Celtic Park by Brian Hargadon [Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0]
In English we have decided to look further into the history and facts about Celtic F.C Glasgow. We thought this subject was appropriate as we have just finished reading ‘Divided City’ by Theresa Breslin as our class novel.
Celtic, one of the most recognisable clubs in world football, was founded on the 6th of November 1887 in St Mary’s, Calton. Celtic F.C was originally a charity named ‘The Poor Children’s Dinner Table.’ It was founded by a man named Brother Walfrid.
Celtic’s stadium is the second biggest in the United Kingdom. There are over 60,500 seats in the park itself.
The first Celtic manager to lead ‘The Bhoys’ was Willy Maley in 1888-1897. He was the first Celtic manager to win three leagues in a row. In later years, Gordon Strachan, Jock Stein and Neil Lennon also won the club three league titles in a row.
Celtic fans, Lisbon 67 by Debbie Mc [Licence: CC BY 2.0]
On the 28th of May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers F.C and won a remarkable 5-2. Also in 1893, the club won their first Scottish League Championship. Celtic were the first ever British team to win the European Cup in 1967. In 1989, Celtic won the Scottish Cup for the 29th time against Rangers .
One of Celtic’s most loved players, Henrik Larsson, left the club after seven magnificent years, scoring 242 goals in total for the club . He signed for the club on the 25th of July 1997. He was believed to be 5 feet 9 inches in height and 12.2 stones in weight. He usually played striker or centre forward and he left Celtic on the 30th of June, 2004.
Leigh Griffiths is one of the most well known players currently and one of many to play for the club. He is a striker for the club. He was born on the 20th of August 1990 and he is 25 years old. He puts in a tremendous amount of effort for the club.
In conclusion, we have found out a lot about one of Scotland’s biggest football teams, Celtic F.C. We found out about past and present achievements and the legends of players they have had. We have also researched the history of this club.
For this information we found ideas from:
Celtic, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/teams/celtic, accessed 12th November 2015
Players, http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Players, accessed 14th November 2015
About Celtic, http://www.celticfc.net/pages/about, accessed 11th November 2015
Divided City by Theresa Breslin (259pp, Doubleday, £10.99)
Jack Burns, an enlightened football coach, is watching his star players, Joe and Graham. They're forming a friendship away from the pitch and that gladdens his heart. "He was aware of how difficult it might be for them, given their differences in background and culture, but this vibrant mixture was the essence of Glasgow."
Essence of Glasgow is what this book is about. The cover speaks eloquently of the division in the city - Protestants on one side, Catholics on the other. It is a difference that spreads out from religious belief to take in every aspect of life: school, work, and most especially football. The Celtic/Rangers matches and the Orange marches highlight this gulf, and Breslin has cleverly and economically built her more intimate story of two friends around these more public events.
The first thing to say about this novel is that it's a cracking good read which is short enough and football-based enough to appeal to boys. It begins with the very dramatic knifing in the street of a young asylum seeker called Kyoul. This crime is witnessed by Graham, a Protestant boy who is sucked into the aftermath and, quite against his will, finds himself helping the wounded young man. Joe is his friend on the pitch and the person who regularly sets up the goals that Graham scores and it's to Joe that Graham turns for help when he needs it, going right into the heart of the Catholic part of the city to find him. His very name will mark him out as the enemy, so he's introduced as Gregory (like the Popes) in great haste and there's some comedy attached to this masquerade.
The two boys' attempt to help Kyoul; the pressure put on Graham by his grandfather to march with the other Orangemen; the depression Joe's dad is suffering after the death of his wife; the gradual growth of understanding between the lads of one another's lives and beliefs make this a novel packed with both incident and food for thought. Particularly good is the visit by Joe, accompanied reluctantly by Graham, to light a candle in church for his dead mother. The Protestant boy is given a guided tour which is instructive without being clunkily "educational".
That's true of the whole book. Wherever Breslin has historical or geographical or topological matter to impart, she does it with a light touch and integrates it into the conversation and thoughts of her characters, so that you never feel you're just being fed information.
This works because she creates characters we both believe in and like. From Kathleen, Joe's hairdressing auntie, to Mr Sinclair, who becomes more and more important to the boys, to Jammy, an unpredictable cousin with a violent streak - everyone is a rounded individual.
Best of all are Joe and Graham. We like them both. We understand their dreams of footballing glory, and admire the way they negotiate a complicated minefield of prejudice and misunderstanding.
This isn't a preachy novel, but if there is a message it's this: if we want to understand one another, perhaps the best way is through the young. The city, Glasgow, is what might one day unite the two sides, and enable them also to include the newcomers, the asylum seekers who have been added to the mix. A football team whose players include supporters of both the Greens and the Blues has got to be a good idea. Not Celtic or Rangers but Glasgow City.
· Adèle Geras's latest novel for young adults is Other Echoes (Red Fox).