Memory Lane – Harald

“ Stopping Rangers doing ten in a row and winning the title on the same day is probably never going to happen again. It was the most memorable day of my career. “ Harald

“If he had tucked them away then I think he would still be here and be a great hero because he is a really, really good player.” Henke


Im less than enthusiastic about following the daily internal bickering of those who aren’t doing a very good job at all within the domestic setup, plus with the big international head honcho’s having a meeting today to thrash out the date of their next meeting more or less, theres not much to report on anyhow. Sport will be waiting on medical advice, who are thinking of a lot more serious things than sport, to take their lead.
Im of the opinion this will take a while and we ain’t seeing footie until late summer.
Plenty of time then to ramble down memory lane.


When choosing the candidates for this series, as its becoming now, one usually has a good grasp on the general feeling regarding the subject ( one blip aside ) and how such a man might be regarded a little later down the line. Of course a popular figure will more likely draw more response, no doubt some seeing a few extra paragraphs as a reward for all the hard work in the Hoops. And it is by the way.
Todays figure I dont think will be judged unpopular or not a nice guy by anyone,, but with regards to his ability and rating him as a player its probably the first time I am truly stumped what kind of legacy he left. If anything I consider him overrated but it honestly wouldn’t be surprised to read the opposite in many comments.


I recall hearing the tale big Wim wanted a striker and approached the board to talk turkey only to be informed they already had someone for him. In the board’s defence if that yarn holds some truth you can see why they would have been seduced by the highlight reel and felt they were onto something. Their opinion on the player that emerged would be interesting.
2.3 million isnt the biggest fee but its far from the smallest either. He actually scored in a Rosenborg win over Real Madrid before hopping on the plane from Norway to sign up, just to heap a little more expectation on those shoulders. To come in half way through a must win, absolutely must win, season is hard enough for anyone Im sure you would agree.


He was brought in to play alongside Henke, and only later would many know just how fortunate you truly were in that case. A pure team player he was unselfish to a fault, and on paper this either could or should have went on to become a dream pairing. The workhorse with the vision and pass to match feeding the edge of the shoulder whippet to tear away with Olympic quality pace and half scare the goalie to death.
That happened often enough, but not with the preferred result, or perhaps it just felt that way. Yet our ex striking legend claims he was one of the best he played with, and he’s a man I take at his word, thus the enigma around Harald just deepens.


That first season, well half season, he played 21 times scoring 10.
To many eyes a one in two ratio for a striker is satisfactory but those facts don’t really tell the whole story . My father was firmly ensconced in the Jock every home game giving me the lowdown, raised eyebrows and a soft shake of the head with how many chances he had blown.
So when I hear he bagged all four against Killie and Im looking forward to giving out a bit of a ribbing only to be told ‘Scored four and missed four’ !
Without that four those stats wouldn’t be easy to pass off as fine, especially as Henriks partner.


There’s one more obvious reason why he seems to have gotten pass marks for that year. He scored the clincher that stopped their ten which will always be his claim to fame. But even at that the keeper still gets a hand to it despite being clean through with the entire goal at his mercy, and not many in that crowd would have stuck the mortgage on him burying it.
One of the first things old Martin Tyler says when the ball hits the net is he’s been much maligned this season. Hardly the fans fault.
Still, many will probably be thinking of that goal when looking back at his spell with us, and probably see the fee as entirely worth it to stop them. It was to me.


I must hold my hands up and state Im not the biggest fan of his style of striker for a few reasons. I’ve rarely if ever seen a player that had both the explosive pace and a great finish, so Harald is far from the exception, and I just dont think we are the club to carry that player.
The pitches up north tend to be on the not so great side which means ruts and divots galore, hardly conducive to the through and one touch finish.
Then we have the linesmen who we later found out couldn’t keep up with a less pacey Robbie Keane, although I was working my socks off at the time and not sure if this was much of an issue for Harald then.
And then there’s the misses.
When clean through a goal is expected and every miss is amplified more than normal plus it really gives the opposition and its fans some hope, and a jeers target.
You’ll recall Gordon attempted this experiment and abandoned it after half a season in the shape of Kenny Miller who on his last appearance was put through 7 times in a row and failed to score with any. That cost Gordon his clipboard and Kenny his Celtic career.
Many managers just won’t tolerate a striker taking consistently more than two chances to score and will forgo pace if it means a higher chance to goal ratio.
Harald, its fair to say, wouldn’t be every manager’s cup of tea and I could never see him working out for Martin O’Neill for instance. The fact he was jettisoned immediately suggests our ex gaffer felt the same.


