Review by Joe Bloggs (Celtic Wiki)
There’s so many exceptional Celtic books out there from over the years, and each can bring something new to the table. With this new book, we have again something special, with the author Steve Finan having trawled through the DC Thomson photo archives to bring to the public a whole set of hidden away pictures, a number of which will dazzle even the most experienced of Celtic historians.
This book is a meaty sized publication perfectly fitting for any coffee table book. It is high quality in its production, which in itself puts it in a niche setting. It is a perfect present for anyone.
As the title of the book is clear, this takes a stroll through around the first 90 years of the club’s history (the days when black & white photos were still much the standard), and brings to the fore a whole raft of photos that we all have likely never seen before. Plenty of these photos were stacked away in some dusty folder somewhere, and these lost treasures are a joy to view.
The book covers an incredible cross-spectrum including pictures of players in training across the generations, in various games long forgotten by many of us, supporters in celebration and players with family too. There are some wonderful pictures of Celtic’s return from Lisbon too, and Jock Stein is as imperious as always. You’ll find photos of players whom many have long forgotten (e.g. Jackie Gallacher), but also humbling pictures of the fans both on the terraces & the street supporting the club through thick & thin.
The detail of some of the photos is incredible, such that I was feeling nostalgic for times when I wasn’t even born! You actually feel as if you are stepping back in time with some of the pics. There are a number of pics taken at ground level, and so you feel as if you are on the pitch, and you can see details of the supporters on the terraces modern pics gloss over.
There’s humorous pics, with pictures of Gemmell & Jinky I’ve never seen before and they will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Amongst the uplifting pictures, the book does actually begin on an heavy note, with a reminder of the tragic circumstances of John Thomson’s death on the field. Going through those pics and that of his family in later years, is still something that will bring a lump to your throat.
This book is simply pure nostalgia. It is the perfect present to any Celt, and each page will generate lots of discussions and retelling of old tales, and not all necessary football ones. The photos are about our communities and our people as much as about any match or cup triumph.
This book shows that to our amazement, there are still lots of items to discover in the archives and for further publication which the ardent Celtic historian will be craving.
Do yourself a favour. As well as buying this book for your fellow Celts, get one for yourself and sit down one evening with a pie & hot cup of bovril, and simply indulge yourself in this walk down the old avenues in glorious black & white. You’ll feel so much better for it.