William Patrick Maley (25th April 1868 – 2nd April 1958)
Earlier today, I visited the grave of Willie Maley; member of the first Celtic team, the first manager of the Club (1897-1940) and the man whom this online community is named after. Located in Cathcart Cemetery, Clarkston, on the edges of the city of Glasgow, it is not a particularly easy grave to find if you have not visited it before. In fact, it was only on my second trip to the large cemetery (which is badly overgrown in places) that I happened to find it.
In May 2010, Willie’s grave looked like this (left hand side):
As you can see, the headstone was badly damaged, with a large section of it lying down. Whilst the names of Willie’s mother and father were commemorated on the stone, there was no mention of Willie himself, and the site was in a sorry state. However, thanks to the determination of several members of the Celtic support, and the phenomenal Celtic Graves Society, the headstone was restored, with Willie’s name finally being added to it. In March 2011, his grave looked like this (an incredible improvement):
And so, this afternoon, I finally found Willie’s grave in Cathcart Cemetery. Sadly, mother nature had began to take hold in the area around the grave as you can see below, with several weeds and even a few large branches (out of shot) covering the ground.
The headstone, whilst still in lovely condition, was covered with what appeared to be algae (not a surprise considering it is a wooded area). I must confess I was unprepared for this eventuality, and could only clear the area of weeds and trees as best I could today, as you can see in the second picture above. However, I plan to return to the site in the next week or so and attempt to give the headstone itself a bit of a clean.
In truth, there are three reasons I have written this short article. Firstly, of course, this was to highlight the condition that the grave is in today. Secondly, it was to highlight the truly fantastic work carried out by the Celtic Graves Society, without whom, this grave would most likely still be in the truly awful condition it was only a couple of years ago. While the photographs I took today may look less than ideal, when you see the sad state of the graves surrounding that of Willie and his family, you realise that the restoration work of the headstone has made a huge difference.
Thirdly, I have written this so that anyone who does wish to visit Willie Maley’s grave in Cathcart Cemetery can do so. I would be more than happy to provide any Celtic supporters with a guide to the location of the grave on request, and I would also consider guiding people to the site myself should they wish me to do so.
Finally, as I mentioned on Twitter earlier, in the Spring of 2013, I plan to attempt to raise a little bit of money so that we can place a wreath, on behalf of the Celtic support and Maley’s Bhoys, on the grave in April, on the anniversary of Willie’s death in 1958.