Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

Celtic Park

 
   

 

 

Irish News, Monday 2nd September 1901,  Our Football Column  by "Penalty Kick"

   
 

The Belfast Celtic Club have since my last contribution a few months back taken a step which has placed the club in a position that must ensure its being the leading Irish club of the future. It has long being felt that a properly equipped athletic ground is very desirable in Belfast, but while many projects were discussed, even one in aid of furthering the present Ulster ground, none came to anything. 

It has however been left to Celtic to go one better, and put in practical operation their ideas.  They secured seven acres of ground abutting the end of Donegall road adjoining Broadway, and in close proximity to their old enclosure.  Nothing could be better from the club's point of view in having their new home in the place where their first endeavours to found a club, which will, I hope, gain an eminence such as is possessed by their Glasgow namesakes. 

The old ground at the "Klondyke" was an eyesore, but, when completed, new Celtic Park "will be a thing of beauty and a joy for ever."  But it costs money to effect these changes, and how better could Celtic raise it but to ask all interested in the club, of those who wish to see sport prosper, to give practical proof to their earnestness. 

It is encouraging to say that the response has been far exceeding the most sanguine expectations in this respect.  The Capital is 3,000, in 1 shares, and over half that amount is already subscribed, and there is little doubt but the balance will soon be forthcoming.  It would, indeed, be a pity that the herculean efforts made by the management of the Celtic Club should not be rewarded as they deserve, and I am only expressing the hope on their behalf that those who have not so far subscribed will get a form from Mr. P.S.Brady, 25 Chichester Street, Belfast, solicitor; orthe National Bank Ltd., High Street, Belfast, and send their quota in early.

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In the raising of interest, and to show that the new club was more than in name, the Directors at once set about "putting their house in order."   In this matter three of them - Messrs. D. McCloskey, C.Watters, and John Rooney - have been the most energetic. 

The old players, such as Fleming (back), Nicholl (half), Dornan, Doherty, and Clarke (forwards), were secured, and as Jack McConville (who captained the team two seasons ago) and Connor, who went to Clyde and Glentoran respectively last season, were induced to come back, the outlook was promising.  At the same time the members of the old committee, who are now connected with the club, were of the opinion that the club should be even stronger in players.  This was soon remedied, and today they have Donnelly, the Glasgow Celtic goalkeeper of last season: McAvoy, a Glasgow junior back, who was with an English league club, Grimsby Town; Boll, Buchanan, and Maguire, three forwards from Glossop, Third Lanark, and Smithston Albion clubs respectively. 

This list, with what seems one of the best 2nd X1's that has so far been in connection with the club, makes it certain that the team should go well into the honours during this present season.  An old athlete in the person of W.Foster, who has trained many first-class long and short distance runners, will train the team, and if the elevens but pay him the attention he ought to receive, then the players are bound to do well.  Saturday last was the day set apart for the opening of the new ground, and, considering the short time at the disposal of the contractors since the lease and agreements were signed for, they did very well. 

There will be every endeavour made to get it into proper order for the remainder of the season, and when completed the ground and enclosure will be a credit to Celtic, Belfast, and with few superiors in the Kingdom of its class.