The Pigeon House Fort, Dublin. 1867

Morning,all.

Our members are really stepping up to the plate this week. After yesterday’s dystopian view of the future for the game,provided by MCCAFF,today sees MAGUA relate to us some history. Not just any history,this is the story of Willie Maley,probably our first legend following the club’s formation by Brother Walfrid and co.

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The first manager of Celtic-Willie Maley-is rightly honoured by the Celtic support to this very day. The great man even has his very own song. Willie might never have obtained that exalted position, were it not for his own father, Thomas…and a young Irishman, and political activist, by the name of Pat Welsh. The first meeting of Thomas Maley and Pat Welsh occurred under strange circumstances indeed. This meeting played a vital role in the history of our great club, albeit years before the formation of Celtic.

That though, is for later. Let’s have a wee bit of background information on our two protagonists, to set the scene.

Pat Welsh was born in the town of Killargue, Country Leitrim. I could not find much information on his early years. As a young man however, he grew up with a burning desire to see his country free of British rule. To this end, Pat joined the Republican movement of the time, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). This movement is possible better know as the Fenian Brotherhood…or Fenians. The main aim of the movement, was to establish an independent Irish Republic using armed struggle and social and political agitation.

In 1867, the IRB rose in opposition to British rule. The rebellion was ultimately unsuccessful, due to poor planning, British infiltration, and the curse of most Irish freedom movements down the years…the informer.

So it came to pass after the rising, that Pat Welsh, hiding from the Crown Forces, found himself in the vicinity of the Pigeon House Fort, in the Docks area of Dublin, where he was soon to meet a man who would alter his life forever… Sergeant Thomas Maley.

Thomas hailed from Ennis, a town in County Clare. I could find nothing pertaining to his early life. What is known, is that Thomas, as a young man, joined the North British Fusiliers, a regiment of the British Army.

At this point in the story, we return to Pat Welsh. In hiding, he heard a shout:

“Halt. Who goes there?”

Pat turned around in alarm, to be confronted by a man, wielding a rifle. The man was a sergeant in the North British Fusiliers. His name? Thomas Maley.

What happened next, became the stuff of legend. Pat Welsh, detecting an Irish accent in the man who was confronting him, blurted out his story, while the soldier patiently listened. Pat explained about his revolutionary background, but fearful of arrest, and a long term of imprisonment, he was hoping to start a new life in Scotland. Maley-putting his own life on the line-escorted young Pat to an appropriate ship bound for Scotland. The pair exchanged personal details, and kept in touch over the years. Pat Welsh never forgot the kindness shown to him by Sgt Thomas Maley.

Once settled in Glasgow, Pat enrolled as an apprentice. His ambition was to be a tailor. He eventually became a master tailor, and opened what became a thriving business, in Buchanan Street. He joined various Irish political organizations, and became a pillar of the Catholic community in the East End of Glasgow…but particularly so, at St Mary’s parish, in the Calton area of the city. It was there that he met a fellow Irishman, from the town of Ballymote, in County Sligo. The man’s name was Andrew Kerrins. We Tims of course, know him better as Brother Walfrid. Brother Walfrid was a member of the French Catholic teaching order, The Marist Brothers. He became headmaster of  The sacred Heart school, in the Calton.

In 1870, when Sgt Thomas Maley retired from the British Army, Pat Welsh, by now a wealthy man, invited the Maley family to Glasgow. With Pat’s help, the family quickly settled in Scotland, and made their home in the Cathcart district.

In 1887, Brother Walfrid, as headmaster at Sacred Heart, had a vision. He and a fellow Marist, Brother Dorotheas, were gravely concerned by the poverty all around them. Many children of his parishioners, were underfed, and the parents could not afford to send their kids to school. Many children were already working from an early age, to help out with the finances of their families. Walfrid had plans to introduce a new scheme at his school. For one penny, a child would receive a full meal, before the start of the school day. He also hoped that some would stay on for lessons. He also knew however, that many children attended his school to play a relatively new game… Association Football. Walfrid had invited the team of Edinburgh’s Irish community, Hibernian, to St Mary’s hall, to celebrate Hibs winning of the Scottish Cup in 1887. A fellow from Edinburgh, suggested that the Glasgow Irish should set up their very own football club. This idea was embraced with great enthusiasm by Brothers Walfrid and Dorotheas. It was hoped that such a club, would be a great success, and help fund the penny dinner scheme, which Walfrid was keen to introduce.

