Celtic to the core
Someone asked me the other day, to name a Celt who should have been capped and who wasn’t, I instantly thought of George McCluskey.
A player who scored many an important goal for us.
George McCluskey signed for Celtic, in 1974, from Celtic boys club.
George was a talented forward with a lovely first touch, great vision and a thunderous shot, a combination of these talents allowed him to score some truly memorable goals.
He made his debut in October 1975 when he came on as sub and scored as Celtic defeated FC Valur 7-0 in the European Cup Winners Cup at Parkhead and by November he had played against Boavista in Europe and Rangers at Celtic Park and impressed on both occasions
In 1978/79 George really came to the fore and scored a vital goal in the 3-1 win over Rangers at Parkhead on September 9th 1978
He also scored in the 4.2, ten men won the league game, a game in which he terrorised the Rangers defence, the whole evening, given the importance of that match, I feel that was George’s finest moment for Celtic.
A game that will never be forgotten, by those of us who attended that evening.
He, of course, scored the winner in the 1980 Scottish Cup,against Rangers, a goal that was celebrated with great joy by the Celtic fans, but a goal which was too much, for the Rangers fans to cope with.
His goal and the ensuing aftermath was what led to the drastic reforms that brought in a ban to alcohol in the grounds, an impact he never thought he’d ever make on the game to this extent.
George’s best season was the 1981/82 season when he scored 25 times. Nicholas and McGarvey both broke legs and George led the Celtic attack with some style and assumed the responsibility placed on him.
On the last day of the season,In 1982, a win guaranteed the league, for Celtic, again George stepped up and scored two, in a 3.0 victory, to prompt joyous scenes as the fans celebrated a hard earned league triumph. Celtic had narrowly won the title and George was deserving of many plaudits for his part in all this.
The following season, 82/83 George also scored a dramatic late winner in Amsterdam, to give Celtic a 2.1 victory, on the night, and a 4.3 victory on aggregate.
Four never to be forgotten victories, for Celtic, and George scored in them all. No wonder, I have fond memories of George!!!
George should have been rewarded further and was included in the initial 40 man Scotland squad for the 1982 World Cup finals, but he did not make the final cut of 22. He never did win a full Scottish cap.
George scored 54 goals in 145 appearances for Celtic, his last goal came against Morton away in a 3-0 win in March 1983, his last appearance was also against Morton, in May 1983.
George won 4 league winners medals, one Scottish and one League Cup winners medal, when he was at Celtic.
Much to my disappointment and many others, George left, for Leeds, in 1983, it was another classic case of a player feeling, undervalued by the board at that time.
In the autumn of his career in 1993, he helped Kilmarnock (managed by his Celtic teammate and friend Tommy Burns) gain promotion to the top tier from the First Division.
George is still thought very highly of, by the Kilmarnock faithful, for the part he played in their revival.
I had the pleasure of meeting George when he played with Kilmarnock and he was as nice a person as you would wish to meet.
He was clearly still Celtic to the core, spoke happily of his time at Celtic and had many fond memories, in fact my Killie loving pal, asked him who he loved more,Killie or Celtic? now George may have been a Killie player, at that time, but he left my friend in no doubt, in the nicest possible way, that Celtic was his team.
Recently on Twitter, someone asked about Celtic players who should may be a bit more appreciated for what they achieved with/ for Celtic, I nominated George and followed up by saying he was Celtic to the core, non other than Murdo McLeod came on to readily agree with me.
A fine endorsement.
Once again, many thanks to the wonderful Celtic Wiki, whose information, allowed me to pull this article altogether
Todays guest article is by Jimmynotpaul. As usual the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend!
Morning, JNP ?
Loved George’s languid style.Looked as if he was towing a cart as he ran, but had the type of skill & close control to leave defenders scratching their heads. In the same kinda mould as Le tissier. You just were never sure what George was gonna do …not sure he knew! Loved him and squiggly together.
Great stuff,old son. I think George struggled for appreciation by the support due to being the main striker after Kenny left-who could follow that?-and then being stuck in the shadow somewhat of an emergent Nicholas.
He was still only 25 when he left,and I reckon he and Celtic would both have benefitted from him staying. I think he moved to Leeds for £160,000 but at a time when they were really struggling. Just how it goes,sometimes.
https://youtu.be/6jzWRYr-b_Y ?Administration, administration, administration, that’s what you need, if you wanna be the best and you wanna beat the rest, administration’s what you need ??
