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In late 1887, the Celtic Football Club was formally constituted in St. Mary’s Church Hall in the Calton district of Glasgow, Scotland with the stated purpose of “alleviating poverty in East End parishes.” Their first game was played in May of 1888 at the first Celtic Park in the Parkhead area, a “friendly” contest in which they prevailed 5-2 over Rangers—the team that would become their arch rival to this day.

During Celtic’s first full season of competition in 1888-89, they reached the final of the Scottish Cup, falling to Third Lanark by a score of 2-1. They would not finish the season empty-handed, however, claiming their first trophy in a local competition, the North-Eastern Cup, by defeating Cowlairs 6-1 in the final.

When Celtic returned to the Scottish Cup final in 1892, they were better prepared and trounced Queen’s Park soundly 5-2 at Ibrox Park. This would be the first of 35 Scottish Cup victories to come, including another before the end of the decade (1899) and setting the pace for much more hardware to come in the 20th century.

In fact, in 1893 Celtic added their first Scottish League Championship to the trophy case, backing it up with a second in 1894 and then two more in 1896 and 1898. Before the 19th century ended, they had incorporated as a private limited liability company, with Willie Maley appointed as secretary-manager.

Between 1905 and 1910, Celtic won the League Championship for an unprecedented six successive seasons. That period included the elusive national “double,” not just once but twice, as they captured the Scottish Cup in 1907 and again in 1908. Another streak of four titles in 1914-1917 included the double in 1914.

Before World War II, Celtic had won four more League titles and six additional Scottish Cups. They were the only team that stood in the way of Rangers’ dominance of the local football scene and the two clubs together became known as the “Old Firm.” However, the largest crowd ever to witness a Celtic game gathered to see the Glasgow club beat Aberdeen 2-1 in the 1937 Scottish Cup final. The 146,433 spectators in attendance at Hampden Park still remains the record for a club match in Europe.

After the War, the “Hoops” (a reference Celtic’s white and green hooped shirts) resumed their winning ways with a Scottish Cup victory in 1951 and another double in 1954. Then for the first time ever, the Celts won the Scottish League Cup by downing Partick Thistle 3-0 in a replay. For good measure, they thrashed Rangers 7-1 to retain the honour in the following year.

The successes of Celtic in the 1960s included four League titles, three Scottish Cup wins and a string of five consecutive Scottish League Cup victories from 1966 through 1970. They reached the semi-final of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1964 and 1966. By far 1967 was their most glorious season, winning every competition entered, including their first ever European Cup and making them the first British (and non-Latin) club to win Europe’s most coveted trophy.

Celtic’s run of consecutive League championships extended into the 1970s and didn’t stop until 1975 after nine in a row— at the time, a joint world record for success in domestic titles. Doubles in 1971, 1972, 1974 and 1977 were supplemented by another Scottish League Cup in 1974-75.

The 1980s were also grand, with four championships, four Scottish Cups and a Scottish League Cup in 1982-83. That made the next decade something of a letdown, as the Hoops brought home only three major trophies, the Scottish Cup in 1995, the Scottish League title in 1998 and the Scottish League Cup in 1997-98.

Any worries that the Celts’ best days might be past were soon put to rest as the new millennium began. They claimed all three major pieces of Scottish silverware in 2001 and added eleven more trophies before the first decade was up. The year 2003 also saw the club reach the UEFA Cup final, only to be edged out by F.C. Porto 3-2 in a match decided by a silver goal in extra-time.

Going into 2012, Celtic are the reigning Scottish Cup champions, eager to top the leader board of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and leave Rangers in their wake under the leadership of manager Neil Lennon.