In the 6th of November 1887, the formation of The Celtic Football and Athletic Club, was announced. The two main problems facing those who set up the club, were:

1. Where was the team going to play? This was solved, when a plot of land near the present Celtic Park, was rented from a landlord. An army of voluntary labourers, were enrolled in order to build the first Celtic Park.

2. The next obvious problem, was how to go about recruiting new players. Pat Welsh, by now a committee member of Celtic, recommend to Brother Walfrid, that he had someone in mind, as the club’s first recruit. The oldest son, of his dear friend, Thomas Maley. Thomas Jnr, was by this time playing for Hibernian, but lived in Cathcart, with his family. So it was, that one evening, Brother Walfrid, Pat Welsh and John Glass, another committee man, arrived at the Maley family home. Thomas Maley warmly welcomed his old friend and the two men with him, but had to inform them that young Thomas was out courting, but would be back soon. In the course of the evening, Brother Walfrid met Thomas Maley’s younger son. Being confident of recruiting the older brother, Walfrid, being impressed by the polite manner and bearing of the younger brother, posed a question to the young man:

“Why don’t you come along too, son?”

That young man, and more importantly his father, agreed with Brother Walfrid’s suggestion.

The young man’s name?

Willie Maley Was His Name…

Hail Hail.

I am indebted to the fine folks at the CelticWiki for some of the information contained here, but used as my primary sources, two wonderful articles:

1. ‘If you know your history, don’t re-write it.’

The Irish Voice. 20/9/2017.

2. ‘Patrick Welsh:Rebellion, intrigue and the importance of him to Celtic FC and the Maley family.’

Liam Kelly/The Celtic Star. 3/9/2020.

Liam has also written a number of articles on the early relation ship between Celtic and Hibs. These too, I found useful.

Magua 

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BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 21, 2023 6:05 am

JOBO POTY Competition

sencelpoty@gmail.com

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 21, 2023 6:06 am
Jobo Baldie
April 21, 2023 8:28 am

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Friday to all who post or lurk on this fine site.
Magua – thanks for retelling that story of the early days in your own style. A great wee short story there with a happy ending. And of course Willie brought some great names to the game when he was the boss at Celtic Park 😁

SteveNaive
April 21, 2023 8:30 am

The Real McCoy

I am indebted to a friend and would like to connect a serious omission from yesterday’s discussion on The Rules, to whit,

When best player’s team is, as expected, winning comfortably, he will often nominate himself as goaltender ( much to the delight of the wee fella already there) . After a spell, and if the scores should become more equal, said keeper will,
entirely arbriterally,, become ‘a backie’, that is, can be keeper and play outfield
Disputes can occasionally occur when he saves forty yards out from his own goall with the accompanying explanation
‘Im backie’
As always, disputes are normally settled by best fighter.

BelmontBrian63
April 21, 2023 9:13 am

Morning all.

MAGUA, thanks for that excellent leader.

Auldheid
April 21, 2023 9:22 am

Steve Naive.

The ” backie” handling the ball when he was not back enough could bring in the killer rule that entitled the owner of the ball to pick it up and storm off hame.

It was the dreaded ” It’s ma baw” rule.

Twisty
April 21, 2023 9:26 am

ATOB
Good luck at Ayr today.

Lucinda made the headlines last week and she might do well again today “all three of the runners hold some sort of chance” . ( Her words not mine)

Personally I like Killer Clown at 9/1 in the 3pm.

Regardless of win or lose I hope you have a lovely day out.

A thing of beauty
April 21, 2023 9:32 am

Magua,
Now that is why we support the Celtic. No other club has the history that we have. It’s beautiful and you gave an important part its start a worthy story. 👏👏
Twisty,
Thanks for the tip. As I said, I will take all advice on board and bet sensibly!!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
April 21, 2023 9:42 am

ATHINGOFBEAUTY

You ever met Benny,Ayrshire Tim? He’s at the races today too. Probably with Mick TT and PF Ayr. Steer well clear,they’ll explode your liver.

