Saturday, 15 January 2011

Belfast Celtic FC

Work in progress.

Founded: 1891
Folded: 1949
Ground: Celtic Park ("Paradise")
Main Colours: Green and white (originally stripes, then hoops)
Website: The Grand Old Team

Selected Managers:
Elisha Scott (1934-1949)

League History:
Junior Alliance 18291/92; Junior League 1892/93-1895/96; Irish League 1896/97-1914/15; Intermediate League while the Irish League was suspended due to the First World War; Belfast & District (War Time) League 1918/19; Irish League 1919/20 (withdrew due to civil unrest); Irish League 1924/25-1939/40; Northern Regional (War Time) League 1940/41-1946/47; Irish League 1947/48-1948/49.

Irish League Champions (14) 1899/1900, 1914/15, 1919/20, 1925/26, 1926/27, 1927/28, 1928/29, 1932/33, 1935/36, 1936/37, 1937/38, 1938/39, 1939/40, 1947/48.
Belfast & District League Champions (1) 1918/19.
Northern Regional League Champions (4) 1940/41, 1941/42, 1942/43, 1946/47.
Irish Cup Winners (8) 1917/18, 1925/26, 1936/37, 1937/38, 1940/41, 1942/43, 1943/44, 1946/47.
Gold Cup Winners (10) 1911/12, 1925/26, 1934/35, 1938/39, 1939/40, 1940/41, 1943/44, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48.
City Cup Winners (10) 1905/06, 1906/07, 1925/26, 1927/28, 1929/30, 1930/31, 1932/33, 1939/40, 1947/48, 1948/49.
Co. Antrim Shield Winners (8) 1894/95, 1909/10, 1926/27, 1935/36, 1936/37, 1938/39, 1942/43, 1944/45.
Dublin & Belfast Inter-City Cup Winners (1) 1947/48 (shared).
Intermediate League Champions (7) 1916/17, 1917/18, 1931/32, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1936/37.
Junior League Champions (3) 1893/94, 1894/95, 1895/96.
Intermediate Cup Winners (5) 1913/14, 1934/35, 1935/36, 1936/37, 1939/40.
Steel & Sons Cup Winners (5) 1912/13, 1916/17, 1917/18, 1934/35, 1935/36.

Notable Players:
31 players were awarded senior caps by the IFA while with Celtic:
Tom "Bud" Aherne (3)
Tommy Breen (4)
Robert Clarke (2)
Jimmy Connor (11)
Jackie Coulter (3)
Sammy Curran (4)
Jack Diffin (1)
Isaac Doherty (1)
Joe Douglas (1)
Jimmy Ferris (4)
Bertie Fulton (20)
Mick Hamill (3)
Andrew Hunter (4)
Norman Kernaghan (3)
Jack Leathem (1)
Jack Mahood (8)
Davy "Boy" Martin (4)
Jimmy Maxwell (2)
Jimmy McAlinden (2)
Pat McAuley (1)
Paddy McCann (4)
Alec McCartney (6)
Keiller McCullough (2)
Jack McGrillen (2)
Fred McKee (3)
Eddie McMorran (1)
Tom Mulholland (2)
Harry Nicholl (3)
Billy Pollock (1)
Elisha Scott (3)
Jackie Vernon (2)

Other Celtic players to have won full international caps at some other point in their careers include Louis Bookman, Hugh Davey, Barney Donaghey, Pat Farrell, Billy Halligan, William Hamilton, Jimmy Jones, Alfie Kearns, Jim Kelly, Paddy Kelly, Jim McAuley (guest), Kevin McGarry, Jimmy McKnight, Dave McMullan, Bert Mehaffy, Fred Roberts, Charlie Tully, Jap Walker.

Elisha Scott, Dan McKinney, Mickey Hamill, Ned Kerr (all WWI), Billy McMillan, Jackie Vernon, Sean McCarthy, Paddy Bonnar and "Bud" Aherne (all WWII) played in the post-war Victory International series.

The following players won amateur caps:
Louis Bookman, Bertie Fulton, Hugh Leddy, Jackie Mahood, Stanley Mahood, "Boy" Martin, Kevin McAlinden, Paddy McCann, Victor McConnell, Fred McKee, Sam Moore, Gerry Murray, Harry Olpherts, Billy Pollock and Jordan Robertson. Charlie McIlroy won amateur caps prior to joining Celtic and Robert Mills and Jimmy Rosbotham after leaving.

Finally, these players played in inter-league matches while Celtic players:
Aherne, Barrett, Bonnar, Breen, Brown, Bruce, Buckle, Campbell, Carroll, Clarke, Clay, Connor, Coulter, Crone, Curran, Currie, Denver, Diffin, Doherty, Dornan, Ferguson, Ferris, Fleming, Foye, Frewen, Fulton, Gall, Gibson, Glenn, Hamill, Heggarty, Hunter, Inch, Jones, Kelly Kernaghan, Kirkwood, Lavery, Lawler, J. Mahood, S. Mahood, Martin, McAlinden, McAuley, McCann, McCartney, McConville, McCullough, McGrillen, McKnight, McMillan, Moore, Murphy, Nicholl, Norwood, O'Neill, Pollock, Ritchie, E. Scott, W.J. Scott, Tierney, Tully, Turnbull, H. Walker, J. Walker, Ward, Wright,


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Information please, I have a Gibson cup medal with BML stamped at the top. It has on the back J Rec,then under,j McCullough 1940-41I think it might be befast celtic.


jcd said...

The Gibson Cup was also the name of the trophy awarded to members of the Belfast Minor League, possibly as a knock-out competition(?). Don't have a full list of winners so not sure who J Rec would have been, Recreation was/is a common suffix for team names.

Anonymous said...

My father played as goalkeeper in a junior international against Scotland in Belfast in march 1932 for Ireland. He played for Belfast Celtic 2nds at the time. Ireland won 2-1 and deserved the win according to the report which I have from the Sunday Mail March 6th 1932. I have the International Cap which he received.

jcd said...

Would really appreciate a scan of the newspaper and photo of the cap if you could email them to

There's more details on Junior internationals at

Unknown said...

When I was a boy, about 1960, I saw a team of Belfast Celtic All Stars play in a benefit match at Ards ground. I remember Jack Vernon leading them out and was reminded how the comics used to refer to a 'crack' team (eg. "crack European side Red Star"). That was how they looked to me. I got several autographs that night, including Vernon's. I wonder if that was Belfast Celtic's last appearance?

jcd said...

Hi Basil, Possibly the Johnny Campbell benefit match in 1958?

There were a few benefits/testimonials/friendlies played by Belfast Celtic after they "folded" right into the 1960s. Trying to see if there's a list anywhere...