Happy admin day, ya filthy animals!
Happy administration day.?
Great minds or fools, which is it? ??
JNP, you beat me to it! ?
https://youtu.be/e6Ijsirqmso Celtic – A decade of dominance ?
That would have been two decades of dominance,but for the cheating.
Actually, if you take away that cheating in the 90s (Grrr) then, haven’t we been the dominant team in EVERY decade since the mid 60s? Outside of spending what they didn’t have, the last time they were dominant was around 63-64 ?
MORNING ALL, jnp great post, unfortunately when George came on the scene I had moved down to England so did not see that much of him, but coming back up for games he was always a standout.hh.
Breakdown of titles since 1965.
65-70 Celtic 4 – Rangers 0
70s Celtic 7 – Rangers 3
80s. Celtic 4 – Rangers 2
90s Celtic 1 – Rangers 9
00s Celtic 6 – Rangers 4
10s Celtic 8 – Rangers 1
As you can see, without their cheating, they have not been able to live with us over the last 60 years.
Does this not mean that we arra peepul? ?
BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE, YES? they were the peepul, cheating bassas.hh,
They haven’t actually dominated (Without cheating) since the days of Baxter, Brand & Wilson!
BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE, exactly right, but obviously im too young to remember them??
On what we now know, who can say they weren’t cheating in the 60’s either por cierto
Ask my Dad or Tontine Tim about some of the decisions they got in their favour-on the pitch and at Park Gardens.
Good to have you popping in!
POR CIERTO, id put money on it.hh?
We also gave the forces of darkness a 16 year head start ??
Only in terms of The Scottish Cup. The league didn’t start till 1890
And still won more SC’s than thum!
Stolen from Twitter.
Sashes to ashes, dust to dust,
8 years today, the bears went bust.
Ah,I like that!
John Greig to Bertie Auld in the tunnel before the game starts.
Greig “What’s your win bonus the day, wee man”
Auld “£3 Greggy what about you”
Greig “That all, we’re on £6”
Auld “Aye, but our £3 is guaranteed” !
Must be mental to be a sevco player!
You get told you’ve won the league in December, so you celebrate accordingly…
You don’t receive any medal or trophy…
You go away to Dubai buzzing and on top of the world for a holiday….
You then arrive back home in scotland in the middle of winter and realize there is still 6 months left to play in the SPL????
I think that explains these post winter break collapses!
Some man,Bertie. Quick with a quip,like he was with his feet.
And his fists! Jinky’s minder.
I recall one tale,that Jimmy’s form was suffering and Jock was concerned. He couldn’t figure it out. Then he found out that Jimmy had bought a pub,and a couple of heavies were muscling him.
Jock sent Bertie over to sort it out. And it duly was sorted!
Then there’s the classic tale of the 1970 EC semi at Hampden. Some great players in that Leeds team,but boy,they could dish it out. Gary Sprake,their keeper,launched the ball upfield in the time honoured fashion of the day,and when everyone had stopped following the trajectory of the ball,having lost it in the lights,there was Bertie standing over a prone Norman Hunter,quietly advising him that there was plenty more where that came from.
THEBARCAMOLE from CQN sadly died nearly three years ago. A tremendous lad,and a good good friend. He was very close to Bertie-and boy,the stories he could-and would-tell. But when a fellow CQNer,RWE, saw his son with a slow and horrible terminal illness-MND-and wondered if anyone could arrange for a Celtic player to come over for a visit,THEBARCAMOLE and I got together by phone-he was back in The Philippines at the time-and I called Bertie to check the lie of the land.
The plan was for him to go over with Evan Williams,his right good mate. He didn’t hesitate, as “That bastert disease took Wee Jimmy!” and arrangements were well advanced when,sadly,they had to be cancelled as Mrs Auld,Liz,fell ill.
But Bertie still phoned Martin regularly,right up to the end,by which time Martin couldn’t communicate back. It didn’t matter. Bertie knew that he understood. And Bertie understood it too,it had taken his pal about a decade earlier.
That’s Bertie. Quick with a quip,quick on his feet,quick with this fists when need be. And quick to help anyone who needs it. Martin’s Dad and family are forever grateful for what he did,and I’ll never forget it either.