Madmitch
April 21, 2023 9:58 am

Mahe

Interesting story — to me a sort of political epiphany if you like.

The transformation of the Burton’s Commando / Physical Force Republican into the economic migrant success story pushing for change through non violent means. Interesting that someone running from the forces of the crown would want to start a new life in Glesga — some sort of irony alert is called for.

IRB vs CFC — What has the larger positive impact on today’s society?

SteveNaive
April 21, 2023 9:58 am

Auldheid,

Correct.
This though could often be circumvented by best fighter unless ball owner had big brothers ( or serious big sisters)
When this happened a deputation was sent the the ball owners door to plead his recommencement.
On one such occasion the ball owners maw had answered the door…
‘Is John coming’ out to play ?’
John’s maw…’Naw he isny’!
Cue a voice from the back,
‘Is his ball coming’ out to play ?’

Jimbo67
April 21, 2023 10:23 am

Morning all

Thanks to Magua for the leader. I always think I know a lot about Celtic and have bought into the legend about how we started – because it is true. But the back stories I am less knowledgable of than I should be so this is gold dust for me.

Fantastic stuff.

Jimbo

PS
Apologies in advance but I plan a long post about a game played on a previous 21st of April

The Star Above The Crest
April 21, 2023 10:42 am

Terrific article. Willie Maley should, I believe, have a statue at Celtic Park. (So should Jimmy McGrory). The man stands like a colossus in our history.

Madmitch
April 21, 2023 10:56 am

McC @ regular intervals yesterday.

Not sure exactly where the discussion managed to end up.
For me it started with ideas to make the SPL more competitive — more local support at our away games.
The bottom six clubs seem to lose support when we play them at home — a beating is never popular if you are emotionally involved.

That was it for me — you introduced various elements surrounding youth football today and here is the edited highlights of my current thoughts.

Youth football — we need better coaches and facilities.

Parents are important but most are enthusiastic amateurs and we need properly qualified coaches. Iceland has shown the way to make the most of a small population and we would do well to copy them to the point of cloning their system.

That would also include the second strand of their success — proper indoor facilities.
Watching 13 year olds fighting the wind and rain on a poor grass pitch in late November is running pretty close to child neglect.
It is a lesson in survival not coaching or competitive football — we need to do better.

Indoor pitches — tell us something about the social hierarchy in Modern Scotland.
All the recent indoor pitches are marvels of engineering / design purity — that is very expensive.
Multiple architects and engineering consultants taking a good wage from each ego trip they design.
Local politicians happy to cut ribbons / accept awards for these “golden elephants” and then forgetting about them.

We need lower cost indoor pitches / we need a standard design — we need lots more of them.
You can buy them out a catalogue for a “known” price — well price range — and they can be put up quickly.
We seem to be going down this route for Barrowfield so we can do our bit to start the revolution.
To the point that we build another one at L/town — £5mill a go would seem to be the current going rate.

Pro youth — spawn of the devil.
Footballing apartheid where the few get a badge and the rest get an inferiority complex.
Plus it would seem that big squads in Pro Youth limit game time for some.
Looks to me like too much stratification too early.

Youth football — informal / jumpers for goalposts — Exhibit 1: the astro pitch in the Holy City.

Organised games are played / the local egg chasers have even trained there but the door is left open.
So it it not unusual to see 8 games / kickabouts on the go across a wide range of ages.
Seems to have its own rules / standards that everybody works to and generally follows.
Youths sorting it out for themselves — no Hi-Viz in sight.
Big draw to the village from the nearby Tesco estates.

Youth football at P/head — from memory there is an U18 league that we play in.
Not sure if it was two years ago but we had a very poor season — came 8th out of 13 is my memory.
So we do have a local league just a case that the St Ninian’s set up didn’t seem to deliver that year.

Then we have the issue of footballing opportunities for 18 / 19 / 20 year olds.
I would push for opportunities and not pathway as pathway is too scripted / formulaic / controlling.
All the talk of pathways being tailored to individual player is just so much management speak / techno babble.

There is a full spectrum of players involved but only a limited amount of options.
All this talk of tailoring gives rise to an attitude that the pathway has to be a perfect fit.
Not good for the age groups involved — they have to learn that the options are limited and compromise will be needed.
Telling them that their next step has been tailored for them and it doesn’t work out — what next?

