Monday, October 11, 2010

Celtic - In the beginning

These two reports from the "Scottish Athletic Journal" are interesting. It would suggest there was less emphasis placed on the charitable direction of the club than the casual observer may think. James Kelly did, of course, sign for Celtic. As an amateur, it was the sensible thing to do; play for a club based near the pub you have just taken over.

“Scottish Athletic Journal”

7 February, 1888

“It has been said that Kelly, the probable International half-back, has been offered a place in the new East-End club the Glasgow Celtic.”

14 February, 1888

“A club composed exclusively of Irishmen, and Scotchmen of Irish parentage, has been started in the East End somewhat similar to the Hibernians in Edinburgh. The name of the new club is to be “The Glasgow Celtic Athletics.” A ground has already been secured in Dalmarnock Road, and it is to be called Dalmarnock Park. They have taken it on lease for five years at a rent of £30 a year. It is a splendid field, with plenty of scope, and includes a couple of pitches, one being for practice. There are to be two stands – now in course of erection. The club intend to draft the best players from the surrounding clubs. Of course the players must be Irish or of Irish extraction. They mean to have an eleven second to none. An effort will be made to open the ground at the end of the present month, and if a fixture can possibly be arranged between a Glasgow club and Hibernians, these clubs will be the first to compete on the ground. As the club has influential supporters and no lack of means, the necessary guarantee will be forthcoming. Failing a fixture with either of the above clubs, some other notable teams will be invited for the preliminary match. A cinder track, 12 feet broad, runs round the field. The committee have held several meetings to discuss affairs in a hall in East Nile Street.”

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