I’ve not written an article on Paul before because I’ve always felt, how can I do him justice, but given what’s going on at present, I thought now is the time.
For those of us of a certain generation Paul is simply known as The Maestro, a title he well deserves.
A player of outstanding talent who never let Celtic down, he was,always there for us.
Paul McStay is a Grand-nephew of former Celtic team captain and manager Jimmy McStay, so playing for Celtic was in the family blood.


Paul was already highly regarded as a player Celtic Boys Club, but he really came to prominence when he scored two goals and was man of the match as Scotland schoolboys defeated their English counterparts 5.4 at Wembley in front of a live TV audience in June 1980.


He signed for Celtic aged seventeen and made his senior Celtic debut in a 4-0 home Scottish Cup win over Queen of the South on January 21st 1982.
In 1982 he captained Scotland to victory in the UEFA European Under-18 Championship. I think this is the only major trophy Scotland have won.


Paul’s talent was so significant that he quickly became a first team regular. He was a key man under Billy McNeill and then Davie Hay and soon earned international recognition with Scotland-by the age of 21, he had collected two league titles plus a Scottish Cup and a League Cup winners medals.


It was during the course of Celtic’s wonderful Centenary season of 1987-88 that Paul was at his magnificent best. Anyone who witnessed that season will tell you that Paul had no peers, he was simply outstanding and I think it was then that the name “The Maestro was christened by the support. It was certainly when it became mainstream amongst the support


Paul had everything required in his locker to be an outstanding central midfielder, impeccable touch and footwork, he was composed and elegant in possession and had the vision and ability to dissect any defence with a single pass. He would pick the ball up and glide effortlessly past opponents before delivering an inch perfect killer pass.


He added another Scottish Cup winners medal to his list in 1989, but it would be some time before any more silverware came his way. By the early 1990s, Paul had the burden of captaining one of the poorest Celtic sides in history. Years of under-investment in the playing squad saw Celtic struggle badly. His talent was still there for all to see, but many of his team mates shouldn’t have been anywhere near a Celtic jersey.


Of course, it’s well documented that Paul missed a decisive penalty in 1994 in a shoot-out as Celtic blew a golden chance to claim their first major trophy since 1989 against Raith Rovers.
I still think that Gordon Marshall should have saved 3 of the Raith penalties that day.
A wee footnote to that day is that Dave Narey was the official man of the match, another fabulous player of his generation, although I have to be honest and say I wasn’t thinking that about Dave that day.


When Celtic finally lifted another major trophy in 1995, there is no doubt it was made even sweeter that it was Paul who lifted the Scottish Cup against Airdrie.
A footnote to that game is that Les Mottram was the ref, the man who became famous for not awarding Dundee Utd a goal against Partick Thistle, when the ball had hit the back of the net. It was then picked up by a Thistle player in the area-not the goalkeeper-and punted away. He didn’t award a penalty either. Crazy.


An ankle injury forced Paul’s surprise retirement at the end of the 1996-1997 season.
Paul made 678 appearances for Celtic, scoring 72 goals.
He won 3 League medals, 4 Scottish Cup and 1 League Cup winners medals.
In 2002 he was voted in as one of Celtic’s greatest players ever as part of the greatest Celtic team ever in a poll conducted by the club’s fans.
Paul is one of the finest, most talented and most respected Celtic players ever.


I had the pleasure of a very quick meeting with Paul, in St Andrews of all places. Me and Paddy Bhoy were queuing up to play The Himalayas, a fancy putting course. At certain times of the day,non members can play. Paddy said Paul McStay is behind us in the queue and he was.
It summed him up for me, him and some of his children were queuing up like the rest of us, humble, as ever.
I thanked him for all he had done for Celtic and he replied it was a pleasure.
That sums him up for me. A true gentleman and a Celtic great.


Once again, can I thank the wonderful Celtic wiki, who help me, so much, in piecing these articles together.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Puff puff
March 20, 2020 3:35 am

What a wonderful piece of the famous Glasgow Celtic history .. thanks for taking the time to write that as it brought back memories

Awe Naw
March 20, 2020 7:18 am

Ok folks for the sake of the blog and harmony .. especially my own.

