Celtic Fan’s Magical Poem About The Early Years Of The Club

Pete Sloan (@thebhoypete on Twitter) is a Celtic fan from Lisburn in the North of Ireland. A key player in St Patrick’s CSC, he was invited to write a contribution to The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Charity Dinner programme a few years ago. In response, Pete came up with the following poem about the origins of the club:


You know your heart has blackened
When tears are only shed in dreams
I remember water pure and free
Flowing from her mountain streams.

The smell of heather, the hum of bees,
Atlantic waves breaking on her shore.
Before Trevelyan cast his net
His catch, An Gorta Mor…

We had no time to mourn the dead,
as we set sail for Broomielaw
Far up the Clyde to Glasgow
A Solemn March on feet red raw

My father’s soul torn from his heart
The once burning fire a dying ember
His tears fell for my mother
Her love and grace we would remember

We settled down in Calton to begin to live once more,
In wretched sties of squalor,
Irish fever behind our doors.

Now forty years have passed since then,
We’ve risen up above the shame,
Helped by an Irishman with vision
Brother Walfrid is his name.

With a lions heart and just intent
He raised a people to their feet
Instilled pride and hope to thousands
On those impoverished East end streets

My father’s gone he’s buried here
My own son now bares his name
I feel his spirit by our side
as we walk to see the game

He’s since been called to London that devoted Marist brother
But in his wake he’s left to us a
Club that’s like no other

Yes I speak of Glasgow Celtic
The now famous Green & White
Those peaceful souls of years gone by
Hail the Hoops with all their might

And when you rise to feet at Celtic Park
you’re never on your own,
There are millions rising with you to sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

Peter Sloan

When introducing the poem to me, Pete said: “The early days of the club have a kind of cruel majesty to it, but if it weren’t for all that suffering, we wouldn’t have a Glasgow Celtic.”

I’m sure all readers will agree that this is an outstanding addition to the Celtic world of literature. Though published a few years ago, it is more than worthy of attention being re-doubled to it. Perhaps it could even make for a poignant reading at the unveiling of the An Gorta Mor statue in the Calton next year!

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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