Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949


Inaugural Belfast Celtic Cup and Charlie Tully Shield

A unique cross-community youth football tournament will resurrect the name of one of Ireland’s greatest football clubs on Sunday, October 26. Sixteen teams will compete for the inaugural Belfast Celtic Cup at Willowbank Park, in the shadow of the old Celtic Park, now home of the Park Centre in West Belfast. Travelling from as far away as Donegal and Downpatrick, under -12 squads will compete for the cup named in honour of Belfast’s Grand Old Team, which last kicked a ball in competitive action in 1949.

Organised by the Belfast Celtic Society, who also manage a club museum at the Park Centre, the tournament has attracted sponsorship from the shopping centre itself and the Highland Hoops Celtic Supporters Club, based in Inverness in Scotland.

As well as the Belfast Celtic Cup, teams will also compete for the first Charlie Tully Shield, named in honour of the famous fifties footballer who is a legend both in Ireland and Glasgow, where he plied his trade for a decade.

Teams from Cliftonville, Glentoran, Glenavon and Linfield will clash with West Belfast clubs Immaculata, Celtic Boys, Tullymore Celtic and hosts Willowbank FC.

FC Braga, a local club with links to their Portuguese namesake, will also join Lisburn Youth, Crumlin United and Andersonstown Celtic, while Swilly Celtic will travel from Donegal to join Downpatrick Celtic in the competition.

Irish Football Association President Jim Shaw will be in attendance at the tournament, as will former international footballer Jim Magilton, now elite performance director at the IFA.

Belfast Celtic Society President Charlie Tully Jr, at a mural in honour of his famous father.


Charlie Tully Junior, President of the Belfast Celtic Society, believes this tournament marks a high watermark for the Society. He explained; “For the last decade our Society has brought the name Belfast Celtic far and wide and tried to keep the old club alive through nostalgia events in Belfast and beyond, not to mention running Ireland’s only football museum."

" This is a huge new step for us, outreaching to young people and bringing the club’s name back to the fore through football – there is no more fitting way to do it. Incredible  work has gone into bringing teams together in honour of Belfast Celtic and credit must go to former Donegal Celtic Chairman Raymond Bonner and Andytown man Martin McKiernan who used their football experience in organising the event."

Young people from the St James’s area of Belfast, adjacent to the old Celtic Park, play football at the Belfast Celtic mural.
" We want each of the young players on the day to go away with a great footballing experience but also with a little bit more knowledge about Belfast Celtic – it’s fair to say, if the club was still in existence some of them would have been on the books at Paradise."

" Its also very fitting that the tournament takes place at Willowbank, on land once owned by the club and which was once in the shadow of the famous Willowbank Stand, the equivalent of Glasgow Celtic’s ‘Jungle’."

Members of the public are welcome to attend the tournament, which kicks off at 11.00am on Sunday, October 26