I wish you all the best now and always.

Love xx

March 20, 2020 7:36 am


Paul was a wonderful player for us. Played for us for a decade and a half-and still retired too early! He had some terrific mentors alongside him in his early years who,I’m sure,helped make him the player he was.

It’s so sad that for nearly a decade-he was still only 23yo when we won the Centenary Season double-he was handcuffed to dummies,carthorses and plain old garbage.

Deserves all the credit,all the love,all the respect that the wider support give him. And very much deserved his place in THAT team.

March 20, 2020 7:38 am

AWE NAW,no AWENAW awa anaw noo?

Get yer arse back on here pronto,or I’ll be forced to say please!!!

March 20, 2020 7:59 am

I decided to hit the enormous Asda in Swindon this morning-rather than the smaller one across the road-at the end of my shift. It opens at 6am,and it was five to when I arrived. Asda had prioritised opening times before 9am for the elderly,vulnerable or disabled,but that wasn’t exclusivity. In fact,I didn’t know what it meant,a really vague nothingness!

The frontage must be the best part of 100yds,and the queues-with no spacing!-were already doubling back when I arrived. Bloody hell! Even worse,the ‘priority’ elderly,vulnerable and disabled were joining the queue too-since its Britain,and no-one told them different.

The old fella in front of me started muttering about it,and I had to agree. So I turned to the bloke behind me,asked him to keep an eye on my empty trolley. Told the old fella to go to the front of the queue,cos that’s what priority means. Then went down the queue and suggested the same to anyone else I thought might fit the criteria.

Bloody shambles.

Anyway,the curry is back on the menu. Got the chicken breasts. Just the one pack. Plus two tins each of tomatoes and kidney beans. Three cases of Carling. Didn’t need anything else really,but it’s just as well because even though I was finished for 620am,the store still looked like that swarm of locusts from East Africa had descended. And I suspect it looked pretty much like that before it opened too.

Still didn’t see a single food delivery lorry last night,and I usually see a good few. Morrison and Aldi,for instance,have depots in Swindon. As does Iceland. Ocado is just up the road. Not a one. Nor did I see any on Wednesday going in and out of Southampton,despite delivering to WH Smith’s right next door to the Tesco depot there.

The last thing I intend from any of the above is scaremongering. Merely an observation from my own experience.
EDIT:Sainsbury have set aside the first hour of each day exclusively for elderly,vulnerable or disabled people. That is the correct route,and I applaud them for it. “Priority” is meaningless.

big packy
March 20, 2020 8:07 am

MORNING ALL and JIM , JNP thanks for that article loved the ghuy, great player great celt, what more can you say?

big packy
March 20, 2020 8:12 am

AWE NAW, same as bobby get back on here, as I said to you and bad and tet last night we all have opinions ? lets respect each others.hh.

March 20, 2020 8:16 am

Last night made good reading back,especially the recollections of Gerry Rafferty. I’d been thinking about him during the week-dunno why. But City to City is still a timeless album for me,so maybe that’s it. I was the uncool kid at school raving about it even though I was still unflinching in my support of my other uncool-then!-faves,plus obviously the likes of The Clash,Joy Division,The Undertones. Etc.

Anyway,if you can get a hold of The Humblebums stuff,you might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was! And here’s an interview with Billy Connolly talking about his old pal just after his death.

March 20, 2020 8:18 am


Now you’ve got the wheels,nip over to Frankfurt and tell him yourself. Bring me back some beer before my flat turns into a desert,there’s a good lad.

big packy
March 20, 2020 8:21 am

remember my boss stuart getting a job, it was a one off wh smith in Swindon, there computer mainframe had gone down or something like that so all their microfiche had to go off the premises, he sent 5 drivers down from Salford one every couple of hours to Swindon, to bring the microfiche back to Salford, we were passing each other on A419/417,,true story

big packy
March 20, 2020 8:23 am

BOBBY, im only on standby in case im needed, but if I am will certainly do that for you??

