Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

Museum opens for Feile

Hundreds keep Celtic’s flame burning

Hundreds of visitors kept the Belfast Celtic flame burning as the new museum at the Park Centre once again flung open its shutters. Visitors from all across the world – and closer to home – came on Saturday, August 7 to check out the items on display and relive the glory of Belfast’s Grand Old Team during the annual Feile an Phobail.

Among the visitors were relatives of Celtic legend from the 1920’s Jimmy Ferris and relations of Bobby McAuley, one of the players signed for Belfast Celtic after playing for the great Milford Street school side. Linfield fan Ricky Hastings came bearing gifts, with a pile of precious press clippings and programmes from the 1940’s, which will now be lovingly preserved by the Society.

Relatives of Celtic player Bobby McAuley take the opportunity for a snap with the Irish Cup

Linfield fan and football fanatic Ricky Hastings with Charlie Tully and the Irish Cup


Primary Six pupil Lauren Nolan presented the society with a portrait of Charlie Tully. Lauren is pictured to the right as the man himself looks on. Her picture was completed as part of a project at St Kevin’s Primary on the Falls Road – the school boasts Cheeky Charlie as a past pupil.

A crowd of Crusaders’ supporters popped in for a visit on their way to their first game of the season against Donegal Celtic and were highly impressed with the exhibits.They were well aware of the Crusader's Celtic connections, as the Shore Road club replaced the ‘Stripes’ in the Irish League on their removal from football in 1949.

Celtic stalwart Jackie Vernon also managed the north Belfast club on his return from England in the 1952 and the Crues men happily posed for a group picture at the museum’s mural.

Fans from Crusaders FC, pictured at the museum’s Celtic mural, stopped off to check out the exhibits on their way to Donegal Celtic Park for their opening game of the season.

The Celtic Cinema proved a popular development, with many old time fans (and younger ones too) taking the opportunity to delve into the documentaries and old footage of the Grand Old Club. Family members of the late Bertie McAlea were one such group, who enjoyed the presentations right up until the shutters came down for the day.

Sales of t-shirts and badges were brisk and the Society gained several new members – the best way of ensuring the memories of Belfast Celtic are preserved is to take a membership with us. The society will endeavour to open the museum on Thursday nights between 7pm and 9pm, with at least one Saturday opening each month. Keep an eye on for correct dates and times of opening.


At another event earlier in the week, a night of Belfast Celtic nostalgia was enjoyed by all as part of the West Belfast Festival on Wednesday evening, 2nd August.

Hosted by the West Club on the Falls Road, the 'Heroes in Hoops' night revived colourful memories of the great team as stories and anecdotes were recalled by former players and supporters.

Centre stage on the night was the Bill McKavanagh slide show which was well-received by the appreciative audience.

Local author Barry Flynn then regaled the fans with a in-depth talk on the infamous clash with Linfield on Boxing Day 1948, which was made even more significant given the presence of Belfast Celtic Society President Jimmy Jones.

The great names and games were recalled by former player Jimmy Donnelly in what was a witty and insightful presentation, and the night was rounded off with an impassioned tribute to the club by Charlie Tully Junior.

Speaking afterwards, Barry Flynn said that it was "vitally important" to keep the name of the club alive on the streets of West Belfast and beyond."

18 yr old old Ryan Sterrett, a member of the Tullyglen CSC, gets his hands on the Irish Cup
"" It is fantastic to see the interest that there is in Belfast Celtic and the 'Heroes in Hoops' night will hopefully become a permanent fixture in the Feile an Phobail programme.The great memories are being preserved for future generations and, with the marvellous work ongoing on the museum at the Park Centre, it's a case of onwards and upwards for Belfast Celtic," he added