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 11:01 am

21st April 1979, Aberdeen 1:1 Celtic.

Andy Lynch equalises after Gordon Strachan gave Aberdeen the lead. https://t.co/hIO05tneWU

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 11:01 am

Magua.
Thanks for a most enjoyable read.

Madmitch
April 21, 2023 11:06 am

McC @ 18 / 19 / 20 year olds

Another point you pushed was what happens when it comes to 18 / 19 / 20 year olds trying to make it in the pro game — must they play age group football or should they get involved with mixed age / limited ability football as a stepping stone to the first team squad. I am not really sure what the answer is but age group football is to me very insular and limiting over time.

Playing the same players over and over again from the age of 12 must be some sort of footballing Groundhog day — not good.
One point where we do agree is the need to play more football — we seem to have an U18 league available to us.

The current arrangements for the B Team seems to point that it is run as an U20 team — full season of games.
Would that be a full squad of 26 / 28 players aged 18 and 19 at the start of the season — 2003’s and 2004’s it would appear.

This could mean an issue with the EUFA home grown rule — 3 years club or league coaching / 18 to 21.
How would we fit this in if the B team is U20 — that would only be 2 years with us?
Not everybody aged 20 would make the jump to the first team squad.
10/15 per year — not going to happen.

How would we fill in that final year if they are not first team credible at 20?
Would this mean a Reserve team playing as an U22 team to keep them active?
Or would we put them out on loan for that final year?

Pretty complex stuff
However it would appear to be on the AP agenda.
Hopefully we start to see the cunning plan next season.
All will surely be revealed !!??!!

Finally players is just one part of it.

We need a good coaching roster with coaches developing within our system.
Giving the gig to various CB’s of 15 years ago is all a bit limiting.
All a bit jobs for the bhoys.

Although to be fair — SMcM and DO’D seem to be improving things.
Might just be a coincidence that they were both CBs …

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 11:08 am

21st April 1982, Celtic 3:1 Dundee Utd.

McCluskey double and a Provan freekick. https://t.co/3re6WcAc5d

Sunnyside
April 21, 2023 11:35 am

“If you know the history “ then you realise you don’t.

Magua , wonderful insight into the birth of our great football club.
It’s little gems like this that reminds us of humility and respect which we should show to others.

Hail Hail

16 Roads
April 21, 2023 11:50 am

Blog has been a fantastic read over the past few days.

Thanks to McCaff and Magua for their superb guest leaders, much appreciated.

Always an education CSC.

HH.🍀

McCaff
April 21, 2023 12:00 pm

MadMitch @ 10.26 (Your points are in inverted commas, my replies aren’t!)

“Not sure exactly where the discussion managed to end up.”
It didn’t end up anywhere, unfortunately other than you and I bloghogging for most of the morning and early afternoon.

“For me it started with ideas to make the SPL more competitive — more local support at our away games.”
Okay, that’s fine but it developed beyond that because you mooted the idea of bringing in Youth players to supplement teams with a view to raising the standard.

“The bottom six clubs seem to lose support when we play them at home — a beating is never popular if you are emotionally involved.
That was it for me — you introduced various elements surrounding youth football today and here is the edited highlights of my current thoughts.”
Again, okay, but my reply was because you talked about bringing in FOREIGN YOUTHS ON LOAN DEALS to supplement Scottish teams.

“Youth football — we need better coaches and facilities.”
Agreed!

“Parents are important but most are enthusiastic amateurs and we need properly qualified coaches.”
All coaches are properly qualified but there is no support or training after badges are gained, an ongoing programme of assessment would be beneficial to most.

“Iceland has shown the way to make the most of a small population and we would do well to copy them to the point of cloning their system.”
I have no experience or knowledge of how Iceland have developed their training programmes.

