William “Willie” Maley

William "Willie" Patrick Maley (25 April 1868 – 2 April 1958) was a Scottish international football player and manager. He was the first, and longest serving, manager of Celtic Football Club having a tenure of 43 years from 1897 to 1940.

 

Willie was born in Newry Barracks, County Down, Northern Ireland to parents Thomas Maley and Mary Montgomery. Thomas came from Ennis, County Clare, and Mary came from Canada to Scottish parents. Thomas was a sergeant in the 21st (Royal North British Fusilier) Regiment of Foot and in 1869, he left the army and the whole family settled in Cathcart.

 

Prior to his football career, Willie Maley worked for the printworks Miller, Higginbotham & Co., the Telephone Company of Glasgow and as a chartered account for Smith & Wilson.

 

His football career began in 1887 when Celtic invited his brother, Tom Maley, to join which also resulted in Willie being invited along too. This led to him being signed in 1888 as a midfielder amongst the club’s first players. He also played for the Scottish National Team on two occasions. He also had a single appearance for Manchester City in 1896 in a match against Loughborough. Coincidentally his brother Tom Maley ended up being manager of Manchester City.

 

In 1897, Willie was appointed as manager of the club serving continuously until his retirement in 1940.

 

Willie Maley died on 2nd April 1958 and was buried in Cathcart Cemetery alongside his parents and wife. He was not originally included in the inscription but thanks to Celtic Graves Society, this has now been added.

 

Grave details: C-362-3

Sources: Wikipedia, The Celtic Wiki

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