‘Glory to their name’ – The Bould Bhoys who won Celtic’s first ever league title

Some of Celtic’s earliest heroes continue to be revered by our club. That includes many of the men who – in 1892-93 – helped the Bhoys win our first league title.

By far the most famous Celt in the league-winning team was Willie Maley. During the 1892-93 season he had an important role, playing as half-back (midfielder) in half of the league games and also winning the Glasgow Charity Cup. But his big commitment to the club was obviously in management, and he spent more than four decades as the boss, finally leaving in 1940.

Another genuinely legendary figure as the Celts claimed a first title was James Kelly. Such was his importance to the club, it was often said ‘No Kelly, No Keltic’. In 1892-93, the centre half (which in those days meant central midfielder) missed only one game and also contributed three league goals too. His impact on Celtic is profound, including playing in the club’s first ever game, being the first captain and later becoming Chairman too.

Sandy McMahon – one of the early stars featured in The Bould Bhoys! ‘Glory to their name’ by Matthew Marr 

One major fans’ favourite in 1892-93 would have been Sandy McMahon. Known as ‘the Duke’, he was a forward and ended the season as the club’s top scorer. He almost didn’t play at all; in August 1892 he was said to have been ‘kidnapped’ by Nottingham Forest to try and get him to sign!

Dan Doyle was a famous and often controversial figure, both in his time at Celtic and beforehand. The back (defender) arrived from Everton but faced legal action from the English club, resulting in him paying back money. Even more sadly, when at Grimsby he was involved in an on-field accident that led to a player’s death. During 1892-93, he played in almost all of the Bhoys’ league games and newspapers regularly picked him out as Celtic’s star man.

One 1892-93 Celt who had an even bigger legacy after leaving the club was Johnny Madden. The Dumbarton-born forward played in most League games and chipped in with six league goals too. He also missed a month of the season after being banned for fighting an opponent! After leaving Celtic he managed Sparta Prague. For this and his overall impact on football in the country, Madden is considered by many people to be ‘the father of Czech football’.

The Bould Bhoys! ‘Glory to their name’ by Matthew Marr is out now on Celtic Star Books

One Celt never far away from controversy was defender Jerry Reynolds. After one game he was arrested by police for punching an opposing fan (although was a victim of mistaken identity).

Also, during a Celtic training event in Millport, he was attacked the street by a gang of men – but newspapers said that got in a goodly number of retaliatory knocks. He was a crucial part of Celtic’s most common defensive pairing, alongside Dan Doyle.

Johnny Campbell was a forward and a massive part of Celtic’s 1892-93 league success. He missed only one league game throughout the season, scoring 12 goals, and was part of the Charity Cup-winning team. Campbell was also a Scotland player during the season.

His overall contribution to the Bhoys was substantial; across two spells, he played more than 200 games, scoring in more than half of these games.

To read the full story of Celtic’s first ever league title, order the book ‘The Bould Bhoys: Glory to their name’, which is available NOW on hardback from Celtic Star Books and at all official Celtic stores from today. The Bould Bhoys!  ‘Glory to their name’ is also available on Amazon kindle.

Order your copy which will be signed by the author Matthew Marr, by clicking the image above…
Click on the image above to order your copy on Amazon kindle….
Author Matthew Marr holding a copy of his debut Celtic book, The Bould Bhoys! ‘Glory to their name’

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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