Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949


Anna Reid: the Lady who said Goodbye to Football

In a quiet cul de sac on the outskirts of south Belfast lives Anna Reid – the woman who said goodbye to football on the death of Belfast Celtic.

A former season ticket holder at Paradise, Anna recently donated her ladies' season ticket from the 1945-6 season to the Belfast Celtic Museum.

As well as this, she has also passed a wonderful 1927 City Cup medal, belonging to stalwart Eddie Inch, along with youth international caps from her brother, George McLarnon, who once starred with north Belfast rivals Cliftonville.

Anna’s father Joseph, from Hillman Street in north Belfast, was a Celtic fanatic.
A butcher by trade, he owned shops in Cromac Square and the Ormeau Road and was a great friend of Elisha Scott, who gifted him Inch’s cup medal, now residing in the museum.

Both men were members of the National Club in Berry Street and Joseph, and later Anna herself, became very friendly with many of Belfast Celtic’s great players, including Jackie Vernon and Tommy Breen.

The ties don't finish there and Anna’s aunt, Mary McLarnon, was also Jackie Vernon’s god-mother! She explains how she got her love for Celtic from her Dad, recalling; “He would take me to the games. My brother George was a great player – he was at Cliftonville and also a team called the ‘Black Diamonds’ but he broke his leg and after that my mother refused to let him play football again – these were the days before national insurance and the health service, the family had to look after him.”

Anna had been bitten by the Celtic bug due to her stripes-mad Dad; “He got me the season ticket – a ladies' ticket. I had four of them, my first in the 1945 season. I loved to go to Celtic Park but when Celtic pulled out of football, I never watched the game again, I never went back. I wouldn’t even watch football on TV, I gave it up altogether, I’d no time for it. But…”, she quipped, knocking a well worn gender stereotype; “I can still tell you the offside rule!”

As Anna stretched out her wonderful hand to pass on her treasured bounty, she reached back into time and for a split second breathed life into a football team that will never play a game again.