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PersonalFullname: Thomas Edward Maley
aka: Tom Maley, "Handsome Tom Maley"
Born: 8 Nov 1864
Died: 24 Aug 1935
Signed: May 1888
Left: 1891 (retired)
Debut: Celtic 5-2 Rangers XI (the Swifts), Friendly, 28 May 1888
Director: 13 Apr 1897 - Aug 1902
|"Speed, stamina, dash - all three were mine".|
That "other Maley" is of course Willie's elder brother, Thomas Edward Maley. Tom Maley was recommended by family friend Pat Welsh to the founding fathers of the fledgling Celtic Football Club. A renowned Victorian footballer and a trained teacher, Tom was seen as an ideal candidate to help kick-start this noble new venture and so it was that on a December night in 1887 John Glass and Brother Walfrid set out to the Maley home in Cathcart with the aim of making Thomas one of their first signings for the newly born club.
The son of a soldier, Portsmouth-born Tom had by the time of Celtic's formation already played for Partick Thistle, Third Lanark, Hibernian and the Clydesdale Harriers Football Section. Away for the football field he was a successful athlete, though not so well known as Willie, and won many prizes - in 1887 he won six first, three second and one first prize, the following year he won one first, two second and one third but also took third place in the NCU 100 yards championship.
But his attention was turning increasing towards the booming game of football.
Famously Tom would not be at home that evening when John Glass and Brother Walfrid came a wooing. He was engaged in a courting of another kind, enjoying an evening out in the company of his wife to be. But the Celtic party ensured their trip wasn’t wasted by recruiting his younger brother Willie – a move which of course had massive repercussions on the development and success of the club for decades to come.
Although his own role would be less celebrated than that of his brother, there can be no doubt that Tom too would play a pivotal part in the incredible growth and rapid success of Celtic Football Club.
Having joined his brother at Parkhead, the pair lined up for the club’s inaugural game against Rangers on May 28th 1888 at the original Celtic Park. Although accounts of that game are not conclusive it is believed Tom scored three goals in that 5-2 victory. He would later play in the club’s first ever Scottish Cup tie when the Bhoys defeated Cowlairs 8-0 and hit six goals as the Bhoys reached the final in their first season.
A quick-footed outside-left Tom's attributes as a footballer were varied. As he stated himself: "Speed, stamina, dash - all three were mine".
In January 1889 Tom inspired Celtic to a wonderful 6-2 win over England's famous Corinthians when, on a muddy swamp of a Parkhead pitch, his speed and stamina wowed one of the largest crowds that had yet witnessed a game in Scotland. That same year Tom underlined his commitment to the Celtic cause when he interrupted his honeymoon to speak for team-mate Willie Groves at an SFA disciplinary meeting.
Behind the scenes Tom was tireless in his devotion to establishing Celtic as Scotland's premier football club. His contacts throughout the world of football were extensive and from the day of his recruitment Tom's influence in attracting other players to Celtic Park was considerable. His whole hearted efforts on the pitch were matched by work as a committee member.
An eloquent and persuasive speaker Tom's interests were not entirely exclusive to football. A man of faith, charity and politics he was a passionate defender of maintaining the link between Celtic and the Poor Children's Dinner Table, while he was also known to speak at Irish nationalist rallies and meetings.
Tom retired as a player in 1891 having played nine competitive games and scoring 6 goals. He however would later play for Preston as an amateur. Given his knowledge of the game it was no surprise when he became a Celtic director in 1897. Unlike some of his peers on the board, Tom was a football man and had played for the first team, so in that respect it put him head & shoulders above them.
In 1902 Tom was lured to Manchester City as manager and despite incredible success with the Lancashire club it was here that Tom would endure his darkest days in football. Maley joined City at the start of the 1902-03 season following the club's relegation from the English top tier the previous campaign. Almost immediately his team suffered a tragic setback when experienced Wales international full-back Di Jones cut his knee after falling on some glass during a pre-season practice game. The wound turned septic and within days the player had died.
