagined by us today. The bold attempts by modern day film- makers to depict the full extent of the horror of the impoverished population of industrialised, Victorian Britain are woefully inadequate; as are the televised works of Dickens, where the children are rosy-cheeked and cherub-like and not, as they should be in the interests of historical accuracy, scarred by disease, waif-like, filthy dirty, dressed in rags and clinging barely to life.
    However, the statistics are graphic enough. Of the 11,675 registered deaths (and that is registered - there would be many more) in Glasgow in 1888, 4,750 were children under five years of age. It was a nightmare best not revisited, or even contemplated, though there are, sadly and shamefully, modern equivalents yet remaining on this Earth.
    This, then, was the gruesome world that Brother Walfrid devoted his life in Glasgow to combating.
    Brother Walfrid worked like a man possessed, with zeal and enthusiasm, compassion and care, kindness and courage, dedication and energetic vigour in this wretched environment of despair and pain. As a teacher at St Mary's and then as headmaster at Sacred Heart School in Bridgeton, Brother Walfrid witnessed at first hand the full extent of the plight of the poor, the needy, the starving and the suffering.
    The children of this misery were, however, his prime concern. Aside from educating the children of the slums, Brother Walfrid also sought to feed and clothe them. To do so, he was instrumental in establishing, in 1884, the 'Penny Dinners' for his poverty-stricken pupils and the children of his parish.
    In order to achieve this aim, Brother Walfrid had enlisted the aid of the St Vincent de Paul Society, itself introduced into the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1848. Thereby, Brother Walfrid attempted to ensure that his children received a warm and nourishing meal each day for their penny. In Walfrid's very own words: 'Should parents prefer, they could send the bread and the children could get a large bowl of broth or soup for a halfpenny, and those who were not able to pay got a substantial meal free. This has been a very great blessing for the poor children.'
    However, two separate events dictated to the devout and compassionate Walfrid that his efforts, and those of his Marist colleague, assistant and headmaster of St Mary's, Brother Dorotheus, were wholly insufficient.
    Firstly, the activities of the Presbyterians were a great concern, given that the Protestant Church was also active in feeding and attending to the poor of the East End, while simultaneously trying to 'snare away' Brother Walfrid's flock. Brother Walfrid enjoyed a close and warm relationship with his Protestant cousins, but he was also fearful of tactics that he'd witnessed in his homeland, Ireland, of turning the poor against the Catholic Church.
    Secondly, poverty was worsening - dramatically and horrifically so. Brother Walfrid needed to do more!


    Arguably, there were four main ingredients that had to be introduced into the embryonic idea of Celtic - charity (to feed and clothe the East End's poverty- stricken), religion (to assist the Catholic Church in fighting off the unwelcome advances of Protestantism, when people were at their most vulnerable and therefore most amenable to suggestion, and also of course to cement the relationship of trust, compassion and caring between the Catholic Church and its flock), culture (to provide a much needed focus, identity and symbol for the Irish Catholic population of Glasgow) and, of course, politics.
    The charitable aspirations and intentions of Brother Walfrid and Brother Dorotheus are well established. Others would become involved with this philanthropy.
    Undoubtedly, Walfrid was also aware of the ever-increasing influence of the Protestant Church in Glasgow's East End and of the dangers that entailed, as far as he and the Archdiocese of Glasgow were concerned. He would also have been alarmed at the extremes of anti-Catholic prejudice within the endemic Scottish community and also within the Protestant Church - ironic, given its simultaneous benevolence towards the Irish Catholics of the East End - and also the gradual rise of Orange-ism in Glasgow.
    However, it is less well recorded that some of the 'official' Presbyterian anti-Catholic doctrine was, in effect, a defence mechanism to deflect attention from the schisms within Presbyterianism itself, at that time. Anti-Catholicism was all that united a divided Protestantism. Brother Walfrid said: ''Twas the most dangersome time for the young fellos, jest afther they had left school, an' begun t' mix up wid Protestand boys in the places where they wor workin'.'
    Culturally, Brother Walfrid would also have seen the need to provide his Irish Catholic flock with a focus, an identity and a symbol, away from the Church. This symbolism of pride and achievement and Irish-ness already had a template - it was called Edinburgh Hibernian.
    Founded in 1875 by Canon Edward Hannan, Edinburgh Hibernian had become, not only a successful football club in its own right, but also a symbol for the Irish throughout Scotland. Hibernian was, however, run exclusively for the Catholic Irish and was greatly influenced by the temperance movement of the age - the demon drink being seen by many as the cause of so many evils in society.
    Brother Walfrid would learn much from Edinburgh Hibernian and would also, in time, be both inspired by Hibernian and disregarding of its template for his own vision.
     
  2. regicfc Banned!

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    The political opinions of Brother Walfrid will forever remain a secret. What cannot be denied, however, are the politics of those that surrounded the Marist priest. Ireland and Britain were hotbeds of political ideologies in the 19th Century, and these ideologies would impact on the embryonic concept of a Celtic Football Club. Indeed, had they not done so, our Club may not have survived, falling by the wayside like so many others, and our Club may not have been born with the genetics for equality, liberty, fraternity, integration and non-sectarianism at is very core.
    Walfrid surrounded himself with men who were the driving forces behind many of these political ideologies - men such as John Glass, Pat Welsh, Dr. John Conway, James Quillan, William McKillop, John O'Hara, Thomas Flood, J.M. Nellis, Joseph Shaughnessy and Hugh and Arthur Murphy. Brother Walfrid would also have connections with John Ferguson and Michael Davitt. It must be assumed that he did so by choice. It was a wise choice, indeed.

    Brother Walfrid had, through his charitable, teaching and ecumenical activities, collated a considerable database of contacts, colleagues, friends and acquaintances, many of whom would be of sterling use in the founding of Celtic; each would bring his own unique attributes to the table of creation. Indeed, Brother Walfrid was later described by Tom Maley, former Celtic player, Celtic committee man and brother of then Celtic manager, Willie Maley, as: 'A wonderful, organising power... of lovable nature' and a man who 'only had to knock, and it was opened.' Admirable qualities, and they would be very useful in the art of persuasion, when it was necessary.
    Of course, the fact that Brother Walfrid was both respected and revered throughout Glasgow, for his charitable works and devotion to the poor, would also be an undeniable attraction for assistance. Each of the men that Brother Walfrid associated with in the formation of the fledgling Celtic concept were philanthropists, successful men in their own fields of expertise and, crucially, they were politically active to varying degrees.
    Political astuteness would be fundamental for the choices that lay ahead. Had they not chosen the path that they did, the longevity and success of Celtic would have been compromised from the beginning.
    Patrick Welsh, for instance, had been, in Ireland, a * activist. For weeks in 1867, Welsh had been on the run from the British authorities, but was apprehended by a 37- year old British soldier - Sergeant Thomas Maley of the Royal North British Fusiliers - at Dublin quay, as Welsh was attempting to flee his country of birth for the prospect of a new and peaceful life in Scotland. Fortunately for Welsh, whose fate might have been imprisonment or the gallows, Sergeant Maley was an Irish Catholic who had wrestled with his conscience while serving Queen Victoria in Ireland. Also fortunately for Pat Welsh, there were no other witnesses to his capture.
    Sergeant Maley, whose third son, Willie, would be born the next year, demanded that Welsh would not break their own peace treaty and Maley allowed the eternally grateful Pat Welsh to escape to Scotland. Pat Welsh would become a master tailor with premises on fashionable Buchanan Street, Glasgow, where he would prosper both as a businessman and as a family man. He kept his word to Sergeant Maley and, in the years to come, recognising that Maley could have faced court-martial for his act, Pat Welsh remained firm friends with Thomas Maley when the soldier retired from the British Army and moved to Cathcart village, near Glasgow, with his Scottish wife and their four sons, Charles, Tom, Willie and Alec.
    This was, also, a twist of fate that would hugely benefit Celtic. Sergeant Maley's second son, Tom, would play for Celtic and would also become a Celtic committee man. Willie would do likewise, though Willie is also known as 'Mr Celtic' for what he achieved for the Club over a fifty-year period. And all because of a selfless act of humanitarianism!