So our bhoy entered his second season in fairly neutral territory, not wrote off yet, and a new management team arrives after Wim decides that board aint for me.
The travelled and respected by many Dr. Jo and company gave him 34 appearances during that season, a fair crack of the whip Im sure you would agree. They were repaid with a scant 8 goals which is in no way shape or form good enough for a leader of the line at the domestic Champions. In addition to this the fans soon had a new favourite son up top with a completely different style who had waltzed in and gelled with the dreadlocked one much better than Harald had. He had stolen the show at Ibrox and was clearly now a favourite of the boss, fans, and squad.
Lubo was the writing on the wall for Mr Brattback.


In one very unusual job switch the man himself now flies as a commercial pilot out of Trondheim, imagine hearing ‘This is Captain Brattback speaking !’.
He has spoken very very warmly of his time among us and was infact the record scorer in the Norweigan league until recently with a very respectable 166 total goals in three separate spells with what seems his true love, Rosenborg.
But every rose has its thorn and he just had to come back and bite us on the bum twice when our sides met in 2001, which again just adds to the mystique considering that was a formidable Martin team then.


I guess its fair to say we got a good deal out of him overall with a crucial priceless goal, a medium fee and a small fee recouped. Nothing ventured, nothing gained rings true on this occasion.
The fact he really only found his scoring boots whilst at home, still works and resides there today, tell’s me he’s just not made for travel and truly home is where the heart is in this case.
There’s many a man of the same persuasion out there and I wouldn’t be too quick to judge as it takes every type of person to make the world go round as the old song says.
He pulled on that shirt and lived the dream, and well he knows it, leaves us with a league winners medal that money couldn’t buy. I cant rate him near the top of the best strikers list but he certainly wouldn’t be at the bottom, and he does have the endorsement of a true legend to frame on the wall alongside that precious medal.
Harald my bhoy, thanks for the memories.


The above is by Mahe. Composing an article for ‘that sports blog’ is actually a valid waste of time in these circumstances and may actually make you seem sophisticated. Or just get you out of their way for a while. Help us help you.

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April 23, 2020 5:05 am


I liked Harald. He drove me bloody nuts,mind,but for me he was a confidence striker. And when you’re bursting through at pace the way he was,well,maybe there’s just too much time to think about things.

Like the last time you did this-and missed!

If he had been a Jimmy Greaves type of striker,the type who does his work with just the one touch at the end of a move,then the thinking time wouldn’t have been a problem. But when he was with Rosenborg-and particularly against the bigger European sides-he was playing for a team who played on the break. That was his strength.

Celtic don’t play on the break very often. Certainly not domestically. Sadly,we were the wrong team for him and he was the wrong player for us. It can happen to the very best,the history of the game is riddled with players who just couldn’t fit at certain clubs but were nevertheless outstanding elsewhere.

It’s a pity it didn’t work out for him at Celtic. I was delighted when he joined. I’d have loved him to have been a success.

Puff puff
April 23, 2020 5:59 am

Great work mahe so many memories .

Puff puff
April 23, 2020 5:59 am
Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 6:07 am

Morning Mick
Morning all

Mick, ya got e mail .

Good read Mahe. Harald was one of those players who divided opinion. I liked the guy and wanted him to succeed. Love him or not, ‘ that’ goal determines most fans will always have a place in their hearts for him.

April 23, 2020 6:42 am


One of those rare occasions where the cover becomes the definitive version. The first time I heard this,the presenter announced it before playing it. I’m like,aw bloody hell. This will be hell. Never a huge fan of Johnny Cash,and I’d always liked the original.

Well,wrong again!!!

April 23, 2020 6:43 am


Replied,mate. I think every Celtic fan wanted him to succeed. Just some of us had more patience than others!!!

big packy
April 23, 2020 8:07 am

MORNING ALL, ah, harald, how many times was he clean through and missed, but that goal against st johnsone will always be remembered, harald your immortal son? thanks mahe,?

big packy
April 23, 2020 8:15 am

TWISTY, nice to see you back?

April 23, 2020 8:18 am

Morning peeps

Hope everyone is in Goood spirits.

I had the same feeling for Pukki as I did Harald.
Desperately wanted them to show the promise they had more often.

Anyhoo, Dugs tae walk.
I’ll read the article in full when I come back and do the breakfasts. ????⚽

April 23, 2020 8:26 am

Morning Bhoys and Ghirls
Mahe, a pretty fair summary of Harald, but, but, I was there on that momentous day having travelled over from Germany,
and he will always have a special place in my memory of Celtic Football Club. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Harald.

Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 8:28 am


Think I’ve turned a corner. Nice leisurely walk later this morning to get me moving again.