“That would also include the second strand of their success — proper indoor facilities.
Watching 13 year olds fighting the wind and rain on a poor grass pitch in late November is running pretty close to child neglect.
It is a lesson in survival not coaching or competitive football — we need to do better.
Indoor pitches — tell us something about the social hierarchy in Modern Scotland.
All the recent indoor pitches are marvels of engineering / design purity — that is very expensive.
Multiple architects and engineering consultants taking a good wage from each ego trip they design.
Local politicians happy to cut ribbons / accept awards for these “golden elephants” and then forgetting about them.
We need lower cost indoor pitches / we need a standard design — we need lots more of them.
You can buy them out a catalogue for a “known” price — well price range — and they can be put up quickly.
We seem to be going down this route for Barrowfield so we can do our bit to start the revolution.
To the point that we build another one at L/town — £5mill a go would seem to be the current going rate.”
I can’t argue with the principal of any of this but the biggest factor would be numbers of users v numbers of facilities. We currently have 8 (I think) SFA-funded Centres of Excellence across the country. Even quadrupling that figure, even building 10 times that number would be insufficient for weekend demand therefore it’s an unlikely solution.

“Pro youth — spawn of the devil.”
Only because of how the Clubs abuse the system, bringing in bulk, separate the haves from the have nots, dispose of at 14 years old!

“Footballing apartheid where the few get a badge and the rest get an inferiority complex.
Plus it would seem that big squads in Pro Youth limit game time for some.
Looks to me like too much stratification too early.”
…or too late, depending on how you view the process!!

“Youth football — informal / jumpers for goalposts — Exhibit 1: the astro pitch in the Holy City.
Organised games are played / the local egg chasers have even trained there but the door is left open.
So it it not unusual to see 8 games / kickabouts on the go across a wide range of ages.
Seems to have its own rules / standards that everybody works to and generally follows.
Youths sorting it out for themselves — no Hi-Viz in sight.
Big draw to the village from the nearby Tesco estates.”
Great! That’s exactly what we need, local facilities available to all. Affordable AND accessible. Now we just need another 300 or 400 nationwide and we’re getting somewhere.

“Youth football at P/head — from memory there is an U18 league that we play in.”
Don’t trust your memory, that league doesn’t exist!

“Not sure if it was two years ago but we had a very poor season — came 8th out of 13 is my memory.”
Ah! We used to have one! Wonder what went wrong there then? Why did we give that up?

“So we do have a local league just a case that the St Ninian’s set up didn’t seem to deliver that year.”
Eh, no! We don’t!!

“Then we have the issue of footballing opportunities for 18 / 19 / 20 year olds.”
This is the core age for the development into Senior football. Opportunities are extremely limited for this age group, principally because there aren’t enough opportunities to play ie nae leagues!

I would push for opportunities and not pathway as pathway is too scripted / formulaic / controlling.
‘Pathways’ is a buzzword, it’s now, it’s trendy but it does adequately describe how opportunities should be arrived at. If not Pathway then another buzzword will be used so pathway is fine for the purpose at present!

“All the talk of pathways being tailored to individual player is just so much management speak / techno babble.”
Nope! Pathway is a buzzword. The system if worked properly should suit individuals, not everyone learns/develops/matures at the same age or rate. Pathway is fine!

“There is a full spectrum of players involved but only a limited amount of options.”
Isn’t that my point!

“All this talk of tailoring gives rise to an attitude that the pathway has to be a perfect fit.”
The system and the Pathway should be clear enough to understand it’s role otherwise it won’t work! Ah! Right back to where we started really! The system is broken. THERE IS NO PATHWAY!

“Not good for the age groups involved — they have to learn that the options are limited and compromise will be needed.”
Of course there will be heartbreak along the way. We all know someone who coulda been shoulda been. Life works like that. But I’d rather increase the field to choose a team than pick a team from a limited field if a lot of the good ones have given u or been given up on too early because they didn’t have an opportunity to show what they could do. That’s where we’re at right now!

“Telling them that their next step has been tailored for them and it doesn’t work out — what next?”
Life is what comes next for those unable to cut it…but let’s make sure they’re really not good enough before cutting them loose!

Cheers for that today Mitch. That’s a proper answer rather than a staccato of bullet points! 👍

McCaff
April 21, 2023 12:04 pm

Apologies to the blog and to Magua! Maybe Mitch and me should just get a room!! 😁

McCaff
April 21, 2023 12:06 pm

By the way, Magua, excellent piece of history I didn’t know! 👍👍👍

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 12:16 pm

21st April 2004, Celtic 1:2 Aberdeen.

