IT WOULD be a rare event in today’s footballing world if a manager stayed with a club for 43 years.

Even the mighty Alex Ferguson ‘only’ managed 26…

Glasgow Times:

But Willie Maley, who played for Scotland and managed Celtic from 1897 to 1940, was a bit of a rare event himself.

Born in Ireland on April 25, 1868, he qualified to play for Scotland because his father was a Scot. He went on to win two international caps in 1893 – on March 25, he was right-half in the team which beat Ireland 6-1 at Celtic Park.

It was at Celtic that he gained fame, firstly as a player, then as ‘secretary-manager’. It was under his guidance that in 1907, Celtic became the first Scottish team to win the League and Cup double in the same season.

With him as manager, Celtic went an incredible 62 games undefeated between 1915 and 1917 – a British record, which still stands today.

Willie retired aged 70 and sadly died in 1958.

The Evening Times ran his obituary under the headline: “The Greatest Celt! Willie Maley gave all for his club...”