    The name of John Glass repeats itself throughout research into the creation of Celtic. Undoubtedly, Brother Walfrid was the architect, the instigator, the motivator and the conduit to all the facets that would come together. John Glass, however, was the master builder and the catalyst for it all to happen.
    His importance should be recognised. John Glass was a joiner, a man with many contacts in the building trade and a son of Donegal. He was also, we are told, a man that could 'charm the birds down from the trees' such was his charisma. This charm and persuasiveness would be a highly useful tool in Celtic's formation, as Glass is widely acknowledged to be the man who persuaded a number of famous football players of the time to join the fledgling Club. A humanitarian and a meticulous organiser, Glass was also a leader of men, and specifically a dignified and highly respected leader of the Irish Catholic community. John Glass was THE politician sitting at the round table deliberating the creation of Celtic. Glass was later described by Willie Maley as the man 'to whom the Club owes its existence.'
    Ferguson and Glass organised several political rallies at which Michael Davitt addressed the Highland crofters. The question must therefore be asked: did the name 'Celtic' originate from this popular political influence of the day, and did Brother Walfrid and John Glass see in this name a method to celebrate Irish-ness, symbolise Irish-ness, yet simultaneously join hands with Scottish Celts? After all, historically speaking, the peoples of Ireland and Scotland were one and the same - Celts!


    The Irish and the Scots working classes had two things in common: the mutual fight for survival and a love of football. Brother Walfrid had, for some time, been aware of the profound popularity of the sport of football. Indeed, he had himself organised many games to provide funds for the 'Penny Dinners', and with considerable success too.
    Edinburgh Hibernian was the team that his Irish Catholic flock was more than happy to pay to see, and Brother Walfrid recognised both this and the fact that Edinburgh Hibernian had become a symbol of Irish-ness, culture, religion and success in Scotland. It was a potent and powerful mix that Brother Walfrid would soon learn could be harnessed for a multitude of community benefits.
    On February 12th 1887, Edinburgh Hibernian won the Scottish Cup, the country's premier and most coveted trophy, by defeating Dumbarton 2:1 at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The triumph was celebrated joyously by Irishmen throughout Scotland and, indeed, the scenes of jubilation in Glasgow were a match for those in Leith, Edinburgh.
    This, then, was the power of football and also the symbolism of success for the Irish community. Edinburgh Hibernian were feted as the victors by Glasgow's Irish and the triumphant team was taken to St Mary's Hall in the Calton district of Glasgow to receive the spoils of jubilant victory. Amongst the rapturous throng were Brother Walfrid and John Glass. Dr John Conway led the speeches in praise of Edinburgh Hibernian, the gathering sang '* Save Ireland' and John McFadden, the Hibernian's secretary, was so moved by the warmth of the reception and the fervour of the hospitality that he, perhaps jokingly, suggested that his hosts should 'go and do likewise'!
    Brother Walfrid accepted the gauntlet of the challenge. After all, if Edinburgh could produce a successful Irish football team then surely Glasgow could do likewise, given the far greater Irish population in Glasgow.
     
  3. regicfc Banned!

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    As an indication of the margins between longevity of life for a fledgling football club and inauspicious demise in a pauper's grave, one needs only look at the names of the clubs that registered with the Scottish Football Association on August 21st 1888: Glasgow Celtic Football and Athletic Club, Champfleurie and Adventurers of Edinburgh, Leith Harp, Balaclava Rangers from Oban, Temperance Athletic of Glasgow, Whifflet Shamrock and Britannia of Auchinleck. Brother Walfrid and his associates would come to ponder the mechanics required for a successful launch and, of course, a sustainable flight.
    The objectives were, however, clear enough: the funding of charities in Glasgow's East End, notably Brother Walfrid's 'Penny Dinners'; a focus, an identity, a symbolism for the Irish Catholic population where a successful football club could and would sustain the morale of an otherwise frequently demoralised people; a route to health and fitness for the young men of the area and a method to keep them distracted from alcohol; a way to combat, through self-finance, the influence of the Presbyterians in the East End and, perhaps most importantly of all, a symbol of hope when around them there was so much despair. But, how?

    On the afternoon of Sunday November 6th, 1887, a meeting to constitute the formation of the Glasgow Celtic Football and Athletic Club was called to order by John Glass. Through arduous discussions and, at times, heated debates, the pivotal and crucial decisions had been made that would cement the structure of Celtic. The choices were wise, indeed. Initially, the local parishes of St. Mary's, St Andrew's and St Alphonsus' had been involved, but the 'mother parish' of St Mary's had been the driving force and, consequently, some disgruntled individuals departed the scene, no doubt disillusioned by the abandonment of the principles of the template for such a venture, Edinburgh Hibernian.
    Edinburgh Hibernian was an organisation with the temperance movement at its core. Celtic was not to be that. Brother Walfrid, John Glass, Pat Welsh et al would realise the fundamental importance of Celtic being managed with business acumen and financial expertise in order to survive and sustain itself during what could be a troubled birth, a precarious childhood and even a fraught adolescence.
    Only adulthood - a long way off - would provide a modicum of comfort. So, why exclude the monies of the License Trade when that money could be used for the benefit of the Club? And, with such a partnership (albeit with the demon drink), immediate funds and employment (although, in some cases in name only) could be found to attract football players to Celtic - all amateurs, of course, though their expenses would not fool even the most average of accountants!
    Edinburgh Hibernian also operated a Catholic only employment policy. This exclusivity would be disregarded by the founding fathers of Celtic - a bold and courageous move, given the prejudices of the era, and one that would be embraced for ever more by Celtic.
    Willie Maley, Celtic's manager for over forty years, summarised this fundamental of a non-sectarian Celtic when he later said: 'It is not his creed nor his nationality which counts -it's the man himself.'
    Indeed, Maley would openly boast of the Protestants, Hindus, Jews and Muslims that had been - and were - in the employ of Celtic, though in reality the Club was, at its roots, Catholic and Irish, proudly and justifiably so. This non-sectarian fundamentalism had the fingerprints of John Glass' politics all over it and, in fact, was the principle that set Celtic apart, from the outset. When one considers the undeniable temptation to be exclusivist in the face of such provocation - prejudice and bigotry were the norm - it was a brave, indeed socialist and humanitarian, move and one that paved the way for the likes of John Thomson, Jock Stein, Danny McGrain, Kenny Dalglish and, yes, Henrik Larsson, not to mention the non-Catholic Tims that would be attracted to the Celtic Cause.
    Of course, there were voices of dissent and attempts were made to rewrite Celtic's constitution so that 'only the right sort' could be employed by and play for Celtic. Such malcontents were especially evident when, in 1897, Celtic became 'Celtic Football and Athletic Company Limited'. One such breakaway formed the short-lived Glasgow Hibernian. The dissenters lost, however, and Celtic is culturally wealthier as a result.
     