Despite that tragedy City would romp to the Second Division championship as Maley built a fearsome attacking force around the considerable skills of the Welsh Wizard Billy Merrideth. Back in the top flight, City in season 1903-04 proved to be a formidable outfit. While a second place league finish was an outstanding achievement it was eclipsed by the lifting of the FA Cup with a 1-0 final victory over Bolton.
The 1904-05 campaign saw City take their league title challenge to the final game. They needed to defeat Aston Villa to claim the championship but the day would end in a 3-1 loss marred by a punch-up and accusations that Merrideth had offered Villa's captain Alec Leake £10 to throw the game. An FA investigation found Merideth guilty of the charge and he was banned for a year. Angry at a perceived lack of support from his club Merrideth decided to report City for illegal payments to it's players.
During the subsequent FA inquiry Tom Maley admitted payments had been made to his players in addition to the permitted maximum £4 a week wage. It was in truth an admission of a practice which was widespread throughout football. But while some 17 City players would be hit by bans it was Maley who took the full brunt of the punishment - a lifetime suspension from football. The FA's actions caused uproar with thousands of supporters calling on the governing body to think again.
Football journalists accused the FA of a gross hypocrisy, stating that Maley and City were being unjustly punished for a practice which virtually every club in the Football League was indulging in. Some even attributed this draconian clampdown as a deliberate attack on football in the north from the London-based FA.
It was indeed an unnecessarily cruel punishment for Thomas Maley, who had acted no differently to many of his colleagues at clubs across England. Yet he took this harsh set-back with typical decorum. Tom returned to the teaching profession and he remained in education until his ban was belatedly lifted by the FA in the summer of 1910.
In February 1911 Tom returned to England to become manager of Second Division Bradford Park Avenue. He would change the club's colours to green and white and with a large contingent of Scottish players took the Yorkshire side to promotion to the First Division. He guided them to their highest ever league placing before eventually relegations in successive seasons saw the club in Division Three (North).
As a measure of the respect some had for him one English journalist in the 1920's for "Athletic News" stated: “I never happened on a greater enthusiast than Maley, nor yet a better informed man. If Maley had had average luck he would have gone down in history as one of the most successful managers the game has known”.
He departed Bradford in 1924 for a brief spell with Southport. But for all his years and success in England, Tom's heart remained forever with Celtic.
He died on 24th Aug 1935. An all time Celtic great and a very important man in the foundation of our club.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Major Honours with Celtic[...]
DEATH OF NOTED FOOTBALLER AND ADMINISTRATORThe Scotsman - Monday, 26th August 1935, page 4
The death occurred in Glasgow at the weekend of Mr Tom Maley, a well-known player and football administrator in his day, and brother of Mr Wm. Maley, Celtic F.C., and Mr Alec Maley, formerly of Hibernians and Clyde.
Mr Maley who was 71 years of age, was a keen amateur footballer in his younger days, and played for Partick Thistle, Dundee Harp, Hibernians, Third Lanark, and Celtic. A school teacher by profession he became governor of Slatefield Industrial School, later leaving that post to become manager of Manchester City F.C. Under his guidance the club prospered, and many famous players were recruited to the team.
His engagement ended with the wholesale suspension of club officials and players over the payment and acceptance of excessive bonus money, but some years later that ban was lifted in his case and Mr Maley became manager of Bradford Park Avenue Club. Later he was associated with Southport F.C prior to:his retirement.
The funeral takes place to-day to Kentigern R-C Cemetery Glasgow
Quotes"When the whole of the Celts were at their best, and this happened pretty often last season in their Challenge Cup ties, Mr. T. Maley generally rose to the occasion, and led his team brilliantly. His steady-going style is much liked, not only by his colleagues, but spectators, and it is quite a rare thing to see him grassed by an opponent. When approaching the goal with the ball, he is like the priest who had a "wonderful way wid him"—slipping through the backs in a manner that is sure to make the goalkeeper gnash his teeth, and wish Maley was far enough away."
