Celtic Football Club was founded on the 6th November 1887 by an Irish Marist brother called Brother Wilfred. The club was formally constituted in St Marys’s Church in the Calton district of Glasgow, and was viewed as an attempt to alleviate poverty in the East end of the city and to raise money for Brother Wilfred’s charity – the Poor Children’s Dinner Table.
Brother Wilfred suggested the name Celtic, as this reflected their Irish immigrant origins. They played their first match against neighbours Rangers and won 5-2.
Success for the club soon followed, and by 1892 they won the Scottish Cup, followed by their first league title in 1893. Thereafter Celtic enjoyed years of success in Scottish football, and have always played in the top division.
Cups and League Titles
Celtic began to be a dominant force in Scottish football in the early years of the twentieth century. They won the championship in successive years from 1905 to 1910, and in 1907 became the first Scottish team to win the league and cup double.
There followed a steady stream of championship and cup wins, but perhaps 1967 was the year for which they are best remembered. They won every competition in which they entered, most notably becoming the first British team to win the European Cup. They beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon to earn the nickname the ‘Lisbon Lions’.
Nowadays both Celtic and Rangers have a monopoly on the Scottish League title and rarely lose their stranglehold on the cups.
Scottish League Titles (42)
1893, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1922, 1926, 1936, 1938, 1954, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008
Scottish FA Cup Wins (35)
1892, 1899, 1900, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1931, 1933, 1937, 1951, 1954, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011
Scottish League Cup Wins (14)
1957, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1975, 1983,
1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2009
European Cup Wins
Celtic have always played at Celtic Park, but not on the same plot of land. The original Celtic Park was built in Parkhead in 1888 by a volunteer workforce, but increased rental costs forced a move to a disused brick yard across the road. This was also constructed by volunteers and became the new Celtic Park, where the club still plays.
At this time the ground consisted of open terracing and it was 1928 when Archibald Leitch designed a new stand which remained in place until 1988.This stand replaced another which had been burned down in 1927.
In the 1990’s Celtic Park was totally rebuilt, and by August 1998 had an all seated capacity of just over 60,000.
Billy captained the team during the 1960’s and early 1970’s under legendary manager Jock Stein, Making 790 appearances.
Scored 167 goals in 320 games and was part of the team in the 1970’s which claimed nine league titles in a row.
Manager Jock Stein said he was the best left back in the world, and scored in two European Cups finals for Celtic.
He was voted ‘Greatest Ever Celt’ by supporters and was old fashioned winger.
He was Celtic’s record goal scorer with 468 goals. He was only 5ft 6ins but scored many goals with his head.
In seven seasons at Celtic he scored 242 goals in 315 matches. He became known as the ‘Magnificent Seven’.
Other Interesting Facts
- The players from the 1967 European Cup winning team were all born within 30 miles of Celtic Park (Parkhead).
- 92,975 attended a match at Parkhead in 1938 against Rangers.
- In 2003 when Celtic reached the UEFA Cup final, nearly 80,000 fans travelled to Seville. Some never came back and stayed in Spain.
What is your most memorable event in the history of the club? The best comment every month wins a prize.