Or maybe you go to a millionaire’s playground only to discover that yer in with the cheap seats on the plane there and back. That the hotel was like Sandylands in Saltcoats in the 80s-but without The Clansman Bar. And that your star forward was allowed to bugger off back to Colombia to get his photo taken a few times and otherwise live it up.
And then you find out that thon rubbish team Celtic are training at the same facility-but on the main facility. And that you’re left with the municipal pitches. I reckon a few Rangers and Celtic players exchanged a few comparisons of all of the above,because there are a lot of rumours of discontent and we will call it friction during and after their break.
I’m not known for my offerings of support and congrats to the board-and I’m holding off for a big one on their whole handling of the Translategate etc fiasco,but they’ve played this perfectly-but when you sign for Celtic,we prove at every stage what a big club,classy outfit,we are.
The Counterfeit Huns can only dream of that. And their players see it in Dubai and elsewhere.
Bobby, absolutely brilliant, mate, bring a tear to your eye, thinking of the bond we all share through our magnificent team.
For me, Bertie epitomizes everything a Celt should be ?
Maybe someone can confirm. Did I read that they took their families to Dubai, during their winter training camp?
https://youtu.be/OYqllpnyWrY?list=RDaAue9jqLB74 The Stranglers – Nice ‘n’ sleazy
Btw,I was in The Clansman one night with a few mates. We were about fifteen or sixteen,been to the game and they weren’t likely to get into the places I had planned for my usual Saturday night. So we decided to go down there,play a few games of pool,have a few pints.
I think it was September weekend,it was mobbed! I’d been at the bar a few times-not everyone fancied their chances!-and had been waiting for longer than I would normally deem acceptable. But it’s not like there’s a bar next door,so you take your turn.
So I ordered up four pints of lager,and the barmaid said-are you waiting?
I said-aye,four pints of lager,please.
So we repeated that conversation before she explained that she was asking if I was eighteen. I’m twenty next week,I replied.
Bloody Welsh accent had thrown me!
Back to The Lauriston in Ardrossan for me the next night. Familiar territory.
I was getting a tad emotional as I wrote it,and I left a lot out. I know how much it meant to Martin’s family,and to Martin too. I’ve met them over here a couple of times since he died. A wonderful family,and a genuine pleasure to know them. It was a horrible experience for them,obviously they’ve never really got over it,and in time the pain will fade a little-but their gratitude to Bertie?
I’m not a great fan of The Daily Mail,but they can do an investigation rather well. Shame most of them are in sport or celebrity gossip rather than politics,but that probably wouldn’t fit their raison d’être.
Seems Panorama and Mark Daly are about to expose some damaging stuff about Mo Farah via his links to Salazar. That’s the blood-doping fella that the Spanish authorities halted investigations into,stopping allegations about certain high profile athletes in various sports.
Hers a link to the article from a few months back,and I still maintain that the only top six tennis players to be clean in the last fifteen years are Murray and Federer.
Bobby, the young Tim’s will be well aware of Martin for years to come, judging by the section behind the goal in the LLS. I know I’ve had to sit there with the wee man & his teammates lots, as they have had plenty of free tickets for games through the foundation.
If it had been a family member of mine, that would, at least, give me some comfort ?
Royal Bank of Scotland prepares for independence by renaming itself Nat West Group.
Happy administration day!
The No-Irish Rover
On the fourteenth of Feb, two thousand and twelve
We set sail up the Clyde for Ibrox
We were on our way there with a cargo of shite
From a ‘man with big hands’ from near York.
What a ramshackle craft!
She fooled only the daft
Or those for whom truth was a stranger.
But the press were convinced
When we served them lamb minced
And they called her the ‘Glasgow Rangers’.
We had sailed several years when reality struck
And our ship ran aground on the rocks.
And our fake ‘Rangers’ crew was reduced by the crooks
To ‘loan Rangers’, free transfers, old crocks.
We could not reach the bank.
Our coach walked the plank.
Our sails were condemned as a danger.
Bookies cancelled all bets
And we drowned in our debts.
We’re the last of the ‘Glasgow Rangers’
RSP – VG ?
I hereby nominate you as Sentinel Celts Poet Laureate!!!
Aye, that sounds about right.
Aw fur coat and nae knickers are the sevco.
JNP on reading the first line i thought the answer was going to be Dixie deans, but then had to go look, to be remembered he had 1 or 2 caps. George was indeed a very important Celtic player, who was sometimes in the shadow of Nicholas.
