The late David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.71 – Barney Battles

One of the truly great early Celts, Bernard Battles arrived at Celtic Park in 1895. He could be either a full back or a wing half and he was instrumental in Celtic winning the League in 1895/96.

But the following year, he fell out with the club in the infamous “strike” when he was one of the three players who refused to play unless a journalist was removed from the Press Box.

It was the start of a dreadful time for Celtic, and Battles was on his way to Dundee and Liverpool where he was far from happy apart from the time when he scored – Albert Kidd style – for Dundee against Rangers to win the League for Celtic in 1898!

That same year, he was brought back to the club that he loved and Celtic won the Scottish Cup for the next two years, Barney playing at right half in 1899 and left back in 1900. His popularity remained undiminished even when the team hit a poor spell, and he was capped three times for Scotland in 1901.

In 1904, he moved on to Kilmarnock but he was still living in Glasgow when he succumbed to pneumonia in February 1905. His funeral to Dalbeth was one of the largest ever seen. He had just turned 30, and his wife subsequently gave birth to a posthumous son, also called Barney, who became famous for Hearts.

David Potter

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

1 Comment

  1. Yes we are crying out for change yes left back taylor passing backwards he has lost confidence against aberdeen he was woeful even at £7,000,000 at the age of 21 is a ni brainer cis if we go into champions league and have to rely on taylor we will give our other players an uphill battle which they dont deserve he cant shy a ball to his on player his confidence us very low and there could be other changes id move Mc Gregor upfield and let holm take his place Mc Gregor can play in that forward position and has a good goal scoring record against aberdeen showed he as fast when aberdeen morris who gave taylor a roasting and must have went down in Rodgers note book ok McGregor should not have been exposed by aberdeen speeders Rodgers has to take note how vunerabal celtic were from there own corner or freekick a punt up the park and McGregor only player between morris and hart where was taylor who has enough speed to take care of situtation thats why Taylor needs wuthdrawn from front line misplaced pass and that side if pitch wide open Ralston done well his fitness is returning ge had to make his way across to left side when aberdeen broke through good defender but canada internatiol is best in league at right back with starfelt gone the polish new man won everthing in the air and most on ground taylor passing back puts him like starfelt ubder pressure looks better with the ball than starfelt but not as fast with new left back holm moving into holding midfielder not just cause he looks perfect for position he has pace this guys a class act and McGergor proved he is just as good in forward position where ge had a good goal scoring record if Rodgers dosent see it im worried