Been lovely weather here but a bit cloudy this morning. Hope it clears up.

big packy
April 23, 2020 8:36 am

TWISTY, a bit cloudy here too, but the dugs wont care? enjoy your walk

April 23, 2020 8:39 am

Morning all and Packy.
Mahe’s article on Harald says it all.

big packy
April 23, 2020 8:57 am

MORNING JIM, yes that goal that won the league for us, was so so important ? what you doing today

April 23, 2020 9:14 am

No plans Packy, I’ll just go with the flow!

big packy
April 23, 2020 9:19 am

JIM, ii take the dugs oot at 10-30 for my hours exercise, but wont get back till 12, just to annoy mr stopwatch across the road??

April 23, 2020 9:34 am

“Social restrictions to remain for the rest of the year”

They will need to come up with a plan for the pubs. Use screen dividers. Everyone given some PPE. Only allowed in the pub once a week, alphabetically by surname. One at a time in the toilets. A nominated person (me) to use free juke box.
Some such like.

big packy
April 23, 2020 9:44 am

don’t think we will be going tae watch the fitba anytime soon

Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 9:47 am

Spare a thought for Packy and Mick having to celebrate St George’s day on their own today. No street party as usual. ???????

big packy
April 23, 2020 9:49 am


April 23, 2020 9:56 am

The tradition tells that a fierce dragon was causing panic at the city of Silene, Libya, at the time Saint George arrived there. In order to prevent the dragon from devastating people from the city, they gave two sheep each day to the dragon, but when the sheep were not enough they were forced to sacrifice humans instead of the two sheep. The human to be sacrificed was elected by the city’s own people and that time the king’s daughter was chosen to be sacrificed but no one was willing to take her place. Saint George saved the girl by slaying the dragon with a lance. The king was so grateful that he offered him treasures as a reward for saving his daughter’s life, but Saint George refused it and instead he gave these to the poor. The people of the city were so amazed at what they had witnessed that they became Christians and were all baptized.[28]
Another true story Packy told me.

Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 10:04 am

A tramp knocked on the door of the inn known as St. George and the Dragon. The landlady answered the door.
The tramp said, “Could you give a poor man something to eat?”
“No,” said the woman, slamming the door in his face.
He knocked again and said, “Could I have a few words with George please?”


April 23, 2020 10:05 am

Good morning all!

Great read Mahe!

Harald was good, maybe needed another season… familiar pattern with Pukki, Rasmussen… good decent players that could’ve been great but you are not afforded the luxury of time if you don’t hit the ground running in Scotland…

Almost spat out my tea this morning reading about potential of Lewis Ferguson to Celtic from Aberdeen?!? Gies a break!!! We are a football club not a thug mob… seriously the Scottish media need to actually attend a course on real journalism… not coming anytime soon!

Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 10:08 am


We would sign King Billy himself if there was a shekel to be had on a future transfer.

Twists n Turns
April 23, 2020 10:10 am

Time to get the shorts on and head off for a nice walk. Sun now shining brightly.

April 23, 2020 10:14 am

Twisty 10.04, LOL Brilliant! 🙂

April 23, 2020 10:27 am

A scandal has broken out in my quintessential English village….

The local hairdresser has been arrested for drug dealing

He’s been given 8 years jail sentence

I’ve been going to him for years

Can’t believe he was a hairdresser!!!

April 23, 2020 10:32 am

Harvey, LOL very good! 🙂

April 23, 2020 10:42 am

Packy, great drama on Radio 4 extra – The Tin Drum. You would love it. It’s being repeated at 3pm.
The wee drummer is played by Phil Daniels. He was the cockney voice on ‘Parklife’ (Blur)

Different Class
April 23, 2020 12:07 pm

Just seen seen the I wanna be Edouard Zula sketch so funny hope someone sticks up on here to give everyone a laugh.

April 23, 2020 12:46 pm

Twists @ 10.04,

There was a pub on Buchanan Street (might still be there?) called the Pig & Whistle.

One of my mates went in one night and said to the barmaid “Ok, I’ve seen the Pig where’s the whistle?”


Awe Naw
April 23, 2020 12:52 pm

I want to make my personal position clear here I WANT CELTIC FC TO BE AWARDED THE 2020 TITLE WITHOUT PLAYING ANY MORE GAMES

If that happens and I believe it will then it will be the best title we have ever won.

I am 100% with Frankie Boyle ” It’s almost worth it to see Celtic handed a 9th title in a row in the bitterest possible circumstances”

Every time somebody disputes it I know already that it will send me into hysterics.

