Memory Lane – Bambi

There’s some players that just put a smile on my face, when playing and when recalling, and our old striker is one of them. Craig ‘ Bambi ‘ Beattie was a sight to behold, didnt look like a footballer at all, played with a smile seemingly delighted to be given a chance, and if he happened to score that smile multiplied by a hundred with a hefty chunk of amazement thrown in there for good measure. A cult hero might be stretching it, a great striker no, a national icon never, but what a raw talent, that stayed a raw talent forever !


We snapped him up at a mere 19 years of age when the little general deemed him not good enough. Standing at 6 foot tall he had a bit more height than most natives, good head start for a striker, and a gangly frame allied with some skills. Not many clubs would say no to that punt right on your doorstep, its no surprise at all that we bit.
And when he scored all six goals in a pre season friendly against Derry City Im sure there was some thinking we have stole a march on everyone here.
Not every day a free, quality, domestic striker knocks the door and says ‘ Looking anyone’ ?


So Mr Raw Talent finds himself at the nations top club, who have just been in a European final, and under the tutelage of one hell of a manager in Martin.
It could have went very different at another time, but hindsight tells us that 03-04 wasn’t the best time to sign as a striker considering we had Henke and Big Chris plus BBJ.
The gaffer has peaked, and would soon have other major concerns rather than football to contend with and maybe that Martin just then just wasn’t what Craig needed through no fault of his own.
But yet wrong place wrong time isn’t necessarily true as he scored some important goals, and no doubt gave his all for the team, is looked back with in fondness hence the article, and has spoken of those times and the hard training that accompanied them as very character building for himself.
“You could be on that training ground – and we only trained for half an hour, three 10 minute games – and be the best player on the park for 29 minutes.
But you could give the ball away once and get absolutely berated. Literally, strips torn off you.
For me that was all part of the character building, you had to stand up to that.
I’ve got Thommo shouting at me because I’ve given the ball away and I’ve got big Bobo (Balde) kicking lumps out of me.”


There was undoubtedly talent.
He was the first Scot since Gerry Creaney to score in three consecutive games for Celtic, grabbing seven in the first three months of season 05-06.
13 goals in 50 appearances does not suggest much, but he did tend to be stuck out on the wing a lot to use that burst of pace he was blessed with, and Martin stuck with his generals full stop so any fringe player wasn’t getting much time at all back then.
Considering he was free, and from what I recall low maintenance, thats a pretty good return for your money in my humble estimation.


But ultimately no one wants a player they just cant rely on, and WGS went down the road of the throwback little and large striking combination up front playing off each other.
To form a successful pairing you must be there consistently, and that just wasn’t our bhoy.
Big Jan and Skippy being successful also pushing chances back even further. Young Maloney was emerging as a genuine exciting talent then also.
After a few years of playing when fit, and finding himself benched heading into his prime years, he gave his all when called upon but had a decision to make regarding his future.
He was always gonna leave and in fairness it was for the best.


Did he go on to blossom upon departure?
Not at all. He went on to be a journeyman with a total of 16, yes 16 clubs of various levels, many of them short term loans with very few appearances. The classic he might keep us up punt that gets injured. My reading of his stats suggest that 18 appearances at a decent level (Dundee) was his season high though he must truly love the sport to have such a long and varied career (he only just packed it in) when clearly the body wasn’t made for the athlete’s life.


But don’t get me wrong, the man himself can walk with his head held high.
He departed the Hoops with 5 trophies, 3 leagues and 2 cup winners medals, and although appearances were limited elsewhere as mentioned, when he did play could be very much appreciated. For instance this article is even titled after him and he is credited with turning the game upon his introduction. A super sub who grabbed all the headlines and plaudits.


And as for that smile, and playing the game with fun how about this section of a match report to show what I mean…
“ It was not enough that the referee, Euan Norris, did his best Mike Dean impression when awarding Hearts penalty against Celtic at the end of a brilliantly entertaining semi-final. No, Craig Beattie had to go one better. After scoring the winner from the spot the Hearts striker whipped off his shirt, did not even bother to hold on to it and then ran off behind the goal for an impromptu lap of honour, which was as preposterous as it was hilarious.
As he wheeled away, his knees high and his arms going up and down as if he was on an invisible cross trainer, there seemed a strong possibility Beattie would not stop and would end up dashing down the tunnel ! “ Some might remember this, but then he was a local lad leading his team to a final.


So I for one would like to officially go on the record to show my gratitude to you Craig for making me smile a lot, for all you gave and done in the Hoops, and showing us the game can actually be fun. All the best and thanks for the memories.


The above is by Mahe. As usual the email address is and we are delighted to publish guest articles.

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Puff puff
April 7, 2020 5:05 am

Thanks for that mahe and all the memories .
I’m guessing that was a hard day for you and some of the people on the blog ,
but like most Celtic men we’ve been through tough times before , hail hail to all the good people on this forum there certainly is lots of
Love and compassion and empathy I can feel it .

