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PersonalFullname: John William Madden
aka: Jake Madden, Johnny Madden, The Rooter
Born: 11 June 1865
Died: 17th April 1948, Prague
Born: Dumbarton, Scotland
Signed: May 1888 (from Grimsby Town); & Aug 1889 (from Dumbarton)
Left: 1888 (to Dumbarton); 1897 (retired, then returned to play for Dundee)
Debut: Celtic 5-2 Rangers XI, Inauguration match, 28 May 1888
Internationals: Scotland / Scottish League
International Caps: 2 caps / [...]
International Goals: 5 goals!!! All v Wales
The great John Madden was the first man to ever lead a Celtic forward line. Prior to Celtic, he used to be a riveter in the Glasgow shipyards, and despite leaving the heavy work there he still brought over the hard work ethic instilled in him from his former employment.
An accomplished player, the Dumbarton centre-forward was keenly pursued by Celtic officials who were eager to have this fine attacker in their line up. Madden was convinced to turn out for the Bhoys in their inaugural match – a 5-1 home defeat of Rangers Swifts – but then returned to Dumbarton.
The pull of the ambitious new club proved too much though and Madden re-joined the Celts again in August 1889. An entertaining player to watch Madden was skilful and strong and possessed a powerful shot. He was one of the bright elusive entertainers of his day (like say Jinky was in the 60s). He loved to trick opponents with dummies and clever flicks.
As for the nickname? According to Jerry Reynolds, Madden had such a ferocious shot that whenever he hit the post it threatened to uproot it, hence the nickname of "The Rooter".
He was also a hard worker and this priceless combination of attributes made him a sought after player among the professional clubs in England. So much so that to ensure he remained north of the border he was among the highest earning players at the supposedly amateur Celtic!
A notable anecdote is that after one league game against Hearts, he went on trial to Sheffield but then bumped into John Glass & Willie Maley by chance who persuaded him to go on tour with Celtic in England and he came back ten bob a week better than before. The amateur status was bogus and hypocritical (a way for establishment figures to keep their power), and Celtic merely dismissed it as it was immoral to stop people earning a good day's pay from their efforts whilst others were gaining from them. It was well known that he'd taken the shilling, and cynics used to holler "that's a £2 shot" or the like at him on the pitch.
Madden won championship medals in 1892 and 1893 with Celtic and he scored a total of 49 goals in 118 appearances. He was a grafter and a hard worker despite his tag as an entertainer on the pitch, usually the two don't come together.
A fine servant to the Bhoys he eventually joined Dundee in 1897 after a brief retirement. Madden later went on to play for Tottenham Hotspur until he retired from the game in 1897. He later took up as coach at Slavia Prague (in what is now the Czech Republic) which revolutionised the game there.
Played for Scotland twice and scored 5 goals!!! Four of them in one game v Wales. The other game was also v Wales and he scored in that as well! Why on earth did he not win more caps?
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Honours with CelticScottish Championship
- 1892 (but he missed the final)
The Czech Republic Legend!!!
One of the most interesting yet hardly known characters from Celtic's history, Johnny Madden is a legend in what is now the Czech Republic. He is regarded by some as "the Father of Czech football".
He went on Celtic's tour of Hungary which likely gave him his first taste of life in Eastern Europe, and after spells in England, he ended up in Czechoslovakia taking up the Slavia Prague manager's post on 15th February 1905. His reign is seen as the great era for Slavia having begun when he took over.
He brought over new tactics and views on football from Scotland which helped to cement their progress (you don't read that often!).He was one of the first Scottish players to work as a coach on the European continent, and was said to be a disciplinarian who stopped players smoking and drinking before and after matches, while pushing them to train with gymnastic and athletic exercises.
Some things that obviously would not have gone down well with many Celtic players from over the years.He managed to set up an early golden age for the club for a long 25 years, where under Madden, Slavia won an incredible 134 domestic matches from a possible 169, and 304 internationals from 429 between the years 1905 and 1930.
Johnny was the first real Slavia manager, where before him there was only team captains who had something like managers' rights.
He won a local cup four times between 1908 and 1912, and more importantly he won the Czechoslovakian league title in 1925, 1929 and 1930. ‘Jake’ in his 25 yrs with Slavia is estimated to have managed his side to win 134 out of 169 domestic matches.
