This project is designated to all Irish Glasgow Celtic fans and supporters
throughout the Emerald Isle's 32 Counties and Around The World
Famous 'SportsLife' Son of Sligo and Ireland and Former Player & Management Icon of Glasgow Celtic
SEÁN FALLON: All Ireland Hall Of Fame TRIBUTE & INDUCTION:
Author: TOM BROWN of Edinburgh & Celtic Fan
THE IRON MAN
Since the beginning, Celtic have had many great servants
but there have been none more loyal, none more fervent
None possessed of the spirit or integrity,
none who behaved more impeccably,
none less selfish or with less of an ego
none like Sean Fallon, Freeman of Sligo
Sean came to Celtic by an unconventional track,
he was in his late twenties before he signed a contract.
Rumour has it that in order to maintain Celtic’s interest
he knocked two years off his age to be of a younger vintage.
Nobody seemed to notice and so the signing was done
thus, Sean Fallon’s love affair with Celtic had begun
But were it not for an accident his path might have been different -
his sister was saved from drowning, which led to something significant.
Lilly Fallon, was rescued by one Joe McMenemy
Does the name ring a bell? Does it jog your memory?
Joe was the son of the Celtic great, Jimmy
and from that moment on Sean and Joe got chummy.
Joe turned on Sean to all things Celtic -
up until then he had been successful playing the Gaelic.
He was a swimmer too, as good as any in the land
but when he started to play soccer, they told him he was banned.
No more Gaelic football, so it was the fitba’ from there on
and playing for Celtic soon became his burning ambition..
He wasn’t a star but he was tough and he was strong
and with his spirit and enthusiasm, he stood out from the throng.
He played for a few clubs and then he was offered modest terms
to play professionally for Glenavon where he thought he could learn.
And whilst playing there he was picked for a representative game -
Sean Fallon was beginning to make his name.
Celtic came to see him and they liked what they saw
and very soon he was on his way across the water to Glasgow.
At twenty-eight (or was it twenty six) he needed to break through quickly
and he did - as a full back or forward who was as tough as hickory.
Within two years he was made skipper and had lifted the Scottish Cup
and he collected four more medals before he finished up.
His team mate and good pal during this time was Jock Stein
Sean gave him the captaincy for the good of the team
Stein never forgot such an unselfish gesture
but much later Fallon was to bestow even more pleasure.
When Stein was brought back by Parkhead to save an ailing team
they wanted him to assist Fallon who was to manage the team
But Stein would return only on one condition
that he managed the team with Sean as Assistant.
Sean could have baulked and walked away,
but he knew Jock was the right man and he opted to stay
and so began a partnership that turned dust to gold
Celtic, with Stein and Fallon, soon started to roll
They rolled over everyone in Scotland winning Cups and League titles
and Sean Fallon’s role became increasingly vital.
Big Jock could be withering and his sarcasm could be cutting
some players could handle it but it left others hurting
or when players were left out, and needed comforting words
They would speak to Sean when their thoughts were blurred
You see Sean Fallon was a man that other men could trust,
he always put Celtic and the players first.
Whether a star in the first team or just trying to make their way
Sean always made time to hear what they had to say.
He was as straight as a die and if you wore the Hoops
If he could make you better he did whatever it took.
But there is no doubt that Sean Fallon’s greatest gift
(apart from his patience with those who needed a lift)
was his ability to spot a player that he knew would fit
the Celtic philosophy and so this was his remit.
Of course most of the young talent that Celtic pursued
were being chased by other clubs, so there was always a queue.
But Sean Fallon always knew that when he spoke to the parents,
he could find the right words to give them re-assurance,
because when he spoke affectionately about the Celtic family,
this wasn’t glib blarney or a well-rehearsed homily.
For this was a man whose values were ingrained
being a member of Celtic was, for him, more than a game
So, in the Stadium in Lisbon on 25th May ’67,
watching Celtic dominate that final you could have been forgiven
that Sean Fallon didn’t feature, it was all about Jock Stein
But that was how Sean liked it - in the background unseen.
But many of the players, Jimmy Johnstone for one,
might not have been playing but for Sean’s persuasive tongue.
Jock Stein and Sean Fallon were always kindred spirits
They liked a bet, they liked ‘the pictures’ and they loved all the snippets
of football gossip and rumours - they probably started plenty
for their cupboard of stories was very seldom empty.
Sean Fallon served Celtic, with devotion, for a lifetime
a great man who was just happy to let others shine