Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

Celtic Legend Mickey Hamill Recalled at Hannahstown

In a picture postcard graveyard clinging to the side of the Black Mountain in Belfast, the memory of Belfast Celtic’s greatest ever player was recalled on June 30, 2012. Mickey Hamill, the former Glasgow and Belfast Celtic centre-half, who also played at other times for Manchester United and Manchester City, was commemorated at a joint event between the Belfast Celtic Society and the Celtic Graves Society.

In an emotional ceremony, Celtic FC Director Brian Wilson gave the keynote address and spoke in powerful tones about the links between the two clubs and the importance of the Irish connections at Celtic today. He said; "It's a great privilege to represent Celtic at this special event - It shows the special affinity between the two cities of Belfast and Glasgow” and remarked; “Celtic FC supports and values the work of the Belfast Celtic Society and the Celtic Graves Society”.

Belfast Celtic Society Chair Padraig Coyle (left) is joined by Celtic FC Director Brian Wilson and Annette McWilliams, daughter of Mickey Hamill at Hannahstown Churchyard to celebrate the life of Belfast Celtic’s greatest player

Celtic fans, veteran journalists and family members of Mickey Hamill, from as far away as Australia, took part in the gathering. Terry Dick, son of Glen Daly, the Scottish singer who made the Celtic Song famous worldwide, also spoke on behalf of the Celtic Graves Society remarking; "We, too, are honoured to be involved in this tribute to the great Mickey Hamill - a Belfast sporting icon and Irish internationalist. This affirms the traditional and familial bond between the Celts of Belfast and Glasgow  - united in their support of two very grand old teams."

Padraig Coyle, Chairman of the Belfast Celtic Society said; “When Belfast Celtic formed in 1891 it was done so with the help of a £10 donation from their friends in Glasgow. That connection and friendship remained ever since and has become even stronger. Last year we launched our Celtic Circles trail to mark places of special significance in the club’s history. For us that was just the beginning of a long process - in the next year we plan to honour other former players in Derry, Ballymoney, and Lurgan."

“Our Society would like to thank everyone who attended this event,making it such a special occasion, in particular the Hamill family circle who opened their homes and personal archives for our Society to peer into the past.”


Terry Dick (on the right), son of the famous Glasgow singer Glen Daly, accepts a crystal gift from Padraig Coyle, Belfast Celtic Society Chair, on behalf of the Celtic Graves Society, whose members travelled to Belfast to help remember the greatest Irish footballer ever, Mickey Hamill.

After the graveside event, focus switched to the Belfast Celtic Museum at the Park Centre as the 250 exhibits from the Grand Old Club were scrutinised and enjoyed by the crowd. Special presentations were made to the Hamill family, most prominently Mickey Hamill’s  daughter Annette McWilliams and also to Brian Wilson from Celtic FC and the Celtic Graves Society for participating in the event. Later that evening, the Scottish travelling party was hosted by local football agent and restauranteur Gerry Carlile at his Failte Restaurant on the Falls Road.