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Paradise Lost And Found: The Story Of Belfast Celtic

Padraig Coyle

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Published by Mainstream Publishing, part of Mainstream

Format: Paperback


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EAN: 9781840184518
Published: 1 Mar 2001


About the book


On Boxing day 1948, forty thousand spectators gathered in Belfast for the tradional derby game between Linfield and Belfast Celtic at Windsor Park, Linfield's home ground. No one could have anticipated the impact of a horrifically violent incident at the end of the game which was to signal the demise of one of the greatest clubs in the history of Irish football. In an age of extreme bigotry, sectarianism, poverty and social deprivation, Belfast Celtic offered a beacon of fair play and sportsmanship to the city's beleaguered working-class Catholics. It exerted an enormous influence on them and gave purpose to their lives. As one former supporter recalls, 'When we had nothing, we had Belfast Celtic. Then we had everything'. Since its formation in 1891, the club had set out to model itself on Glasgow Celtic through its attractive style of play, its work for charity and its non-sectarian signing policy. Under as astute board of management, it operated as a highly profitable financial institution, searching out the best players available and signing them for what was in those days, big money. Among its supporters, Belfast Celtic's home ground was known as `Paradise' - a nickname for which no explanation was required.

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Padraig Coyle

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