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An Old Celtic Maverick

2 March 2021


Boli Bolingoli stupidly visiting Spain for 24 hours before shirking quarantine rules earlier in the season. It’s the behaviour of a loose cannon, a “naughty boy”, or a maverick as you may describe it. Likewise, Leigh Griffiths holding house parties and returning from the close season out of condition is also akin to this maverick type of behaviour. Griffiths has undeniable talent and popularity with the Celtic support and in that respect, he is almost a carbon copy of an early Celtic star from the beginning of the 1900s…

More than 90 Minutes Issue 113 Print Edition

Celtic were undeniably international from an early age. The club had already enjoyed two successful tours encompassing Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany, by the time that the decision was made to embark on another continental expedition at the end of the 1906/1907 season. This time the Hoops would swap central Europe for Denmark – a new region with a fresh opportunity to exhibit the ‘Celtic way’ to football fans abroad.

First on the Danish menu was Boldklubben 1893, who Celtic disposed of by five goals to two. The crowd-pleasing outside left, Bobby Templeton, ran the show that day and stole all the local newspaper inches. Templeton had joined Celtic from Woolwich Arsenal for £250, just over a year previously. His wizardry on the wing justified such a price tag and made him a firm favourite with the faithful.

Next for the Hoops was a København Select side, who defied the odds and defeated Celtic 2-1. Although their team overachieved with their performance, the Danish supporters screamed for Bobby Templeton to continue his dribbling exploits throughout the match, such was the show that the Scottish international was putting on. Bobby’s compliance with the crowd infuriated Willie Maley, for if such genius artistry did not result in goals then it was futile as far as the Celtic boss was concerned. Nevertheless, Templeton continued showboating. Dribble after dribble. Dummy after stepover. This defiant behaviour comes as no surprise when one explores the character of the man. Afterall, he was the footballer who once famously took a bet at Bopstock & Wombwell menagerie in New City Road, to step into a lion’s cage and twist its tail!

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An incensed Maley, whose Celtic team had travelled to Denmark without a recognised goalkeeper, punished Templeton by placing him between the sticks for the remaining two matches of the tour. Celtic oversaw the same København Select side 5-1 and 4-2 respectively in those closing games, yet by the time the squad had returned to Glasgow, Willie Maley had announced that Bobby Templeton would be transfer listed. Despite being surplus to requirements, he did play a handful of matches at the beginning of the new season. Although, he was finally sold when an offer from Kilmarnock was accepted on 18th October 1907.

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Hailing from an Irish background,Liam Kelly was born in Bournemouth in 1996, with the good fortune of watching Celtic during the Martin O’Neill era. Still living on the south coast,He has a season ticket in the Lisbon Lions Stand and travels to European away matches when possible.
At the age of 19, he published his first Celtic book (Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support), which focuses exclusively on the Celtic faithful throughout the club’s history. Last year he published his second book (Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events), which has now sold out in Waterstones and Official Celtic stores. His third book (Walfrid & Bould Bhoys), which he co-authored with Matt Corr and David Potter, was published in September 2020 and is stocked in all official Celtic stores.

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More than 90 Minutes Issue 113 Digital Edition