John Glass was one of Celtic’s leading founding members, along with Brother Walfrid and Dr John Conway. Glass was the most influential Celt behind the scenes through the club’s first two decades and this portrait, which remains on display at the modern Celtic Park today, was commissioned by the club in honour of the work John Glass did in its name.
The painting used to hang in the Celtic manager’s office, as confirmed by Willie Maley writing in 1915: “Of the great and good men whom I was privileged to join with in that famous first year, I would give pride of place to John Glass, whose photo hangs above me as I write, and it seems but yesterday since I heard him invite me to throw in my lot with the Celts. A man of whom Celtic will be ever proud.
To have any idea of the work John could, and did, do for the club he loved, one had to live with him to realise it. For years he thought of nothing but Celtic. He was at it from morning till night. If a fellow had to be persuaded he was coming to the best team in Scotland Glass could do that in a jiffy, whilst many a fellow’s fortune was made right away once he had listened to the voice of the charmer in the person of the burly Celt. For nineteen years we had in John Glass the most faithful clubman any club ever had, and one who never grumbled at any job as long as it was for the club.” (Weekly Record and Mail, 1915)