Celtic hadn't forgotten him and a Celtic team which toured the newly formed Czechoslovakia in 1922 played Madden's Slavia Prague side and lost 3-2 (May 25th 1922). The match is said to have been quite brutal (a kicking match) which Slavia Prague won out 3-2. See Match Page Link.
In 1930 he coached the Slavia Prague team in the Coupe Des Nations which was a counterweight tournament held in Switzerland to the World Cup in Uruguay, and got them to the final where alas they lost.
In June 1930 Madden retired from Slavia and professional football at the age of 66, though he remained in Prague for the rest of his life. Amazingly, he was still coaching teams from his wheelchair at 73!!
It was said that he feared to return to Scotland as he may then lose his pension, so he had to spend the years in the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia (i.e. under German occupation) until it's "liberation" by the Red Army in 1945. Spending so long in the country with little outside sources, his English is said to have declined with age & time away from Scotland & England.
He remains a hero in Prague, where he stayed until his death having married a local lady.
On the anniversary of his death the “Friends of Slavia” put flowers on his grave on behalf of Slavia Football Club as a mark of respect and rememberance.
Slavia's subsequent history was blighted by the tendency of the Communist state to use clubs as political pawns, by name changes and stadium switches. Often the priority has been to preserve their identity, but Madden's name and legacy lives on.
Slavia Prague: Johnny Madden is the gentlemen standing on the far left in this picture.
Slavia 1906, Madden coach with mad hat.
Madden on left
Johnny MaddenThis is a article by Tom O'Neill that he did many years ago for Eugene McBride's fanzine "The Celt".
On Sunday 9 August 1891, Irish MP, Mr Dan Crilly presented the prizes at a sports meeting held in the first Celtic Park.
Described by a contemporary as one of the most eloquent advocates of the Irish Cause, Crilly was on a speaking tour of central Scotland, denouncing Charles Stewart Pamell whose political career was disintegrating in the fall-out from the scandal caused by his association with Mrs Kitty O'Shea. As a member of the winning team in the day's five-a-side tournament, Johnny Madden (who had played in Celtic's very first match on 28 May 1888) received a magnificent pewter tea set from Mr Crilly. Circa 1898, shortly after enjoying a fairly successful and at times rather controversial playing career with Celtic during which he scored 49 goals in 118 League and Cup matches, Johnny simply upped and vanished from the football scene.
In 1905, unannounced, and in circumstances never fully explained, possessing only a very basic education and certainly no linguistic skills, Johnny Madden turned-up in Prague as coach to the football section of the Slavia Sports Club. At Slavia, he might have found both similarities to, but mainly contrasts with Celtic's background. The paramount object of Celtic's foundation was to help the Saint Vincent de Paul Society feed the children of Glasgow's poorest of the poor. As the bulk of these were Irish or of direct Irish descent, it was only natural that the club would attract a variety of people, most subscribing to different strands of Irish Nationalism.
In central Europe by contrast, in 1892, student members of an oratorical society, who shared an interest in Czech Nationalism, had founded Slavia F.C., whose fans would be drawn from Prague's middle-class intelligentsia. Years on, this element of the club's support would cause Slavia to incur the displeasure of the Soviet authorities that controlled Czechoslovakia in the second half of the 20th century. This overt nationalism was to manifest itself well into the late 1980s when club literature spoke of Slavia in its early years, 'boycotting the so-called Austrian Championship'. There was mention too of the struggle by various small nationalities to achieve freedom from the rule of the Austrian Emperor. A far cry all this from trying to raise money for the St Vincent de Paul!
In April 1988, on the 40th anniversary of his death, a newspaper tribute to Johnny Madden was entitled "A Chibouk [Czech smoking pipe] On The Pitch" and made the following poignantly worded tribute to the ex-Celt: "The former Scot sleeps his eternal sleep in the Czech land and if there is a life hereafter, surely his chibouk will be hovering over a football pitch." Given that in the course of Slavia's lifetime Prague has experienced the upheaval of two World Wars, the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and 50 years of subjugation to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, it is difficult to assess to what extent the club's support has retained any vestiges of its middle class origins. Johnny Madden, who apparently learned only enough Czech to scold players he saw as lazy or more interested in pubs and women than in training, became an instant success. Under his tutelage, Slavia were soon winning Cups and League Championships. Arguably, the club's greatest success was winning the Mitropa Cup, an amateur forerunner of the European Cup.