On Tom Maley, from Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches, by David Drummond Bone
Scottish Athletic Journal 5th June 1888
Scottish Athletic Journal May 15th 1888
Tom Maley - A Man City perspectivePosted on November 28, 2011 by Gary James
The recent ceremony organised via the Celtic Graves Society marking the grave of former City manager Tom Maley has brought a few mentions of the great man.
Few City fans today probably know Tom’s story in detail and to be fair some won’t know his name. It is for this reason that I thought I’d share some basic stories and comments about him. He really is a manager all City supporters should be aware of. Without him Manchester’s Blues may never have found success at all.
Tom Maley was, without doubt, the first truly great Manchester manager, not simply City’s first great manager.
He had been a successful player in Scotland during the 1880s and was a member of Celtic at formation in 1888. Nicknamed ‘Handsome Tom’, his time at Celtic was mainly as an administrator and as such he is recorded by Celtic historians as one of the club’s most important early figures. Interestingly, despite being a proud Scotsman, he was born in Portsmouth on 8th November 1864.
He arrived at City’s first proper home, Hyde Road, following the Blues relegation in 1902 and immediately encouraged the Blues to play stylish football. His view was that playing in the Scottish passing style – uncommon in England at the time – would bring the club success and would excite the fans. He was right. At this stage in English football the key tactic seemed to be to run with the ball until it was taken from you or you were able to have a shot, whereas Celtic in particular had perfected a passing style which seemed to bamboozle most sides.
By the time he arrived in Manchester he was known as an excellent football administrator and tactician and, by adopting the passing style, he turned City into a major force. According to a 1920s journalist, Maley built the Blues: “It was when Tom Maley came to Hyde Road that Manchester City may be said to have entered fully into their kingdom. Under his management, he built a team for the club that was comparable with the mightiest sides in the country.
“I never happened a greater enthusiast than Maley, nor yet a better informed man. If Maley had had average luck he would have gone down in history as one of the most successful managers the game has known. It is enough to say that so long as Maley was at the helm, the family at Hyde Road was a particularly happy one.”
At City he managed to attract great players and the club’s popularity increased as a result. City’s average attendance exceeded 20,000 for the first time during his reign as the Blues became Manchester’s premier club, although it’s fair to say Maley’s first few weeks were a particularly difficult time for the Blues. Welsh international and star player Di Jones gashed his knee during the pre-season public practice match and, despite treatment from the club doctor, within a week the wound had turned septic and the played died. Another significant player Jimmy Ross also died that summer. Maley had to lift spirits quickly.
His first League game ended in a 3-1 win and the Blues went on to lift the Second Division championship in Maley’s first season. This was a remarkable achievement but more was to follow in 1903-4 when Maley’s men won the FA Cup for the first time in their history. The Blues were the first Manchester side to win a major trophy and the feat had come a mere ten years after formation as Manchester City F.C.
In addition City narrowly missed out on the double, finishing second to Sheffield Wednesday after fixture congestion forced the Blues to play five League games and the cup final in the space of 16 days! No squad rotation possible back then. Who said fixture congestion was a modern phenomenon?
City’s success wasn’t popular with the footballing establishment – in particular the southern based FA – and FA Officials soon arrived at Hyde Road to check up on the young northern upstarts. They found one or two discrepancies over transfers but nothing major, however the following year Maley’s side were once again bidding for the League title. A controversial match with Aston Villa gave the FA another opportunity to investigate the club’s affairs and this time the FA claimed to have found widespread anomalies including overpayments to players. Tom Maley was questioned at length and admitted that he had followed what seemed like standard English practice. He claimed that if all First Division clubs were investigated, not four would come out ‘scatheless’. He was right but it was City the FA seemed determined to punish and they suspended 17 players and 2 directors. But the harshest sentence fell on the Chairman and on Maley. They were both suspended for life.
The northern based Football League and the footballing press supported the Blues but the FA got their way and Maley’s brief but successful reign was over.
