Thursday, April 25, 2013

25 April 1868 - Celtic's Other Greatest Manager

On 25 April 1868, Willie Maley was born in Ireland. He went on to become Celtic's most successful manager.

He played for Celtic as a half back from 1888 to 1897, helping the club win their first three league titles. Then, in 1897, he became Celtic's first manager at the age of 29. He continued his winning ways, claiming another league title in that first season, followed by the Scottish Cup in 1899.

He managed Celtic until January 1940, making him the club's longest-tenured boss. During that span, they won a total of thirty trophies, including sixteen league titles and fourteen Scottish Cups. The total of 30 major trophies is also a club record, five more than his nearest challenger, Jock Stein.

Maley's final major honor was the 1938 league title, followed by a second-place finish in 1939. With the league officially suspended the following season for World War II, he retired three months short of his 71st birthday. He remained in Glasgow and died there in 1958 at the age of 89.

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