Celtic FCThe Bould Bhoys
Scottish giants Celtic are a world-famous club based in the Parkhead area of Glasgow. . Established in 1887, they played their first official game on 28 May, 1888 against Glasgow rivals, Rangers. Their home ground Celtic Park (Parkhead), has been their permanent residence since 1892, and is the biggest football stadium in Scotland with a capacity of just over 60,000. Together with Rangers, they form the Old Firm, one of the most famous and fierce rivalries in sport. The club's traditional playing colours are green and white hooped shirts with white shorts and white socks. The club's nicknames, "The Bhoys" dates from this era when the team were described as the "bold boys," the additional "h" being added to phonetically represent the Irish pronunciation.
In 1967, Celtic became the first British team, and only Scottish team, to have won the European Cup. Their historic victory in Europe was a monumental achievement as incredibly, the whole team, who became known as ‘The Lisbon Lions’ were all born within a 30-mile radius of Parkhead.
In the 1880s, thousands of people were forced to emigrate to Glasgow due to the famine in Ireland, only to find that the streets were not paved with gold. Brother Walfrid (born Andrew Kerins in Ballymote, County Sligo), an Irish Marist brother, had been assigned to Sacred Heart School in the city's East End to cater for the Irish communities spiritual and educational needs.
Brother Walfrid had two principle motivations; to feed the newcomers who were struggling to find work and to help a community often shunned because of their faith and nationality. His idea to raise money to feed the poor was through his fund raising charity, ‘The Poor Children's Dinner Table’, and to help a community retain their dignity in the face of religious intolerance, the brother would turn to football.
On November 6 1887 he founded Celtic FC with the intention of attracting paying customers to help raise funds for the charity. Inspired by Hibernian, who were formed as a club by the immigrant Irish population in Edinburgh thirteen years earlier, Brother Walfrid suggested the club be named Celtic to reflect its Irish and Scottish origins.
Though the club was formed to aid the Catholic and Irish communities of the East End of Glasgow, he was keen that the club would also serve as a cultural bridge between Ireland and Scotland. The name was intrinsic to these values and the aims of the club in establishing an unquantifiable link between the indigenous Scots and the newcomers whose descendants would be born in Scotland.
Celtic Football Club was born from charity in exceptionally difficult times. These roots are still a great source of pride and the sentiments that sit behind Brother Walfrid's ideals have taken hold and flourished. Today, countless thousands of Celtic supporters around the world consider these ideals to be at the heart of their club's history.
Charity and community will always be the foundation of this great club and it continues to support worthy causes on a local, national and international level. The club is estimated to have a fan base of over nine million people, including one million in North America. In 2003, when Celtic reached the UEFA Cup Final in Seville, it is estimated that an incredible 80,000 supporters made the journey to the Spanish city just to be part of the occasion; an unprecedented number in the history of the European football.
‘Celtic, like Barcelona, are more than a football club. Our clubs are a symbol of a culture and community that has not always been made welcome in their respective countries.’
Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona FC.
‘A football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed’.
Brother Walfrid, 1887, The Poor Children’s Dinner Table, Celtic FC, Glasgow, Scotland, 1888