Celtic Football and Athletic Company Ltd
1949. Publisher unknown. Irish News Ltd Printers. 11
unknown. This pamphlet would seem to have been written for the 1949 Tour
of North America.
of Celtic Notice
of Prospectus The
Men Behind the TeamHonours
That Brought Fame
Belfast Celtic is more than just an
ordinary soccer team. It is an institution; and it excites the
attention of fans from Belfast to Bombay and from Buenos Aires to
the African Bush. For Celtic fans carry their team support to the
ends of the earth. They have certainly carried it to the American
Continent. Every football team has a beginning in
place and time. Fifty-eight years ago three men sat down in Belfast
and prepared to launch a club called Celtic. The club began life
with the equivalent of two dollars.
History tells of football rivalry in
the Falls area of Belfast. The three men with a purpose -Frank
Laverty, James Keenan and Alec Begley - decided that football needed
a club which would rely for its playing strength on young players
from the district. This upstart club called Belfast Celtic
was not taken seriously by the established clubs. Who would, with
only two dollars subscribed on the club's first meeting? But with
that sum the club began the first step to success.
It is almost a saga the story of the
club's early days, of the drift from borrowed ground to borrowed
ground; of a young tearn playing good football, winning support and
laying the foundations of that team success which has brought to the
club, down the years, the highest prizes in Irish football. The nomadic existence of Celtic's early
days did not dampen the team's spirit and the records are sprinkled
with stories of fine endeavour on nondescript pitches.
There is, for instance, this
three-season record when the Celtic club was playing in Junior
In 1896 the club was admitted to the Irish
Football League and two years later won the League Championship. The
Belfast Celtic Club had arrived. In July, 1901, a Company was formed to
take over the existing Belfast Celtic.
Irish football was then still in the
toddling stage. Celtic had experimented with one or two Scottish
players in the team. The results were disappointing and the club
decided to await a young player's arrival at senior efficiency. They
would take the young footballer into their ranks and mould him in
the Celtic way.
This remains the Celtic policy today
and the club's encouragement of the young player matches his own
endeavours. The team is fed continually with young players of
ability to play football in the Celtic tradition.
Does this policy pay? Look at Irish Cup
and League records. Ask the football fan. Ask Elisha Scott, the
Celtic team manager.
The answer always is an unequivocal Yes,
in Celtic's case. For the Celtic team is an attraction and is
welcomed by those who delight to see good, tactical football.
For further proof, look at the famous
names who first began playing football in the Celtic manner and
carried their abilities into the light of English League Football.
In every season this Celtic team
provides and purveys clever, attractive football, unhurried
sometimes, but always calculated to stir the pulse and brighten the
eye of those who seek for football perfection.
The story of Celtic football teams is
the good football story. The impact of Celtic on football playing
has been great in many ways, on teams and spectators. Down the years
a top-class tearn of the calibre of Celtic has made football
entertainment and created partisanship.
Today, as yesterday, Celtic excite envy,
incite opposition; and most certainly, they excite the hearts of
club treasurers, for a visit from Celtic means a merry click of the
There is no secret about the success of
Belfast Celtic which has enabled them to win cups and medals and
trophies go leor. High ideals in the boardroom, tact in team
management and harmony in the dressing room and on the field have
helped to make Celtic the team that it is.
Wise handling, from the top downwards,
is reflected in the team's endeavours always to play football with a
capital F, in victory or defeat.
This fundamental lesson is hammered
home by word and action and the players are quick to learn. Their
own skill, plus this lesson enunciated by directorate and manager,
are the recipe for Celtic's years of success.
There is harmony in the team's action and advance from goal
Clean handling and clever anticipation
from McAlinden and forceful full-back play by McMillan and Ahearne
ensure defensive solidarity. The immaculate endeavours of Walker,
Currie and Lawler are matched with skill in providing service for
their forwards. The wing flights of Campbell and Bonnar and the
football brains of Denvir or Hazlett, O'Neill or McAloon, cut lanes
in opposing defences and make straight the path goalwards for
sharp-shooting Jimmy Jones, a scourge to cill defenders.
They take victory in quite handsome
style ; but if they are forced to yield - as is the way in this
unpredictable game of football - the team's balance is such, that
they yield but seldom, and then by narrow margins. In sum, a team of
much talent and a football attraction of cornpelling quality.
