Our Club History, Celtic History and Honours
Before we start going into any history some of the most famous people in football have made comments about the mighty Celtic.

"We don't want to live with history, to be compared with legends from the past. We must make new legends".
Jock Stein (After winning his first league title as Celtic manager in 1966)

"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 Alonsa (ex-Liverpool player, his father played for Barcelona)

"What these players have to realise, is that when you put on the Celtic jersey you're not playing for a football team, you're playing for a community and a cause"
Tommy Burns

Ballymena Shamrock CSC History

Celtic Fans from the Ballymena area have been travelling to Glasgow to support Celtic for the last 50 years but it was not until the mid 1970's that they started to travel in groups. The Scottish Cup Final in 1975 was Billy McNeills last game for Celtic and it was also the time a group who help form Ballymena Shamrock CSC travelled together.

Johnny McCrystal, Terry McCrory, Billy "Dixie" Havelin and Ollie O'Neill flew to Glasgow for the 75 Cup final and stayed in the Central Hotel in Glasgow. They would stay for one night for a weekend fixture and two nights for a European game. During one trip they met members of the Govan Emerald CSC at Glasgow airport, the Govan Hoops were waiting on Celtic Supporters from Derry however a friendship was struck up between the Ballymena and Govan lads. The Ballymena lads were invited to stay with the Govan Emerald CSC on their travels and over the next few seasons the group travelling over from Ballymena got larger and larger.The group grew so large that they started to travel by ferry and many a trip seen them travelling on the ferry on a Wednesday to see a European fixture and returning on the Sunday after the weekend fixture.

When on the boat the Ballymena lads formed a friendship with Jim Meryvn and started to travel on his bus to Glasgow. Jims bus did mostly day trips which cut down the expense of hotels and flights meaning it was easier for the Ballymena lads to get to Glasgow and hance more games could be attended. As a result of this word was spreading about the group travelling and soon numbers were up to 20 - 30 for each game. The club would meet up with Jim Ward in Glasgow who was always helping the Ballymena lads out with tickets and has been ever since !!

In 1990 the group decided to form there own club Ballymena Shamrock Celtic Supporters Club and started to run 53 seater buses to each game, the catchment of the club was growing into surrounding areas like Clady, Dunloy, Toome and Ballycastle and for a number of years the club was taking 2 buses to most games. Shortly after the club formation 2 season books were bought for the now seated Jungle and when the fully seated Parkhead was opened the club purchased 50 season books, we have now moved our seats into the Jock Stein end or as some call it; the traditional Celtic end.

The club was formed in McKendrys bar in Broughshane Street and soon Brian Dempsey would become our Honorary President as he had family roots in Cullybackey which is 3 miles from Ballymena. Brian would come over to some of our club meetings and over the next number of years the club held Dinner Dances and had guests including Paul McStay, John Collins, Charlie Nicholas, Paul Byrne and Brian O'Neill. On the 25th Anniversary of the European Cup win the club had the two goal scorers Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chambers at a Dinner. The club had a famous fan, the one and only Riva, Riva was the life and soul of the ferry and many people say to this day that Rivas entertainment got them through the early and mid nineties.

Over the last 20 years our club has been at every major event involving Celtic. 25 members travelled to Seville to witness the UEFA Cup final and our club has members both young and 85 years young. In 2009 we travel to every Celtic game at home, away and in Europe. The club has now a strong membership in Ballymena, Ballycastle, Antrim, Dunloy, Loughiel, Rasharkin, Clady, Maghera, Magherfelt, Belfast and Donegal. We now travel to Glasgow in luxury coaches and take kids from schools and youth clubs to see the mighty Celtic. Next year will see the 20th anniversary of our club.

Celtic History - The History In Photos

Celtic Football Club has a long and successful history since 1888, it is a football club that is the life and soul of many a fan. Founded in 1888, many see Celtic as a part of Ireland in Scotland and express this Irishness in both song and colour at all Celtic's fixtures. Celtic play home games at Celtic Park also known to many as Paradise or Parkhead. In 1967, Celtic became the the first Northern European team to win the European Cup, joining the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter. Celtic remain the only club ever to win the trophy with a team composed entirely of home-grown talent; all of the players were born within a 30-mile radius of Celtic Park.

