Art of the Celts 8 – Brother Walfrid Statue, Celtic Park

ImageA dinner table.  A child playing football in the street,  A Celtic cross.  People experiencing hunger.    Ignoti et quasi occulti in hoc mundo – Unknown and hidden in the world (Marist slogan).

A statute of Brother Walfrid was unveiled at the main entrance to Celtic Park on 5th September 2005 after a fundraising campaign by Celtic supporters to commemorate the Marist Brother who was pivotal in the club’s foundation.  The Walfrid Statue has become a main focal point of Celtic Park for visitors and has been joined by statues of both Jimmy Johnstone and Jock Stein.  Yet there are some details about the statue which remain unfamiliar.


ImageThe statue was designed and created by artist Kate Robinson, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art.  Made from bronze and granite, it has a bronze sculpture based on the familiar photograph taken of Walfrid as a young Marist Brother and four figurative plinth plaques which each represent an element of the Celtic Story.

 ImageThe statue was unveiled by Celtic Chairman Brian Quinn, Walfrid’s fellow Sligoman and former player and asst. manager Sean Fallon, Walfrid’s grand-niece and grand-nephew and two refugees who had moved to Glasgow in recent years. 

It has become an East End landmark and an iconic Celtic piece of art.






The sculpture of Walfrid himself is the well-known centrepiece of Kate Robinson’s work but the four plaques and the reverse are also of interest. 


The first plaque, the first photo featured here, reminds us of Walfrid’s innovation of starting penny dinner tables while the headteacher at Sacred Heart School in Bridgeton to encourage children to attend school and to ensure they were fed.  Walfrid’s project was administered by the St Vincent de Paul Society.  Like Walfrid himself, the East End of Glasgow was home to thousands of refugees from Ireland.  Celtic Football Club was established to raise funds to address the social needs of this community. 



The plaque above contains the Willie Maley quote about the club in which he played such a prominent role:  It’s Not the Creed nor Nationality that Counts, It’s the Man Himself.  It features Celtic’s first manager himself and representations of three players in the first three main Celtic jerseys (Celtic cross, green and white stripes, green and white hoops).  It also has an engraving of a Celtic brake club and its banner being taken to an early game by horse. 


ImageThis plaque celebrates the club’s greatest achievement, being declared Champions of Europe on 25th May 1967.  With Jock Stein’s quote describing the style of play which took Celtic to the pinnacle –  Pure Beautiful Inventive Football – it has the big cup itself, a packed Celtic Park and images of Jock Stein and (what looks like) Billy McNeill. 


ImageThe fourth and final plaque has illustrates today’s Celtic support in a packed Celtic Park (with four modern stands!) proudly singing You’ll Never Walk Alone and the Celtic players on the pitch in a Huddle before engaging in battle. 


Altogether, it is a magnifcent memorial to a man dedicated to the well-being of his community and that one particular brainchild – a football club – which is still going strong over 125 years later.  Take the chance on your next visit of a closer view at all the wonderful detail that has gone into this work – including the reverse with the large four leaf clover on show. 


More information on the artist Kate Robinson can be found on her website:



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Visit our online gallery of Celtic-related art here:

Art of the Celts – The Series

Art of the Celts 1 – Danny, Danny, Danny McGrain





Art of the Celts 2 – Glasgow Celtic, 1954 by Roy Young Ferguson


Art of the Celts 2 - Glasgow Celtic, 50 Years Ago




Art of the Celts 3 – The Charlie Tully Mural, West Belfast



Art of the Celts 4 – Larsson by Howson

Art of the Celts 4:   Larsson by Howson



Art of the Celts 5 – John Glass, A Celtic Founding Father




Art of the Celts 6 – Bertie Peacock Statue, Coleraine






Art of the Celts 7 – ‘The Lisbon Lions’ by Graham McKean


Art of the Celts 7 - 'The Lisbon Lions' by Graham McKean


8.  Brother Walfrid Statue, Celtic Park



Art of the Celts 7 – ‘The Lisbon Lions’ by Graham McKean

Art of the Celts 7 - 'The Lisbon Lions' by Graham McKean

This painting was commissioned by the club in 2007 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Lisbon triumph. It captures the warmth and humour of the Lions, Jock and the fans brilliantly. A limited edition run of 300 prints were made.

Check out the artist’s website here:


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View our gallery of Celtic-related art here:

Celtic Charity Badge Day – your badge of honour! 11.5.14



A charity badge day is being held in Paradise on the last game of the season.  Organised by the Celtic FC Foundation, special badges are being sold at turnstiles for only £1 each with all monies raised helping challenge the problem of homelessness in the East End and Greater Glasgow. 

For the fundraiser to be a real success, volunteers are needed to sell badges outside every turnstile at Celtic Park.  Badge Days have been very popular in the past but not everyone who wanted a badge got one. Volunteers can make a massive difference to this:  by turning up at Celtic Park just a couple of hours before kick-off and selling the badges to your fellow fans.  It is an incredibly worthwhile thing to do and you’ll be impressed at the warm reception you’ll get. 

If you’re interested simply email and the Foundation’s co-ordinator will respond with more details of how to get involved. 

Charity is at the very heart of our club and support – it was the cause of charity that provided the reason for Brother Walfrid and his fellow founding fathers to create Celtic.  Your helps sustains this wonderful tradition.  Since 1995 the Celtic Charity Fund, which is now part of the Foundation, has raised a staggering £7 million for charitable causes at home and internationally. 

With your help, the Badge Day as part of the final game of the season v Dundee United on Sunday 11th May 2014 will be part of this great success story. 

More information visit the official club site: