Aug 312012
 

Twenty Five Year Old Joins Forster And Zaluska Between The Sticks

In the last few minutes, it has been confirmed that Celtic have signed goalkeeper Lubos Kamenár from FC Nantes of France on a season long loan deal (with an option to buy). At the age of twenty five, the Slovakian keeper will join Fraser Forster and Lukasz Zaluska in the competition for the place between the sticks at Celtic Park.

At 6″4, Lubos has played for several teams during his career, starting out at Spartak Trnava in 2004 before moving to Artmedia Petrzalka in 2005. He then moved to FC Nantes in 2009 where he featured thirty six times. He was then loaned out to Sivasspor, Sparta Praha, and FC Spartak Trnava (again). It is thought he will provide cover as a third choice goalkeeper at this moment in time, replacing Dominic Cervi who departed earlier this summer. You can find a video of his best moments below.

Welcome to Celtic Lubos. It’s a pleasure to have you on board.

Aug 312012
 

Venezuelan Striker Joins With Only Hours Left In Transfer Window

Celtic have now confirmed that Nicholás Fedor (also known as Miku) has joined the club on a season long loan deal. Adding to the arrival of Efe Ambrose, Celtic have now brought in the central defender and tall centre forward many supporters felt the squad required. Standing at a little over six feet tall, Miku has featured on occasion for the Spanish national side.

During his youth career, the forward played for Santo Tomás Villinueva and Valencia, before progressing into his senior career with the Spanish giants. He only played twice, before being loaned out to Alcoyano, Salamanca, and Ciudad Murcia, before returning to Valencia’s B team. He then played for Gímnastic and Salamanca (again) on loan, before moving to Getafe in 2010, where he has scored twenty four times in eighty five appearances.

Miku turned twenty seven less than a fortnight ago, and it is believed that Celtic will have the option to sign the player permanently at the end of the season should they wish to do so.

Nicholás Fedor, welcome to Celtic Football Club.

Aug 312012
 

23 Year Old Centre Back Joins Celtic On Three Year Deal

In the last few moments, it has been announced that Celtic have signed Nigerian centre back Efe Ambrose (also known as Efetobore Ambrose Emuobo. Born in October 1988, Efe is currently twenty three years of age and stands approximately six foot three inches tall. Known for his strength and defensive prowess, he had attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea in the past. He also seems to have a habit of popping up with an occasional goal, which will give Celtic another target man from set pieces.

He started off his career in his native Nigeria at Kaduna United, before moving on loan to Bayelsa United on loan for a spell. Efe then returned to Kaduna, before moving to FC Ashdod of Israel in 2010. He has appeared several times as an international, representing Nigeria at under 20, under 23 and senior levels. He can count a Nigerian League winners medal, a Nigerian Cup winners medal and an Olympic silver medal amongst his career achievements thus far.

I’m sure I can speak for all of the Celtic support when I say I am looking forward to seeing Efe in the Hoops, and I wish him all the best of luck for his time in Glasgow. Welcome Efe, I hope you’ll see more silverware in your time at Celtic Park.

You can also find a fifteen minute long video showing Efe playing for FC Ashdod last season. Personally, I could only stand the accompanying music for a few minutes, but there’s always the mute button.

Aug 302012
 

 

24th April, 1965 – Celtic 3 Dunfermline Athletic 2

Celtic: Fallon, Young, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Chalmers, Gallacher, Hughes, Lennox, Auld.

Dunfermline Athletic: Herriot, W. Callaghan, Lunn, Thomson, MacLean, T. Callaghan, Edwards, Smith, McLaughlin, Melrose, Sinclair.

Referee: Hugh Phillips

Attendance: 108,800 (officially)

This was to be the first of many trophies for Celtic under the skilled management of Jock Stein. He had led the Pars to a famous Scottish Cup Final win over Celtic only years earlier, but in April 1965, he was to return the favour with the Hoops, and to deliver their first piece of major silverware since that unforgettable 7-1 triumph over Rangers in 1965. Celtic would go behind twice, with goals from Bertie Auld drawing them back level on both occasions, and the match would remain a stalemate, until the man who would become a legend in his own right, Billy McNeill, headed home the winning goal with less than ten minutes remaining.