It’s interesting years later to learn that Arsenal had actually made a bid for George that was rejected by Celtic, before their bid for Nicholas was accepted, some seem to think Celtic put Charlie more in the shop window.
It also shows the respect Jock Stein had for young George when from his hospital bed after that infamous car crash, that he wrote on a bit of paper (being unable to speak since the steering wheel had crushed his chest) to Sean Fallon, to play George at No7 against John Greig. the story goes that Greig told young McCluskey he was going to kick him up and down the park, George smiled and replied “You’re an old man you’ll need to try and catch me first”.
He certainly had some very important games for Celtic, he is one of a core of our older players that make me smile at the mention of their name. Good article JNP.
Jimmynotpaul, George McCluskey embodies everything good about Celtic.
I’m making my way across County Meath towards West Dublin. Just passed through the village of Duleek. Home of St Margaret’s CSC and the home to of the father (Tommy) of Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis fame.
The lads from the club travel over for most games.
Not far from here are the Neolithic tombs of Bru Na Boinne, or the Palaces of the Boyne. At 5,000 years old they’re older than the pyramids.
St Patrick lit his famous Pascal Fire nearby on the Hill of Slane. Not for from where Finn MacCool caught the Salmon of Knowledge.
On the fields north and south of the river at Oldbridge and Drybridge there was an inconclusive skirmish in July of 1690.
Infact the Gallagher’s from Duleek have played at the Slane music festival a couple of times.
The first time they opened for REM and years later and in inimitable fashion Noel Gallagher said he remembered the show but thought he was heading with Oasis.
Anyway, Ireland is a remarkable place.
I always smile on St Valentine’s Day in the knowledge that his last resting place is in Dublin. St Valentine’s remains were brought here in 1835 and today young couples will pay him a visit in Whitefrairs church.
Even Santa has a gaff here. St Nicholas is buried in Kilkenny having been liberated by Crusaders and buried here during the Crusades.
Back to the road.
Good morning folks and Happy Friday.
Jnp, as usual we are in your debt for today’s quality article. The posters are really coming through with contributions these days which I think all like to see as you never know what you’re going to get just like a box of chocolates.
You lot don’t wanna read me and Bobbys pish 6 days a week no doubt. 😉
I’m too young for George but if you say he was Celtic to the core that’s good enough for me. Sounds like a player I would have enjoyed watching grace the world famous green and white Hoops.
25 goals in a season is hold your head high stuff and no one will ever take that away from him.
We should get him on and pick his brain 😉
R. St. Parsley
That is quality man. You’ve got a gift that’s for sure. Keep em coming fella!
Yes, Happy administration day
The Club who thought they were too bigoted to fail ?
With Frimpomg back in training (And no injuries I can think of), when was the last time we had a fully fit squad to choose from?
Also read that Copenhagen, during their winter break in Portugal, picked up more injuries to key players, Inc Viktor Fischer, who they think will miss both games against us ?
At the beginning of this season, I said I couldn’t care less about Europe, as the only thing I cared about was completing 9iar, which, hopefully, we have one hand on. After reading about our opponents injuries & lack of game time, I have a feeling similar to when we played Blackburn, on our way to Seville.
we might not win it, but it’s going to take a good team to beat us over 2 legs.
That’s enough nostalgia for today in case you make me homesick 😉
I know from Dundalk up pretty well, and enjoy reading of your parts which I’ve rarely set foot in.
Mum has snow in west Belfast right now.
Place turns into chaos.
I did manage to get one of the illegal Bob Marley Bohemians shirts for Christmas which hasn’t been donned yet. Walmart here is already green and white mecca in preparation for ‘Patties’ day with a shamrock and price tag on everything imaginable.
They even have an Irish cactus ffs.
Hope your daughters doing well.
Enjoy the weekend
Mikey Johnston is out injured.
You paint a lovely picture, it sounds fabulous.
Anyone seen this? I must listen to this podcast if it’s that bad. I mean good.
But seriously they can’t ban fans from making podcasts? Maybe in their name but then the blokes just go off and make their own?
And the expression ” their noses are bluer than most ” is just, , , quite a turn of phrase.
I think it was a spoof, but a quality one, it certainly had me and my bhoy laughing.
It was real it seems. But ripe to be spoofed so banned? Must check it out later.