The Original Celtic Park

The Celtic Graves Society are proud to announce a ceremony to unveil a plaque on the site of


North East corner of Celtic Park, Janefield Street East
Sunday 8th May 2016

Attendees will include:
Lisbon Lion Jim Craig
Celtic Historian Terry Dick
A representative of Celtic FC

“A club composed exclusive of Irishmen, and Scotchmen or Irish parentage, has been started in the East End somewhat similar to the Hibernians of Edinburgh. The name oft the new club is to be ‘The Glasgow Celtic Athletics’. A ground has already been secured in Dalmarnock Road, and is to be called Dalmarnock Park. They have taken it on lease for five years at a rent of £30 a year. It is a splendid field, with plenty of scope, and includes a couple of pitches, one being for practice.

There are to be two stands – now in course of erection. The club intend to draft the best players from the surrounding clubs. Of course the players must be Irish or of Irish extraction. They mean to have an eleven second to none. An effort will be made to open the ground at the end of the present month, and if a fixture can possibly be arranged between a Glasgow club and Hibernians, these clubs will be the first to compete on the ground.

As the club has influential supporters and no lack of means, the necessary guarantee will be forthcoming. Failing a fixture with either of the above clubs, some other notable teams will be invited for the preliminary match. A cinder track, 12 feet broad, runs round the field. The committee have held several meetings to discuss affairs in a hall in Easy Nile Street”.
– From the Scottish Athletic Journal, February 1888.

This plaque markes the site of the original Celtic Park from 1888 to 1892, which stood adjacent to the graveyard wall on its Eastern boundary. The ground was open on 8th May 1888 when Hibernian drew 0-0 with Cowlairs and on the 28th May, it hosted Celtic’s first game, a 5-2 win over Rangers, with Neil McCallum scoring the first ever Celtic goal.

At this ground in season 1891/92, Celtic clinched our first ever treble. It also hosted Celtic Park’s first ever International match, between Scotland and Ireland on 28th March 1891. In total, 18 friendlies were played against the cream of English football with Celtic on the losing side only once.

The final match was played on 16th July 1892 between Celtic and Clyde in a fundraiser for the Evicted Tenants fund in Ireland, ironically after Celtic were forced to relocate when the landlord of Celtic Park raised the rent per annum from £50 to £450.

In four seasons at the original ground, Celtic only lost one competitive match, before moving to the current Celtic Park in August 1892, in the same week that Brother Walfrid was transferred to London.

The phrase “From the graveyard to paradise” was coined and the new ground had a nickname which it has lived up to ever since. The rest, as they say, is history.

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