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|Celtic Slang | About Celtic | Celtic's Foundation | Tony Mowbray|
| 'I don't like to put a patent on it. But I take a great sense of pride in it. It was nothing to do with my wife, as has been wrongly reported. It came out of adversity. The Celtic players needed to show real unity and togetherness. We needed to show the supporters we cared.'|
Tony Mowbray (originator of The Huddle at Celtic)
The Huddle originated in 1892 at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. It's founder was a deaf man named Paul Hubbard, who played quarterback for Gallaudet University's Bisons football team. At the time Gallaudet was the world's only Liberal Arts University for students who were deaf or hard of hearing. On April 8th 1864 President Lincoln granted authorisation for Gallaudet's Board of Directors to grant degrees to deaf students.
Prior to the 1890's football players could openly discuss play, tactics, and strategies merely by staying far enough out of earshot of the opposing team that they could not be overheard. This changed when Paul Hubbard noticed that opposing deaf teams could 'eavesdrop' on his team-talks, by simply reading the sign language he used to communicate with his fellow players. By doing so, opponents were able to read his strategies and set-ups, and thus intercept and counter them.
To resolve this, he organised his team into a tight inward-facing huddled group, where sign language could be openly used, but could not be seen or read by rival deaf teams. The strategy worked, and 'the huddle' became a vital part of the Gallaudet Bisons match preparations. Other deaf teams soon adopted a similar strategy, 'the huddle' became an integral part of the game, and it’s introduction into the sporting world was conceived.
It was introduced to Celtic by former Captain Tony 'Mogga' Mowbray (1991 - 1995) who felt it would be a great way of instilling a bit more spirit into the players and cohesiveness into the team. Some say it was partly done as a show of solidarity for Tony Mowbray due to a personal situation but he refutes the suggestion, but there is some truth to it as well.
The Huddle is now an integral part of Celtic's pre-match ritual, and serves to unite the players, the team, and the fans in preparation to face our footballing adversaries. It bonds and readies us against those we are about to commence battle with.
In 2010, The Green Brigade started up a mass "Huddle" in the stands as part of their cheer-leading support.... Cracking fun and adds to the whole aura of the Huddle. The popularity of it grew rapidly and for the first time in Feb 2001 in a 3-0 win over Rangers, the GB's managed to get practically the whole home support at Celtic Park to join in! Some say it was copied from Man City fans or others (they call it the "Poznan"), but who cares, it was at Celtic (through the Green Brigades' efforts) that it became a stadium-wide (and later international) success and really took the atmosphere at matches to greater heights.
July 3rd 1995 - The first ever 'Celtic Huddle'
Inside the Huddle
going clockwise the players are:
Douglas, Balde, Simon Lynch, Agathe, Fernandez, Maloney, Sylla, Guppy, Lennon, Laursen and Lambert.
A Huddle themed Celtic cake!
and if you know the huddle historyPaul Cuddihy (from Celticfc.net)
THIRTEEN years ago today, on July 23, 1995, a little piece of Celtic history was made when the very first Huddle took place.
It was a pre-season friendly in Germany for Tommy Burns’ Celtic side against Kickers Emden, the game taking place at VfB Jheringsfehn’s ground because of renovation work at Emden’s stadium.
The 3,650 people who were there at what looked more like a public park than a football ground, watched the Hoops go down 2-0, but probably didn’t pay too much attention to the new pre-match ritual.
It was Tony Mowbray, skippering the side in the absence of Paul McStay, who had stayed behind in Scotland to receive treatment for an injury, who came up with the idea of the Huddle as a show of togetherness by the players.
Over the years it has become an integral part of Celtic’s identity, a sign of unity among the men who wear the Hoops as well as a source of inspiration and pride to every Celtic supporter.
And the Huddle is now carried out by Celtic teams of all ages, from the young Bhoys and Ghirls in the Celtic in the Community programmes right through to Gordon Strachan's first-team.
And while he never imagined that the Huddle would have caught on so spectacularly, Tony Mowbray remains proud of what he started.
Years after that first Huddle on July 23, 1995, he said: “Every player likes to leave something that people can remember them by and maybe the Huddle is mine at Celtic.
“I’m delighted to see it’s still going strong, because it’s a brilliant way of uniting the players and the fans. It’s in the fabric of Celtic now.”
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