The Men Behind the
The task of putting the Celtic team on
the field; of tapping youthful talent sources and turning the
youngsters into a Celtic player falls to Elisha Scott, the team
manager since 1934.
Elisha Scott learned his task in the
hard school of football experience. An old Celtic player himself, he
is remembered in the football annals as Ireland's goalkeeper for so
many years that his selection became monotonous. His name is still
spoken of with football reverence in Liverpool, for which club he
played for nearly twenty years and kept out the goals with a
brilliance that surpassed the goalkeeping arts of the giants before
him in either of the city's two League teams.
He retired from English football ripe
with honours and rejoined Celtic as player-manager in 1934. in 1936
he assumed the full burden of team management.
Scott, dark, fiftyish, vital, is still
as lithe as when he stood between the posts and earned from the
crowd the sobriquet of "The Cat". Scorns publicity, is
popular with his players and sees that the best only is good enough
for them. Scott holds record number of Irish International Caps, 33
A good team needs fit men . . . . in
charge of muscle and morale at Celtic Park is quiet, genial,
white-haired Joe Devlin, and Paddy McGuigan, small men with big
hearts and as big a fund of patience of all the ills that
footballers are heir to. Cheery personalities, both turn out a team
trained to the minute.
First Irish club to provide covered
accommodation for unreserved public.
First Irish club to play football on
the Continent, Austria, 1912, and Copenhagen.
First Irish club to appoint a Team
In January, 1912, Mr. Winston Churchill
was billed to address a meeting in Belfast, in the Ulster Hall, a
building belonging to the Belfast Corporation. A number of the
opposition held a meeting in the Hall the evening previous,
barricaded themselves in, and refused to come out. The late Mr.
Joseph Deviin, M.P., an official of the club, come to the rescue end
Celtic Park was secured through his influence, and a most successful
meeting was held on the grounds.
There are milestones in Celtic's
Honours Highway, such us the winning of the Irish League
Championship in six successive seasons in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939,
1940 and 1941, and on four successive occasions in 1926, 1927, 1928
In the 1939-1940 season the Celtic team
played thirty-seven successive games without a defeat.
Last season, 1947-1948, they won
thirty-one games in a row, the thirty-second match being drawn, and
were defeated in the thirty-third game by the odd goal.
The list of cups and trophies won is a
proof of the team's consistent play. Let's take a glimpse at the
record chart. The victory list is formidable.
Irish League Championship
1925-1926, 1926-1927, 1927-1928,
1941-1942 Regional League Championship.
1943-1944 Regional League Championship.
1946-1947 Regional Lecigue
1947-1948 Regional League Championship.
1925-1926, 1936-1937, 1937-1938, 1940-1941, 1942-1943,
Irish Gold Cup
1925-1926, 1934-1935, 1938-1939, 1939-1940
1940-1941 Regional Gold Cup.
1943-1944 Regional Gold Cup.
1945-1946 Regional Gold Cup.
1946-1947 Regional Gold Cup.
1947-1948 Regional Gold Cup.
Belfast City Cup
County Antrim Shield
1909-1910, 1926-1927, 1935-1936, 1936-1937,
A quick, look back at Celtic teams of
the past brings up names that once made news and brought fame to the
They cannot all be named; they are
embellished in the club annals and enshrined in the minds of those
fans with a gift for remembering. Many of them are without peers.
Their prowess spelled Celtic; they created the Celtic tradition and
brought lustre to the club.
Jimmy Connor, Mickey Hamill, Sammy
Moore, Jimmy Ferris, Harry Laverty, the Mahood Brothers, Sammy
Curran. Their names ring bells and bespeak Celtic battles of long
As a half-back, Hamill was peerless and
tireless. Moore, Ferris and Curran were streaks of football art and
prolific goal scorers. Bertie Fulton was an automatic choice for
Ireland and one of the best full backs in the history of the game.
No two brothers played so long and consistently together as the
Mahoods. "Surefoot" Ferguson upheld the Celtic tradition
for sparkling full-back play. So too, did Fred Barrett. To their
names can be added those of the Lavertys of the very first Celtic
team; of goalkeepers Oscar Trainor and Jack Diffen. Later days saw
deeds as brave from players like McCullough, Feenan, Coulter and
All these players left their mark upon
the Celtic edifice, as did Hugh McAlinden, Dan McCann, Dave
McCloskey and Bob Barr in the club's boardroom. They all helped to
create the Celtic tradition.
