Belfast Celtic 1891 - 1949

Scotty Walker

Belfast Celtic’s other ‘Great Scot’

When the words ‘Belfast Celtic’ and ‘Scot’ are mentioned in the same breath, it’s usually assumed this refers to Elisha, Celtic’s greatest manager. But another ‘Scot’ left an indelible mark on one of Belfast Celtic’s most successful sides – John ‘Scotty’ Walker, a mainstay of the all-conquering side of the 1930’s.

Hailing from Livingston in Scotland, Walker had a trophy laden stint in Belfast in the era before the Second World War. His family remain incredibly proud of their association with the Belfast ‘Stripes’ and ‘Scotty’s’ son Jim and daughter in law Val regularly travel from Scotland for events organised by the Belfast Celtic Society.

Jim recently sent the Belfast Celtic Society pictures of some of the medals gathered by his father during his time at Celtic. Scotty's son Charles also wears one of his Dad's league winning medals on a chain around his neck.

A popular figure, ‘Scotty’ won every honour available to an Irish League player. Indeed, he was so good that he even turned out for the League of Ireland select side, once taking a glorious scalp against England.

Sharing the pitch with legends like Jimmy McAlinden, RP Fulton and Harry Walker (no relation), ‘Scotty’ nailed down a berth in the half-back line, working in partnership with greats like Gerry Murray and Kieller McCullough.

Described as tough as teak, ‘Scotty’ looks the picture of pride in another snap sent by son Jim, as he poses for his official photograph in full Celtic kit. Another picture shows ‘Scotty’ with his team mates on the Celtic Park track, as they take a team talk from Elisha Scott during training.

On retirement, ‘Scotty’ took a coaching role with Heart of Midlothian, where his brother Tommy was manager. A Scottish international, with 21 caps and 9 international goals while at Hearts and Chelsea, Tommy Walker is still regarded as Hearts’ greatest ever player and the manager responsible for creating the Jambo’s ‘golden era’ in the 1950’s and 60’s.

‘Scotty’ with his team mates on the Celtic Park track, as they take a team talk from Elisha Scott during training.

Tommy’s managerial haul included all three major Scottish trophies - winning the league twice, in 1958 and again in 1960, adding four League Cups and a Scottish Cup to the cabinet. So its clear football excellence was a family trait.

All at the Belfast Celtic Society would like to extend their best wishes to the Walker family in Edinburgh and in particular to Jim and Val who remain a constant source of encouragement. In an interview with the Celtic View last year, Jim recalled that after its death, Belfast Celtic became immortal.  To the fans of Belfast's Grand Old Team, the same applies to the great 'Scotty' Walker.

Two of Scotty's engraved Irish League and Gold Cup medals (front and back)