  4. regicfc Banned!

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    The options for the christening ceremony for Celtic were considerable and numerous, but somewhere along the line, Brother Walfrid, perhaps inspired by Glass, insisted that the name should be Celtic.

    But, Seltic or Keltic?
    Most scholars believe that Brother Walfrid preferred the Keltic pronunciation, but the 'soft C' was adopted. Whatever the minutiae, the choice of name was inspired and one ponders whether the impact of our Club would have been quite the same had 'she' been christened Erin, Hibernian, Shamrock or Emerald? After all, Celtic, as a name, symbolised precisely what the Club was all about in the first place. As with the people 'she' represented and for whom 'she' would compete and triumph and for whom 'she' would become an irresistible attraction (to both Catholic and, in time, also Protestant and other faiths), Celtic, the name, symbolised a club that had been born in Scotland of Irish parents, had been lovingly raised by an Irish Catholic family, had been tutored and schooled in Scotland amongst Irish and Scots, of whatever denomination, and had been graduated by an, ultimately, global university.
    Would it have worked so beautifully otherwise? Certainly, Celtic immediately caught the mood - Archbishop Eyre of the Glasgow Archdiocese was top of the subscription list of the new Club - and, in January 1888 the following statement was released.
    CELTIC FOOTBALL AND ATHLETIC CLUB Celtic Park, Parkhead (Corner of Dalmarnock and Janefield Streets) Patrons His Grace the Archbishop of Glasgow and the Clergy of St Mary's, Sacred Heart and St Michael's Missions, and the principal Catholic laymen of the East End.
    The above Club was formed in November 1887, by a number of Catholics of the East End of the City. The main object is to supply the East End conferences of the St Vincent de Paul Society with funds for the maintenance of the 'Dinner Tables' of our needy children in the Missions of St Mary's, Sacred Heart and St Michael's. Many cases of sheer poverty are left unaided through lack of means. It is therefore with this principal object that we have set afloat the 'Celtic' and we invite you as one of our ever-ready friends to assist in putting our new Park in proper working order for the coming football season.
    We have already several of the leading Catholic football players of the West of Scotland on our membership list. They have most thoughtfully offered to assist in the good work. We are fully aware that the 'elite' of football players belong to this City and suburbs, and we know that from there we can select a team which will be able to do credit to the Catholics of the West of Scotland as the Hibernians have been doing in the East.
    Again there is also the desire to have a large recreation ground where our Catholic young men will be able to enjoy the various sports which will build them up physically, and we feel sure we will have many supporters with us in this laudable object.'


    There were two problems of immediacy. Firstly, Celtic had to find a home and, secondly, Celtic needed to find players.
    Within a week of being constituted, Celtic had leased an area of ground off the Gallowgate in Parkhead, bounded on the west side by Janefield Street and on the east by Dalmarnock Street (now Springfield Road). Within six months, a voluntary workforce had built a ground that emulated the highest standards of the time.
    There was a level, grassy playing field measuring 110 yards long and 66 yards wide, a basic earthen terracing around three sides of the stadium and an open-air stand (capable of accommodating 1,000 spectators) that contained a pavilion, a referee's room, an office, dressing rooms and washing and toilet facilities.
    It should be recorded at this point that the 'old' Celtic Park is NOT the location of the current Celtic Park. In 1891, Celtic experienced trouble, yet again, with their greedy landlord (how ironic, given the nature of the land disputes in Ireland) when he, rather optimistically, increased the rent from £50 per annum to £450. Celtic's committee men were far too shrewd and fleet of foot, business wise, to tolerate such opportunism and, consequently, Celtic chose to relocate.
    We moved across the Janefield Street Cemetery to 'Paradise', our current home and, once again utilising a volunteer workforce, built a second Celtic Park in time for the start of the 1892-93 season.
     
  5. regicfc Banned!

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    William "Willie" Patrick Maley (born Newry, Northern Ireland, April 25, 1868); was the first manager of Celtic Football Club and one of the most successful managers in Scottish football history. He led Celtic to 30 major trophies in 43 years as manager.
    Although Maley was born in Newry Barracks, where his father was a soldier in the British Army, his family moved to Scotland when he was young. As a young man, Maley was much more involved in athletics than in football, although he had played a few games for Cathcart Hazelbank Juniors in 1886 and had played with Third Lanark from later that year. In 1888 he was signed by the fledgling Celtic Football Club and became one of the clubs first players as a midfielder. As a naturalised Scot, he also played for the Scottish national team.

    In 1897, the board of Celtic directors appointed Willie Maley, at just 29 years of age, as Secretary-Manager - the first manager - of Celtic. He won the League Championship for the club in his first full season as manager.

    Maley never worked with his players in training, he watched games from the directors' box and never indulged in team talks or spoke to his players at half-time or post-match. Maley would not even announce the team: players learned if they were in or out through reading the line-up in the newspaper.

    'He was always immaculately dressed, always with a soft hat on,' recalls Jackie Watters, a Celtic forward in the late 1930s. The great Willie Buchan, scorer of Celtic's winning goal in the 1937 Scottish Cup final, also remembers Maley showing his stature through his choice of headgear. 'You always expected to see him well-dressed, with the soft hat, you know.'
    The ability to project the right image was as essential to football managers a century ago as it is today and Maley, as the best in the business, was alive to that. A soft hat and a hard stare took him a long way.

    Celtic had been a buying club in their opening decade, spending heavily to bring professionals to the club. Maley decided to scrap that and rely almost entirely on recruiting youngsters fresh from junior football.
    He created a young team who won six league titles in a row between 1905 and 1910 and won the first Scottish League and Scottish Cup doubles. It was the finest team in world football, and the six-in-a-row record remained unbroken until the 1970s. The stars of that side included some Celtic Immortals: right-back Alec McNair ("the Icicle"); inside-right Jimm McMenemy ("Napoleon"); and the fabled centre-forward Jimmy Quinn. When they grew old, Maley built a second team, including Patsy Gallacher (and the ageless McMenemy), which won four titles in succession between 1914 and 1917 and set what is still the UK record for an unbeaten run in professional football: 62 games (49 won, 13 drawn), from November 13, 1915 until April 21, 1917. That side won two more titles, in 1919 and 1922. Celtic continued to gather trophies throughout the 1920s and in the mid-1930s Maley built his third great team, featuring Jimmy Delaney and Jimmy McGrory. This side won the league title in 1936 and 1938 and the cup in 1937. By then, Maley was approaching 70.
    Maley was the longest serving manager at Celtic. In his 43 years as manager he won 19 league titles, 15 Scottish Cups, 14 Glasgow Cups and 19 Glasgow Charity Cups.