Over 100,000 people were at Hampden Park that day, to witness a historic victory for Celtic, Billy McNeill and Jock Stein.

Aug 302012
 

Celtic Draw FC Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow

In the last few moments, Celtic have been drawn against FC Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow in the group stages of this season’s Champions League. The Scottish Champions will face a stern test in the coming months, as they take on the runners up in last years Spanish, Portugese and Russian leagues. Oddly, Celtic are the only current champions in this group.

Whilst this group will undoubtedly be a challenge, it could have been worse. Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Ajax were the first three names out of the hat in Group D, but thankfully (at least from the point of view of potential qualification) Borussia Dortmund joined them, and not Celtic. Any points taken from the Catalan giants will be a major achievement, but I think we will all hope we can take points off of the other two sides given the chance.

The first two teams will qualify for the knock out stages, whilst the team who finish third will drop into the Europa League. The first tie will take place on the 18th/19th September.

Lionel Messi and co are on their way back to Celtic Park, and I’m sure we’re all hoping it’s going to be a season to remember!

 

Aug 262012
 

With A Toothpick In His Mouth And Football In His Heart

The second player in our series of “Remembering…” articles, discussing the lives of Celtic players many people may not have heard of, focuses on a man named John Brown. Born in Dysart, Fife, sometime in the early 1890’s (an estimate), John was another example of a man who would spend many of his early days down a coal pit.

Starting off his football career in 1906, with sides Clackmannan Juniors and Hearts O’Beath, John would move to Alloa a year later before joining Falkirk in 1909. On the 7th June 2011, after impressing in his spells at previous clubs, Brown would sign for Celtic.

He was brought in by the club, and manager Willie Maley, in an attempt to build a squad for the future as the team who had won an incredible six titles in a row (between 1905 and 1910) were ageing, and their powers were, sadly, beginning to wane with them. A winger by trade, Patsy Gallagher (one of the greatest Celts of all time) would later go on to describe John as being “fast and clever on the ball, a fine shot and most accurate in his crossing”, and yet “the most in and out player I ever saw”.

Making his debut against Airdrie on the 15th August 1911, John would score one of three goals that day as Celtic ran out 3-0 victors. Playing primarily at outside-left, Brown stood a little under six feet in height, and was notorious for playing with a toothpick in his mouth.

John set up each of Jimmy Quinn’s three goals in the 1912 “New Year’s Day” defeat of Rangers, and won a Scottish Cup winners medal later that year, as Celtic won the trophy for the eighth time, and the Hoops beat Clyde 2-0 at Ibrox Park, thanks to goals from Jimmy McMenemy and the afore mentioned Patsy Gallagher, which John set up. In the semi final against Hearts, also played at Ibrox, John scored one of the Hoops goals in a 3-0 victory.

Of course, everyone knows the face of the iconic Jimmy Quinn in this photograph, playing in his last successful Scottish Cup campaign, but I believe the Celtic player in action in the centre of the photograph is none other than John Brown.

John would go on to feature forty seven times in total for Celtic Football Club, scoring ten goals. This is a respectable figure for any player. Undoubtedly, Brown possessed a skill for football. However, his lack of consistency was an issue whilst at Celtic Park, and this resulted in his loan and eventual transfer to English side Chelsea in 1913.

With the outbreak of the First World War, John would see battle first hand, and despite featuring for a Royal Navy side in 1916, he was soon sent home injured in 1917. He would recover though, in time, and go on to play for Raith Rovers, Dunfermline, Falkirk (again), Clackmannan, and Lochgelly United. He would spend a short time as manager of Lochgelly in the early-mid twenties, before becoming a masseur and trainer at Dundee in the 1930’s. He also owned a confectionary shop in Glencraig in his later life.