March 20, 2020 8:27 am


Aye,their HQ is in Swindon too. Same with Nationwide and a good few others. Allied Dunbar,later Zurich,were huge too before getting taken over and annihilated.

Actually,most people think Honda with about 4,500 staff is the biggest employer,but it’s Nationwide by a good margin. Hope they stay a mutual-if they get taken over too,it could be a big problem for the area.

March 20, 2020 8:34 am

Nice article but could have been a hundred times longer in my opinion! McStay is still my all time Celtic great, he could do no wrong although I wish he’d left five years earlier to prove to the world what me meant about him. I compared him to the German captain of the time, Mattheus. I felt he was just under that World Class level, the only thing missing from his game was goals! He was hard as nails, according to a wee guy I knew who’d played for Ashfield (I think) against him when McStay was recovering from injury. He was never given given the credit he deserved by the Scottish media, and certainly not by Rangers supporters. They had Durrant at the time, who was also a great footballler – with goals -but I felt Paul was the Best of his generation. I don’t think we’ve had a player like him since!

big packy
March 20, 2020 8:37 am

BOBBY, while you are on just before I stopped going down there, you know that small village you had to go through, before you got back towards honda, they were building a by pass if I remember is it built yet?

Twists n Turns
March 20, 2020 8:57 am

3 cases of Carling you say

I was down on Wednesday evening. Got fekk all I needed. Was so annoyed with the panic buyers I thought I’m getting a bottle of Bacardi

None. Insult to injury.

Undettered though I’m at Tesco for opening time yesterday morning. Got a few items. Ah! I’ll check the Bacardi aisle. Excellent. Got a litre


Sorry can’t serve you that!

Initially I’m flattered. I look 17 ?


Limited to a bottle? A litre too much?


Not allowed to serve you alcohol till 10am.


March 20, 2020 9:00 am

Link didn’t work so deleted post

March 20, 2020 9:01 am

Morning all.
I hope everyone is keeping as safe as they can.
If you are in a position, to give us an update on your health, please do. .?
Thank you, for adding the pictures.
Gerry Rafferty an incredibly talented individual.
Aww Naw.
Without any doubt, the blog would miss you greatly.
I know you don’t like sycophantic stuff, I’m merely stating a fact.
Be well.

March 20, 2020 9:02 am

It’s a pain those licencing hours for supermarkets. I think it was brought in when shops started opening 24 hours. They were getting pestered with drunken neds through the night. Not you Bobby, Twisty!

March 20, 2020 9:07 am

It was when they wanted to increase selling of alcohol on a Sunday, hours.
As a compromise they made it 10.00 am every day, so earlier on a Sun but later every other day of the week.

March 20, 2020 9:10 am

I couldn’t agree more, that’s why i hadn’t done one on Paul, previously.
I had to miss a lot out, but i didnt want the article too long.
He truly is an all time Celtic great.

March 20, 2020 9:16 am

JNP, yes that rings a bell. The story I heard was probably an aside. Another one was that alchoholics would wait on licenced grocers opening up at 7/8 am to get a drink and that wasn’t helping their cause. Of course that wasn’t a cure! Just another justification for the kill joys. They forget most people are responsible drinkers.

March 20, 2020 9:34 am


Yes,mate. Blunsdon is the name of the village. Although the bypass was a success,the junction is a nightmare as you have to go north before you can go south. As the approach and the exit are both dual/triple carriageway,it catches drivers out to be on a short strip of two-way traffic!

Worse,it turned Blunsdon into a ghost village,with the inevitable-for Swindon-result of a bonanza for housebuilders. Unintended consequences,I suppose.

March 20, 2020 9:40 am


Oh,sair yin.

March 20, 2020 10:15 am

Morning All, JNP great, and to the point article, as McCaff says Paul probably never scored enough goals, but when he did they were usually class, and some nice hunskelping ones were among them. I think to best describe how Paul was appreciated by the supporters, in those not so great team years, is after his penalty miss against Raith, in the next Celtic game, they sang his name right from the start. The guy bled Green n White. The side splitting pass he plays at 3.40 in the Centenary 2-0 game is just typical of his wonderful football brain. These passes win you games.