    On one occasion, winger Frank Murphy knocked on the manager's door to ask Maley for a pay rise. The manager rattled out the greeting: 'What do you want?' Murphy, quailing in his manager's presence, was too terrified to request a wage increase. Instead, he asked for some complimentary match tickets for friends. Maley gave him them, but said it would be the last time, telling Murphy: 'If your own friends won't pay to see you play, how can you expect other people to do so?' Murphy never did get round to asking for that pay rise.

    The Maley years ended in a less than happy fashion. With Celtic at the bottom of the table, after a meeting with the board of directors in February 1940, Maley 'retired'. Maley was said to be furious about the manner in which he had been ousted but he was 71 and his stubborn character would never have allowed him to go willingly. He left in the knowledge that he had made Celtic one of the most successful clubs in football.


    Maley was forging new ground in management with every step he took and could not lean on any predecessor for advice or encouragement. He created three homespun teams who played in a style that would become feared the world over. Maley's template for success would serve the club sup-erbly throughout the 20th century until Celtic changed tack in the mid-1990s and became a buying club again. No other manager ever stamped his identity on Scottish football so distinctively.

    His mastery was in finding the right players, finding the right position for them in his team, blending them and replacing them when the time was right. His record stands comparison with any other and he created the platform for success that would lead to Celtic's 1967 European Cup win. Maley's achievements should not be demeaned because they belong in the pre-television era and for too long his successes have been shrouded in the mists of time. In creating three world-class teams from scratch, making them play in a highly entertaining fashion, and forging a rich identity for his club that would last a century, Maley's management is unparalleled; not just in Scotland but worldwide.
     
  6. regicfc Banned!

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    He scored a British record total of 550 goals in first-class football. He even netted eight goals in one match against Dunfermline Athletic in 1928, and scored a hat-trick in three minutes against Motherwell eight years later.
    Unequivocally granted the status as the greatest goalscorer in Celtic's history, he has been nominated as the greatest exponent of goal-getting in the history of British football. His goals to games ratio stood at more than one for every start.
    All told, the legendary Celtic ace bagged 397 goals in 378 League games which remains an achievement almost unmatched in World football terms. Football historians have described him as the greatest Celtic player of all time.

    And the name? Jimmy McGrory - Celtic immortal.

    Born in Garngad on April 26th, 1904, McGrory played for the Parkhead club for 15 seasons but his involvement with the club extended right through to the time of his death in 1982 while he held the post of Celtic's public relations manager.

    McGrory's tenure as a player with his beloved Hoops was a glorious one. Ironically he first entered the hallowed portals of Parkhead at a time when the green and whites were labouring under the shadow of their greatest rivals across the city of Glasgow. After winning the Championship in stylish and gritty fashion in 1921-22, Celtic proceeded to go into decline the following season, to the extent that they were way off the pace by season's end.

    The mercurial Patsy Gallagher had been injured midway during that forgettable season and the team never quite managed to compensate for his absence.

    The team, and the club, needed a pick-me-up. Cue rising teenage star Jimmy McGrory. A debutant in a 0-1 defeat against Third Lanark on January 20th, 1923, the 18-year old prodigy was asked to fill Gallagher's inside-right jersey and, at first, he laboured in attempting to do so.

    Indeed during his formative senior football career, few observers could have forecasted just how influential McGrory would turn out to be in Scottish football circles over the preceding 15 years.

    McGrory's debut season was short and sweet. He only played in three games although he netted his first ever goal in one of them, against Kilmarnock in a 3-4 reverse. Subsequently it came as no great surprise to Celtic's faithful when McGrory was farmed out on loan to Clydebank for the 1923-24 season.

    Like many another raw youngster though, the loan move re-kindled his innate enthusiasm, helped his self-confidence and eased him gently into the rigours of senior league football.

    In simple terms, McGrory was a much improved player by the time he returned to the east end establishment of soccer excellence for the beginning of the 1924-25 season as the club's centre-forward.

    McCrory's return signaled an upturn in Celtic's fortunes.

    The Scottish Cup final at the tail end of 1925 duly saw the great McGrory notch the winning goal in the dying minutes against a stunned Dundee side. A diving header by Jimmy from a flighted free-kick secured Celtic's 11th victory in the competition and further cemented McGrory's special relationship with the Celtic fans. In truth though, the ace goalscorer had everything that the fans wanted in a player.

    And with the departure of 33-year old Patsy Gallagher in the summer of 1926, the focus on McGrory intensified even more. And the opportunistic goal ace didn't led the Celtic faithful down.

    The following October, he looked poised to enter the record books when he headed four of Celtic's six goals against Aberdeen and cracked in a fifth with his boot.

    The record individual score in a first class Scottish league match was six and Celtic's hitman seemed to have equalled it with a header in the dying minutes of the Aberdeen game. Alas it was ruled out for offside.

    On January 14th, 1928 though, McGrory got his record though and made world soccer headlines and captured a world record when he notched eight of Celtic's nine goals against bottom-of-the table Dunfermline.

    The stocky striker was a player tailor-made for the inter-war years but it's likely that he would have shone in any period. He was immensely potent in the air although he was relatively small for a striker at just 5'8" and light too at 11stone 8lb.

    In fact, he scored a disproportionate amount of goals with his head, earning him the moniker 'Golden Crust.'

    And in comparison to some of the wing wizards who plied their trade in the '20s and '30s in Scotland, he wasn't exceptionally quick either but he had the broadest of shoulders and extremely good technique, both in striking and heading the ball.

    Above all though, McGrory was blessed with a brilliant striker's instinct and brave to boot. In the 1933 Scottish Cup final, for instance, he scored the only goal of the game despite suffering two broken teeth in an early collision.

    The archetypal six-yard box poacher, his bravery also stood out - a tremendous asset to Celtic at a time when individual battles were often crucial in deciding who won the war. Jimmy McGrory was the complete centre-forward of his day.

    Powerful yet blessed with a clever touch; mobile yet built like a tank to wage terror on rigid defensive formations.

    And apart from his goal-scoring prowess, the Garngad lad was also noted for his ability to create space for colleagues and to supply them with the required ammunition at just the right time. Above all, he was totally dedicated to the Celtic cause. His attitude was that nothing came before the cause of Celtic.

    In this regard, it goes without saying that since the Bosman affair and the virtual demise of the one-club player, McGrory's goal-scoring records are unlikely to be ever surpassed.

    Still, for one disturbing period of time, it seemed as if the Celtic directors were *-bent on breaking up their star man's romance with the club.

    In the summer of 1928, Celtic manager Willie Maley, on the advice of the club's directors, attempted to offload McGrory to Arsenal after reaching agreement on what was then a record fee of £10,000.

    McGrory had no dislike of Arsenal's manager Herbert Chapman but he was having none of it. He placed an insurmountable barrier in the way of the proposed transfer by insisting on a £2,000 signing-on fee, a figure which was way in excess of the then legal limit of £650.

    To the delight of the Celtic faithful, their star striker remained in place and went onto bang in the goals for fun even though Celtic began to experience something of a lean spell in the late '30s.