A successful team like Celtic
inevitably draws to itself the eyes and the cheque books of English
club managers, for whom the search is endless for clever young
footballers. Football in England is high in entertainment value; few
clubs can wait to mould a youngster into their ranks. They must seek
out the tried and trusted player. With Celtic, player and club
suffer the blandishments of cheque on the one hand, and career on
the other. Between the two, Celtic have transferred many notable
players, all of whom carried their footballing abilities into teams
that are household words. Here is a list
||Sheffield United, 1903
|Manchester United, 1911
||Glasgow Celtic, 1913.
|J . Ferris
|Manchester City, 1920.
||Manchester City, 1920.
||Manchester City, 1920.
|| Hull City, 1920.
||Manchester City, 1920
||Manchester City, 1935.
||Manchester United, 1936.
||West Bromwich Albion, 1946.
||Manchester City, 1947.
||Glasgow Celtic, 1948.
The last four players in above list
were transferred for the sum of forty thousand pounds, a record for
an Irish club.
English club managers are as constant
as any lover wooing Celtic players. At every home match this season
at least one manager has been there, cheque book in hand, anxious to
sign the player of his club's fancy. Jones, particularly, has caught
the eye of sevetal clubs and offers of £10,000 have already been
rejected by Celtic.
Bonnar, Denvir, Campbell, Lawler,
Currie end Ahearne have also been noted by English clubs end offers
Kevin McAlinden (Goalkeeper). A worthy
successor in a line of famous Celtic goalkeepers. Kevin originally
was a Gaelic player and betrays this in the sure, safe way he
catches the ball. His soccer career began in the Celtic second
eleven, where he earned a reputation for ability, courage and daring.
The team's only amateur, he has collected Irish senior and junior
cup medals and Junior International caps. Represented Great Britain
in lost year's Olympic Games and has appeared in inter-league games
for both Irish Football Associations.
Billy McMillen (Right Back). One of the
most consistent defenders in Irish football. Joined Celtic from the
Belfast amatuer club, Cliftonville. He has gained many senior cup
medals. Represented Ireland in war-time internationals against
England, Scotland and Wales. Honoured by the Irish League against
the English and Scottish Leagues and was capped by the League of
Ireland Football Association against Portugal and Spain. Has been a
most faithful servant of the Celtic club and his wholehearted
displays have often meant the difference between success and defeat.
Tom Ahearne (Left Back)
A stylish defender, " Bud " (to the Celtic fans),
came to the club in 1944 from Limerick and quickly established
himself as the outstanding full back in the Irish League. His
honours include full caps for Ireland against England end Scotland
and a Victory international cap against Wales. Represented the Irish
League against the Scottish League and the League of Ireland, and
was honoured by the League of Ireland in international matches
against Spain and Portugal. An unfortunate succession of injuries
has robbed him of many representative honours; but he is fit again
and displaying brilliant form for the club.
Harry Walker (Right-half and Captain).
Now in his seventeenth season with Celtic but gives no indication in
his play of his length of soccer years. Joining Celtic in 1932, he
starred with the second eleven until the transfer of McCullough, the
regular right-half, to Manchester City gave him his chance and he
quickly made the right-half position his own. With his many Cup
medals, he adds war-time international honours for games against a
British Services eleven and against the English League and the
League of Ireland. A reposeful wing half with style in the tackle
and a clever dribble to get in his pass. Has proved a model for
younger half-backs to copy.
Charlie Currie (Centre-half). Another
graduate from the amateur team, Cliftonville. Is in his fifth season
with Celtic. Had to play second-fiddle to Jack Vernon until Jack's
transfer from Celtic to West Bromwich Albion. Once in the first
tearn Charlie quickly earned representative honours. He has played
for the Irish League against the English and Scottish Leagues and
against the League of Ireland. Is a powerful defensive pivot with a
high sense of keeping his position and of quick clearance.
Robin Lawler (Left-half). A Dubliner,
Robin joined Celtic from the Dublin club, Drumcondra in 1946, and
has staked a claim for international honours by virtue of his crafty
wing-half play. His style, added to his undoubted football ability,
mark him as destined to uphold the Celtic half-back tradition.