Maley suffered more than most by the unfortunate events of 1905/6, and his role in football history has been tainted forever by the F.A.’s harsh treatment. However, in the eyes of thousands of Mancunians he is remembered as the man who brought exciting football and the F.A. Cup to the city for the first time.
Without his period at Hyde Road, Manchester may never have found real football success. Many of his players were forced to join United after the scandal of 1905, and went on to bring the Reds their first trophy success only a few years later. Had Maley been allowed to develop those players further who knows what success may have come City’s way. I reckon he would have created a dynasty at Hyde Road.
After City he became a headmaster in Glasgow, but in July 1910 the F.A. lifted his suspension and the following February he became Bradford Park Avenue’s manager. The Bradford club gave him full control of team affairs – something unusual at the time – and he remained there until March 1924. During his reign the club achieved its highest position (9th in Division One, 1914-15), and for a period played in his beloved green and white hoops. During the First World War he is said to have acted like an “amateur recruiting sergeant” and was famous for his entertaining lectures.
After Bradford he is said by some to have managed Southport between May and October 1925, and then in 1931 he temporarily took over as Celtic manager from his highly successful brother Willie during a trip to the USA.
On 24th August 1935 he passed away at the age of 70. Had his time at City not ended prematurely, it’s possible he would be remembered today as one of Britain’s most successful managers. As it is, he should always be remembered as one of Manchester’s greatest leaders.
I’ve added a few references/images concerning Tom to my facebook. Take a look at the folder “Research – Maley”: http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=289818652815
Early in 2012 I will be announcing details of my next history book on City via http://www.facebook.com/GaryJames4
Tom Maley’s City Career Details
- Secretary/Manager – July 1902 – July 1906
- Took Over From: Sam Ormerod following the Club’s first relegation.
- Inherited: The legendary Billy Meredith and Billy Gillespie.
- Players Brought In Included: Sandy Turnbull & George Livingstone – both major stars.
- Nickname: Known as ‘Handsome Tom’ in Glasgow
- First Game: City 3 Lincoln City 1 (City scorers Willie McOustra 2 & Fred Bevan), 6 September 1902, attendance 16,000.
- High Points: Coming close to the League & Cup double in 1903-04 and developing a quality side that truly represented Manchester for the first time.
- Lows: The scandal that rocked City in 1905-07 and caused the Club to be severely punished.
- Last Game: Birmingham 3 City 2 (City scorers Herbert Burgess & Irvine Thornley), 28 April 1906, attendance 3,000.
Season By Season Record:
1902-03 P 34 W 25 D 4 L 5 GF 95 GA 29 Pts 54
1903-04 P 34 W 19 D 6 L 9 GF 71 GA 45 Pts 44
1904-05 P 34 W 20 D 6 L 8 GF 66 GA 37 Pts 46
1905-06 P 38 W 19 D 5 L 14 GF 73 GA 54 Pts 43
2 points for a win
1902-03 P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 GF 1 GA 3 Reached 1st round
1903-04 P 6 W 5 D 1 L 0 GF 12 GA 3 FA Cup winners
1904-05 P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 GF 3 GA 3 Reached 2nd round
1905-06 P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 GF 1 GA 4 Reached 1st round
TOTAL (League & cup fixtures)
P150 W89 D22 L39 GF 322 GA 178
Trophies Won: FA Cup (1904) & Second Division title (1903). His brother managed Celtic to Scottish Cup success in 1904 to complete an unusual double.
He Said: Talking about City’s 1904 homecoming in which, it was widely reported, the entire population of Manchester turned out to welcome the Cup winners home: “Perhaps the love of sport had something to do with the bringing together of so great a gathering, but love of Manchester had much more to do with it.”
(I love this quote and included it in the Introduction to my book on all of Mancunian football “Manchester A Football History”:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= … permPage=1
They Said: “I never happened on a greater enthusiast than Maley, nor yet a better informed man. If Maley had had average luck he would have gone down in history as one of the most successful managers the game has known” – A 1920s journalist for Athletic News.
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, Dec 26 2011, 8:34 AM EST
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