“Speed, stamina, dash – all three were mine,” Handsome Tom Maley

Tom Maley, overshadowed by older brother Willie, is an important player in Celtic history nonetheless…

Maley is a name historically associated with Celtic. The first name that naturally springs to mind is of course the legendary Willie Maley. The clubs first ever manager.

Whilst if it hadn’t been for his older brother Tom, it’s doubtful Willie would have ended up at the club.

In a massive twist of fate, a party of Celtic officials including Brother Walfrid, turned up at the Maley household to speak to talented footballer Tom. But instead had a chat with Willie as Tom himself was out on a date with a young girl who would later become his wife.

On the way out Brother Walfrid turned to young Willie and said “why don’t you come with him” and just like that the start of a historic relationship with Celtic was ensured.

Of course Tom himself would also sign for the club. Tom was a talented player in his own right who had played for the likes of Partick Thistle, Dundee Harp, Hibernian and Third Lanark the club whom he left in order to join Celtic.

“Speed, Stamina, dash” – all three were mine. Tom was quoted to have said.

Photograph taken in Detroit while on their visit to play Michigan all Stars who they beat 5-0 at the University of Detroit Stadium. While in the city they were given a tour of the famous Ford Motor Works.

‘Handsome Tom Maley’ was also a successful athlete, winning many medals in athletics. He was very much a natural sportsman. It was football though that he was more interested in and he certainly made his name at Celtic.

Despite only playing nine games and scoring six goals for the club Tom more than made his mark. It’s somewhat forgotten that not only did he play in the clubs first ever game against Rangers in May 28th 1888, he also scored three goals. Thus becoming the first Celtic player to hit a hat trick. A high accolade indeed.

Tom Maley painted on the first ever Celtic Brake Club banner (St Mary’s). The banner hung above the bar in Baird’s Bar on the Gallowgate until its closure in the 2010s

Tom would retire from the game after leaving the club, but would play for Preston as an amateur before returning to Celtic as a director in 1897.

He would later join Manchester City as manager were he enjoyed considerable success winning an FA cup in 1904. He also had a spell as manager of Bradford Park Avenue. Tom passed away in 1935, and while his achievements are somewhat overshadowed by his famous younger brother, his place in Celtic folklore is very much secured.

Just an Ordinary

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Our book Walfrid and the Bould Bhoys was co-authored by Liam Kelly, David Potter and Matt Corr and as you may know has completely sold out.  However it is available in all its glory via Amazon Kindle for just £3.49 so you can still read this brilliant Celtic book – Order on Amazon Kindle HERE.

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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