    Despite suffering an increasing number of injuries which interrupted one season after the next, McGrory learned to compensate for his declining physical powers in the latter part of his career by intelligent runs off the ball, clever positioning, dummies and opportunistic strikes.

    Jimmy McGrory, Celtic immortal, after 15 years of giving his beloved club outstanding service as a player, played his last match for Celtic at the age of 33, on October 16th, 1937 at Celtic Park against Queen's Park.

    And he went out with a bang, predictably, scoring in his team's 4-3 victory. Amazingly despite all his heroics at club level, the famed striker was constantly ignored by the Scottish national team selectors.

    Their failure to recognise McGrory's innate talents added fuel to the notion of an anti-Celtic bias among the football establishment of the time.

    Unbelievably, he was only awarded seven Scotland caps. While he was up against the likes of Hughie Gallagher (Chelsea) for a position on the team, there were many inferior players picked in front of him on the national team.

    After his playing career finished, Jimmy McGrory became manager of Kilmarnock from 1937 until 1945 when war put a temporary halt to the playing of games.

    Shortly after World War Two, he returned to Parkhead as manager but he didn't reap the same success in the dug-out as he did on the field of play.
    Nevertheless, he served a 20 year stint in the hot-seat before making way for another would-be Celtic immortal, Jock Stein.

    Thereafter, the great McGrory remained a much-loved figure at Parkhead till his death in 1982.
     
  7. regicfc Banned!

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    CHARLIE TULLY, born in Belfast on 11 July 1924, signed for Celtic Football Club from Belfast Celtic on 28 June 1948. He played his debut match at Inside-left at home against Morton on 14 August in a 0-0 draw. Charlie played a total of 319 matches for Celtic, scoring 47 goals, throughout his illustrious career, which spanned 11 years.

    Charlie's quick skill earned him the reputation as a Celtic great after an outstanding performance against Rangers in a 3-1 victory at Celtic Park where it was reported 'Tully dribbled about almost at will.' '...The miraculous Irishman bewildered, badgered...mesmerised Rangers...' This capitulated Tully to the status of cult hero and the beginning of 'Tully Mania' when Tully cocktails were sold in pubs; Tully ties in shops and green flavoured Tully ice cream in cafes.

    As well as being such an accomplished player on the domestic front, Tully played international football with Northern Ireland. One game is fondly remembered. Charlie Tully was outstanding during and international match in 1952 and scored both goals in a 2-2 with England, one of which was scored from the corner flag.
    Astoundingly, Tully achieved this remarkable feat again in 1953, not once but twice against Falkirk in a Scottish Cup tie at Brockville. Charlie Tully played ten times for his country but his form against England in 1952 was indeed impressive enough to be nominated for an award linked to performance.

    Before the kick-off he said to the future Sir Alf Ramsay, "Do you enjoy playing for your country, Mr Ramsay?" "I do, Mr Tully". "Make the most of it today then - it might be the last chance you get!" The match report read 'Tully took a corner with his right foot. The inswinger sailed waist high and at speed, swerving into goal at the last moment. Merrick sensed the danger...but the swerving ball bounced out of his arms and over the line.'

    After being freed in 1959, following short loan spells at Stirling Albion and Rangers, he took up the position of player manager of Cork Hibs before spells of management at Bangor (twice) and Portadown.

    Tully died in his sleep at home in Belfast on 27 July 1971 only a few months after astounding crowds with his old skills at the Ford Fives Festival match aptly titled 'Night of a Thousand Stars' at Meadowbank. The Falls Road was packed with mourners for his funeral and Johnny Bonnar turned to Jock Stein during the proceedings and said 'Charlie would have loved this Jock.'
     
  8. regicfc Banned!

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    The Empire Exhibition Tournament was played in the pre-war summer of 1938 to mark the Empire Exhibition being held in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. Eight teams took part in the tournament held at Ibrox - Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Rangers represented Scotland and Brentford, Chelsea, Everton and Sunderland (Champions of England) for England. Celtic had already won the Scottish League Championship (for the second time in three years) and winning this cup would be a fine bonus to celebrate a 50 years milestone in the club's proud history. Celtic legend Jimmy McGrory, finally giving in to years of abuse, retired at the age of 33 and the Park's record attendance of 92,000 was set versus Rangers in a 3-0 victory on New Year's day 1938.

    Celtic played Sunderland in the first round and won a replay 3-1 after a 0-0 draw in the first match. Hearts were disposed of in the semi-final 1-0 through a Johnny Crum goal. Everton, destined to win the English championship in the following season, were Celtic's opponents in the final. They had beaten Rangers 2-0 and Aberdeen 3-2 to advance to the final and were the favourites to triumph. Once again, Johnny Crum scored the vital goal 5 minutes into extra time and Celtic won the match and the tournament. The trophy, to be kept permanently by the winning club, was a silver replica of the Exhibition Tower,

    The Celtic team in the final as follows: Kennaway, Hogg, Morrison, Geatons, Lyon, Paterson, Delaney, Macdonald, Crum, Divers, Murphy.
     
  9. regicfc Banned!

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    The 1953 Coronation Cup competition involved four clubs from Scotland and four from England and was held to commemorate the forthcoming coronation of Queen Elizabeth.
    The invited teams were Hibs, Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers from Scotland, together with Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle and Tottenham from England.
    Before the tournament began Celtic were regarded as rank outsiders. The team's performances that season had been very poor indeed, and it was suggested in some quarters that Celtic should not have been invited to take part at all in such a prestigious competition. Rangers had won the league and cup double, defeating Aberdeen in the cup final and Hibs in the league on goal average.
    The English teams were being legitamately described as the best four south of the border. Arsenal were the English champions while Manchester United and Spurs were the two previous champions. Newcastle had won the FA Cup in 1951 and 1952. Given the strength of the opposition it's perhaps understandable why Celtic were given no chance of lifting the trophy.
    In the first round Celtic lined up against Arsenal at Hampden on May 11th 1953 and in front of a crowd of 59,000 beat the English champions by 1:0, a scoreline that definitely flattered the Londoners. The Daily Record summarised the game thus: "The much criticised Celts, the poorest team to wear the famous green and white jerseys for a long, long time, took on the mighty Arsenal, the English league champions and beat them right, left and centre." Although expected to be sacrificial lambs to the slaughter, Celtic totally outplayed their opponents and had it not been for some inspired goalkeeping by Swindin for Arsenal the final margin of victory might have been a lot wider.

    In the semi-final the Celts played Manchester United, who had beaten Rangers 2:1 in the first round. This game was also played at Hampden, on May 16th, and Celtic treated the 73,000 crowd to a 2:1 victory. United's goal was scored in the final 15 minutes, by which time the Hoops were coasting to an easy victory.