Celtic Football Club was formally constituted at a meeting in St. Mary's church hall in the Calton, Glasgow by Marist Brother Walfrid on 6 November 1887, with the purpose stated in the official club records as "being to alleviate poverty in Glasgow's East End parishes". The charity established by Brother Walfrid, who was originally from Ballymote, County Silgo and christened Andrew Kerins, was named "The Poor Children's Dinner Table". Walfrid's own suggestion of the name 'Celtic' (pronounced Seltik), reflected the club's Irish and Scottish roots. The club has the official nickname, "The Bhoys" altho in the early days the club was known to many as "the bould bhoys", the extra 'h’ is said to reflect an Irish accent. On 28 May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers and won 5–2 in what was described as a "friendly encounter". Neil McCallum scored Celtic's first ever goal. It did not take long before Celtic established themselves as one of the strongest sides in Scotland. They won the Scottish Cup in 1892, were Scottish League champions in 1893, 1894, 1896 and 1898 and won the Cup again in 1899 and 1900. Celtic soon adopted their famous green and white hoops, won the championship an astonishing six consecutive times between 1905 and 1910 and the Scottish Cup on four occasions. They went on to win four consecutive titles between 1914 and 1917 but after this it was their arch rivals Rangers who dominated, Celtic managing a mere four titles and six cup wins between 1920 and 1939.

Under their first manager, Willie Maley, the club won 30 major trophies in 43 years. He guided Celtic to six straight league title wins from 1904–1910, a Scottish record that stood for over sixty years, until 1971, when it was equalled (then surpassed) by Jock Stein's Celtic side. In 1939, Celtic also defeated Everton 1–0 at Ibrox Park to claim the Empire Exhibition Trophy, which, along with the Coronation Cup (won in 1953), is amongst the most highly-regarded by the club's supporters, due to its unique status as a one-off competition. Maley's tenure was also marked by tragedy, when goalkeeper John Thomson was accidentally killed during a Glasgow derby encounter in September 1931.

Former player Jimmy McStay became manager of the club during the War years of 1940–1945. Ex-player and captain Jimmy McGrory took over in 1945. Under McGrory, Celtic defeated Arsenal, Manchester United and Hibernian to win the Coronation Cup, a one-off tournament held in May 1953. On 19 October 1957, Celtic trounced Rangers a record 7–1 in the final of the Scottish League Cup at Hampden Park in Glasgow, retaining the trophy they had won for only the first time the previous year. The scoreline remains a record win in a domestic cup final.

Jock Stein succeeded McGrory in 1965. A former player and team captain, Stein gained most of his fame as Celtic's manager, and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest football managers in the history of the game. He guided Celtic to nine straight Scottish League wins from 1966 to 1974, which established a joint world record and Scottish record.

1967 was Celtic's best ever year. The club won every competition they entered: the Scottish League, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the Glasgow Cup, and the European Cup. Under the leadership of Stein, and captained by Billy McNeill, the club defeated Inter Milan 2–1 at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon on 25 May 1967. The players that day subsequently became known as the 'Lisbon Lions'. The entire east stand at Celtic Park is dedicated to The Lisbon Lions, and the west stand to Jock Stein. Celtic reached the European Cup Final again in 1970, but were beaten 2–1 by Feyenoord at the San Siro in Milan.

Billy McNeill (nicknamed "Cesar") the former player and captain of The Lisbon Lions, took over as manager in August 1978 and snatched the league title from Rangers in the final game of the season, with a 4–2 win. McNeill led Celtic to another two league titles in 1981 and 1982, along with the League Cup (also in 1982) and the Scottish Cup in 1980. Another former player David Hay took over from McNeill in July 1983, but it was two years before Celtic saw success. In 1985 Celtic won the Scottish Cup, the following year, Celtic clinched the league title on the last day of the season under the most improbable of circumstances on the last ganme of the season. Hearts lost their match 2–0, while Celtic won 5–0 and sealed the league championship title at St. Mirren Park on Love Street in Paisley. Hay left the club the following season, and was replaced by Billy McNeill.

When Billy McNeill returned to manage the club in 1987, Celtic embarked on a 31-game unbeaten run, culminating in a historic League Championship and Scottish Cup double win in the club's centenary season. Celtic retained the Scottish Cup in 1989, beating Rangers 1–0 through a Joe Miller strike. Liam Brady took charge of Celtic shortly after McNeill departed and became only the eighth manager in over 100 years, but the first to have not previously been a player at the club. With a defeat against Airdrie in the CIS Cup, Brady soon departed, and the so-called "barren years" at the club continued under the new manager, another former player, Lou Macari.

The Bank of Scotland informed Celtic that it was calling in the receivers on Thursday 3 March 1994 as a result of exceeding a £5million overdraft. However Fergus McCann, wrested control of the club, and ousted the family dynasties which had controlled Celtic since its foundation. In order to alleviate the club's considerable financial debt, McCann reconstituted Celtic as a public limited company - Celtic PLC - resulting in one of the most successful stock market flotations in British financial history. The share issue netted £14million towards the refinancing of the club and saw the redevelopment of Celtic Park into a 60,832 all-seater stadium to rival the best in Europe. During this period, Lou Macari was sacked by McCann and replaced by former Celtic player Tommy Burns, who restored a more attacking style of play.