Larsson.

Whilst chasing the winner we lose our undefeated home record.

77 home games over 5 competitions unbeaten. Also our first league defeat in 38 games. https://t.co/EJDJz5NFWb

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 12:18 pm

21st April 1951, Celtic beat Motherwell 1:0 to win the Scottish Cup.

Cracking goal from John McPhail. https://t.co/KPqCb40z8G

Angel Gabriel
April 21, 2023 12:27 pm

MAGUA .
Cap doffed . Excellent stuff.
Every day is a school day . HH

Madmitch
April 21, 2023 12:49 pm

McC @ the edge of madness

There is an “Elite” U18 league that we take part in.
Really there is …

Part of Club Academy Scotland that runs leagues for various youth age groups.
So the St Ninian’s Glee Club is up and running with an U18 league set up to engage with.
Results and fixtures are to hand — no league table though.
Might be my interweb searching skills …

Most recent match I can find is vs the mighty Hamilton.
Unfortunately they won 4 – 1 away at L/town.
Not good.

https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/performance/club-academy-scotland/fixtures-results/

Twisty
April 21, 2023 12:52 pm

Great leader this morning and interesting comments have followed. If you know your history right enough.

Was up at my mums all morning working on the garden. She’s always reminiscing about the good ol’ days. She brought up Celtic today. Won’t bother ye with the details but it was more or less her relating a story about her favourite player back in the day, Stevie Chalmers.

My mums now the oldest living person in the village. She’ll be 91 this year. Made me think. She was 35 when she met Stevie. I wonder how many people who were 35 or older and were present in Lisbon when we won the big cup are still alive today? Must be a very small number.

16 Roads
April 21, 2023 1:06 pm

I sometimes marvel at the calmness of English people when faced with extreme provocation.

Thinking if the posh git at the snooker had tried to perform that stupid stunt in Belfast, the crowd would have broken every bone in his body with the cues.

HH.🍀

Magua
April 21, 2023 1:19 pm

Jobo

Thank you. I see what you did there.😀

BelmontBrian63

Many thanks, a chara.

ATOB

Thank you for your kind comments.

Jimbo

Each time a new book about Celtic comes out, I await with eager anticipation. We are never too old to learn something new about the Celts. I look forward to your later post.

The Star Above The Crest

Thank you. I heartily concur with those ideas.

Madmitch

Definitely the Celtic. Thanks for the reply.

Twisty

None of my own family made it to Lisbon. Meeting fellow Tims who did make the journey, was always a delight. Kindest regards to your mum.

JNP

Thank you, my friend. Thanks for posting that link.

Sunnyside

Thank you. Fine sentiments indeed.

16 Roads

Thank you. Much appreciated.

McCaff

You’re a terrible man, so ye are. 😀

Angel Gabriel

Thank you for your kind comments.

Hail Hail.

McCaff
April 21, 2023 1:27 pm

MM…aye, it’s a funny thing that U18s League. I noticed it while I was fact checking yesterday and Wednesday night! Celtic don’t list it at all on their website, the SFA don’t publish a table and I’ve just checked the TRFC site and it’s not listed there either! Both clubs only list the Men’s, Women’s and B Team!
I’ll give way to you on that, sir, and offer an apology. I’ll be speaking to a well connected insider later today and will make further enquiries into that! 🤔

Bada Bing
April 21, 2023 1:53 pm

Abada trained today, Reo and Jota didn’t

The Star Above The Crest
April 21, 2023 2:00 pm

https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/history/gallery/pictures-changing-face-celtic-park-26742474.amp

Apologies for the Glasgow Live link but there’s some terrific photos of Celtic Park over the years 🍀🍀🍀

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 2:06 pm

10 years ago today, Celtic win the title beating ICT 4:1.

Hooper(2), Ledley and Samaras. @HOOP588 @joe16led https://t.co/pUfmyOaPtf

Jobo Baldie
April 21, 2023 2:06 pm

Not long now till one of my most eagerly awaited posts of each weekend – the link to Ange’s full press conference. Second only (usually) to my Parish Priest’s sermon. Both of these always have some wee nugget that stays with me right through the following week. In fact I often wonder if Fr Dougan (oh, did I mention he was a season ticket holder) only writes his semon AFTER listening to Ange 😁

St tams
April 21, 2023 2:16 pm

Magua

Very enjoyable read 👍

big packy
April 21, 2023 2:56 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM , MAGUA ,
great post cap doffed, now you need to help me out with these toons😎
1 lou lou skip to my lou skip to my lou ?
2 harry harry harry harry harry harry ?