    This set the scene for an all-Scottish final between Celtic and Hibs, who had defeated Spurs and Newcastle on their way to the final.
    The game was played on Wednesday May 20th 1953 and attracted a crowd of 117,000 spectators to watch an engrossing match between the following two sides:

    CELTIC: Bonnar, Haughney, Rollo, evans, stein, McPhail, Collins, Walsh, Mochan, Peacock, Fernie

    HIBS: Younger, Govan, Patterson, Buchanan, Howie, Combe, Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbul, Ormond

    Deservedly 1:0 ahead at half-time through a magnificent shot from recent signing Neil Mochan, Celtic owed their victory to an outstanding display of goalkeeping by the oft-maligned John Bonnar. In the second half he stopped everything that Hibs, with their 'Famous Five' forward line could throw at him. when walsh scored Celtic's second with three minutes to go the cup was Paradise bound.
    Newspaper reports of the time described Bonnar's goalkeeping as "bordering on the miraculous", which explains why thousands of Celtic fans congregated at the front entrance after the match to chant his name. It was another great Celtic player who won the Player of the Tournament award however, the one and only Bobby Evans.
    For a team that many considered not good enough to stand up to the best the English had to offer, Celtic had struck a mighty blow for Scottish football by beating both Arsenal and Manchester United.
     
  10. regicfc Banned!

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    Scottish League Cup Final, Hampden Park, 19-10-1957

    The surprising thing about this match was not so much the 7-1 scoreline but the fact that it took 23 minutes for Celtic to open the scoring. Right from the kick off the Celts mounted attack after attack and hit the woodwork twice in the opening minutes. When the goal did come it was from the boot of Sammy Wilson, a free transfer from St Mirren who fired a first time effort into the back of the net from a Charlie Tully cross.

    Rangers defended desperately but the longer the game went on the more confident they became until just a minute from the break when Celtic winger Neil Mochan sped off down the left, sweeping past Rangers' right back Shearer and almost to the bye-line before unleashing a terrific left foot shot which bulged the Rangers net and sent the Celtic fans into raptures.
    Celtic started the second half exactly the way they had the first and on 53 minutes it was 3-0. Bobby Collins sent in a beautiful cross which was met by the head of Billy McPhail and glanced into the net. Rangers were now in total disarray and were switching players to different positions to try to stem the tide but with Celtic maybe thinking the game was already won, Rangers pulled a goal back with a Simpson header on 58 minutes.

    Instead of the goal giving Rangers hope it seemed to inspire Celtic to go on and score even more and with Fernie and Mochan tearing the Gers defence to to shreds it was only a matter of time before the fourth goal arrived. With 68 minutes on the clock McPhail volleyed a Mochan corner but his net-bound shot was parried by keeper Niven but the ball came back to the Celtic ace and he calmly chose his spot in the net to put the Celts 4-1 up.
    After 75 minutes, a cross from Wilson found the unmarked Mochan who bagged his second goal of the game to give Celtic a 5-1 lead but worse was to follow for the Gers whose supporters were heading for the exits when a long ball from Beattie in the Celtic goal found McPhail who flicked the ball over Rangers' centre half Valentine, ran round him and collecting the ball from his own flick, headed for goal all on his own and as Niven came out to meet him he coolly slotted the ball beyond him and into the net to make it 6-1 with still 10 minutes to go.

    The Rangers support could take no more and violence flared with supporters fighting among themselves and bottles being hurled into the air. The trouble spilled over on to the pitch and the police had to move swiftly to prevent it getting out of hand. The play went on despite the fracas at the Rangers end and Celtic were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute when McPhail was brought down in the box. Willie Fernie took the kick and scored easily to give Celtic their greatest ever victory over Rangers.
    Former skipper Jock Stein who was at home in Hamilton recovering from another ankle operation had listened to the game on the radio and was pleasantly surprised when a car arrived to take him away to the victory dinner in Glasgow.

    Teams: Celtic: Beattie, Donnelly, Fallon, Fernie, Evans, Peacock, Tully, Collins, McPhail, Wilson, Mochan.

    Rangers: Niven, Shearer, Caldow, McColl, Valentine, Davis, Scott, Simpson, Murray, Baird, Hubbard.
    Referee: Mr. J.A.Mowatt, Burnside.
     
  11. regicfc Banned!

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    John 'Jock' Stein CBE (October 5, 1922 - September 10, 1985) was
    born in Burnbank, Lanarkshire, Scotland, Stein saw football as his escape from the Lanarkshire coal mines. In 1937 he left Greenfield school in Hamilton and after a short time working in a carpet factory went down the pits to become a miner. The next year he joined Blantyre Victoria junior football club. He started out as a player with Albion Rovers in 1942 and continued to work as a miner during the week, while playing as centre-half on Saturday. He made a name for himself as a no nonsense centre-half and went on to make over 200 appearances for the Coatbridge club, which also included a brief loan spell to Dundee United in 1943. Rovers won promotion to the First Division in 1948.

    In 1950 Stein signed for non-league Welsh club Llanelli Town. For the first time in his career he became a full-time professional footballer on the sum of £12 per week. But he was desperate to come home to Scotland as he had left his wife and young daughter behind and his house had been broken into twice in his absence. His wish was granted in 1951, when on the recommendation of Celtic reserve team trainer Jimmy Gribben, Celtic bought him for £1,200.

    He was signed as a reserve but injuries incurred by first team players resulted in him being elevated to the first team. In 1952 he was appointed vice-captain and when captain Sean Fallon broke his arm the full captaincy was passed to Stein. He would be club captain until his Celtic playing career ended due to injury in 1956.

    In 1953 he captained Celtic to Coronation Cup success when they unexpectedly beat Arsenal 1-0, Manchester United 2-1 and Hibernian 1-0 to become unofficial champions of Britain and in 1954, he captained Celtic to their first League championship since 1938 and first League and Scottish Cup double since 1914. During Scotland's performances in the 1954 World Cup Finals, Jock Stein watched and learned. Firstly, about the shambles of Scotland’s preparations and secondly about the continentals tactics, particularly the Hungarians who were revolutionising the game.
    In 1956, Stein was forced to retire from football after persistent ankle injuries that would result in him having a permanent limp. In total he played 148 games for Celtic and scored 2 goals. He was given the job of coaching the reserve and youth players and was responsible for persuading the board to purchase Barrowfield as a training ground. In 1958, he led the reserves to the second XI Cup with an 8-2 aggregate triumph over Rangers. This was Stein’s first success as a manager.

    On March 14, 1960 he accepted the job of manager at Dunfermline Athletic. After only 6 weeks in charge, Stein led the Pars clear of relegation. He built Dunfermline into a powerful force and guided them to their first Scottish Cup in 1961, ironically via a 2-0 replay victory over Celtic. In 1962 he defeated Everton in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and only lost to Valencia in a third game play-off after retrieving a four goal first leg deficit.
    On April 1, 1964, he was appointed manager of Hibernian and within months of becoming manager he led Hibs to Summer Cup success.

    On March 9, 1965, Stein returned to Celtic as manager. Stein was also the clubs first non-Catholic manager. He revitalised the team and, just six weeks after becoming manager, Stein led Celtic to Scottish Cup success after a 3-2 victory over Dunfermline. This was Celtic’s first silverware in over 7 years. The next year Celtic were crowned Scottish champions for the first time since 1954. They also reached the semi-finals of the European Cup-Winners-Cup only to be knocked out on away goals by Liverpool in controversial circumstances. What took Stein into the company of legends were arguably three achievements recorded in the next season in 1967.
    He managed Celtic to the domestic treble for the first time in the club's history, winning the Scottish League Cup, the League Championship and the Scottish Cup. He guided Celtic to victory in the final of the 1967European Cup against previous champions and Italian giants Inter Milan. Despite initially falling behind to an Italian penalty his team triumphed 2-1, winning admiration for the attacking quality of their football.