March 20, 2020 10:29 am


I typed in Paul McStay pa,which was as far as I got before it came up with Paul McStay pass v Rangers.

I like reading Tirnaog09’s stuff. He has a tremendous memory,and a profound understanding of our history. Much of which comes out in his articles,factual or whimsical. This is a tweet from him. With footage.

March 20, 2020 10:44 am

Under the comments line on that Tirnaog09 link,you gotta have a look. Some superb links. What about Henke’s finish v Boavista?

I’ve got an article planned along similar lines for during this shutdown,so I really must get down to it.

March 20, 2020 10:45 am


Big Audio Dynamite
March 20, 2020 11:02 am

Awe Naw 7,18, I have never seen you contribute anything that could be considered unharmonious… in fact, i’d say the opposite is true. I think I can speak for TET, also, when I say you have been nothing but a gentleman. Neither of us were accusing you of anything, I hope you see that.

Over the last while, people have started posting extracts of Bobby Sands diaries. Now, I have zero connection to Ireland, I have even less connection to the IRA, but not once did I feel the need to ridicule, or abuse the people posting, I just tell myself that it others have an interest in that, I’m happy for them to use the blog to talk about it …I don’t see the problem, even though I have no interest in the subject.

All I really want, is the same courtesy extended to me.

Ps, I sincerely hope this isn’t our last exchange.

HH, brother ?

March 20, 2020 11:18 am


Bit harsh,mate.

March 20, 2020 11:28 am


That reminds me-again from last night. I think Sir Reo was much disliked in The City due to “Not being one of us”. He handed his company over to his son to take care of,but his son didn’t have the street smarts of the oul’ fella. When the recession of the early nineties hit,he had overstretched the company and the vultures made their move,the final takeover was completed before the millennium.

Stakis died of a stroke the following year,if memory serves. Or a broken heart,really. I think the family fortune was still pretty much intact,and that’s all to the good-I love a rags to riches story if it’s a good guy involved,which Reo seems very much to have been. But he wanted to take THEM over,not the other way round.

Possibly the Freddie Laker of the his industry,but he didn’t get the justice that Laker did.

March 20, 2020 11:46 am

Bobby, just read up on Freddie Laker there. A very sad incident in his life. His son Kevin died aged 17 when he crashed the sports car his father had given him for his birthday. I can’t begin to think how that must have made him feel. What a shame.

On a brighter note, we have Freddie to thank for starting affordable flights to ordinary people. He lived to the grand old age of 83.

Twists n Turns
March 20, 2020 11:53 am

Is anyone gonna admit that they quite like when it all kicks off on the blog every now and then?

Can I be the first?

Mind at school? Fight fight fight!

If ye weren’t one of the proponents ye were in the circle egging oan yer favourite.

Awe Naw – get back oan and start a fight ?

March 20, 2020 12:04 pm

Twists. 11.53
If everyone agreed, the blog would quickly become boring.
I’ve always said, if 2 people agree all the time, then one of them is either scared or a sycophant.

March 20, 2020 12:22 pm

Hi Everyone, especially JimmyNotPaul,

I had a long sleep yesterday morning that did wonders for me. My temp is fine though my energy and concentration are low. No fevers, no sweats. Let us see what the day brings but I do not feel at risk.

Jimmy, thanks for the article. It fills in an era of Celtic that I missed due to emigrating. Back then there was no internet, nor TV coverage that makes it easy to be with Celtic.

One benefit of being “off” is that you have time to surf Youtube. I found a piece on Denis Law that was worth watching….clearly it was old because it had interviews with Matt Busby.

On the latter, my grandfather knew him. They both came from Bothwell Haugh and were miners. Matt used to take his boots down the mine so that he could put them on at the end of a shift and get off to training!

Do not be over concerned for me. I am an attention seeker!


March 20, 2020 12:29 pm

Rebus. 12.22.
Delighted to hear, that relatively speaking, you are feeling better.
Great information about Matt, truly a different world, football wise, back then.

