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Fullname: Charles Richard McEleny
aka: Charlie McEleny, Charles McEleny
Born: 3 Mar 1873 ?
Died: 1 Aug 1908
Birthplace: Raymoghy, Ireland
Signed: 2 Nov 1893; 2 May 1896
Left: 9 Nov 1895 (to Burnley); 1897 (to New Brighton)
Position: Wing-half
Debut: Celtic 3-1 Dundee, League, 4 Nov 1893
Internationals: none

Biog

Wing-half Charles McEleny enjoyed two spells with Celtic in the 1890s.

He originally signed for the Bhoys from Abercorn in November 1893 and made his debut on the fourth of that month in a 3-1 league victory over Dundee at Parkhead.

A strong-running and powerful player McEleny quickly established himself as a first team regular and his robust style was an asset to Celtic at a time when rough stuff was very much the norm for football.

He won the first of his Glasgow Charity Cup medals in 1895 with a 4-0 win over Rangers with a typical 'sleeves-up-and-at-em' attitude ('Alphabet of the Celts').

He had the most competitive match appearances in season 1894-95 along with Dan Doyle, so was an important cog in the team.

However, not happy with the tough training schedule at Celtic, in November 1895 he departed for English side Burnley. He returned to the Bhoys in May 1896 (just as Celtic had just completed and won the league), and helped Celtic in a 2-1 win over Queen's Park to win his second Glasgow Charity Cup medal.

He had started the 1896-97 as a near ever-present and managed to finally score his first goal in a competitive match, in a 2-0 win over Third Lanark on 17 Oct 1896.

Yet again, he was within moving south to play for New Brighton, again for dislike of the training disciplines.

One quote states that "Celtic (had) never parted with a better player", but likely that is not true.

In his two spells as a Celt McEleny played 34 games and scored one goal.

He went on to play for New Brighton Tower, Swindon Town, Brentord and Greenock Morton before quitting football and working as a painter/decorator. He nevers seemed to be able to hand aground very long at most clubs, which probably shows he was a difficult one, "or maybe he was just a hard case? ('Alphabet of the Celts')".

Sadly, Charlie died prematurely on 1st Aug 1908, at the young age of 34 at Smithston Poorhouse and Asylum, Greenock.

Playing Career

APPEARANCES LEAGUE SCOTTISH CUP LEAGUE CUP EUROPE TOTAL
1893-95 &1895-96 30 4 n/a n/a 34
Goals:10--1

Honours with Celtic

Glasgow Charity Cup
  • 2

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