    In winning club football's most prestigious trophy, Stein became the first man not only to guide a Scottish club to champions of Europe, but also the first to achieve this honour with a British club. He also became the first manager of the first club in history to win all competitions entered. The most remarkable feat, still unmatched today, was that it was a team comprised entirely of players from one country (Scotsmen), all born within 30 miles of a single city (Glasgow). No other side has ever won the European Cup with a completely native team. In a conversation with Bill Shankly shortly afterwards, Shankly famously told him "Jock, you're an immortal now".
    The following season, Celtic won the League for the third time in a row and the League Cup for the third time in a row and in 1969 won the domestic treble for the second time in three years.

    In 1970, Stein led Celtic to both the League and League Cup and they finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup. He also guided them to the European Cup final a second time in 1970, but they lost to Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam.

    The 1970s brought continued success on the domestic front and during this time Stein and Celtic won a record nine consecutive Scottish Championships, (a feat only matched during the 90s by rivals Rangers). Stein was injured in a serious car crash in 1975 and Celtic began to decline during the latter part of the decade. In 1978 he left Celtic, he had been refused a role on the Celtic board as Stein was a protestant. He became manager of Leeds United, but after 45 days in charge at Elland Road, Stein resigned and accepted the position of Scotland manager.

    Stein had been part-time national manager in 1965, but was now able to focus on the job full-time. He led Scotland to the World Cup Finals in 1982 where they went out on goal difference to the Soviet Union.
    On September 10 1985 at Ninian Park, Cardiff, Jock Stein died from a heart attack during a game against Wales as Scotland equalised to gain the point needed to make qualification virtually certain to the 1986 World Cup Finals.
     
  12. regicfc Banned!

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    Celtic fans were still luxuriating in the success brought about by the Lisbon Lions' achievement in winning the European Cup when a 16-year old staunch Rangers supporter called Kenny Dalglish signed professional forms in July of 1967. Less than a year earlier, Bill Shankly had passed up the opportunity to sign the Dalmarnock teenager. Liverpool's loss would be Celtic's gain - for a ten-year spell anyway.

    One of the most revered players in the history of Celtic Football Club, Dalglish was, by his own admission, a reluctant recruit to the green and white cause. Raised in the Docklands district of Glasgow - just a lengthy kick of the ball away from Ibrox - the young Dalglish worshipped the Gers. Thus one can only imagine the powers of persuasion which Sean Fallon, the then Assistant Manager of Celtic, employed to convince Dalglish to don the hoops.

    Indeed the story goes that Fallon travelled to the would-be Parkhead hero's home with his wife Myra and three children to get his signature with the promise to his wife that he'd "only be a wee minute." He didn't realise it was going to take the guts of three hours to fulfil his mission. Wife Myra, needless to say, wasn't a bit pleased when the Irishman returned. Notwithstanding the fact that the kids were restless and hungry, it also happened to the couple's wedding anniversary!

    The innately talented young Glaswegian was a nugget just waiting to be unearthed when Fallon arrived on the scene. Dalglish had been catching the eye while with Drumchapel Amateurs and Glasgow United when Vic Davidson's mother recommended him to Fallon. Next to his role as assistant to the great Jock Stein, Sean Fallon will always be fondly remembered as the man who signed Kenny Dalglish.

    Dalglish was a lord to the manor born when signing up for the then reigning European Cup holders. The club and the player were made for each other and both would benefit accordingly. It was a marriage made in Heaven.

    The fair-haired youngster from the Docklands would proceed to merit inclusion in the list of all-time Celtic greats. His lightning-quick brain, natural strength on the ball, mobility and eye for goal made him the most feared predator in Britain during the seventies and early eighties.

    Dalglish attended Milton Bank Primary School where he made his mark on the playing fields sufficiently well to gain a place on the Scotland Under 15 team. Predictably, he scored twice on his debut against Northern Ireland. His form with Scotland saw him receive a trial with West Ham. And like Bill Shankly's mid-judgement, the Hammers were later hammered for their mistake by fans who would come to hate the sight of Dalglish in front of goal.

    Once signed up by Fallon, the skilful right-half was initially farmed out to Celtic's nursery Cumbernauld United while, at the same time, working as an apprentice joiner. Before the end of the season, he had done well enough to warrant a professional contract and, a few months later, he graduated to become one of the stars of the Celtic reserve team, a side so good they were known as the Quality Street Gang.

    It was a Quality Street Gang that included such would-be luminaries as Pat McCluskey, Davie Hay, Vic Davidson and Danny McGrain. Those players helped bring out the best in Dalglish but Dalglish repaid the compliment, contributing enormously to getting the group noticed by those who counted at Celtic Park.

    That said, Celtic manager Jock Stein made his rising star wait patiently for his chance to prove himself on the big stage and it was three years before Dalglish established himself on the first team.

    Stein always recognised the special talent he had seen swiped from under the noses of the Rangers and when he gave Dalglish his chance in a benefit match against Kilmarnock, it was grabbed in dramatic fashion by the illusive striker. Celtic beat the Rugby Park men 7-0. Dalglish helped himself to six of the goals.

    From the start of the 1971-72 season, he became a first team regular, scoring three times in as many games against Rangers (twice in the League Cup) before the campaign was even six weeks old. A star had arrived.

    Still football folk were somewhat surprised when, as the 1972/73 season got underway, Jock Stein switched Dalglish up front. It was to prove an inspired decision though.

    The relocated right-half proceeded to top the scoring charts that season for Celtic with 41 goals in all competitions, his trademark shielding of the ball, swivel and drive accounting for a lot of those goals.

    When later he was to terrorise defences down in England, this artistry became the bane of top class central defenders, men like Arsenal and Ireland's Dave O'Leary:

    "It was almost impossible to rob Kenny off the ball. He used to crouch over the ball, legs spread and elbows poking out and whatever angle you approached you came from, you were liable to find his backside in your face."

    But although teammates and opponents described him as the complete player, Celtic manager Jock Stein didn't regard him as an out-and-out striker. Instead, more often than not, he was used by Stein as a linkman behind the lethal pairing of 'Dixie' Deans and Bobby Lennox.

    As the seasons went on, Celtic became more and more reliant on their talisman to lead them to further success. Dalglish didn't disappoint.

    Three days after being unceremoniously dumped out of the 1974 European Cup by a very aggressive Atletico Madrid team, Celtic took hold of their ninth successive Scottish League title. Unsurprisingly, Dalglish played a pivotal role in bringing closure to the never-to-be forgotten run.

    A cleverly curled shot by Dalglish gave Celtic a 1-1 draw at Falkirk, thus ensuring that the hoops finished four points clear of second placed Hibernian. The campaign triumph saw Celtic equal the world record for successive title wins, which had, until then, been held jointly by MTK Budapest of Hungary and CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria.

    Dalglish was passionate, full-blooded and skilful. A fans favourite, he was well got by those who oversaw the blossoming of his skills too. Not surprisingly, he was made captain of Celtic at the start of the 1975/76 season.

