Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

The History of the Grand Old Team 

The legendary Belfast Celtic Football Club was the leading light in Irish football from 1891 to 1949. Despite being twice forced to withdraw from competition due to the political uppheavals of the time, the Celtic team won numerous trophies and gained the admiration of the sporting community in Ireland and further afield before withdrawing from League competition for good in 1949.  
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History of Belfast Celtic Football Club 

Published 1929 by Dormann & Hodgett, Hope St., Belfast. 61 pp, price 3d

During their time in competition, Celtic had won the Irish League fourteen times, the Irish Cup eight times, the City Cup Winners ten times and the Gold Cup seven times. The Belfast Celtic team was the pride of Irish football until it was forced out of competition after the dramatic game against Belfast rivals Linfield on Boxing Day 1948.   
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Belfast Celtic F. C. - Souvenir and History 1891 – 1939

Published 1939. Publisher unknown. Author unknown. 46 pp.

The Celtic team had to run from the pitch for their lives when Linfield fans poured over the terrace barriers at the end of a 1 - 1 draw.  Centre forward Jimmy Jones was thrown over a parapet, kicked unconcious and left with a broken leg. Defender Robin Lawler and goalkeeper Kevin McAlinden were also seriously hurt.  At a meeting the same night Celtic's directors decided to withdraw from football once the season' commitments had been fulfilled.  

Belfast Celtic Fotball and Athletic Company 1891 – 1949

Published 1949. Publisher unknown. Author unknown. 46 pp. 

The city of Belfast never recovered from its loss and neither did Irish football. The formation in 2003 of the Belfast Celtic Society is living proof that the Grand Old Team is not forgotten. We hope that these pages will be a forum for those interested in the history of the club and an inspiration to those who are currently campaigning for the  reformation of Ireland's greatest ever football team. If you have any tips or would like to contribute to the website please get in touch with the Webmaster. We would particularly like to hear from anyone with memories of the Grand Old Team.
Click on the pictures below for a larger version
There are several books available on the history of the Grand Old Team. If you would like to know more please have a look at our books sectionThe information below has been scanned in from the original pamphlets which have been preserved through the years by Enda Fanning of Dublin. We would like to further expand this section. If you have any pamphlets or articles about the Grand Old Team please contact the list administrator. We will be happy to scan them in and return them to the owner at our expense.  


Visit the News Archive for more on the history of the Grand Old Team