Sean Fallon

The club was saddened to hear that former director, Sean Fallon had passed away yesterday.

Earlier in the season an article in The Clyde View noted that Sean had just celebrated his 90th birthday and was looking remarkably fit. His last public appearance was unfurling the Championship flag at Parkhead, which was, of course, his base for the bulk of his career. He joined Celtic as a player in 1949 and was there for 8 seasons, which included a Cup Final appearance – on the losing side – against Clyde in 1955.

During his playing career, his ability was also recognised in the form of International caps, with 8 appearances for Republic of Ireland.

On retiring as a player in 1958 he was given a job on the coaching staff along with teammate Jock Stein. Stein left to pursue his managerial career but when he returned to Celtic in 1965 he invited Fallon to be his assistant. Their partnership was to turn Celtic into a dominant force in Scotland and Europe. It was during this time that Sean became something of a mentor to the young Alex Ferguson, even inviting him, on occasion, to sit in on his regular evening discussions with Stein. This was something that Ferguson never forgot and the two remained firm friends, with Sean always a welcome visitor to Old Trafford.

Sean later became manager of Dumbarton and during his short time at Boghead they apparently made a bid to sign the legendary Dutch player Johann Cruyff. ‘We have made Mr Cruyff a very serious offer and are waiting for his response,’ was Sean’s famous quote.

Gerry Dunn spent 10 years serving on the Clyde board alongside Sean and he spoke to to share some of his memories of the man:-

“With all the experience he had and his knowledge of the game, his insights were fascinating. He didn’t waste words. One of his most damning comments on a player was, ‘he spends too much time on his backside!’. He was critical of players who didn’t make an impact on game… ‘If you’re having a bad game the least you can do is make sure your immediate opponent has a bad game too.’

“He tended not to be over effusive about players’ prospects. No doubt over the years he had seen too many players flatter to deceive. If, by some chance, a young Clyde player scored a hat-trick on his debut and Clyde fans were thinking they had discovered the new Lionel Messi, the most you would get from Sean would be ‘he’s got a chance’.”

In spite of his great achievements Sean Fallon was always a man of great humility and warmth. He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him.

Clyde FC sends its condolences to Sean’s family and friends at this time.