For Celtic-mad writers Liam Kelly and John Traynor, the Club’s charitable ethos is as important today as it was in 1887. This has been evident in recent months, as both writers have very generously devoted net proceeds from their respective latest books in support of Celtic FC Foundation.
Liam’s ‘The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic’ and John’s ‘A Paradise Anthology’ are both available to purchase now, offering supporters two wonderful opportunities to contribute to Celtic FC Foundation in the process.
‘The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic’ provides a comprehensive guide to over 60 Celtic landmarks and sites of interest – the first time that such a collection has been compiled – while ‘A Paradise Anthology’ is a compilation of Celtic orientated verses, songs and sketches.
Both writers spoke of the motivations behind their works and their desire to support the Foundation.
Liam said: “Back at a time when COVID-19 was something that none of us had ever heard of, I found myself in Glasgow with a couple of Celtic supporting friends. We had a free day, so decided to explore a bit of Celtic history and visited St. Mary’s Church in the Calton. During our journey, we managed to track down the location of the first soup kitchen that was set up by the ‘Poor Children’s Dinner Table’, and soon discovered that many other sites of historical importance were situated nearby.
“Walking the streets where Brother Walfrid and his colleagues held their earliest charitable football matches, I began to wonder how many other places with a Celtic connection must be dotted around the city and beyond.
“I had written three Celtic books at that stage, which were unique in style, and I quickly realised that I could create something unusual (and hopefully interesting) again by putting together a guide to Celtic landmarks and sites of interest.
“I began to research places across Glasgow, Scotland, Ireland, Europe and the USA. In no time, I had listed over 60 locations, obtained images of each site, and came up with a detailed description of their place in the annals of Celtic Football Club.
“Since my inspiration to write the book began in the surrounds of Brother Walfrid’s earliest charitable ventures, I felt that I couldn’t honour our primary founder’s legacy better than by using the publication as a vehicle to raise funds for Celtic FC Foundation. The magnificent work of the Foundation is the continuation of our Club’s identity, raison d’etre, and is very much ‘Walfrid’s Wish.”
John said: “It all began as a pleasant diversion…a desultory pastime… scribbling down a few lyrical thoughts about random Celtic heroes, some of whom I’d had the great privilege to witness first-hand, others known to me purely by legend and repute.
“And then during the first lockdown of the pandemic, my son, Paul, challenged me to put the enforced isolation to purposeful use by finally shepherding the material into a loose collection of sorts. After some time, I finally had the finished article.
“As a ‘Cradle Celt’, I was reared on stories of the charity ethos instilled in Celtic from the outset by Brother Walfrid. The ‘Poor Children’s Dinner Table’ project always held a particular fascination for me.
“A lot has changed at Celtic since the Club was founded but charity has always played a part. Never more so than in the present day, as Celtic FC Foundation does so much incredible work across the community spectrum, to the enormous benefit of the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.
“It was, therefore, a ‘no-brainer’ for me when the opportunity arose to contribute to that effort; and I consider it an honour that the net proceeds of ‘A Paradise Anthology’ can play a small part in that continuing vision.”
We would like express our gratitude to both Liam and John for their wonderful support and generosity.