The Celtic Graves Society is proud to announce that there will be a ceremony to mark the resting place of
Celtic’s first ever goalscorer 1888-1890; 1891-1892
At Bonhill Churchyard, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire on Saturday 14th January 2012 at 11.00am
Attendees at the event will include:
Members of the McCallum Family
A representative from Celtic FC
Lisbon Lion Stevie Chalmers
Jim Craig – Celtic Graves Society Patron
A Blessing will be given by Father Kane, St Patrick’s Church, Dumbarton. All Celtic Supporters are welcome to attend and flowers/tributes can be laid at the graveside.
Neilly ‘The Shadow’ McCallum was said by Willie Maley to have been “our greatest right-winger of all time”. He was signed from Renton, then unofficial World Champions, along with the new captain James Kelly. He took the field along with the Maley Brothers in the first ever Celtic game – at the original Celtic Park on 28th May 1888. Their opponents were the established Glasgow team Rangers and the game was only a few minutes old when, as the Glasgow Observer reported, “a mistake by Meikle gave the Celts a corner kick. Dunbar placed the ball in front of goal and McCallum was enabled to head the first point of the game.” The new Glasgow Irish team ran our comfortable 5-2 winners in this first friendly tie and the rest was history – with Neil McCallum’s name writ large.
In his two stints at Celtic Park, Neilly scored an impressive 17 goals in 33 games from the right wing. He earned the nickname ‘The Shadow’ because, in the words of Celtic historian Eugene MacBride, he was “fast, clever, could shoot with hardly any backlift and no matter how oppressive the defence, always got his crosses over.”
In Celtic’s first visit to Ibrox in November 1888 for the first competitive tie between the teams Neilly scored the last in a 6-1 thrashing. He went on to score Celtic’s first ever goal in a Scottish Cup Final, against Third Lanark in 1889. He was a member of the first Celtic team to win the Scottish Cup in 1892 and had already won a winners medal with Renton in 1888 aged only 19. His playing career took him to England and prominent roles with Blackburn Rovers, Notts County and Notts Forest.
Neilly in buried in his home town of Bonhill where he was born in July 1868.
We hope you can join us at the ceremony and after at the Celtic Club on London Road prior to kick-off at Celtic Park against Dundee United at 3pm. For more information please visit:
where donations to the work of the Celtic Graves Society can also be made. Please join the CGS to help us achieve our aims for the year ahead.