Under Burns' leadership, the side won the Scottish Cup in 1995, but failed to win the Scottish Premier Division. After the near-miss of 1995–96 when Celtic were defeated only once, and with just three weeks left of the 1996–97 season, Burns was sacked, along with the club's entire coaching staff. Fergus McCann complained to the SFA about their handling of the registration of Jorge Cadete , who subsequently found Jim Farry guilty of gross misconduct in relation to his behaviour in this matter.

The club's directors made a surprising choice in Dutch coach Wim Jansen. With a number of new signings, Celtic won the Scottish League Cup, before overcoming Rangers to win the Scottish Premier Division title for the first time in almost 10 years. Jansen resigned just two days after the club sealed the title, with Brown, who had become the villain of the piece in many eyes, leaving shortly afterwards. A number of high-profile names were proffered as the replacement for Jansen, but the man eventually appointed by the Celtic board was Slovakian Jozef Vengloš. Shortly after the end of the season, Vengloš resigned on health grounds, but he remains a European scout for the club. His lasting legacy undoubtedly was the signing of Lubo Moravcik.

The 1999–2000 season is widely considered to be one of the biggest disasters in the club's history. Kenny Dalglish returned to the club to fill the general manager's post while the head coach position was filled by John Barnes. Barnes was sacked following a defeat to Innverness in the Scottish Cup. Kenny Dalglish took over as head coach until the end of the 1999–2000 season, and brought Tommy Burns back to assist him. A League Cup victory over Aberdeen was the only consolation of the season.

Martin O'Neill arrived at the club in the wake of the Barnes and Dalglish fiasco. Under his leadership, Celtic won three SPL championships out of five and in his first season in charge, the team also won the domestic treble. On three occasions, his Celtic side qualified for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, and on the only occasion they failed to qualify for Europe's biggest club football competition, they went on to reach the final of the UEFA Cup. Under O'Neill's leadership, teams such as Juventus, Porto, Valencia, and Barcelona all visited Glasgow to face Celtic and returned home defeated. Celtic also commenced an unbeaten run of 77 home matches, which spanned from 2001 to 2004 and notched up an SPL record for the most consecutive wins in a single season.
In 2003, around 80,000 Celtic fans travelled to watch the club compete in the UEFA Cup final in Seville in southern Spain. Celtic lost the match 3–2 to FC Porto after extra time, despite two goals from Henrik Larsson during normal play. Celtic's cause was not helped by the booking of Alan Thompson early in the match, and the late sending off of defender Bobo Balde. However, the exemplary conduct of the thousands of travelling Celtic supporters received widespread praise from the people of Seville and the fans were awarded prestigious Fair Play Awards from both FIFA and UEFA "for their extraordinarily loyal and sporting behaviour".

The Scottish Cup final of 2004 was the last match Henrik Larsson played for the club, and he scored two goals in a 3–1 defeat of Dunfermline. In that 2003/04 season Celtic set a new British record of 25 league victories in a row. O'Neill also saw Celtic win 7 consecutive Glasgow derbies. Season 2004/05 saw Celtic retain the Scottish Cup but lose out on the SPL title which they looked set to win. At the end of the season Martin O'Neill parted ways with the club, to care for his ill wife.

Gordon Strachan was announced in June 2005 as Martin O'Neill's replacement, after apparently being recommended by O'Neill himself. Celtic went on to become the fastest team to win the SPL championship ever, along with the Scottish League Cup in season 2005–06. In 2006–07 Celtic continued their domination of the Scottish Premier League, they completed their quest for back to back titles on 22 April 2007 with a 2–1 win against Kilmarnock. Shunsuke Nakamura ensured the victory with a freekick from 25 yards in the final minute. That season also saw Strachan guide Celtic into last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Celtic lost 0–1 in extra time to the eventual winners of the cup A.C. Milan. On 26 May 2007 Celtic again won the Scottish Cup, for a 34th time, beating Dunfermline 1–0. On 22 May 2008 Celtic won the SPL for the third year in a row with a victory over Dundee United at Tannadice, this title was dedicated to the late Tommy Burns.

Celtic FC Honours, Trophies & Awards
European Cup Champions: 1966-67  
Scottish League Champions: 42 times  
1892-93, 1893-94, 1895-96, 1897-98, 1904-05, 1905-06, 1906-07, 1907-08, 1908-09, 1909-10, 1913-14, 1914-15, 1915-16, 1916-17, 1918-19, 1921-22,1925-26, 1935-36, 1937-38, 1953-54, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69,1969-70, 1970-71, 1971-72, 1972-73, 1973-74, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1980-81,1981-82, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06,2006-07, 2007-08
Scottish Cup Winners: 34 times  
1892, 1899, 1900, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1923, 1925, 1927,
1931, 1933, 1937, 1951, 1954, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975,
1977, 1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007
League Cup Winners: 14 times  
1956-57, 1957-58, 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70, 1974-75,1982-83, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2005-06, 2008-09
Coronation Cup: 1953.

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