Catches the eye as much by his keen tackling and constructive
purveying of his forwards as by his long throw-ins from the touch
line which often spread-eagle a defence. His whole-hearted style has
made him a big favourite at Celtic Park.
George Hazlett (Outside Right). Came to Celtic
from the equally famous Glasgow Celts. A product of the famous
Glasgow Boys' Guild football nursery. After a spell in Scots junior
football his career was interrupted by service in the British Navy.
Service duty over, he signed for Glasgow Celtic and after two
seasons with them he crossed the Irish Sea to play for Belfast
Celtic. Smart and clever on the ball he has already won a Belfast
City Cup medal.
Johnny Campbell (Outside Right). A free scoring
winger, Johnny came to Celtic in 1944 from Derry City, his first
club. His clever ball control, his wing clashes and his penchant for
cutting in towards goal have helped to create Celtic goal records.
Has gained representative honours against the English and Scottish
Leagues and the League of Ireland.
Harry O'Neill (Inside Right or Right-half).
Another Gaelic player, Harry joined Celtic this season after
starring in the famous Antrim G.A.A. football team of the
past few years. Played Gaelic as a schoolboy with St. Gall's,
Belfast; changed to soccer and signed for Celtic ot the age of
sixteen, playing many brilliant games for the second eleven. Returned to his first love,
Gaelic, and became Antrim's most dependable defensive player. Was
this year persuaded to return to soccer and signed for Celtic. Made
an unfortunate debut, for he was in injured in his first match and
has been forced out of the game for a long spell, Fit again, he is
determined to become a Celtic star.
Jimmy Jones (Centre Forward). Was a schoolboy
star in his native town of Lurgan and joined Celtic at the age of
seventeen. He quickly forced his way to the front as a strong,
bustling leader of the attack, with a deadly shot and an ability to
upset the strongest defences by his dash and fearlessness. Is now
one of the most sought after players in Irish football and has kept
English club managers dangling cheque books under the disinterested
noses of the Celtic directors for the past couple of seasons. Is
equally effective with head or feet at goal and was leading goal
scorer in the Irish League last season with sixty-two goals. Bids
fair to top the list this season. Is a Junior international and has
represented the Irish League against the English and Scottish
Leagues and the League of Ireland.
Jerry McAlloon (Inside Left). Another Glasgow
Celt reluctant to lose the Celt in his club name. His departure from
Glasgow to Belfast last season was keenly regretted by Celtic fans
there, with whorn he was a warm favourite. His ability and
experience has done much to mould a young Celtic line together.
Learned his football in Glasgow Guild teams and was transferred to
the London club, Brentford, at the age of seventeen. He played five
seasons with Brentford and was transferred to the famous Wolves of
Wolverhampton for £8,000. During the war years he was a guest
player with several Scottish League clubs. Returned to Brentford at
the close of hostilities and then joined Glasgow Celtic. A business
appointment took him to Ireland and Celtic were only too eager to
secure his signature. Is a skilful, close dribbler in the true
Scottish tradition and is never afraid to risk a shot.
John Denvir (Inside Right or Left). Came to
the fore with the Celtic second team at the age of sixteen and
entered the senior ranks at nineteen. At home in either inside
forward positions. Johnny's consistent displays have earned him
inter-league honours against the English and Scottish Leagues and
the League of Ireland. Is clever at opening up an attack and
frequently ends a long dribble with a surprise goal.
Paddy Bonner (Outside Left). Came to Celtic
from Belfast Distillery, and has now had seven season with the club.
Has represented Ireland in war-time internationals against England
and Scotland and gained inter-league honours against the League of
Ireland. Has made the outside left position his own. Smart and
clever on the ball, the bold Paddy can fire in a deadly shot with
either foot. Scored twenty goals from the wing last season.
Joe Douglas (Left-half). Progressed from Larne
to Linfield and then to Dublin, where he played with Drumcondra. Was
capped for Ireland in a post-war international against England and
has represented both Football Leagues in Ireland. Has gained many
cup medals with Celtic for whom he is in his sixth season. A good
tackler with a fine sense of positional play.
Jimmy Murdock (Centre-half). An up and coming young Celt who came
into prominence as an amateur with Belfast Crusaders, an
Intermediate League team. Turned professional in 1947 and is ready
for the senior ranks any time.