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Paradise Lost And Found


Paperback / softback

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Paradise Lost And Found by Padraig Coyle
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On Boxing day 1948, 40,000 spectators gathered in Belfast for the traditional derby game between Linfield and Belfast Celtic at Windsor Park, Linfield's home ground. No one could have anticipated the impact of a horrifically violent incident at the end of the game which was to signal the demise of one of the greatest clubs in the history of Irish football. In an age of extreme bigotry, sectarianism, poverty and social deprivation, Belfast Celtic offered a beacon of fair play and sportsmanship to the city's beleaguered working-class Ctholics. It exerted an enormous influence on them and gave purpose to their lives. Since its formation in 1891, the club had set out to model itself on Glasgow Celtic through its attractive style of play, its work for charity and its non-sectarian signing policy. Under an astute board of management, it operated as a highly profitable financial institution, searching out the best players available and signing them for, what was then, big money. Among its supporters, Belfast Celtic's home ground was known as "Paradise" - a nickname for which no explanation was required. "Paradise Lost and Found" tells the remarkable story of Belfast Celtic, setting the club's enormous sporting achievements against the turbulent background of the Home Rule era, the Irish Civil War and the formation of Northern Ireland. The author uncovers conflicting theories behind the decision to wind up the club when it was at the height of its success. Was it because of the vicious wounding of a Celtic player in that Boxing Day game? Was it due to a boardroom power struggle? Or was it a risky strategy that backfired. Whatever the reason, Paradise was lost, and the once-packed terraces would remain forever silent, except in the minds of those left behind. This book reawakens those memories and rekindles the hope that some day Belfast Celtic will return in all its former glory.
Release date NZ
March 1st, 2001
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Mainstream Publishing
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