Celtic History


Celtic were founded in principal with the intention of raising money to alleviate the desperate poverty in the East End of Glasgow. The idea to form a football club as a focal point for the Irish immigrant community and also as a means to raise the funds to help feed those children in the area, was the brainchild of Brother Walfrid.

Inspired by the example of Hibernian in Edinburgh, he saw the formation of a football club as an ideal opportunity and the club arose from a meeting in St Mary’s Church Hall in the Calton area of Glasgow. November 1887 was the date of the meeting, although it would be 1888 before the club played their first game – and enjoyed a 5-2 win in a friendly against Rangers.

The name of the club – Celtic – was originally meant to be pronounced ‘Keltic’, a reflection of both its Irish and Scottish roots, but it’s believed the hard ‘K’ this was softened over time.

The club rented a patch of land in the Gallowgate at a cost of £50 a year and the local community worked to transform it into a pitch. This is not, however, the current location of Celtic Park – it was not until 1892 that the club moved home there after the landlord had upped the rent on the old park to £450 a year.

Within four years of being up and running, Celtic won the Scottish Cup and then, one year later, one their first League title. Between 1892 and the outbreak of World War One, Celtic would go on to claim eleven league titles, including six titles in a row between 1905 and 1910, and nine victories in the Scottish Cup.

Celtic's success could be attributed to the club's first secretary and manager Willy Maley. A former player, Maley was appointed in 1897, just after the club had become a limited company. Maley adopted a successful youth policy, signing great players like Jimmy Quinn and Patsy Gallacher who go on to become legendary figures within the club.

Next: Glory Years


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