Video: John Keane – forever regarded as one of Celtic’s saviours

‘The Funeral Mass of former Celtic Director and Honorary Chairman, John Keane, took place today. John will forever be regarded as one of the Club’s saviours and, for that reason, all Celtic supporters will always owe the Irishman an eternal debt.’

This video posted by Celtic from the funeral mass, explains John’s love of Celtic and the role that his mother played in that. He added that anything that John did for Celtic came from the heart and a letter was read out from Fergus McCann who 31 years after John deposited £1m at the Bank of Scotland, contacted his friend and business partner in Celtic, where the role of John’s contribution to what Celtic has become since then was explained by Fergus McCann.

Celtic’s words shown above are well stated, we all owe John Keane so much and he takes his own place among the Celtic greats, a legend in the mould of our founding fathers from earlier times.

Thank you John, may you rest in eternal peace. You will never be forgotten and will never walk alone. Hail Hail, sir.

The official Celtic FC website posted this tribute to John Keane…

Former Celtic Director, John Keane laid to rest

The Funeral Mass of former Celtic Director and Honorary Chairman, John Keane, took place today (Friday) at St Patrick’s Church in Edinburgh’s Cowgate, before he was laid to rest at Mount Vernon Cemetery in the capital.

John, who sadly passed away peacefully at his Edinburgh home on June 16 at the age of 89 will forever be regarded as one of the Club’s saviours and, for that reason, all Celtic supporters will always owe the Irishman an eternal debt.

In the 1990s, an immediate £1million was needed to save Celtic from the ignominy of administration. To avoid such a catastrophe, John pledged this amount to the Club. John then went on to back Fergus McCann’s takeover with further crucial investment.

A man of absolute humility and dignity, and a lifelong Celtic supporter, John played a hugely significant role in preserving the Club’s history, success and, above all, continuity. John played a pivotal role in saving Celtic for us all and his contribution can never be overestimated.

John served as a non-executive director of Celtic Football and Athletic Club for well over 20 years, and in 2013 was confirmed as the Honorary Chairman of Celtic Football and Athletic Club.

The Club was delighted in August 2013 to give John the highly-deserved honour of unfurling the League Championship Flag, a moment we know was so dear to John and his family.

John gave so much to Celtic, making such a crucial contribution and putting the club before anything else. He should be remembered, always as one of the most important figures in the Club’s long history.

An unassuming man of such knowledge, warmth and character, John will be so sadly missed by so many. The sincere thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club are with John’s family at this very difficult time.

At the time of John’s passing on June 16, Celtic Chairman, Peter Lawwell said: “We have lost a true Celtic great and a wonderful friend, someone who will always mean so much to Celtic and a man who gave his heart and soul to the Club.

“His contribution to Celtic was phenomenal over many years but above all, the way he was, his humility and compassion and love for his family shone from him every day and made him the man he was.

“All our thoughts and condolences go to John’s wife, Kathleen, son Mark, daughter-in-law Karisma and grandchildren, John-Henry, Norah and Fiádh and his wider family. John will always be in our hearts.”

Dermot Desmond, Celtic’s principal shareholder, said: “The Celtic family will be forever indebted to John Keane, for in our darkest days he alone delivered funding.

“He was a humble man of few words, but when he did speak they were pearls of wisdom. We are fortunate that he has passed on these virtues to Mark, his son, one of our shareholders. May he sit at the right hand of our Lord.”

Fergus McCann commented: “John Keane was a staunch and key partner in the takeover, refinancing and rebuilding of Celtic.

“I continue to be thankful and honoured for his commitment to me and to the Club, and for his friendship. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’.”

Former Celtic Chairman, Brian Quinn also held Mr Keane in great admiration and high esteem, and added: “John Keane was a silent giant of the Celtic community.

“He was modest and understated, but there was absolutely no doubt where his loyalties lay. I was privileged to deal with him on a number of occasions, and the experiences were always rewarding.

“I will always remember him.”

The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic Football Club are with John’s family at this sad time

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

1 Comment

  1. He never asked he just payed the £1,000,000 so we Celtic Supporters can say a club since1888 even if it was £70,000,000,we as most loyal supporters would have found the money that’s what our family does through john Fergus and now dermind we have the best run Club In Europe considering the pennies we get of spl tv money we have major sponsors via for association to celtic brand