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PersonalFullname: Joseph Dodds
aka: Joe Dodds, Fearless Joe
Born: 14 July 1887
Died: 14 Oct 1965
Birthplace: Carluke (Lanarkshire), Scotland
Signed: 13 May 1908; 2 May 1921
Left: 4 Aug 1920 (to Cowndenbeath); 22 Aug 1922 (resigned)
Position: Defender, Left-back
Debut: Celtic 2-0 Dundee, League, 10 Oct 1908
Internationals: Scotland / Scottish League
International Caps: 3 / 8
International Goals: 0 / 0
BiogCarluke-born Joe Dodds was the second of eleven children born to Joe Dodds Snr and his wife Margaret. He went to school with the highly lauded hero Willie Angus VC DCM who was also on Celtic's books at one point.
He played 378 games for Celtic in two spells at Parkhead and is regarded as one of the best and fastest defenders the club has ever produced. It's said that there is nowhere of an account of him having had a bad game for Celtic.
The lightening quick left-back signed for the Bhoys from Carluke Milton Rovers in May 1908 and within a year found himself a mainstay in the Hoops starting line-up. He went on to form a fine defensive partnership with Alec McNair as Celtic became the dominant force in Scottish football.
Swift and athletic Dodds was also comfortable at centre-half and his fellow defenders knew that few, if any forwards, could match the pace and reflexes of Dodds. Never afraid to venture forward Joe possessed a tremendous shot and his powerful free-kicks were always a threat to the opposition goal. The Celtic defence was renowned to be possibly the best in the UK at the time.
Together they helped create the foundations upon which Celtic dominated the league for over the next decade.
He played in both of the infamous Scottish Cup final games in 1909 where after trouble from the crowd, the trophy was withheld. Still he didn't have to wait long for Scottish Cup success and went on to win three cups in 1911, 1912 & 1914.
Celtic historians say they can find no account of when Dodds had ever had a bad game. However, World War One intervened and lost him valuable years of service for club, but he served his colleagues on the front line in France in the Royal Field Artillery (which included a role as a driver).
According to legendary Celtic manager Willie Maley:
"Shaw, McNair and Dodds understood one another so well that they developed the pass-back into a scientific move of which there have been many imitators but none to equal the originators. It was indeed a spectacle to see either McNair or Dodds passing, with unerring accuracy and cheeky coolness, the ball to Shaw two yards away, with the opposing forwards almost on top of them. That was their method of getting out of a corner, which in all probability would otherwise have been fatal." (Weekly News 25 July 1936)
His fine form was not missed by the SFA, who awarded him 3 full international caps for Scotland which included a 3-1 win over England, and two draws v Wales (0-0) and N Ireland (1-1).
However Celtic fans felt it was a great injustice that such a talent only picked up three Scotland caps. Third Lanark goalkeeping great Jimmy Brownlie stated he falet that Joe Dodds did not get "full justice" from the selectors and that he with McNair were the best club pair he ever had in front of him, and note that he had played sixteen times for Scotland and fourteen times for the Scottish League side.
Dodds left Celtic for Cowdenbeath in 1920 (as they were offering him more money) but returned for a final season with Celtic a year later which ended early (Aug 1922) after a dispute over money on a benefit match which is said to have been offered to him by the management.
Between 1908 and 1920 he collected seven league titles and three Scottish Cup winners medals, and added a further league title medal with Celtic in his last season. His record is up there with the best that Scottish football has ever seen. He is a true great of the game.
It wasn't the last Celtic saw of Joe Dodds, as in 1936 he returned to Celtic as an assistant trainer to Jimmy McMenemy and helped us to return to some glory with honours. Celtic was too much a part of him to be away forever.
Joe passed away in 1965, a much missed man by all and a very fine Celt.
| APPEARANCES ||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Major Honours With CelticScottish League
Quotes"Need I say more about Dodds than that when he was playing in front of me, I never once had to come out for a cross-ball."
Jimmy Brownlie, legendary Scottish international keeper
"There is a full-back playing football whom everybody knows
He partners gentleman McNair, the essence of repose
He plays a clean and clever game and never fears a foe
So the best way to describe him is to call him Fearless Joe"
(from Alphabet of the Celts)
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