From Sligo to Glasgow came Celtic
Celtic's birth in the east end of Glasgow
....was conceived by a man, a native of Sligo,
from the west coast of Ireland, from the horrors of the famine,
....a Marist priest came to Scotland and made it his home.
Home it became also to those who escaped the famine
....as an exodus of Irish fled from their nation,
as the potato blight spread amongst Ireland 's rural population
....the British Empire grew fat as the Irish died of starvation.
To the cities of Glasgow, Liverpool and London,
....work could be sought in the Industrial Revolution,
but prejudice and bigotry was their sectarian welcome
....as life started hard when living in slums.
Work was found but very poorly paid,
....harassed by the workforce, day after day,
ridiculed and provoked through their lack of education
....their religion resented by the ignorance of Britain.
Glasgow was no different from the ever-growing cities
....as the Irish were badly treated, shown no pity,
were children grew within the squalor and the poverty
....dressing in clothes that were rag-tag and dirty.
However, it was in the town of Glasgow that Brother Walfrid's crusade
....was to feed the hungry, a child's life to save,
as his fight for the poor became his vocation
....to bring faith to the needy and to end the starvation.
The Catholic Church of Glasgow took it upon themselves
....to provide for the Irish, rescue them from their hell,
and as the new headmaster of Sacred Heart School,
....Brother Walfrid organized the Penny Dinner tables.
Then it wasn't until the Scottish Cup Final of 1887
....when Edinburgh Hibernian came to Hampden to face Dumbarton,
were their success was celebrated by the Irish throughout the land
....that Brother Walfrid would produce a team from Glasgow's east end.
On November 6th, a Sunday afternoon in 1887
....the name Glasgow Celtic came into formation,
as Janefield Street became the new home of football
....to feed the children in the parishes of St.Mary's, Scared Heart & St.Michael's.
For six months Brother Walfrid and his band of volunteers
....built the first Celtic Park with blood, sweat and tears,
the Irish Catholics would embrace the Marist Priest' dream
....and find faith, hope and pride in Glasgow's Irish team.
But in 1892, Brother Walfrid relocated to England
....were his love for education continued in London,
his team of Celtic flourished on the park
....and brought pride and passion to his old Irish heart.
Sadly, in 1915, Brother Walfrid's soul was laid to rest
....and as sons of Irish immigrants, our hearts have been blessed,
as we follow a team that was built from his dream
....and we proudly wear the hoops of white & green.
The name of Celtic belongs to Glasgow's east end
....were the spirit of football has always remained,
Brother Walfrid's name lives in the history of our club
....with the legends and heroes we have sang for and worshipped.
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Comments about this poem (From Sligo to Glasgow came Celtic by Daniel McDonagh )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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William Carlos Williams
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