Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949



Charlie Tully. Celtic's Cheeky Chappie. Hardback. Published 2008, Breedon Books £16.99 ISBN; 9781859836705

Dan McGinty reviews Tom Campbell's book "Charlie Tully. Celtic's Cheeky Chappie". At last the Celtic support, of both Belfast and Glasgow, has a history of one of its most famous characters. Charlie Tully is perhaps our best example of the oral tradition of the two Celtics.

Everyone growing up with the constant presence of the green and white hoops knows and loves Charlie. Whether we learned his tale from a father or grandfather, an old schoolteacher or a treasured older Celtic fan, Charlie Tully was a central part of the Celtic story, and with each retelling his legend grew greater, his exploits more daring and his character even more larger than life.

Read the rest of Dan McGinty's review here.

  Celtic FC - the Ireland Connection by Brian McGurik Paperback. Published April 2009, Black and White Publishing - ISBN : 1845022483
Whilst not stricty speaking a Belfast Celtic book, Brian McGuirks history includes a chapter dedicated to the Grand Old Team. Tullyvision reviewed the book for the website.

"Rain forests have been ravaged in recent years, as never ending streams of pulp are pumped out by publishers on the phenomenon that is Celtic. Turgid player autobiographies compete for bookshelf space with second rate football hacks, whose hurried and badly written volumes are churned with an eye on the Christmas shopping markets rather than literary biblioteques. If in doubt, type ‘Celtic Football Club’ into and check what appears. Every so often though, a diamond emerges from the rough – and more often than not it comes as a passionate labour of love from one of our own homespun historians."

Read more of Tullyvision's review of this book here

  Political Football - the Rise and Fall of Belfast Celtic by Barry Flynn Paperback. Published March 2009, Nonsuch Publishing - ISBN : 9781845889463
"Barry Flynn traces the development of the team from its beginnings, in an attempt to discover the reasons behind the tragic events. Like that of every football club, the story of Belfast Celtic is one of victories and defeats. Theirs, however, is a story riddled with violence and hatred culminating in near-murder. Political Football reveals how the political and social unrest that took hold of the city of Belfast was reflected in the history of the club, how tensions between two communities spilled onto both the pitch and the terraces, with devastating consequences."



Alex Moore's Almanac by Pádraig Coyle Paperback. Published October 2005, Marine Publishing. ISBN:0955136709

On a sunny morning in May 1949, a group of young men left Belfast to embark on what was to be both a personal trip of a lifetime and the farewell tour of a great sporting institution. For some, it was their first time away from home; for others who had served overseas during the War, it was to be an experience like no other they had ever lived through.

One of the group, a young Derry man called Alex Moore, kept a journal of the events of those heady days, in which he recorded the excitement of discovering the fast-moving world of 1940s America and playing in one of the most glorious victories in Irish sporting history. Part memoir, part travelogue, part social history, this atmospheric book is movingly illustrated with photographs and memorabilia, capturing the sense of wonder and innocence of a young man plunged headlong into a brave new world, far from home.

It records events on and off the pitch during Belfast Celtic’s final tour to North America, during which the team notched up a famous victory against Scotland, the British champions, and took the last few steps towards its controversial departure from the Irish League. It reflects on the fellowship and fallings-out among a team of gifted young sportsmen and their hard-headed management and adds yet another intriguing perspective to a sporting story which refuses to find closure.

Paradise Lost and Found - The Story of Belfast Celtic by Padraig Coyle Paperback, 8pp b&w illustrations, 192 pages. Published April 1999, Mainstream Publishing. ISBN: 1840181362

"On Boxing Day 1948, forty thousand spectators gathered in Belfast for the traditional derby game between Linfield and Belfast Celtic at Windsor Park, Linfield's home ground. No one could have anticipated the impact of a horrifically violent incident at the end of the game which was to signal the demise of one of the greatest clubs in the history of Irish football.

In an age of extreme bigotry, sectarianism, poverty and social deprivation, Belfast Celtic offered a beacon of fair play and sportsmanship to the city's beleaguered working-class Catholics. It exerted an enormous influence on them and gave purpose to their lives. As one former supporter recalls, "When we had nothing, we had Belfast Celtic. Then we had everything."

You can read Peter Carberry's review of this book here.

Belfast Celtic by John Kennedy Paperback, 31pp b&w illustrations,109 pages. Published 1989 Pretani Press, The Universities Press, Belfast. ISBN 0948868120e

"Belfast Celtic - the name of this illustrious club evokes proud memories of a succession of players, whose names will be fondly remembered by enthusiasts everywhere - Hamill, Scott, Tully and McAlinden, to name a few. From it's beginnings in 1891 until it's untimely end in 1949, this great club, with it's unrivalled support, triumphed again and again, accumulating a host of trophies..." 

Belfast Celtic by Mark Tuohy Paperback, 23 pp b&w illustrations, 82 pages. First published 1978, reprint 1989, Blackstaff Press, Belfast ISBN 0856401390

"The legendary Belfast Celtic Football Club flourished from 1891 to 1949, attracting enthusiasm and admiration from the sporting community. During that time they were Irish League Champions fourteen times, Irish Cup Winners eight times, City Cup Winners ten times, Gold Cup Winners seven times - the list goes on and on. Many of it's stars - Keiller McCullough, Boy Martin - went on to play for famous English teams; many will remember Jackie Vernon's fine record with West Bromwich Albion...."

Passed to You by Charlie Tully Hardback, 16 pp b&w illustrations, 118 pages. Published 1958, the Soccer Book Club, Stanley Paul, London 

Charles Patrick Tully arrived in unsuspecting Glasgow an unknown, if confident young man with a twinkle in his eye and a tongue that seldom stopped. Inside three months his name had become a household word.

And Tully, being as smart a lad as ever came from the back streets of Belfast, didn't make any attempt to stop things happening. The fans took to him and his opponents took after him.

It is extremely doubtful if any 'foreigner' in 30 years has made a bigger impact. But through it all, behind the twinkle and the easy laugh, Tully is nobody's country cousin. He has proved himself to be one of the truly great Celtic players of all time - and there have been some good ones. And he is a deep thinker when it comes to talking about football.

In this book, the first ever written by a player of the famous Celtic Football Club, Tully tattles about his team-mates, and his opponents. He tells of his bout of fisticuffs with Scotland centre-half Bobby Evans...of the troubles his pal John McPhail landed him in...of the time when he was a selfconfessed 'bad boy'...and of his startling choice of a Ranger, of all people, as his favourite player.

Tully is a character. And this book is characteristic of him.

Paradise Lost and Found - The Story of Belfast Celtic by Padraig Coyle 

Belfast Celtic by John Kennedy Belfast Celtic by Mark Tuohy Passed to You by Charlie Tully