Big Audio Dynamite
March 20, 2020 1:25 pm

Bobby, harsh? Sorry, what is?

Bada Bing
March 20, 2020 1:37 pm

Paul comes in to my wee local when he’s home,Willie stays up the road from me,met him a few times. A better Celt you couldn’t meet,as humble as they come,very similar traits as the great Bobby Murdoch, who I met in the Vogue many years ago, unassuming superstars.

Bada Bing
March 20, 2020 1:37 pm

Celtic could hire a Sky channel, and put on classic games for us to watch during this period, Sky sports subscriptions cancelled every 2 minutes just now, we could actually make some money here,and use it to help others.

March 20, 2020 1:39 pm

Good morning no matter where on Gods green and white earth this finds you.
God bless all those with health issues and less fortunate than ourselves.

Many many thanks for todays quality read and as mentioned we could all read on and on.
That he is a legend at our club of choice is universally accepted, but it seems we have an absolute gentleman also to boot. A winning combination.
Perhaps Oz was the best choice for him as it would afford him relative normality of life I believe.
His hand is one I would feel privileged to shake, theres not many at all I would ever think that about.
Im delighted to have a lovely Senga Murray print of him lifting that 96 cup, that I gave to dad one Christmas morning and has now fallen to me. He signed it as did the goal scorer that day, a big Dutchman.

Now that we are under shelter in place orders here in California along with 40 million others perhaps I shall finally get it into a nice frame and up on the wall.
It doesn’t really effect me tbh but the missus is considered essential and must report for work and conduct face to face interviews in the meantime which Im no happy about. Well stocked up though.

We intend to throw a quiz next Saturday which will hopefully help keep spirits high.
Thanks again pal
Hail Hail

March 20, 2020 1:57 pm

I agree that bloggers should be able to disagree!

Think of the flint and the stone. They are both different but together they create FIRE. Just ask Arthur Brown…crazy!


March 20, 2020 1:59 pm

Awe Naw,

I disagree with you leaving the blog. I also disagree that you are a gentleman! You are a rascal….and, I suspect, proud of it!


Margaret McGill
March 20, 2020 2:08 pm

All hail the American night!
What was that?
I don’t know
Sounds like guns…thunder

March 20, 2020 2:11 pm

Rebus. 1.59.
That made me laugh out loud.
I reckon Awe Naw will have recalled a lot worse. ?

big packy
March 20, 2020 2:13 pm

AFTERNOON ALL, what a morning ,one of the staff came in and started coughing really bad , then the other girls said to the mrs if she stays we are going, so the mrs had to send her home for self isolation, and now will have to start grooming dogs again, ffs she has got arthritis in both wrists she is nearly 64, she told all the staff if you have a bad cough dont come in, now, if she has the virus we may all be infected, sorry for the rant.hh.

March 20, 2020 2:17 pm

Sad News, from USA.
A New Jersey mother and her three adult children have died from coronavirus, and three more relatives are in hospital, after they had a family dinner together, according to US media.

Grace Fusco, 73, and three of her children died on Wednesday and Thursday. Three more of her children are now in hospital.

Nineteen family members are now self-isolating, according to family representative Paradiso Fodera, and have waited nearly a week to learn the results of their virus tests.

“Why don’t the family members who are not hospitalised have the test results? This is a public health crisis,” Ms Fodera told CNN. “Why should athletes and celebrities without symptoms be given priority over a family that has been decimated by this virus?”.

March 20, 2020 2:22 pm

AweNaw, blood in blood out. Get back on 😉
Hail Hail

Big Audio Dynamite
March 20, 2020 2:22 pm

BP, I won’t tell you not to worry.. everything will be ok, just that I wish you & Joan the strength to see this through. Easy to see you care for others and you want to support your staff, I want you to know the admiration I have for you 2 for that, for being the type of people you are. When this all blows over, you 2 can rightly be proud of how you acted

All the very best, pal ?

March 20, 2020 2:25 pm

Scary times, be as safe as you can be.
A lovely response to B.P.

1 2 3 6