    Ironically, his tenure, initially, of the captaincy wasn't one in which the Celts found their best form and it turned out to be a miserable season for the green and whites. For the first time since 1963/64, Celtic failed to win trophy. In addition, manager Stein was involved in a car accident which nearly claimed his life.

    While the following year, Celtic - with manager Stein back in place - won the league and cup double. Off the field though, concern was mounting as rumours spread about Dalglish having itchy feet. Sadly, the rumours were spot on.

    Kenny Dalglish had arrived at Parkhead before the triumph over Inter Milan in the European Cup final but he yearned to taste such an experience. He figured Liverpool offered him a better chance in this respect than Celtic. He had also lost patience with Celtic's archaic wage structure. A parting of the waves was inevitable; the only question was when would it happen.

    In early August 1975, Dalglish requested a transfer but reconciliation was arrived at. Nevertheless, two years later, Liverpool, the club who had turned him down ten years previously came to Parkhead determined to secure Dalglish's signature as a replacement for Hamburg-bound Kevin Keegan and they duly got their man for the sum of £440,000. Dalglish's football career with Celtic was thus at an end. On August 13th Dalglish turned out for the Merseysiders in the Charity Shield at Wembley.
     
  13. regicfc Banned!

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    Paul McStay devoted his career to his beloved Celtic in over 15 years at the Glasgow club.

    Midfield mainstay McStay was one of the club's most popular players at a time when Old Firm rivals Rangers were largely in the ascendancy.

    McStay first came to prominence in a Schoolboy international at Wembley when he orchestrated England's destruction in front of a live TV audience of millions.

    The composure he displayed that day would be a facet of his game throughout his career. He joined Celtic at 17 and made his debut as a substitute against Queen of the South in January 1982. His final appearance came in April 1997 against Raith Rovers.

    McStay scored on his League debut at Aberdeen. He was a genuine Celtic fan and quickly endeared himself to the faithful when he netted in his first encounter with Rangers.
    His leadership qualities were recognised in 1990 when he was made club captain and he also went on to skipper Scotland.

    McStay chalked up 515 League appearances for the Bhoys and he is the most capped Scottish player in the club's history with 76 games for his country, featuring nine goals. His record also earned him a place in Scotland's football Hall of Fame.

    Had it not been for an ankle injury that cut short his career, he could well have beaten Kenny Dalglish's record haul of 102 Scottish caps.

    McStay was a Scottish League title winner three times and picked up four Scottish Cup winners' medals and a League Cup gong.

    He also figured in the World Cup finals of 1986 and 1990 and the 1992 European Championships.

    McStay, a player of great vision, was at the peak of his powers during Celtic's centenary year in 1988 when they won the League and Cup double.

    He scored a vital last-minute equaliser against Hearts at Parkhead and the opening goal in an Old Firm clash at Ibrox in a campaign in which he was ever-present in the League and made 54 appearances all told, only missing one game, a League Cup tie with Dumbarton.

    McStay stuck with Celtic during the hard times, when they finished fifth in a ten-team division and only ten points clear of relegation.

    His low point came in the 1995 League Cup final against Raith when, as captain, he missed in the penalty shoot-out as Celtic suffered a humiliating defeat.

    But he bounced back immediately to lift the Scottish Cup that year when they beat Airdrie 1-0 with a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal.
     
  14. regicfc Banned!

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    Pat Bonner, known by many as 'Packie', was born in County Donegal on the 24th May 1960. After playing for Keadue Rovers, he was spotted by Celtic while he kept goal for Leicester City in the FA Youth Cup and was signed by Jock Stein on May 14 1978. He made his debut in a 2-1 win against Motherwell on the 17th March 1979 aged 18 years.

    An agile, perceptive keeper, his performance in 1987-88 helped the team achieve the best defensive result in Britain, conceding only 23 goals in 44 League matches.

    Bonner's skill even earned him the praise of Pope John Paul II. After becoming Eire's hero in the World Cup second round penalty shoot-out against Romania in 1990, the Pope told him: "I know you are the goalkeeper. I used to play in that position myself."

    Although Bonner lost his first-team place at Celtic to Gordon Marshall in the 1991-2 season, he was back in goals by late September the following year.

    Bonner has made around 500 League appearances for Celtic and has won 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland. With Celtic he has won four League Championship badges, three Scottish Cup winners' medals and a League Cup winners' medal.

    Packie made his last appearance for Celtic in the 1995 Scottish cup final victory over Airdrie.

    In 2003 Bonner was elected as the Technical Director and Goalkeeping coach for the Football Association of Ireland. More recently he has been working as a football presenter for TV3 Ireland.
     
  15. regicfc Banned!

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    James Kelly was born in 1865 into a comparatively well off Irish family (i.e. a family who had avoided the hideous slums of the Glasgow metropolis) in the Dumbartonshire town of Renton. Dumbartonshire is often regarded with cause as being the cradle of Scottish football teams like Vale of Leven, Alexandria and Dumbarton springing up in the 1860's and 1870's to provide wholesome entertainment and exercise for a public suffering a cultural and spiritual void.

    James played for Renton from the early 1880's and won Scottish Cup medals for the Renton team in 1885 and 1888. When Renton beat West Bromwich Albion, the English Cup Winners, they could justifiably be called the Champions of the World.

    Being Catholic and Irish, Kelly was much wooed by Edinburgh Hibernian (and indeed had a few trials with them) but it was the new Glasgow Irish team that attracted him. He played in Celtic's first ever game and established himself as their centre half, even though he had no great height - something that seems a sine qua non for a centre half (and often still does).

    Professionalism was not technically legalised until 1893, but only the most naive of fools would believe that Kelly did not come to Celtic for reasons other than money. Once there however, he soon realised that the Celtic team was a good going concern that it would do a great deal of good for football in Scotland and for the Irish community in the Glasgow area, and that in Willie Maley there breathed a kindred spirit. Both men loved the game, loved their fans and loved their club and the early Celtic (on and later off the field) was built on the friendship and alliance of these two men.

    Kelly played 8 times for Scotland. His debut was the appalling 0-5 defeat in 1888 to England, a disaster compared to Culloden and Flodden in the press which used phrases like "mourning" ad "looking for comfort" to describe the Scottish nation, but Kelly (in his first international) was exempt from blame. He was never on a winning side against England (although he did well against Ireland and Wales) but in 1893 at Richmond as Captain of Scotland, he was invited to shake hands with Princess Mary of Teck who would one day become Queen Mary. It was a stunning example of how football could lift a young Irish boy (whose parents had witnessed landlordism at its worst, degradation, poverty and famine) to being the captain of Scotland and even meeting the Royal family!

    For Celtic, Kelly's greatest moment was winning the Scottish Cup in 1892 and also winning the Scottish League Championship in 1893, 1894 and 1896 with his inspiring leadership and gifted play.

    He also won four Glasgow Cups and four Glasgow Charity Cups, bringing the sort of success that the downtrodden and embattled Glasgow Irish population craved.

    Kelly invested wisely the money he made from football. He owned several public houses in Blantyre, Lanarkshire and was also a justice of the Peace.

    James Kelly died in 1932 a respected and loved figure both in and outside the Celtic community.
     
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