Puff puff
April 7, 2020 5:15 am
Puff puff
April 7, 2020 5:23 am

We welcome DJ Afghan for the Friday night dance party .. unfortunately only the night shift
have a invite to this once in a month Extravaganza .. its actually 3am paradise time but who the ducks counting ..

Big Audio Dynamite
April 7, 2020 5:45 am

Good stuff, Mahe. Did he only play 227 games in a whole career? And it looks like he scored as many goals in his career, as Henrik scored in one season! Incredible.

Big Audio Dynamite
April 7, 2020 6:07 am

This is brilliant! Unseen footage of The Lions pre-match in Lisbon.

April 7, 2020 7:01 am

If you think Nicholas and Walker are bad as pundits, you should hear Beattie.
He never has a good word to say about Celtic.

big packy
April 7, 2020 8:13 am

MORNING ALL and ASWGL, thanks for waking me up? great article as usual mahe, yes I remember craig, and the media keep harping on about how big a rangers supporter he was, feckers, good player, but never a great player, but did score some nice goals

big packy
April 7, 2020 8:20 am

JNP, yes ive heard him, you would think he was a bluenose??

April 7, 2020 8:50 am

B.P. 8.20.
He is.!!!

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 8:52 am

All players are lucky if ever having the opportunity to wear the hoops.

Some players not only wear the hoops but also grace the hoops and continue to respect the hoops and the name Celtic.

Craig Beattie wore the hoops. That’s about as kind as I can be to the guy. He’d be so far down my list of respected players I’d need my racing binoculars to see his name.

April 7, 2020 8:52 am

Anyway. B.P.
How are you and Joan?
Are you coping at this difficult time?
Remember, if she moans at you, tell her it could be worse, she could be stuck in a house with McCaff. ???

April 7, 2020 8:55 am

Twists 8.52
Succinctly put.
Great analogy, about binoculars.

big packy
April 7, 2020 9:25 am

JNP, we are ok, thanks for asking, more importantly how are you keeping? as for mcaff, id rather spend a week with toothache??

big packy
April 7, 2020 9:29 am

TWISTY, nice to see you on ? I trust im still top of the leaderboard??

April 7, 2020 9:36 am

B.P. 9.25.
?? McCaff will be gunning for us. ?
Yes, we are all fine here.
Trying to stay as safe as can be.
Did anything come out of your driver job?

April 7, 2020 9:38 am


Beattie was tailor made for Celtic. How else could Not The View fill it’s They Embarrassed The Hoops feature?

52 career goals as a striker? In about fifteen years?

Roy Aitken scored more for us in the same length of time.

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 9:40 am

Depends what leaderboard you’re referring to?

Drum Lessons – yes
Horse naps – yer doing ok, for a pit pony, but there are 3 thoroughbreds in front of you.

If I was a betting man, ( oh wait, I am) I’d be giving these odds:

Twists 4/6
JNP 3/1
Bada 9/2
BP 66/1

100/1 the field.

( just to put your chances into perspective, the odds on Rachel Riley phoning me for a dinner date are only 50/1.)

So, your chances are similar to the huns’ chances of winning the league and EL double. If you fancy a bet just gimme a shout. ?

big packy
April 7, 2020 9:41 am

JNP, no my old boss just said are you available if needed, I said yes,, im still only 47, but don’t tell jim ??

big packy
April 7, 2020 9:43 am


Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 9:44 am

( firstly – delighted to see you here, and I’m hoping things can still be resolved, but enough of that for now, it’ll be what it’s gonna be)

Beattie, yeah, one of those rare players that when the team sheet was read out I’d meet the news with a fur fox ache.

His comments as recently as November about ‘Celtic’s bottle’ just added to my view of him.

April 7, 2020 9:45 am

Packy, if you’re 47 that makes me 46!

big packy
April 7, 2020 9:47 am

JIM you should be thanking me your only 46, 47 in october?

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 10:29 am

Jim /Packy

Let’s get your real ages once and for all. Complete this test. I’m 61. Says my real age is……. ( Packy – gimme a drum roll)……….26

No kidding by the way

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 10:35 am

That test is a load a rafael!

I just put in all the “ wrong answers” and got an age of 18! ?

A thing of beauty
April 7, 2020 10:37 am

I’d be hard pushed to remember a worse striker to wear the hoops. To then rub our faces in it after a gift of a penalty by wheeling around hampden was sickening. Furthermore as JNP states his penchant for sticking the boot into the hoops on a regular basis on the radio puts the tin lid on it. Not worthy of a mention as a celtic player.

April 7, 2020 10:44 am

Twisty, My real age? 27 – A Big Kid! btw, I answered honestly.

April 7, 2020 10:57 am

This is an excellent story on many levels of two women who have made an outstanding contribution to women’s football in Scotland.