John Brown died on the 7th December, 1943. However, in the history books of Celtic Football Club and Scottish Football as a whole, his memory will never die.

Aug 242012
 

George Horsburgh Allan is a name many Celtic supporters will not know. I must confess that, until recently, I was one of these individuals. There is no shame in this of course, as George (also known as “Dod”) only played for the Club for a single season, back in 1897-98.

“Dod” in his Liverpool days

Born in Linlithgow, on the 23rd August 1875, George was to quickly find he possessed a talent for football, and at the age of fourteen, he joined junior side Broxburn Shamrock. Playing youth football for a couple of years, “Dod” honed continued to develop and hone his skills, before spells with Bo’ness and Leith Athletic sparked interest from Liverpool in 1895.

He grasped the opportunity to play in England with both hands, making his debut against Newcastle in a 5-1 away victory in the equivalent of the Second Division. The twenty year old would go onto score only a week later against Loughborough Town.

It is interesting to consider how, in the early days of football, sides such as Liverpool, who have since went onto win five European Cups/Champions Leagues, played alongside teams like Loughborough, who would become defunct only years later due to financial problems.

A successor to the old side, Loughborough Dynamo, were set up in the fifties and currently play in the eighth tier of English football. Interestingly, their away kit was recently green and white hoops in the style of Celtic.

During the rest of the 1895-96 season, Allan scored an incredible twenty five goals in twenty matches for Liverpool, helping them to achieve the equivalent of a play off spot. Scoring another three goals in these post season matches, George Allan helped propel Liverpool into the top flight of English Football. He would then go onto to make his sole appearance for Scotland, as he helped the national side defeat England 2-1 in London.

In spring 1897, with Allan’s role in the Liverpool squad fading, he was sold to Celtic. Having finished fourth in 1896-97, and having failed to retain their League Championship title, as Hearts won the league by two points from Hibs. The introduction of George Allan would soon reinvigorate the team though, as a strong, quick runner, famous for his ability to take chances would do for any team, even nowadays.

Allan as one artist drew him.

He would make his debut in a 4-1 victory over Hibs, before scoring his first two goals for the Club a few weeks later, as Celtic defeated Clyde 6-1. George would also feature in Celtic’s famous victory on Christmas day 1897, the first time they had played on this date, as they defeated Vale of Leven by an incredible scoreline of 9-1 (with Allan scoring five). In all, he would score sixteen goals for Celtic in nineteen appearances, helping them to regain their status as Champions of Scotland once more.

During the summer of 1898, Allan returned to Liverpool (now under new management), who paid £50 for the striker’s signature, and he would go onto score another eight goals for the Club.

Sadly, the player who has since been described as “a potential great” soon had his life cut short, as he contracted tuberculosis early the next year, and died back in his home town of Earlsferry on October 17th, 1899. He is buried in Linlithgow Cemetery.

 

The 1897-1898 Celtic team, with George Allan bottom left.

Aug 202012
 

Midfielder Looks Set to Join Swansea for £6.3m (Plus Add On’s)

Firstly, I must admit that, in many ways, I am sad about having to write this piece. I have always rated Ki Sung-Yueng very highly as a footballer, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him show the world his talent in a Celtic jersey. I would agree that it makes sense to sell him at the moment, as I feel we have a very strong midfield at the Football Club at the moment and it could be argued Ki’s ability would be far better suited to a more technical league. However I, like many Celtic supporters, will only be happy to see Ki leave the Club if a sizeable proportion of the transfer fee received is made available to Neil Lennon to strengthen the squad. At present, many believe we need a centre back and a striker as a minimum if we hope to continue to progress as a team, and perhaps this transfer will start the proverbial ball rolling now that we look like we will have a few million pounds more in the bank. However, I digress.

