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“Uniquely Celtic: The Soul and the Spirit”

 

“This book is huge, and quite a paperweight but don’t let that scare you off. It is more than worth the purchase and more than holds its own against the other hefty releases of late, and probably this is the most accessible of the lot. It’s come as a wonderful surprise to read, and as the title says it does capture the “Soul and Spirit” of Celtic. I’d really recommend this book to all Celtic supporters, I can’t see anyone being left anything but warmed in the heart by it.” – The Celtic Wiki

 

“Some books have grand titles and other make grand claims for what lies within the covers but it is rare to get a book that lives up to its billing the way that ‘Uniquely Celtic’ does.  Capturing the essence of what Celtic means and what it feels like being a Celtic supporter is a tough ask yet, with his second book, Frank Rafters has managed this with some aplomb.  In doing so he has created a wonderful album of profiles, trivia and unique perspectives in a single volume, covering the full spectrum of the club’s history…‘Uniquely Celtic’ is a unique Celtic view on a club, support and history unmatched in world football – the Celtic soul distilled into one grand volume of almost 600 pages which altogether represents another wonderful addition to the Celtic library.  At only £15 the book is a ‘steal’ to rival Celtic’s purchase of Didier Agathe for a mere £35,000!  Get it.” – The Shamrock

 

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Synopsis

“From the author of “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” comes this much anticipated sequel. Following an alternative course from its predecessor, this book explores the tales of some of the incredible Celtic players whose deeds have been somewhat lost to the annals of history. Spanning the days of our first captain through to those of an often overlooked Lisbon Lion, the author aims to bring these men’s endeavours back to life with style and verve. Also featured is one of the longest pieces ever penned on the life of Willie Fernie, compiled with the help of those who knew him best, his close family. This work examines the stories of a selection of modern day Celtic supporters who follow the Club with great devotion; how their love of our Club has helped them to overcome significant adversity and to embody the charitable ethos upon which the Football Club was founded. Featured too is a man who watched his first Celtic match almost seventy-five years ago, and has since seen the Club traverse its lowest ebbs and loftiest heights, attending many of the most important fixtures along the way. In summary, this book invites you to discover not only the sporting achievements which have made Celtic Football Club famous, but “The Soul and the Spirit” of those who hold Celtic so close to their hearts, making the Club the envy of the footballing world.”

 

Overview

Released on the 7th November 2015, “Uniquely Celtic: The Soul and the Spirit” is a work in which I have invested an enormous amount of my time since the early part of 2014. At 547 pages and almost 200,000 words in length, it covers an enormous amount of material, some of which is discussed in the synopsis above. As one would perhaps expect, it tells the life stories of players and supporters, high and low profile alike, whilst also attempting to take all readers – be they the finest historian or a total newcomer to Celtic – along some winding and interesting roads they may not have ventured down before. Several readers have commented that the writing style makes the book easy to read, which is of course a fine compliment to receive for any author. Over the years, many aspects of Celtic’s long and unprecedented history have been penned by a number of excellent authors via a plethora of books, therefore in this work I have tried my utmost to do something slightly different. As always, I hope any of you who read the book enjoy it and I owe you all my sincere thanks for the support which you have given me over the years.

The first review of the book which has been published (from the good folks at “The Celtic Wiki”), part of which has been quoted at the top of this page, is AVAILABLE HERE.

The second review of the book, written for “The Shamrock”, is available in full HERE.

Links to other reviews will be added when they are released.

 

Purchase Information

Signed copies are available from myself for £15 + P&P, and should you wish to purchase a physical book, this can be done by contacting me via Twitter or at the following email address: maleysbhoysenquiries@hotmail.co.uk

For those of you who may be interested, I am also offering one copy of each book for £25 + P&P until Christmas Day.

Presently, the book is available on Kindle in an electronic format. Also, unsigned physical copies are available from Amazon, which may prove a cheaper option for those of you who live abroad and do not wish to pay international postage fees. However, I would urge anyone within the U.K. who wishes to purchase a physical copy to do so from myself as I receive a much lager percentage of the fee from copies I sell direct compared to those bought from online retailers.

