If You Know The History: 15th October: James Kelly born

On this day in 1865, James Kelly was born in Renton.

23 years later, Jimmy Kelly, as he then known, was centre-half for Renton, when as Scottish Cup holders,   they became unofficial Champions of the World by beating FA Cup winners West Bromwich Albion  4-1 in a friendly. Shortly afterwards, Jimmy was persuaded to join Celtic, took his place in the first-ever team to play for the club on 28th May 1888 and became a regular for the following 9 years.

Jimmy won his second Scottish Cup medal in 1892 –  in the first Celtic side to win the trophy – and went on to gain league championship successes in 1892/93, 1893/94 and 1895/96, while also earning 8 caps for Scotland.

Jimmy Kelly: Middle, Front Row

On his retirement in 1897, Jimmy Kelly became a director of the club, a post he held until his death in 1932. He was also chairman between 1909 and 1914.

Jim Craig

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One thought on “If You Know The History: 15th October: James Kelly born

  1. The joiner from Renton ended up owning a pub still in the days of the amateur status among football players and look at the dynasty he spawned. His son controlled team selections for decades that made us a shadow of the club we should have been. His grandsons carried on the tradition, Michael Kelly described the majority of the Celtic support (during the Celts for change time) as people from the peripheral areas. The whole family today owe their wealth and social position to a grandfather who was undoubtley a founding figure.
    I remember being outside Celtic Park after a defeat by Raith Rovers in the early sixties with thousands chanting Kelly must go.
    I’m afraid James Kelly’s legacy in our history will be forever tainted by the son and grandsons who followed him

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