Celtic’s club history is a grand story as one of the most successful football teams in Scotland. The Bhoys have also had success in Europe since being founded in 1887. Irish Marist Brother Walfrid led the initiative to address poverty among the Irish population in Glasgow’s East End.
Celtic took on their name from the club’s formation to represent the common roots of the Scots and Irish. They also took the word’s heritage from 17th-century France when pronounced with a soft C for Seltic. While the H in their nickname the Bhoys is for the phonetical Irish enunciation.
The Glasgow club designed a badge to demonstrate the pride Celtic have in their history and the cultural connections between Scotland and Ireland. Originally, the Bhoys adopted a crest using a green Celtic cross on a red oval. The design also remained in place until the 1970s.
Celtic later adopted the first iteration of their current badge in 1977 with a four-leaf clover at the core. Its design originated in the 1930s but it became commonplace on their kits four decades later. The design also included ‘The Celtic Football Club’ and the year of their formation.
Green and white have remained the colours of Celtic’s badge ever since to convey two colours of the Irish flag. While the club introduced a 100th-anniversary design in 1988 that reintroduced the Celtic cross. The four-leaf clover remained on the crest but was at the base of the circle.
A modernisation of Celtic’s badge in 1994 saw the four-leaf clover return to the centre in place of the Celtic cross. While the club adapted its design again during 2007 by adding one gold star to mark the 40th anniversary of their European Cup title when Celtic beat Inter Milan in Lisbon.
Green and white have been the colours of Celtic’s kit throughout their history to represent the Irish flag. But the hooped design that the club made famous did not come into existence before 1895. Instead, they started off by using a plain white shirt before later adopting striped jerseys.
Celtic have also exclusively used white shorts since 1898 after ditching their black shorts. While the club have often changed the colour and design of the socks throughout the years. The club have used black, green and white as the primary colours of their socks in various combinations.
Celtic have played in the top-flight of Scottish football all throughout the club’s history in league competitions. The Bhoys first entered a division in the 1890/91 season as a founding member of the Scottish Football League. They were later a founding team of the Premier Division in 1975.
Scottish football then witnessed the formation of a breakaway league in 1998 with Celtic one of the first in the Premier League. It was dissolved in 2013 after the Premier League and Football League agreed to merge and create the Premiership, in which Celtic have remained key since.
Celtic have also won the top-flight 52 times under the various names the league has used. The Bhoys secured the title for the first time in 1892/93. They lifted 29 Division One titles plus seven Premier Division titles, eight Premier League titles and have won eight Premiership titles so far.
Celtic’s trophy history also features a number of cup titles alongside their 52 top-flight crowns so far. The Glasgow giants have also lifted the Scottish Cup a record 40 times with a first crown in 1891/92. While they have won the League Cup 21 times and the European Cup once, as well.
Their triumphs during the 1966/67, 1968/69, 2000/01, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons also saw Celtic win the treble. They won the top-flight title, Scottish Cup and League Cup in those terms. Celtic were also the first of nine clubs to win a European treble in 1966/67.
Players and managers
Celtic’s illustrious history as one of Scotland’s most successful sides and also as a trailblazing club in Europe has ensured legends grace Celtic Park. From Pat Bonner between the posts to Paul McStay in the middle and Jimmy Johnstone in attack, the club has had a host of icons.
Billy McNeill also registered a club record of 822 appearances between 1957 and 1975 with the Bhoys. While Jimmy McGrory holds the record as Celtic’s all-time top scorer with 468 goals in 445 games in all competitions. Bobby Lennox sits second in their charts with 277 in 586.
Jock Stein also secured his place as a Celtic legend by returning as the manager following 148 games in green and white. He went on to become undeniably one of the most important names in Celtic’s history having overseen 717 games at the helm and lifting an astounding 25 trophies.