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Books - Celtic FC: The Ireland Connection
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DetailsTitle: Celtic FC: The Ireland Connection
Author: by Brian McGuirk
Published: 30 April 2009
Celtic Football Club has a huge support in Ireland, many of whom regularly travel to watch their team in Glasgow or follow them on TV.
Now, Celtic FC - The Ireland Connection explores the deep-rooted links between Celtic Football Club, Ireland and the 90 million supporters of Irish descent throughout the world - links which include the club's founder Brother Walfrid from Sligo; the first sod of turf on Celtic Park in 1892 from Donegal; why the Irish flag flies over the stadium; Celtic's first manager, Willie Maley from Newry; emigration from Ireland to Scotland; and, the many Irish players and staff who have played or managed at Celtic.
This is a fascinating, must-read book for supporters of Celtic Football Club in Ireland, Scotland and around the world.
Review(by David Potter, originallly posted on old KeepTheFaith Forum)
This recently published book is a book of passion, clearly written by a man who feels about his subject, namely the connection between Ireland and Celtic.
It is of course a massive subject but the author in 223 pages does his best to show us the indissoluble connection between the country he loves and the Club he loves.
The pre-history of Celtic is well handled with an account of the Famine, Brother Walfrid and sods of turf from Donegal etc. which the one-armed Michael Davitt planted on Celtic Park on that famous day of 19th March 1892.
There is also a good summary of the life of Willie Maley - an Irishman, although by no means a conventional one for his father was a British soldier and he himself was miffed at not getting to meet Princess Mary of Teck (the future Queen Mary) at Richmond in 1893.
And there's a brief resume of the other Celtic from Belfast, although we could have done with a little more about Charlie Tully in this context.
There are the lyrics of Irish songs sung by Celtic fans today - one would have wished for a few more of them sung by Celtic fans through the ages. For instance, “Erin's Green Valleys” of the 1920s and 1930s, “Sean South of Garryowen” of the 1960s and “The Boys of the Old Brigade” of the 1980s.
And there is a list of players of Irish birth or extraction who have played for the Club, including a few rare ones. How much do you know for example of Mickey Hamill or Jim Goodwin?
Liam Miller is given his deserved criticism for his contemptible behaviour, but we are surprised to hear how much Pat Crerand grew to despise Celtic. He was apparently in tears when Celtic won the European Cup before Manchester United, supports Manchester United against Celtic, and has been known to compare Celtic with Exeter and Burton Albion. Please tell us this is not true, Pat! The great Jimmy Delaney played for both as well, but Celtic always came first with him!
There are a few mistakes. The book gives the founding of Hibs as 1872 when 1875 is the more accepted version. It confuses the Scottish Cup Final of 1931 (April 11th was the 1-1 draw - the 4-2 win was the Wednesday night replay). Hugh Doherty came from Buncrana, whereas Bernard Cannon came from Buncranna (sic)! And I find it hard to believe that no Scottish flagmaker would “touch” the Irish flag of Jimmy McGrory's Celtic to repair or replace it! That cannot be literally true. Surely the capitalist profit motive would have won the day!
The book is priced at £9.99 (sensibly below the crucial £10), published by Black and White Publishing and is well worth a read. It is written by a fan, and clearly a great deal of work has gone into the book.
Buy it for your summer holidays!
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Black and White Publishing (30 April 2009)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 1845022483
- ISBN-13: 978-1845022488
- Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2 cm
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