Charlie Tully

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Charlie Tully
Personal information
Full name Charles Patrick Tully
Date of birth (1924-07-11)11 July 1924
Place of birth Belfast, Northern Ireland
Date of death 27 July 1971(1971-07-27) (aged 47)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1944-1948 Belfast Celtic
1944 Cliftonville (loan)
1948-1959 Celtic 216 (32)
1959–1960 Cork Hibernians
National team
1948–1958 Northern Ireland 10 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Charles Patrick "Charlie" Tully (11 July 1924 - 27 July 1971) was a famous footballer of Celtic Football Club.

Tully was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In 1944 he was struggling to break into a very strong Belfast Celtic team and in a bid to garner better match experience was sent on loan to Cliftonville F.C.. After just 10 appearances he returned to more than make the grade at Celtic Park (Belfast). He scored the winning goal in the 1947 Irish Cup Final.

Tully signed for Celtic from Belfast Celtic on 28 June 1948. He played his debut match at Inside-left at home against Morton on 14 August in a 0-0 draw. He played a total of 319 matches for Celtic, scoring 47 goals, throughout his career, which spanned 11 years.

Charlie’s skill quickly earned him the reputation as a Celtic great after an outstanding performance against Rangers in a 3-1 victory at Celtic Park where it was reported ‘Tully dribbled about almost at will.’ ‘..The miraculous Irishman bewildered, badgered…. mesmerised Rangers..’ This catapulted Tully to the status of cult hero and the beginning of ‘Tully Mania’ when Tully cocktails were sold in pubs; Tully ties in shops and green Tully ice cream in cafes.

As well being such an accomplished club player, Tully played international football for Northern Ireland. One game is particularly well remembered. In 1952 Tully scored both goals in a 2-2 draw with England, one of which was scored from the corner flag. Before the kick-off he said to his marker, Alf Ramsay, "Do you enjoy playing for your country, Mr Ramsay?" "I do, Mr Tully". "Make the most of it today then - it might be the last chance you get!" The match report read 'Tully took a corner with his right foot. The inswinger sailed waist high and at speed, swerving into goal at the last moment. Merrick sensed the danger...but the swerving ball bounced out of his arms and over the line.' [1]

Tully achieved this feat again in 1953, not once but twice against Falkirk in a Scottish Cup tie at Brockville. Tully took a corner for Celtic and swung the ball directly into the net. The referee, presuming that the ball must have been placed outwith the arc, instructed Tully to retake the corner. Tully did so with the same result, swinging the ball into the net directly from the corner.

Tully spent brief periods on loan to Stirling Albion before being released in September 1959. Thereafter he took up the position of player-manager at Cork Hibernians before spells in management with Bangor (twice) and Portadown.

Tully died in his sleep at home in Belfast on 27 July 1971. The Falls Road was packed with mourners for his funeral.

His sons (Charlie and Brian) and daughter Patricia all still live in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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