IT is 50 years since Celtic won the European Cup in Lisbon, but that day in the sun produces more than just memories and celebrations.

Events to commemorate the 2-1 victory over Inter Milan raised more than £2 million for Celtic FC Foundation, the organisation that promotes the charitable principles and heritage of the club.

The Lisbon cash will be rolled out across a wide range of initiatives, but the charity has already made its mark across the world. It is instructive, and humbling, to drive to Easterhouse on the dreichest of days to see how one life can be changed by a charitable foundation that is at the core of a club formed by Brother Walfrid 140 years ago to provide food for children and the unemployed.

William Dunsmore works in the Glenburn Centre, which offers classes, entertainment and meals to its users. At 25, he is bright, cheery and animated. “Not many people wake up on a Monday morning wanting to head to work,” he says as the rain assaults the window. “But I can’t wait to get in here.”

It is the first example of what his boss, Andy Gilbert, project co-ordinator at the Easthall Residents’ Association that runs the centre, describes as the “passion” of his young worker. Yet Dunsmore has found more than a job in Easterhouse. He has taken the first positive steps towards a new life.

“I had a chaotic upbringing,” he says. “My dad was murdered when I was 11 and me and my eight brothers were moved from pillar to post through the system. I suppose I just became known as a wee guy that was trouble.”

This directionless life drifted almost inevitably towards prison. He spent eight months in jail after being convicted of assault.

“I knew I was on the wrong road and had to change. It didn’t take prison to make me realise that. I knew it on the bus ride there,” he says.

“But it takes a lot of thinking. It takes up a lot of your mind. It’s not just a switch that is turned on. You can say: ‘I am going to be good’. But you must want it. You must want to change. Otherwise it won’t happen.”

He is grateful that he was directed to the Celtic FC Foundation and an employability scheme, but he had to put in the hard yards. “I was sleeping on a mate’s couch in Knightswood so I had to walk to Celtic Park to attend the course,” he says with a grin that disguises the rigours of a 10-mile one-way trek.

It has all paid off in spectacular style. Initially employed at Glenburn on a six-month contract, Dunsmore had his tenure renewed for another six months and has now been rewarded with an 18-month contract. He is preparing to undertake an SVQ that will enhance his abilities to work and help the centre’s users.

He also has his own flat, a salary and a sense of purpose. “I could not have had a better opportunity,” he says. “But I realised I had to take it.”

As a support worker, he spends his day making sure the centre is clean, with his cargo trousers bristling with brushes and bottles of detergent. “I want to keep it clean, keep it peaceful, keep it safe,” he says of the centre. But he could also be referring to himself.

“I have cut all old ties. I was once running about, getting into fights, taking drugs, but that is in the past. I do my work here, travel home and spend my time in my flat, getting it just right with proper blinds and all that sort of stuff,” he says.

He admits working life has been an education. “I had only done the odd casual shift on a building site before,” he says. “So I have had to learn how to conduct myself in the workplace, how to speak properly to my workmates and the people who come through the doors.”

His colleagues, though, insist he has a natural ability to make people welcome and to work with humour and an irresistible energy. His hokey cokey while sweeping the floors is a Glenburn classic.

“I know this is where I want to be and what I want to do. I want to work with people. My boss asked me where I wanted to be in five years and I said: ‘In your chair’"

This is said with a smile, but Dunsmore has backed his works with action. “When you find something like this it is important to realise what you can do and what you can learn,” he says.

“My life has changed. I have my flat and a girlfriend now. I have a wage and I was able to buy my mum an expensive Christmas present. I bought her a gold watch last year.

“This year I am getting her Shania Twain tickets. I hope she takes me with the spare one,” he says with a grin.

The humour is evident in any interaction he has as he moves though the centre, whether it is with staff or service users. But it is underpinned by a serious reality.

“I know what road I was on. I get the bus back towards my flat and I am filled with a sense of gratitude. I see young boys wandering the streets and heading for trouble and I am glad I am no longer a part of that. My life is about work. I don’t socialise that much. But I am happy with that,” he says.

“I am a diehard Rangers fan with a tattoo on my leg, but it was Celtic FC Foundation that helped me on my way.”

So what did he think would have happened if had not found his way to Easterhouse and a safe haven in the Glenburn Centre?

He replies quickly but without drama: “I would either have been back in prison or dead.”




My boss, Andy. He’s all for the community, all for his workers. He never asks for anything personal. He’s the man.

Worst day:

My dad was murdered when I was 11. I don’t know what would have happened if he had lived. I think I would have been a carpenter. You have to learn to accept it. He would be proud of me today.

Best day:

Last Christmas, when I was able to go and buy people expensive gifts with money I had earned myself. I bought my mum a gold watch. Or the day I was told I was kept on here.

Favourite music:

Eminem and Ed Sheeran. But I have bought my mum tickets for Shania Twain. And I hope she takes me …