Ki Sung-Yeung (affectionately nicknamed as “Dave” by some during his footballing career) was born in South Korea in January 1989. He spent several years in Australia as a youngster, playing youth football while also learning to speak English fluently. During this time, he picked up his afore mentioned nickname. In 2006, Ki returned to South Korea and joined FC Seoul in the K-League. Three years later, with speculation rife as to which European club would capture the young man’s signature, Celtic beat off the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Hamburg, Porto and Portsmouth as they snapped the South Korean internationalist up for a little over £2 million.

According to Matt McGlone, despite much speculation in the media, the fee for the sale of Ki is approximately £6.3 million up front, potentially rising to £7.5 million if he makes a certain number of appearances for the club. There is also a sell on clause for 15% of any fee the Welsh club receive in the future for the South Korean. You could say this was a very good piece of business on Celtic’s part, bringing in a young talent and allowing him to develop and grow before selling him on for a significant profit. Ki made his debut for the Hoops in January 2010 in a 1-1 draw with Falkirk, receiving the man of the match award in the process.

Ki scored nine times in sixty six competitive appearances for Celtic, and I have no doubt that there will be one goal off his that will live longer than any others in the memories of the Celtic support. With around half an hour gone in the Scottish Cup Final against Motherwell, Ki Sung-Yeung picked up the ball in midfield at a soaking wet Hampden Park and sent a thunderous left foot shot in the bottom corner of the net from around thirty five yards out. In light of everything the Football Club, the support, and, most importantly, the manager, Neil Lennon had been through at the time, this was a critical moment as the South Korean helped Celtic to their first trophy under Lennon. Ki was once again awarded with the man of the match award, and has since helped the club win the Scottish Premier League.

And so, at the age of twenty three, the South Korean known for his incredible vision, technical ability, passing repertoire, long range shots and his rather interesting hairstyles is moving on from Glasgow. I can only wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his efforts whilst a member of the Celtic squad. As for you lot, I’ll leave you with a selection of some of Ki’s best moments, both for Celtic, and for Seoul and South Korea.

 

Aug 192012
 

Support A Worthy Charity and Own A Piece of History

 

As many of you will be aware, at Maley’s Bhoys, we aim to support one charitable cause every season to the fullest of our abilities. During 2012-13, we are raising money for Motor Neurone Disease Scotland (MNDS), and have already gathered £170 for the charity through a couple of auctions. The donation will be made in full at the end of May in one lump sum.

I can now present you all with our main charitable scheme for this season. I was determined to find a way for people who could not, for example, afford to bid on our auctions, to get involved should they wish to do so.

This season, we will be accepting monetary donations as usual. However, after almost endless hours of work behind the scenes on my part, you will be able to receive something special as part of your donation.

I have assembled a collection of between four and five thousand Celtic images, and for a recommended donation of £10 each, I will be more than happy to post a copy of this CD-Rom to anyone who wants one. We are also looking into making these files available for download (and we’ll have more information on this within the coming week). All of these images are freely available online, spread throughout thousands of web pages, but this provides you all with an opportunity to have them all in one, easy to access place. You can copy them to your computer and keep them for future generations to enjoy. Many more sample images can be found at the bottom of the article.

Scrolling through the images, you will find pictures from the earliest days of the Football Club, up to the modern day. There is an almost endless stream of potential desktop wallpapers and profile pictures on these discs for you to enjoy and use, and most people will not have seen many of these images before. This is a trip down memory lane like no other, and I have no doubt avid fans of Celtic could sit for hours and hours looking through the contents of the disc, in a slideshow format, trying to remember the names of players they saw as a child, or trying to work out which stadium a photograph was taken at.

You will find newspaper cuttings, professional photographs, pictures taken by “average” fans, as well as programme covers, old tickets, books and collectable cards. This is, in my mind, a truly great collection to own, and one that you will be able to add to should you wish to do so.

Over the next week, I will be looking for two things from anyone who is interested:

1. For people to send in their favourite pictures of modern Celtic players and fans, as well as any personal pictures they would like to feature on the disc. You can do this by email, or via Twitter or our website.

