Jim Craig – On this day, we signed the greatest ever Celtic star

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Born on 30 September 1944, Jimmy Johnstone grew up in Viewpark, Lanarkshire, where a close-knit family unit made his early life a very happy one.

Jimmy was forever out in the fields and woods round his house, getting up to all the usual things wee boys did at that time, his many friends always in and out of his Mum and Dad’s home.

As he reached his middle teens, his precocious skills attracted the attention of more than one club but Jimmy had always been a Celtic fan and once he became a ball-boy at Celtic Park in 1958, he was even more determined to sign for the club and he did so on this day in 1961, Frank Haffey being one of the first to congratulate the new Celt.

Jimmy’s life now changed and he had to cope with new situations all the time, like travelling or playing in the reserves, not forgetting the constant practice that made him such a fine player. Some stability was also required and that came when he married his lovely Agnes. Now, the Wee Man was ready to take on Europe and the World.

The career of Tom Maley – born on this day in 1864 – is always slightly over-shadowed by the successes of his younger brother Willie at Celtic Park but Tom had an excellent career in his own right.

His 9 appearances for Celtic came just after a successful period with Third Lanark and Hibs; and he also managed to fit in the post of Headmaster of Slateford Industrial School in Glasgow.

Tom became a director of Celtic for five years and then moved south, firstly to take the post of Manchester City manager – where he led the club to an FA Cup win in 1904 – and then Bradford Park Avenue, before retiring in 1928.

Tom Maley died on 24 August 1935.

Jim Craig

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