In 1911, nine of Johnny's Slavia squad played in the Czech national side that defeated England to become amateur champions of Europe. In 1924, he was a member of the Czech squad at the 'Chariots of Fire' Olympics in Paris. Ten years later, eight of his Slavia side played in the World Cup Final in Rome. The game went to extra time and Czechoslovakia who lost by two goals to one, were considered very hard done-by indeed. They were engaged in a lost cause almost from the first whistle. Mussolini was determined to milk the World Cup for its propaganda value and had handpicked the same official to referee Italy's semi-final tie and the final itself. For further insurance, II Duce personally wined and dined the hapless whistler on the eve of the final.
The Madden-driven revolution of Czech football was no accident. As a player, despite being something of a barrack-room lawyer in the pavilion, Johnny had always kept himself at the peak of physical fitness. Over the years (Czech sources tell us) the self-taught Madden trained ballet dancers, tennis and ice hockey players to be utterly as fit as required in their various spheres. He was years ahead of his time in matters of physiotherapy and football psychology. He was fastidious in personal appearance and always dressed in the latest styles from Britain. He applied the same meticulousness to coaching and training. He designated rest days between matches. For routine training sessions, players' boots had to be properly laced-up, the pitch accurately lined and goal nets hung whenever possible. Individual training regimes were laid down in writing for different members of the squad. Oddly enough, Johnny, the fitness fanatic, thought nothing wrong with standing in the dressing room issuing pre-match instructions while puffing on his chibouk.
To spend a day in Prague's rambling Olsany cemetery is to take a stroll through almost 350 years of Czech history. Buried in the Olsany, not too far from Johnny Madden's own grave, are the remains of Jan Palach. On 16 January 1969, in Prague's famous Wenceslas Square, in a protest against the Russian occupation, Palach, a Czech student, just 20 years old, doused himself with petrol and lit a match. He died three days later as a result of his horrifying, self-inflicted burns. Celtic (via Bob Kelly) added its own footnote to this particular episode in Czech history by prevailing on EUFA to re-draw the ties in that season's European Cup so as to prevent West European sides from having to play in the Soviet bloc during the Russian military occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following his death, Jan Palach's grave rapidly became a regular rallying-point for Czechs seeking freedom from Russian rule. So much so, in 1973, the country's increasingly nervy rulers exhumed his body, cremated it and re-buried it in the family plot in the town of Vsetaty, all without the knowledge of Palach's family. After the fall of Communism, Palach's brother Jiri agreed to his ashes being returned to the OlSany.
In their respective, widely differing fields of endeavour, both Johnny Madden and Jan Palach played pivotal roles in 20th century Czech life. Not unnaturally, with the passage of time, their place in popular consciousness has diminished. Despite this, and with some regularity, prayers are said at both their graves, candles are lit and flowers placed on their last resting-places. In Johnny's case, Slavia supporters regularly tend the grave and every so often they repaint the club's traditional red star emblem (a symbol of 'Hope and Good Mind') that adorns the gravestone. There is also a trickle of football fans from Scotland and Ireland who come to pay their own tribute to a soccer legend.
Given the continental prominence that Czech club and national football attained under Johnny Madden's guidance, it is perhaps not too fanciful to speculate on what Celtic and Scottish football in general might have achieved if the game's administrators here had possessed the wit and vision to utilise fully the coaching and training skills of a man who was described in Prague as being "this average Scot".
In search of Johnny Madden, the man who gave Czech football a Scottish accentHugh MacDonald (The Herald (link))
Published on 2 Mar 2010
I AM Madden.
The message was blunt, bold and spoken in the tones of someone who had both endured the rigours of life and been satisfied that he had survived them.
Johnny Madden was standing in the dressing room of Slavia Prague. It was 1905 and the Scot, at 41, was embarking on a career that would change the face of Czech football and earn himself a substantial place in the sporting history of a country.
So who was Madden?
Born in Dumbarton, he was the first man to lead a Celtic forward line, playing in the club’s first match against Rangers Swifts in 1888. He won championship medals with Celtic in 1892 and 1893. He also played in England with Gainsburgh Trinity. He won two Scottish caps, scoring five goals in two games against Wales.
“He seemed to disappear for a while around about 1898,” said Tom O’Neill, who has researched the life of his illustrious relative. Madden enjoyed a glorious renaissance after his playing career ended, however. He became the coach of Slavia Prague, announcing himself in dramatic fashion in the dressing-room.
