GALLERY: 125 photos of Celtic FC to mark 125 years of the club

Jimmy Johnstone
Birthday bhoys: We look back on some of the best days at Celtic FC.© STV

From humble beginnings, a Glasgow giant was born.

On November 6, 1878, in the small, St Mary's Church in the East End of the city, a group of men decided to form a football club which would help raise money to alleviate the poverty of the time.

Since then, Celtic fans have witnessed victory, triumph, championship wins and despair, tragedy, anguish in equal measure.

Throughout these times, from the highs of the European Cup win in 1967 to the harsh financial realities of the nineties when the club were hours from bankruptcy, thousands of iconic images have been captured.

The famous green and white hopes have brought joy and misery to thousands depending on their success on the pitch.

Now as the club marks its 125th birthday, we look back with 125 images of the club from the SNS Group, Scotland's major sport photo agency.

As part of the birthday celebrations, Jim McCann, SNS managing director, reveals his favourite images of the club.

He explains:

  • Tommy Burns kneeling: Tommy once said he was ‘a supporter who got lucky,’ but in my opinion the luck was firmly on the part of those who had the good fortune to see or meet Tam. He was a humble man and a genuine magician with the ball at his feet. His untimely passing rocked Scottish football to the core. In my opinion he was the embodiment of what Celtic FC is all about.

  • Henrik Larsson scoring two v Porto in UEFA Cup Final: Henrik had many fine hours in the Hoops but perhaps this was his finest – even in defeat. As he jumped high above the Porto defence, SNS photographers were also on top form that heady night in Seville capturing the iconic Celtic soaring to head home a brace.

  • Martin O’Neill celebrating a goal v Rangers: It takes a lot to be compared to the great Jock Stein, but to many Celtic fans, O’Neill’s all too brief spell at the Parkhead helm was like the Second Coming – none more so than the day he leapt jubilantly in the air to celebrate a goal against bitter rivals Rangers at Parkhead. The face of Rangers boss Dick Advocaat said it all about the difference between success and failure in an Old Firm game.

  • Jinky: Particularly poignant for me as I had the honour of ghost writing Jinky’s autobiography, Jinky: Now and Then. Hilarious and heart breaking in equal measure, the four months I spent with Jinky was labour of love and an honour for me. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with the greatest Celt of all time.

  • Nakamura free kick v Man United in Champions League at Celtic: Until Barca were put to the sword this week, this was my most memorable night under the lights at Celtic Park. A night of pure theatre capped by the little Japanese magician’s free kick late in the game which left Sir Alex furious.

  • Seville fans: Celtic fans young and old made a pilgrimage to Seville from all corners of the globe in the hope of seeing their heroes win the UEFA Cup. The party lasted for days and despite the result all the fans came home winners. Did I say pilgrimage? On second thoughts, I dont think there has ever been so much alcohol consumed at a holy pilgrimage.

  • The beating of Barca: The moment his shot hit the net, you could have written the headline – Oh Watt a night! Tony Watt will never forget his first ever goal scored at Celtic Park. Neither will 60,000 fans who witnessed the footballing equivalent of a miracle from Neil Lennon’s heroic warriors to humble Messi and co.

*If you would like to see more images of Celtic, check out the full gallery at the SNSpix website

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