“The person in question is my uncle, Jack Sheils originally from Partick”

On Sunday, we published this photograph from 1988 during Celtic’s Centenary season which shows members of the NZCSC presenting the Celtic Supporters Association with a gift to mark the significant landmark in the club’s history.

The photograph was supplied by The Celtic Star writer Mike Maher and he’s the one in the photograph making the presentation and sporting an impressive eighties style moustache!

Mike wanted some help in naming the CSA members in the photograph and numerous readers combined to supply us with all the requested names, including Joe O’Rourke, the current General Secretary of the Celtic Supporters Association.

“Great picture on your website today. The names of the Celtic Supporters Association Executive Committee members are as follows, from the back row left, Isa Bonnar, Francie Hinton, behind Francie (just see his head), Pat Quinn, Jim Brodie, George Delaney. Front row left, Jim Ward, Eddie Devine, Johnny Hughes,” Joe advised.

Standing just behind Mike to his left was another member of the NZCSC who was also back in Glasgow at this time, just a few weeks before the Scottish Cup Final against Dundee United.  After we published the first article on Sunday, Mike sent another update on his fellow Celt from New Zealand, and could only remember him as ‘Jock’.

He did recall with some sadness the Jock’s story at that time and we also learned who the identity of the chap with the broad smile at the left hand side of the photo as you look at it. Mike Maher explained:

“To my immediate left is a member of the NZCSC who was also over at that time. I cannot recall his full name – he was also referred to as Jock. I was unaware at the time that his visit was also to say goodbye to friends and family as he had a terminal illness and, although he never displayed it, he was in a lot of pain at times. He drank in the Smiddy in Partick but I think he had been in New Zealand for many years.

“He returned to Auckland about a week before me. At the time I was puzzled why he did not stay on for the Cup Final v Dundee Utd. When I did return I was speaking to another member who was a particular friend of Jock’s and he explained to me that Jock had died on the day after the Cup win. In those days there was no internet or satellite coverage so Jock phoned the friend to check on the score. His last words were  “At least I can die happy”

1988: Billy McNeill Manager of the Celtic team waves to the crowd in celebration after winning the Scottish Cup Final match against Dundee United at Hampden, Scotland. Celtic won the match 2-1. Photo Allsport UK /Allsport

And on the chap with the smile, Mike said: “The guy standing at the extreme left of the picture is Chic Doherty from Bellshill. He acted as NZCSC delegate for many years. He was very committed to any Celtic cause. Although he did not drive he never missed an Association meeting and immediately on his return he would get a letter off to us in New Zealand with his comments and minutes from the meeting.”

But to conclude the story it would be great to find out about Jock and as usual the Celtic support didn’t let us down. This morning we heard from Willie Sheils from the Worthing Spirit of 67, CSC and he was able to identify Jock.

“Hi there , just read the article and looked at picture and the person in question is my uncle, Jack Sheils originally from Partick, son of Johnny and Rose Sheils , brother to Patrick (marist brother Cormac), William, (worked on turnstiles at Celtic Park for many years) Rosemary and Celie, he emigrated to New Zealand in the fifties, he did indeed travel over to say goodbye to his family at the time of the picture, if I can assist you further don’t  hesitate to contact me.”

We’ll put Willie in touch with Mike and they’re sure to have a great wee chat remembering Jack Sheils. Like we said yesterday, Jock, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Incidentally, it’s well worth watching this new video on Celtic’s European Cup Final win in Lisbon on 25 May 1967…


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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