I can´t wait for it. I honestly have never been more excited about a title win.

Is Sevco deid yet ?

Bada Bing
April 23, 2020 1:21 pm

CT- I drank in there from first week it opened, till the last, great pub.

April 23, 2020 1:33 pm

bada bing1 @ 1.21,

Only drank in it a couple of times, that story is the only thing I can remember!


Bada Bing
April 23, 2020 1:34 pm
April 23, 2020 1:57 pm

Watching season 2 of Sunderland till i die.
What stands out most is the meaning the club has for what’s left of a proud working class community.
The shot’s of the crowd where they kick every ball and make strong tackles are a window to the emotions that fans/communities feel for their club.
Is it realistic in this modern football financial environment?
The behind the scenes financials show how difficult it is to strike a balance.
Will fans return to accepting pride in their club over success be it on the field or financially?
Has Sunderland’s downfall helped them rediscover their soul?
Will we ever see anything like this that bound communities together in the aftermath of this pandemic?
As work becomes scarcer and probably more remote will these great industrial communities ever be seen again?
If football can return to its parochial and passionate roots will it be a uniter of people or will authority discourage such?
Part’s of the magnificent Celtic support that followed through trophyless decades have now succumbed to the financial machination’s of our PLC and boast of the balance sheet.
Our cause has been sequestered for financial gain.
Going forward will our fans be united in the direction our club takes.
If we get the invite to the new football Nirvanna will we be happy as fans?
Would we be happy not being top of the food chin?
I would love to see the the defiance against huge odds return and the spirit of 67 and the Lions be reborn.
And the PLC take a more ethical stance in the likeness of Brother Walfrid.

Bada Bing
April 23, 2020 2:40 pm

Sevco donate (probably from a sponsor) 15 iPads to NHS,…….that and 2 tubs of hand sanitizer (which was from a sponsor)……totally embarrassing

big packy
April 23, 2020 2:45 pm

FAN great post, would love to see it happening, imagine fans travelling together with players to parkhead ,like they did once upon a time?we can but dream.

April 23, 2020 2:56 pm

a top article today! Far more comfortable reading about Harald than Beattie!! 😉 As bmcuwp says some guys just can’t play in certain teams. My view was always that Harald’s blistering pace, remember Mark Burchill too, just doesn’t fit Celtic’s play when we’re camped on the opposition 25 yard line. There’s no space to play for a centre with that speed! Wee Bellamy had it in spades but he had a bit more fitba in him and could link the play as well as finish…sometimes 🙁 !

April 23, 2020 2:56 pm

Morning troops, ,

Sounds like we are Champions then. I wonder when it will be announced

“National Associations and Leagues, should otherwise have the ability to decide the final positions in their domestic competitions, having regard to the specific circumstances of each competition;”

big packy
April 23, 2020 2:57 pm

JIM@9-56, cant remember telling you that story, must have been after that pint of buckfast the other night, must have been a true story though??

April 23, 2020 2:57 pm

a thought provoking view that you should really consider developing into an article!! Great post, mate!!

April 23, 2020 3:02 pm

Big Jim Packy
how was your walk today? Did you gie the wee guy over the road the two fingers on yer way oot or the way in? 😉

April 23, 2020 3:05 pm

Awe Naw
I can take or leave Frankie Boyle, sometimes hilarious but other times just misses the mark completely but I’m with him all the way on this…especially given their behaviour in the last fortnight!!!

April 23, 2020 3:07 pm

How’s things today, Jim?
It must be time to let your Dutch Ho see daylight again surely! That must be two weeks since you locked her in the shed! 🙂

April 23, 2020 3:19 pm

Jim can you recommend any plant food?

big packy
April 23, 2020 3:33 pm

MCAFF, where have YOU been? yes, I burst,the other tyre on his wheelchair, that’s another 800 quid??

April 23, 2020 3:53 pm

Mahe’s article today, Bobby’s article yesterday, real thought provoking Celtic stuff!
Brilliant guys. ? ?
I think at the time we signed Harald, Wim Jansen preferred, Robbie Winters of Dundee Utd, who at that time was a smashing player and would probably have been more suited to our domestic game, but, apparently, Jock Brown advised against signing RW, as he’d heard the Scottish lamestream media were about to trash a member of RW family about a domestic issue. JB was proved correct!
Harald’s goal to stop the tainted ten, a tear flowing moment to be treasured! ??
Get well Twisty! ???
Hail!? Hail!?
Off oot!………..?

Afghan melon - formerly Cplchlc
April 23, 2020 3:59 pm

Harold the great !

Mahe you smacked it out of the park?

What type of plants Mahe house or garden ?