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CHARLIE TULLY, CELTIC’S CHEEKY CHAPPIE

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CHARLIE TULLY starred for Celtic in the League Cup Final on 19th October 1957, 60 years ago this month!

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Charlie belonged to a time when players were underpaid and exploited, but he played football with a smile on his face. He was a man born to entertain and captivate, but a footballer above everything else. Charlie Tully was a legend, and there is no other word to describe the boy from Belfast who came to Glasgow in 1948 and transformed the fortunes of Celtic on and off the pitch.

After the wartime years the famous Glasgow club had slumped to the edge of relegation, but things were different on Charlie’s arrival: the crowds rolled up to see this brilliant inside-forward, whose displays were recalling memories of bygone Celtic heroes, and his fame was assured when he took on Rangers’ famed and feared Iron Curtain defence and tore it to shreds in an epic 3-1 victory at Celtic Park.

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And there are people who still swear that they saw Charlie Tully sit on the ball during that particular Old Firm match! The legend grew, as did the stories, but one thing could be said of Charlie Tully: very often his exploits exceeded the myths surrounding him.

At Brockville in a Scottish Cup tie against Falkirk, with Celtic two goals down, he scored directly from a corner-kick, had the goal disallowed and scored again with the retaken corner! A few months earlier he had scored for Ireland against England at Windsor Park with a similar corner-kick from the left, and that was after the cheeky Tully had assured his immediate opponent, Alf Ramsey, that the Englishman would never be picked for his country again after he had finished with him! And in the twilight of a career that brought silverware and a League flag to Celtic Park, he was outstanding at Hampden Park when Celtic defeated Rangers in the 1957 League Cup Final by seven goals to one…Charlie Tully belonged to a time when players were underpaid and exploited, but he played football with a smile on his face. He was a man born to entertain and captivate but a footballer above everything else.

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A limited number of copies of Charlie Tully, Celtic’s Cheeky Chappie by Celtic author Tom Campbell is now on sale at CQNBookstore.com priced £14.99. CQN also published Tom’s biography of Bobby Evans – Celtic’s Forgotten Hero earlier this year. Like Charlie Tully, Bobby Evans starred in the Hampden in the Sun cup final 60 years ago.

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