CELTIC are on the brink of equaling a 100-year-old British record for the longest unbeaten run in domestic football – a record set by the Glasgow club itself.
The current record run of 62 games was set by Celtic between November 1915 and April 1917, under the management of Co. Down native Willie Maley.
Celtic are currently unbeaten in 61 games – 60 of those under the reign of Irish manager Brendan Rodgers – and if they avoid defeat at home to second-bottom Kilmarnock on Saturday, they will equal the century-old achievement.
Maley was born in Co. Down in 1868 to a father from Co. Clare and a Canadian mother whose parents were from Scotland.
His family relocated to Scotland a year after his birth and he grew up in the Cathcart area of Glasgow.
Maley was one of the first players to sign for Brother Walfrid’s new Celtic Football Club, before being appointed as its first manager in 1897.
His record run with Celtic began with a 2-0 home win over Kilmarnock on November 20, 1915 and was ended by the same opposition as they lost 2-0 at home to Killie on April 21, 1917.
With no Scottish Cup due to the First World War and UEFA not recognising Glasgow Cup victories, Maley’s 62-game unbeaten streak is comprised solely of league matches.
In total he won 16 league titles, 14 Scottish Cups and 14 Glasgow Cups in his 43 years as manager.
Co. Antrim native Rodgers has yet to taste domestic defeat with Celtic, having not lost in Scotland since taking over in the summer of 2016.
The club's current 61-game unbeaten run began with the final match of Ronny Deila’a tenure before Rodgers took over – a 7-0 defeat of Motherwell in May 2016.
The run comprises 49 league games, seven League Cup ties and five Scottish Cup ties.
While he currently trails Maley's run of consecutive league games without defeat, Rodgers did go an entire season unbeaten last term – Maley’s record unbeaten run spanned two seasons.
In his 18 months in Glasgow, Rodgers has claimed three trophies and leads second-placed Aberdeen by three points going into the Kilmarnock clash.
Should Celtic equal the record, it would be a fitting achievement for Rodgers, who has rewritten the record books since arriving in Glasgow.
Celtic take on Kilmarnock at Celtic Park on Saturday, October 28 at 3pm.