Mahe
April 21, 2023 3:03 pm

Magua,
A great read and fantastic start to my day here.
Thanks a million as usual.
Happy day of Frig y’all.
Hail Hail

big packy
April 21, 2023 3:03 pm

FRODSHAMBHOY get on here or wee joan will fly over to Tenerife on solkitts private jet and give you a talking too ,as will ATOB you dont cross swords with ATOB, well thats what bobby told me,,another true story😎

big packy
April 21, 2023 3:35 pm

ok motherwell tomorrow, that was my first away game in 1964, think we won 2-1 or 3-1, think maybe pat quinn and ian st john were playing for motherwell.,another true story.hh

Magua
April 21, 2023 4:05 pm

Mahe

Thanks, amigo. Much appreciated.

Big Packy

Thanks for your kind comments. The two players in question are Lou Macari and Harry Harry Harry Hood.
Was Joe McBride playing for Motherwell then?

St Tams

Thank you.

Jobo@14.06

Brilliant.

big packy
April 21, 2023 4:09 pm

MAGUA, dont know about joe mcbride, but he was one of my favourite players growing up in the sixties and seventies👍

Magua
April 21, 2023 4:17 pm

Big Packy

An absolute goal machine, was Joe. He sustained an injury, playing against Aberdeen at Pittodrie in December 1966…and still finished as the league’s top scorer for the 66-67 season. Quite an achievement.

Hail Hail.

big packy
April 21, 2023 4:22 pm

MAGUA yes remember him scoring a barrowload of goals for us, only for an injury he might have played for us in Lisbon 👍.another true story.hh

Jimbo67
April 21, 2023 4:44 pm

Afternoon all

As I mentioned earlier I was giung to be postjng later on but please again accept my advance apologies for this post’s length. I would have submitted it as an article for consideration by the mods but some irritating personal circumstances got in the way.

I really enjoy Jimmy Not Pauls ‘ this day in Celtic history posts’ and last Friday he posted a clip of a 3-1 win at Muirton Park from 1973. Which made me think of the game played the following Saturday. 50 years ago today.A game which I remember as one of the most thrilling if, as it turned out, slight anti-climatic days I have ever known at the fitba. And because BBC covered the Aberdeen versus Rangers game and STV chose to film Clyde gaining promotion no footage exists of it.

The 72/73 season was an odd one. The season started with us losing 5-3 to Hibs in the Dryburgh Cup final and a league cup campaign that was a bit flat after a pointless revamp- and of the four consecutive finals in that cup we lost in the early 70s the 2-1 loss to Hibs was the only one that was not a surprise. We’d had had a shocker in Budapest in the European Cup too and whilst league results were still pretty good up to the new year our played lacked consistency. Hibs- a very good Hibs team looked as though they might have our number – and when we lost the New Year game to Rangers it looked as though the league flag would be staying green and white but rehoused in Edinburgh. But Hibs’ faded after the brilliant full- back, Brownlie, suffered a broken leg in early January. It was Rangers who challenged.

They’d been a comedy turn at the start of the season- I’ll spare you the Boris Spassky joke- and late in the year Hearts had beaten them at Ibrox with one of their players sitting on the ball just before setting up the winner. But after beating us they turned a corner. Never a fluent or attractive side , one full of big defenders and no surrenders, they ground out the results. And we stopped doing so for a few weeks. As in the first half of the season we still played fabulously on occasion- a 4-0 win at Fir Park being especially good – but when a bit below our best we seemed to ne unable to grind out wins. I remember we drew at Tannadice in the March which meant Rangers had caught us – on the long trip home none of the adults thought we’d win the league.

But by 50 years ago today we were to play our 33rd league game of a 34 game league campaign and it was still in our hands. We’d refound form and if we won our last two games we’d win on goal difference. The Huns got the results but we’d started putting 3s, 4s and 5s on the board so we we were miles ahead on that score. There was some trepidation about our last game- a trip to Easter Road- but surely we’d beat Arbroath in our last home game?