“He laid down the law,” said Mr O’Neill, sitting in the cafe next to the Scottish Football Museum. The pensioner, retired from his job in a distillery, has spent 20 years researching the life of a Scot who gained glory on a foreign field. But Mr O’Neill was introduced to the Madden phenomenon in subtle fashion. “There was a tea set sitting on my granny’s sideboard,” said Mr O’Neill, also a Son of the Rock. “It was won by Madden in a five-a-side tournament in 1890.”
Madden was the brother of Mr O’Neill’s great grandfather. The silver tea set was a link to the career of someone who has remained elusive despite years of research. The coach was with Slavia Prague from 1905 until he retired from professional football in June 1930, aged 66. Mr O’Neill’s research has thrown up a fascinating sketch of a remarkable character.
“We do not quite know precisely why Madden went to Prague. But there is an interesting story about how he may have got the job. It was said that Slavia were looking for a Rangers player to take on the job. Findlay Speedie and JT Robertson were Rangers players from Dumbarton. It was said that they gave Madden some Rangers clothing and they took a photograph which they sent to Prague.”
The reason for Madden’s urge for Bohemian life is unclear. “I thought there might be a woman there,” said Mr O’Neill, “but there was not. Perhaps he was just looking for a job and that was the best on offer.”
Certainly, Madden was aware that there was a harder existence beyond the playing field. His father was a shipyard labourer and he himself a riveter. “He could have left Scotland just to get out the shipyard. My father worked as a riveter and he described it as a mixture of brute strength and ignorance,” said Mr O’Neill.
Madden became a figure of legend at Slavia. “He was a bright guy. He was very strict about disciplinary matters. He was a vacuum cleaner when it came to soaking up information,” said Mr O’Neill. “There is evidence that he was coaching people on the park even when he was playing at 22, 23. He was therefore one of the first promoters of tactics. He was a strong believer in physiotherapy, too. There is some evidence that he worked with ballet dancers and ice hockey players in Prague too.”
Madden also accompanied the Czech national squad to the Paris Olympics of 1924. “He had a set of strong beliefs. He was keen on using freezing water to treat muscle strains. He also insisted that players were not allowed to smoke three hours before or after a match or training session. That was revolutionary then.”
Slavia, the team of the nationalist intelligentsia, was the leading side in Prague, only diminishing in importance as Dukla gained prominence under communist rule as it was the army club. But Madden made a life and a career in Prague. “I do not know how much he immersed himself in the culture but he survived two wars. The early research indicates that initially, and obviously, he did not speak much Czech but he must have learned the language. He had to speak enough of the language to coach across several sporting disciplines.”
Madden was bright and entrepreneurial. Mr O’Neill has discovered that his relative went to school in Church Street, Dumbarton, so he was literate. The coach’s elder brother, though, could only sign his name with an X. Another episode in Church Street points to Madden’s reputation as a “wheeler-dealer”.
“Madden once got in a fight in a pub there,” said Mr O’Neill. “He was in town with an agent and it was believed they were there to try to poach two Dumbarton players.” This, of course, was before Madden’s life took on its Czech dimension.
He became part of the very lore of Slavia. His funeral cortege in 1948 was accompanied by players dressed in team strips and flowers are regularly left on the grave of a man who introduced a Scottish accent to Czech football. He lives on in the club as the Madden award is seen as the equivalent of a player of the year trophy.
And a little bit of his history now resides in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden. Mr O’Neill has donated the silver tea set on behalf of Matilda Madden, who has passed on. This piece of memorabilia will be within touching distance of the Czech squad when they play at Hampden tonight.
Mr O’Neill has scaled down his research work on his relative. “There are so many records that are missing. It was, of course, an East European communist regime for so long and many inquiries over paperwork are just met with: ‘The Nazis burned it’. There are things you are just not going to find out.”
One suspects the enigmatic Madden would have preferred it this way.
The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent (Sheffield, England), Saturday, August 20, 1892;
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|WeeShamrock||John 'Jake' Madden - The Rooter||1||Jul 16 2009, 5:02 PM EDT by joebloggscity|
Thread started: Jul 16 2009, 4:57 PM EDT Watch
From 'An Alphabet of the Celts':
John Madden had a ferocious grass shot. According to team-mate Jerry Reynolds whenever he hit the post it threatened to uproot the goals. Thus: 'The Rooter'
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