Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949


First Belfast Celtic Cup A Huge Success

Belfast Celtic's name reverberated around West Belfast again on Sunday, October 26 as 160 children in 16 teams  battled for the inaugural Belfast Celtic Cup. Held at Willowbank Park, in the shadow of the old Celtic Park, under -12 squads from across the north took part.

Travelling from as far away as Lurgan and Downpatrick, the cup competition was organised by the Belfast Celtic Society, founded in 2003 to protect the heritage of the Grand Old Team, who left Irish football forever in 1949.

The site of Belfast Celtic Park is now the Park Shopping Centre on the Donegall Road, where a museum exists to share the memory of the club and the Park Centre were generous sponsors of the cross community tournament.

The Highland Hoops Celtic Supporters Club, based in Inverness in Scotland, also provided funding to help the tournament take place.

The Belfast Celtic Cup was scooped by old rivals Linfield, while the inaugural Charlie Tully Shield headed down the M1 Motorway, clinched by the Blues of Glenavon, club of former Belfast Celtic Society President, Jimmy Jones who died earlier this year.

Beaten finalists Cliftonville also clashed with West Belfast clubs Immaculata, Celtic Boys, Tullymore Youth Club and hosts Willowbank FC. Crumlin United, Andersonstown Celtic and Crewe United also joined Downpatrick Celtic in the competition, along with Lenadoon club Oliver Plunkett.

Irish Football Association President Jim Shaw and Elite Performance Director Jim Magilton presented the winning teams with their trophies after the Belfast Celtic Cup final went to a nail biting sudden death penalty shoot out between Cliftonville and Linfield. C harlie Tully Junior, President of the Belfast Celtic Society, insisted this tournament marked a high watermark for the Society.

He said; “Its hard to believe that 65 years after Belfast Celtic left football, hundreds of people turned up to play a tournament in their honour in the shadow of the olf Celtic Park. Our Society made sure all the children attending recieved a special medal to mark the occasion and they will now carry a little part of Belfast Celtic into the next generation."

"It is our firm desire that this competition becomes firmly fixed as an annual tournament in local football and we will endeavour to make that a reality, given the success of the inaugural tournament.

Our humblest thanks go to Raymond Bonner and Martin McKiernan, without whom the Belfast Celtic Cup would still be a dream and also Jim Shaw and Jim Magilton from the IFA for their honouring us with their presence."

"Lastly, a huge word of thanks to Willowbank FC - they are a credit to the West Belfast community and were perfect hosts for the occasion and it is fitting they now play on land once owned by Belfast Celtic."

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