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25 August 2022


Two Nines and Other Celtic Stories

By Phillip Vine

 The Immortals is a passionate love letter to Celtic FC, by turns ecstatic and distressed, angry and joyous, but always obsessed.

After the disappointment in 2021 of failing to complete the fabled ten-in-a-row league titles, the author took solace in researching causes for celebration from Celtic’s proud past. His starting point was the rallying cry that ‘two nines are better than one’, and the book’s centrepieces are stories of both of Celtic’s nine-in-a-row triumphs.

On his journey he discovered darkness and despair as well as derring-do and delight, the extremes of emotion inevitable in all love affairs. He uncovered the evils of the Irish Holocaust and the poverty of Glasgow’s East End that preceded Celtic’s foundation, the dubious conduct of Celtic’s money-men, as well as the ‘miracles’ of the immortals among the club’s founding fathers, its dynasties, managers and players. The book takes us on a pilgrimage through time with faithful hope for the future.


Read The Immortals and you will discover:

  • How Jock Stein plotted a path away from Celtic mediocrity and created a team of ‘Immortals’ who won the 1967 European Cup and nine league titles in a row
  • The secret of Stein’s genius and the burden of his demons
  • How Stein’s success depended on his friendships with chairman Bob Kelly, assistant Sean Fallon and with bookmaker Tony Queen
  • How Fergus McCann laid the foundations for Neil Lennon, Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers to lead Celtic to a second, and record-breaking, nine in a row
  • How Lennon, the bravest man in Scotland, led Celtic to a quadruple quadruple
  • How some of Celtic’s founding fathers, the money-men, betrayed the club’s charitable principles, but provided football teams to idolise
  • The historical truths, buried deep along with six million bodies, about the Irish Holocaust, and their relevance to Celtic
  • How the ‘Curse of the Ten’ works for and against Celtic
  • The identity of 135 ‘Immortals’ to sit alongside 135 years of Celtic history
  • A radical prospectus for Celtic’s immediate and long-term future, including how Celtic can become good Europeans

Phillip Vine divides his time between writing fiction and books about sport. He is the author of Visionary: Manchester United, Michael Knighton and the Football Revolution 1989-2019, and has another book, Crossing the Lines: Milestone Moments in Modern Sport, due for release by Pitch. He is currently writing a novel, White Horse, about a group of friends who make a pilgrimage to watch the inaugural FA Cup Final at Wembley in 1923.