At half-time Rangers were a goal up at Pittodrie and our game was goalless -we’d turned in our flattest display in weeks. My dad took me to the big stand that day as rain was forecast and as I was a shortarse in those days and had to stand at the front we’d get soaked. I found myself sat next to a priest. An old chap, a nose which suggsted he might be a fan of something stronger than Irn Bru but also a benevolent fella who reminded me it was only half- time. Others suggsted Mr Stein might be kicking a few backsides. Other than Big Billy and George Connelly- soon to be confirmed as player of the year- nobody was up to snuff.

About ten minutes into the second half Harry Hood opened the scoring after a cross from Bobby Murdoch who’d been poor enough to get some stick beforehand. The crowd relaxed a bit and focus for some switched to those with Radios and news from Pittodrie. The team on the park was though suddenly a joy to watch and with 20 minutes to play a howler from ex-Celt Gordon Marshall senior in the Red Litchies goal allowed David to score. Even in a patchy season we were irresistible when we clicked.

Dixie Deans got a third with a brilliant header not long after. Dixie had not impressed everyone even after his stunning cup final hat-trick in his first season. ‘Too slow’ ‘Too fat’, ‘ Just a poacher’, ‘Not as good as Wispy’ etc. But in the run-in he was superb- with Connelly and the young right back, Danny McGrain ? Dxie was our best player. A few moments after his goal he was subbed to allow him an ovation. And then a massive roar. Aberdeen had equalised. A draw at Hibs would do it.

3 or 4 minutes to go and Kenny Dalglish gets a fourth. The crowd is going mad. And then the volume is turned up a notch. Aberdeen has scored again. We won’t need a point next week because we are going to win it right now.

The final whistle blows amid tumultuous scenes and then Stein emerges from the dugout. He shakes his head and does a gesture with his arms that tells the players what the supporters have just heard. Rangers equalised in the dying seconds. Ten minutes before we’d have been delirious with what we now have but for those few minutes Paradise had been refound. Of the 10 titles we won under Jock Stein this is the nearest we get to winning one on our own patch. The old priest shakes my hand and tells me it’ll be all right next week

The Arbroath match turns out to be Bobby Murdoch’s last competitive game at Parkhead and also the last game at home when only one sub is allowed- and the following Saturday we give our best display of the season to beat Hibs 3-0 in front of 46000 fans all of whom seem to be supporting us.

–‘

13 years later when Albert Kidd scored his first goal I think about that Arbroath game for a few moments. Fortunately Albert was working from our script.


And if you’ve read all this- pour yourself a drink. You deserve it

Jimbo

maccargo
April 21, 2023 4:48 pm

Ange’s press conference from this afternoon. The utter contempt he shows some of the journalists is marvellous, the passion he shows when answering in depth questions from fan media is a joyous juxtaposition…

JimmynotPaul
April 21, 2023 5:06 pm

Jimbo 4.47.
A most enjoyable read. I love reading stuff like that.
Of course, that was 50 years ago, time flies, indeed.

St tams
April 21, 2023 5:22 pm

Jimbo67
Great stuff. I wish I could remember the details like that.
I can’t remember the Arbroath match, although I’m sure I was there, as my old man took me to every home game.
I was definitely there the following week, as the crush getting in was the worst I’ve ever experienced
at a game

big packy
April 21, 2023 5:27 pm

1 August 27th, 2000. Celtic 6-2 Rangers. In the last minute Sutton scored his 2nd from a cross from the left. Who provided the cross?
2 Henrik Larsson’s first Champions League goal for Celtic came against which team?
3 Stilian Petrov’s return from his broken leg in September 2001 saw him score 4 goals in 5 games, all from free kicks. Against which team did the third of these goals come? cyber pints for the answers,

Magua
April 21, 2023 6:22 pm

Jimbo

Brilliant. A post that is in equal parts informative and hilarious. I started going to home games in the August of ’71. I must therefore have saw Bobby Murdoch in the Hoops, but for the life of me, can’t remember him.

Big Packy

1. Bobby Petta.

2. Juventus away.

3. Aberdeen?

Hail Hail.