Physical copies of the book will be available in the Celtic Superstore, Argyle St and Glasgow International Airport.

 

“You maybe an avid reader on the history of Celtic but I’m willing to wager that you will learn and appreciate more about the club and our supporters from reading ‘Uniquely Celtic’…The best way I can describe the contents is that it is a collection of insightful essays and as such it gives the reader the option of either reading the book cover to cover or if you’re like me you can read each chapter in whatever order you feel like. I’m not the greatest reader in the world and my concentration when reading isn’t the best, so it was great for me to thumb through the book reading random chapters…The book is priced at £15 but for nearly 550 pages packed with fantastic information and pictures it’s a bargain. It’s also a must have reference book that you will keep returning to over the years. I said in my review of ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ that it was amongst my top five Celtic books, I’m delighted to say that ‘Uniquely Celtic’ is in my top three. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” – The Celtic Network

 

 

“Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

 

“This is no straight forward retelling of the Club’s history. This is a fine addition to the Celtic library and here’s hoping the author goes on to establish himself  a regular berth in Celtic’s first team of historians and writers.” – The Shamrock

 

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Synopsis

“125 years in the making, Celtic Football Club is still going strong, but who helped to make the club what it is today? “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” explores this question by delving into the lives of many famous, and other less well known, figures who have played a role in the Club’s past. The author, the man behind “Maley’s Bhoys”, chooses his greatest Celtic team of old – made up only of men who played prior to the Lisbon Lions – bringing together eleven unique talents who wowed the Celtic supporters of their respective generations. Continuing this historic theme, this book features the exclusive story of the man who was Celtic’s oldest surviving player, William Boland, who first saw Celtic play in the 1930’s. Also included are stories from away days in Europe, Celts living all over the world, and some of the author’s personal experiences. All in all, this book tells the tale of the figures, players and supporters alike, which form the very foundation upon which Celtic Football Club continues to stand.”

 

Purchase Information

Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to say that, having been released on the 17th November 2013, “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” is now available for purchase.

At 460 pages in length, physical copies of the book are priced at £12, plus P&P where appropriate, and I am happy to sign each and every one of these books should you desire.

If you would like to purchase a copy of “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants”, you can do so by contacting myself at the following email address:

maleysbhoysenquiries@hotmail.co.uk

I will then lay out all of the relevant postage and payment options and we can work out what suits you best, as well as sorting what message, if any, you would like written inside your copy.

For those of you who attend matches at Celtic Park, arrangements can be made to meet prior to games in order to save you postage costs upon request.

Physical copies of the book are also available from the following Celtic stores – Celtic Park, Argyle Street and Glasgow International Airport – whilst both physical and electronic copies of the book can also be purchased from Amazon.

If anyone has any questions or queries, please direct these to myself via the email address above, or through Twitter (@MaleysBhoys).

Finally, I would like to thank you all for your continued support, and I hope that any of you who choose to read the book thoroughly enjoy it. Hail Hail.

 

“Writing your first book is always going to be a difficult task, but to write 460 pages in some detail is something Frank can be proud of. He has certainly delivered a fantastic read for all Celtic fans.” – The Celtic Journal

 

 

Other Works

 

“Celtic Shorts”

 

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Following on from the publication of my own books, it has been a great privilege to submit shorter pieces of work to be included in other author’s titles. Having penned an excerpt for Paul Larkin’s “Anyone But Celtic” discussing Celtic’s Scottish Cup semi-final debacle of 2015, I was delighted to accept the opportunity to write a short story for his next work, “Celtic Shorts”, all profits from which go to the wonderful Kano Foundation. Whilst I now feel comfortable writing non-fiction, the idea of having to create a fictional piece posed an entirely different set of challenges and I sincerely hope I managed to overcome them successfully. Indeed, I decided to blend the two genres, telling the tale of fictional characters and their experiences on a real and often forgotten day in the great history of Celtic Football Club.

Details of how to purchase a copy of “Celtic Shorts” can be found by clicking HERE.

Finally, I would like to wish Paul, each of the individuals who submitted pieces to this effort, and everyone associated with the Kano Foundation all of the very best for the future.

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