2. For people who are interested in donating to our MNDS appeal, and receiving a disc, to email me to register their interest, at maleysbhoysenquiries@hotmail.co.uk – once again you can do this on Twitter should you desire to do so.

At present, I estimate that (providing you live in the UK), a £10 donation will be split approximately £8 for MNDS, and £2 for P&P and disc costs. I will be able to provide a more accurate figure in a week or two, as the prices of discs etc is dependent on demand (i.e. If I only need to buy ten, they will cost more per unit. However, if for example I need to buy a few hundred, they will cost less per unit etc).

I will begin to post out discs in a week’s time, on Monday. This initial week is to allow me to gauge demand and to begin to burn copies of the disc once people have sent in their favourite images which may not already be featured.

People are, of course, more than welcome to donate more than the recommended donation should they wish to do so, or donate more and ask for more discs in accordance. Above everything else, this is an opportunity for us all to help an incredibly worthy cause, and help people who suffer from this disease.

 

For legal reasons, I should highlight:

- All of these images are freely available at present on the Internet. No images are stolen.

- Anyone could assemble this collection for free, online, themselves should they wish to spend many hours doing so.

- I am not selling these images themselves, and I do not stand to profit in any way from the production of these discs. All of the money will go to MNDS, and to cover the postage and disc costs to the various individuals who donate.

- Should people wish to add the cost of postage on top of, for example, a £10 donation, they are more than welcome to do this (i.e. £12 instead of £10, with £10 going to MNDS and £2 to costs).

 

We are all aware of the fact that money is tight at the moment, and has been for some time for many people, and I would again highlight that I do not want to take money from people who simply cannot afford it.

Finally, I cannot thank you all enough for your truly incredible support of our charitable efforts. This is what makes the Celtic support so special. I must also thank the users and administrators of several prominent websites (for example those at Kerrydale Street, Celtic Minded and the Celtic Wiki) for helping to make these images available online by uploading them in the first place. They are truly incredible resources for fans of the Football Club, and I would urge you all to check them out if you haven’t already.

A selection of the type of images you can find on the disc can be found below:

Aug 102012
 

In the last few moments, Celtic have been drawn against Helsingborgs I.F. in the play off stage of the Champions League. The victors will take a place in the group stages of Europe’s Premier Club tournament, whilst the losers will be rewarded for their efforts with a place in the Europa League group stages. The ties will take place on August 22/23 and August 28/29, with the first leg being played away in Sweden, at the 17,000 capacity Olympia Stadium, which hosted two World Cup ties in 1958.

Formed in 1907, and having been Swedish Champions five times, the vast majority of you will have heard of Helsingborgs due to the well known connections with Henrik Larsson. Henrik played 56 times in his first stint with his hometown team (scoring 50 goals), before he added another 84 appearances (and another 38 goals) to this record over a decade later upon his return to the club. The Swedes, to their immense credit, even have a statue of the great man in his home city. It is perhaps the only place on Earth where Henrik receives more adulation than he does in Glasgow.

As the current Champions of the Swedish Allsvenskan though, Helsingborgs are not to be underestimated by any margin. The current side is made up of mostly Swedes, with a Brazilian and other players from other parts of Scandinavia making up most of the rest of the playing squad. The club is currently managed, on a caretaker basis, by Age Hareide.

Whilst none of us can predict the outcome of these clashes with any certainty, I can tell you that regardless of what happens, you will never see a Helsingborgs player take to the field with the number 17 on his back. This number was retired some time ago in recognition of the achievements of a man who we’ll all be talking about more and more as this tie approaches, Henrik.

The “Reds” (Di Roe) are also known, interestingly, as the “Milk Cow” (Mjolkkossan). This is slightly easier to remember than the clubs full title, which is “Helsingborgs Idrottsforening”.

So, the question on everyone lips is of course, can Celtic do enough to progress, and will we all get to welcome Henrik home again with an appearance at the home leg?

 

 

 

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