ONLY days after Donald Dewar has been hauled off for repair, a statue of Andrew Kerins will be unveiled in Glasgow on Saturday. The first exhibition of the bronze memorial, which was created by Glasgow sculptor Kate Robinson, will be attended by church, political, sporting and community representatives from all over Scotland.

Who on earth, I hear you ask, is Andrew Kerins? He is better known as BrotherWalfrid, and his claim to fame is that he is the founder of Celtic Football Club. The statue, which cost GBP30,000, will be unveiled at 2pm outside the main entrance to Parkhead.

I find it rather touching that at a time when football is such big business - and when Celtic are launching another share issue to raise GBP15m - the club's fans have put their hands in their pockets to raise a permanent memorial to the Marist Brother who established Celtic FC as a charitable foundation.

The statue will raise important questions about values in sport, as well as about the relationship between identity and sectarianism.

Brother Walfrid, who came to Glasgow from County Sligo in 1887, was inspired by the charitable work carried out by Hibernian FC in Edinburgh.

The good Brother, who had established a charity to feed poor children in the east end of Glasgow, realised that a football team in the city - which boasted an Irish Catholic community of around a quarter of a million - could produce a lot of cash to feed the needy. So the go-getting monk with a mission - a cross between St Francis of Assisi and Fergus McCann - went into action.

On November 6, 1887, at a meeting in St Mary's church hall in Calton, Celtic Football Club was formally constituted, its stated purpose being "to alleviate poverty in Glasgow's east end parishes". It was Walfrid who suggested the name Celtic. On May 28, 1888, Celtic - with some Hibs players loaned to them - played their first official match against Rangers and won 5-2 in what was described as a "friendly encounter". Aye, right.

Ah, the naivety of the kindly Hibs! It brings tears to your eyes. Two Irish businessmen, John Glass and Pat Welsh, having spotted the potential for profit in the new Glasgow venture, offered financial inducements to the best Hibs players to defect to Celtic. So what's new? Mammon 2, God 1, after extra time.

Idealism and business are both necessary in modern sport. Business without ideals leads to moral bankruptcy;

idealism without a robust business sense leads to financial bankruptcy. The reality is that in much contemporary soccer, idealism has largely lost out.

Obscene salaries, contempt for loyalty, dodgy dealings and cheating on the pitch have brought the beautiful game into disrepute.

What about identity and sectarianism? A tricky one, this.

There will be those who will argue that the erection of a statue highlighting Celtic's Irish Catholic past is regrettable. I don't think so.

The notion that the human community is best served by denying differences and opting for a corporate state-approved mish-mash is an illusion. We are all products of communities, and it is within these communities that we have learned values. We are who we are, and our roots should be celebrated.

The problems begin when, as part of these celebrations, we leave our brains behind. We should both celebrate the fathers and mothers of the faith, and critique them. There is no contradiction between being proud of one's distinctive heritage and having a wider, inclusive vision; but when the affirmation of identity moves over the line into sectarianism, it should be resisted robustly.

The truth is that both sides of the Old Firm have, in the past, shamefully benefited financially from sectarianism and have been slow to respond to public pressure. Celebrating roots can never be an excuse for denigration. Having pressed that message home in the past, it would be ungracious not to acknowledge the steps which both Celtic and Rangers have taken in recent times to get to grips with the problem.

I won't be at the statue unveiling. I'll be at Central Park, Cowdenbeath, for the local derby with East Fife. It's in the blood. My grandfather, part of the great movement from the Ayrshire coalfields to West Fife, was one of the people who started fitba in Cowdengelly. And this year is a big season for the Blue Brazil:

the 125th year of the football club and 100 years of Scottish Football League membership.

Yes, we're older than these Celtic upstarts. Not only that, we run seven youth teams and a women's team, and have been commended by the SFA for our youth policy. Plenty idealism, nae money.

As the Blue Brazil are busy collecting another three points on their way to promotion, I'll think about that statue of BrotherWalfrid at Celtic Park, reminding everybody that, despite Bill Shankly's words, there are more important things than football. Congratulations to the punters who have worked to make a heart-warming and important statement in bronze.