I was there from 1999 when my lass signed for a quarter pounder and cheese at the McDonalds in Maryhill and well remember the enthusiasm both had to build a winning team, but never foresaw just how far they would take it.

Big Audio Dynamite
April 7, 2020 11:11 am

Football’s greatest teams – Celtic 🙂

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 11:13 am

Packy disappeared. Must’ve got an age of 92?

April 7, 2020 11:19 am

Twisty, LOL. He certainly talks like one! 🙂 A bit like the Queen.

April 7, 2020 11:24 am

Thought I would give shopping on line at ASDA a go. 4 out of 6 items out of stock. I gave up. Might as well head off to the Co-op. Gives me a run. Besides I want to pop into the hardware shop and buy a dutch hoe. Do a wee bit of work in the garden.

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 11:29 am

A Dutch hoe?? ?

There’s a joke in there but I’ll leave it ?

April 7, 2020 11:33 am

Twisty you have some imagination! 🙂

Bada Bing
April 7, 2020 12:01 pm

Lawwell’s finest hour,getting £1.25 million for Craig Beattie.

April 7, 2020 12:12 pm

Yer not wrong there ??

Big Audio Dynamite
April 7, 2020 12:31 pm
Big Audio Dynamite
April 7, 2020 12:35 pm
April 7, 2020 12:41 pm

A very Good Afternoon to all of my esteemed SC friends….
in light of the re-found happiness and friendship on the site last night I find myself disappointed to pop in today only to find a couple of posters having a bit of a laugh at me behind my back. I’m extremely disappointed and will not be renewing my membership. You know who you are!

April 7, 2020 12:42 pm

Mahe and BWCUWP
Please arrange a refund of my accrued fees to my account at your earliest convenience.

April 7, 2020 12:44 pm

How are you today Jim? With Mike In TVLawyerland currently displaying serious Lockdown issues we need to be careful about sexual references….can you rename the Dutch Hoe please? 🙂 🙂 🙂

April 7, 2020 12:52 pm

I did the age test with honest answers….real age 54…..test age 21! I’m having that, now does anyone know where a 21 yr old could get his hands on a Dutch Hoe 😉 🙂 🙂 🙂

April 7, 2020 12:55 pm

Big Jim Packy
How are you today, my Drum-Teaching Nonagenarian – look it up but you can blame Twists and JtT – I’m only delivering the message. 🙂

April 7, 2020 1:03 pm

As a boy Beattie offered a bit more than he ever delivered. To be fair to him I didn’t mind him but he never really progressed. In saying that some of the goals he scored were sublime, the video is an Agent’s Marketing Dream…there’s a huge variety of goals in it, individual, a real turn of speed, finding space in the box, getting lucky, rockets from outside the box! Considering he scored so few career goals there’s some beauts in there.

big packy
April 7, 2020 1:12 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and mcaff, would I talk behind your back you bet I would?? twisty, real ages I was born on the 5th of February 1953, 6 months after jim?

April 7, 2020 1:16 pm

Big Jim Packy
1935, jeez your aulder than St Augustine’s Chapel!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Twists n Turns
April 7, 2020 1:16 pm

You’d be advised to wait until Jim has tried his Dutch hoe to assess performance.


BTW you can order online but be careful. My , err , ahem friend bought one based on a picture in the catalogue but the one that arrived bore no resemblance to the photo. Apparently ( he told me) it was as rough as fff and had definitely been used.

Trying to return it can prove very expensive. ( he said?)

Jist sayin’

April 7, 2020 1:22 pm

I’m indebted to you for passing on that advice. Please pass on my thanks to your eh…..friend!! 😉

The Gombeen Man
April 7, 2020 1:28 pm

Craig Beattie? Don’t think he’ll be remembered with much enthusiasm by most supporters but Mahe paints a balanced picture of a peripheral Celt.
Can’t say I know much about his media expoits but the word balanced doesn’t feature much in the Scottish coverage.

What players haven’t been covered in this series?

Emilio Izaguirre?

Pedro made a few bob there…

Emilio signed on 1/8/2010 for £657k.
Sold on 25/7/17 to Al-Feiha for £1.26m
Re-signed on 10/8/18 on a Free.

A controversial resigning and I don’t know if he was welcomed too enthusiastically by the coach or support?

Stan Petrov? Can’t recall if Stan has been profiled either.

Gorgeous Spring day here in the Free 26 Counties.


April 7, 2020 1:30 pm

Afternoon all
big packy born on 5th february, shares his birthday with Ronaldo, Neymar,
The 5th of February is also “National Shower with a friend Day” If i was JTT i’d be in hiding from the end of January.
…just saying like

April 7, 2020 1:42 pm

I liked that piece Mahe, somehow I don’t remember much of Craig Beattie, but as McCaff says that clip is an agents dream, some cracking goals

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