Welcome to Cleator Moor Celtic
Wed 18th July 2018 | Cleator Moor Celtic | By Ian Templeman
Previously uncharted territory in West Cumbria will be on many a satnav in the coming months, as clubs in Division One North make the trip to JBV Park in the village of Cleator Moor, home of league new boys Cleator Moor Celtic.
The village is located on the Coast to Coast Walk that spans Northern England, and is around four miles from the coastal town of Whitehaven.
It was substantially populated by immigrants from the North Eastern counties of Ireland in the latter half of the nineteenth century, leading to the colloquial title of Little Ireland. In the 1871 census, thirty-six percent of the local population were recorded as being Irish, which no doubt had a bearing on the origins of the club's name and emblem.
In more recent times the artist L. S. Lowry regularly visited Cleator Moor and nearby Cleator during the 1950s and painted local scenes including the Westminster Bank, and the town has a number of local landmarks and a cycle path which are popular with visitors to the area.
Football-wise, Cleator Moor Celtic was formed in 1909 and began footballing life in the Egremont Divisional League for the 1909/10 season.
In the 1950–51 season, the club reached the first round of the FA Cup, where they lost 5-0 to Tranmere Rovers in a match played at Workington, although all other campaigns in the FA Cup have not seen the club progress past the second qualifying round. The club has also competed in the FA Vase, reaching the second round in 1986–87.
In recent years, the club has been playing in the Wearside League and their best ever finish was last season when they finished in second place, securing promotion to our newly formed Division One North.
The club's best known former player is the current Derby County and former England international goalkeeper Scott Carson who also had spells at Leeds United, Liverpool, Wigan Athletic and in Turkey with Bursapor. Whitehaven native Carson played for the club as a teenager in season 2000-01.
Celtic are very much the focal point for football in their locality, and host a number of teams from under 6s to open age, including a reserve side that play in the Cumberland County Football League.
They now swell the number of Cumbrian clubs in the league to three, alongside Holker Old Boys and Carlisle City and the 40 mile trips of over an hour to Rakesmoor Lane and Gillford Park will be by some way the shortest away journeys the club will make.
Aside of the two Cumbrian clubs, there are some long away journeys ahead for Celtic, the longest being the trip to Shelley in West Yorkshire which is 166 miles and around three hours and ten minutes away, and even grounds like AFC Blackpool and AFC Darwen, traditionally seen as being closest to Cumbria, are around 120 miles distant and journeys will take over two hours on a good day with no delays on the M6.
None the less, club Secretary Herbert Briggs insists that everyone at the club is looking forward to their new experience.
"We are going to enjoy this season and see where the journey takes us, and it will be a journey as our miles mount up", he said.
"We have worked out we will cover 4465 miles in 19 league games - now that is a European tour.
"After several years in the Wearside Football League we have made the big step up into the Hallmark Security League, and it's a challenge for the young squad under the new leadership of John George and Craig Routledge.
"They and I are looking forward to it, and I am taking the challenge head on, as this is a big job.
"I have seen this team grow and I think they will hold their own, but in our first season we have to aim to consolidate and build on what we have achieved in getting to this stage".