Tom Maley

The Celtic Graves Society is proud to announce that there will be a ceremony to mark the resting place of


Celtic player 1888-1891
Celtic Committee Member 1890-1894

At St Kentigern’s Cemetery, Lambhill, Glasgow (Fara Street/Tresta Road entrance) on Saturday 26th November 2011 at 11.30am

Attendees at the event will include:

A representative from Celtic FC
Members of the Maley Family
Jim Craig – Celtic Graves Society Patron

A Blessing will be given by Rev. Father John Sweeney, Holy Cross Church, Crosshill.
All Celtic supporters are welcome to attend the event and flowers/tributes can be laid at the graveside.

“Speed, stamina, dash – all three were mine” – Tom Maley

Known as “Handsome Tom” Thomas Edward Maley was one of the first players signed for the embryonic Celtic Football Club by John Glass and Brother Walfrid in December 1887. A trained teacher, he was a renowned Victorian forward who had played in England as well as Scotland and was targetted by the founders of the newly formed club as one of the key signings required to ensure an auspicious start.

The son of a soldier, Portsmouth-born Tom had already played for Partick Thistle, Third Lanark and Hibernian when Brother Walfrid, John Glass and Pat Welsh visited the Maley family home in Cathcart in December 1887. Famously, Tom wasn’t home that evening (he was out courting his future wife) but his brother Willie, a sprinter and reserve player with Third Lanark, was asked by Brother Walfrid “Why don’t you come along with him.” Writing in 1939, Willie recalled: “He persuaded me to come in with Tom, and when Tom decided to join up my name went down too, and so I was at once initiated into the wonderful scheme of things that this committee of men, with no football knowledge at all, had built up, and which their tremendous enthusiasm eventually brought to fruition.”

As a sprinter, though not as accomplished as his brother, he won many prizes – in 1887 he won six first, three second & one first prize, the following year he won one first, two second and one third but also took third place in the NCU 100 yards championship. His attention though was more and more towards football.

A quick-footed outside-left Tom’s other main attraction to Celtic’s founding fathers was his contacts in the game and, it was with his help, that he joined his brother and many of Scotland’s leading players for the club’s inaugural game against Rangers on May 28th 1888 at the original Celtic Park. Tom is believed to have scored a hat-trick in that famous 5-2 victory (match reports of the game are inconclusive) and was a leading player until his retirement in 1891. He played a crucial role in Celtic’s march to the Scottish Cup Final in the club’s first full season, scoring 6 goals on the road to Hampden.

Along with his brother Tom became involved behind the scenes at the new club, initially as a Committee member and in 1897 was a member of the first Celtic board. He was directly involved in many of the club’s early controversies in which he argued passionately for continued support of the Poor Children’s Dinner Tables. As headmaster of Slatefield Industrial School in the East End he was one of the leading educationalists in the city’s Catholic community and later became a journalist with the city’s Catholic newspaper, the Glasgow Observer.

He followed his brother into football management, leading Manchester City from the English 2nd Division to their first ever FA Cup victory in 1904 (Celtic winning the Scottish Cup under Willie at the same time). He later became the Manager of Bradford Park Avenue.

He remained a favourite Celt all his days. In 1910 he wrote of his club: “It’s long array of Cup victories, its League triumphs, its list of internationalists, its monstre athletic carnivals are each and all fitting records. The greatest record of all, however, is the charitable works that appear opposite the name. No club in these lands can show aught like to it.”

Tom Maley died on 24th August 1935.

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 St. Mirren 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.