Update: Celtic’s Icicle – Back in Stock and now available from Celtic Stores

 The Celtic Star’s best-seller ‘Alec McNair – Celtic’s Icicle’ by David Potter is now back in stock!

David Potter’s new book, Alec McNair – Celtic’s Icicle was published earlier this year and sold out in record time. We re-ordered and have now had the new copies delivered from the printers and all existing outstanding orders are on their way to you first class or by personal delivery. Thanks to all for your patience.

Copies of this brilliant book are now available from Celtic stores.

If you would like to order a copy of David Potter’s new book from Celtic Star Books head over to Celticstarbooks.com – meanwhile here’s a summary of just how remarkable a Celtic legend Alec McNair really is, which is written by Matt Corr….

Alec McNair Career Summary

• Alec played in Celtic’s first team for an incredible 21 years. No-one has ever matched that.

• He played for Celtic four months into his 43rd year. Another record. McNair remains the only outfield player to take the field for the club after his 40th birthday and is one of only two men to have done so, his friend and contemporary Celtic goalkeeper Charlie Shaw being the other.

• Alec played a total of 584 League games for the club. Another record.

• He made 716 appearances in total for Celtic, despite the Scottish Cup being suspended for five seasons during the First World War. Only Billy McNeill has beaten that, and Cesar’s tally of 822 included over 200 matches in the League Cup and European football, neither of which were available in the era of McNair.

• Alec won 34 honours with Celtic, another record.

• These included an incredible 12 League Championship titles, another record.

• McNair was a key member of the team which won 6 successive League titles between 1904/5 and 1909/10, a Scottish record which stood until Jock Stein’s Class of 1972. He then formed the core of Maley’s next great Celtic side, which won four Championships in a row from 1914.

• He is also one of a select group of men to have captained both club and country as a Celt, Alec’s international highlight no doubt being the day he led Scotland to victory over England at Hampden in April 1914.

An introduction to Alec McNair – Celtic’s Icicle by David Potter

I’m not really sure where you would begin to describe Alec McNair and his contribution to the success of Willie Maley’s first great Celtic sides. Perhaps you could think about a combination of Danny McGrain and Billy McNeill, those defensive and leadership qualities allied with a career-spanning devotion to Celtic.

The rocks upon which great Celtic teams were built and flourished. Revered ‘one-club’ legends, who operated at the top-level of football over two decades, captaining club and country and winning medals for fun in those cherished Hoops. Men who commanded respect from far beyond the Celtic community, on and off the field. Humble but classy. Fabulous role models and ambassadors for Celtic and everything we stand for.

Then throw in the coolness and composure of George Connelly and the authority and presence of Virgil Van Dijk.

Now we might have Alec McNair, the best defender in the world in his day. The story of Celtic’s Icicle is quite remarkable. He created records which stand to this day, almost a century after he hung up his boots after a trophy-laden 21-year career. No-one has matched that sort of longevity in the history of Celtic Football Club.

Alec wore Celtic’s colours an incredible 716 times over that period, second only to Billy McNeill, whose total of 822 included over 200 matches in the League Cup and European football, neither of which were available in the era of McNair.

He made 584 League appearances, still a club record. For the last of those games, against Queen’s Park in April 1925, he was 42 years and 4 months young, another record. Indeed, Alec McNair is the only outfield player in Celtic’s proud 133-year history to take the field beyond his 40th birthday, with his goalkeeper of that golden era, fellow ‘Holy Trinity’ member Charlie Shaw, the only other man to play for Celtic after achieving the age of 40.

And it was a highly successful career, as Willie Maley’s first great sides enjoyed a golden era.

Alec’s astonishing medal haul of 34 includes a club record 12 League titles, with his Scottish Cup tally of six beaten only by fellow Celtic legends, Jimmy McMenemy, Billy McNeill and Bobby Lennox.

And to literally ‘cap’ things off, as well as being a Celtic icon, Alec McNair was chosen to represent his country no fewer than 15 times, captaining Scotland to victory over both England and Ireland.

A genuine all-time legend for both Celtic and Scottish football.

Great stories require great authors to tell them properly. Someone who can get under the skin of the main characters, feel and share their joy and their pain and take you as the reader into the story itself. Fortunately, we have David Potter in this role. A man whose lifelong devotion to his beloved Celtic would sit comfortably beside any of the great names mentioned above. The eminent Celtic historian is in his element here.

In many ways this is a football love story, written by him about one of the greatest Celts of all time, and the social and political context and insight which supports the narrative is fantastic. It really brings Alec’s story to life, as we kick every ball with the early Celtic greats.

Jimmy Quinn and Patsy Gallacher. Sunny Jim Young, Napoleon McMenemy and Charlie Shaw. James Edward McGrory and the first set of McStay brothers. What a supporting cast that is.

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful trip back through a record-breaking period in Celtic’s history.

You will too, I’m sure.

Matt Corr

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who 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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