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Those were the days – 1952: Celtic player held for ‘ransom’ by motley crew of students

“WHILE the history of Celtic has featured many great characters, it is doubtful if many others have been as colourful or as well loved as Charles Patrick Tully,” says the CelticWiki.com website. “Blessed with a rare abundance of skill Tully was the darling of the Hoops fans for over a decade and his cheeky approach to football has made him one of the best-loved Celtic icons of all time.”

Tully certainly looked cheerful when he was taken from his home early one Saturday morning in January 1952 by Glasgow students (pictured) and held for “ransom” on their annual Charities Day.

The day got off to a colourful start, despite the freezing temperatures. Gaily-dressed student collectors thronged the city centre, to the amusement of passers-by, and lorry-loads of them made their way to their base, at Gilmorehill. “The skirl of the bagpipes, blasts from bugles and whistles, and the raucous screech from ricketies warned the good-natured Glasgow folks of things to come,” reported the Evening Times.

Herald Diary

A procession then left Kelvin Way, headed for the City Chambers on George Square, headed by the Charities Queen, 20-year-old Jessie Henson, of Jordanhill Training College, who was driven in an open landau.

Lord Provost Sir Victor Warren took the salute at the march-past of “thousands of weirdly but warmly-dressed followers”. The students pounced on bystanders, asking for contributions. Pennies rained down from windows and balconies at the chambers.

The charities week itself had begun with a talent show at the Theatre Royal, at which Sir Victor had extended the freedom of the city to the students when he wished them a successful week, and said they could do anything they liked “but paint my house again”.

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