Dumbarton Rock-Tom McAdam
Tom McAdam made his name as a striker with Dumbarton and Dundee Utd and signed for Celtic for £60,000 in Sept 1977.
Tom had been a boyhood Rangers fan, but had no hesitation in signing for Celtic when the chance arose.
He is quoted as saying ,”Wee Jim was doing his head in, he didn’t hate Jim McLean at all, he was a great manager, there is no argument. But he was doing my nerves in”.
Jim called Tom in and told him Celtic were interested, Tom said he couldn’t get to Glasgow quick enough to speak to Mr Stein, who picked him up at Queen St.
Jim told Tom that he wouldn’t be getting any money from United when you go, so Tom gave up his percentage of the fee to sign for Celtic.
By the time Tom signed for Celtic, he had already scored 7 times against us, so the fans knew him well!
At the start of his Celtic career, Tom scored a respectable 25 goals between Sept 1977 and Dec 1978. Then at the start of ’79 winter struck hard-no under soil heating in those days-and by the time football resumed, Billy McNeill had decided to play George McCluskey ahead of Tom.
Then, as so often happens, in players careers, fate intervened. With 4 games left of the 78/79 season, Celtic had a defensive crisis, so Big Billy experimented by playing Tom at central half, partly because his options were so limited, with all the injuries.
Celtic won their last 4 fixtures of the season and won the league in their last game, defeating Rangers 4.2, in the famous, 10 men won the league game, with Tom playing his part in defence.
I love an article that allows me to give that game a mention, for those of us lucky enough to witness it, what an incredible evening it was, never to be forgotten.
Tom’s place at the back was cemented and he would play there for the rest of his career.
An interesting/incredible stat is that Tom was Celtic ‘s top league scorer in that season 1978/79 with 7, yes seven, goals.
The following season Tom had an impressive season as sweeper, mainly playing behind Roddy McDonald, but had the misfortune to miss the Scottish Cup final victory in 1980 against Rangers, through suspension. In those days league bookings, if you broke through the threshold, could mean you could be suspended for cup ties and Tom had been booked a full 14 days earlier against Partick, in a decision that bitterly disappointed him, meaning he missed the final. Hmmmm.
Tom developed a good partnership with Roy Aitken, the next season, and played his part as Celtic won the league in 1981 and 1982.
It was during this period that Tom would play against his brother Colin, with Tom coming out on top, the majority of the time.
Tom had a wonderful scoring record against Rangers scoring 7 times , in 7 different games, against them, between Nov 77 and May 83.
I’m sure he enjoyed mentioning that to his brother, every now and then.
Tom gives great credit to his brother Colin and is on record as saying it was Colin who got him into professional football.
Colin had been playing with Dumbarton in 1970 and said to them, why don’t you go and look at my wee brother, he scores lots of goals. A scout went to watch Tom the following week and saw Tom score 8 for Weir’s Pumps in a 12.1 victory.
Tom was signed on the spot at aged 15.
Funnily enough Colin went the opposite way of Tom, in that he started as a centre half and ended up as a striker.
In 1985 Tom was still our centre half and played his part in Celtic ‘s 2.1 victory over Dundee United in the 100th Scottish Cup final.
In season 1985/86 Tom finally lost his place in the team, mainly to Derek Whyte as David Hay looked to youth, and in Feb 1986, after nearly 9 years with Celtic, he was given a free transfer.
Tom made 354 appearances and scored 48 goals, winning 3 League titles and 1 Scottish and 1 League Cup winners medals.
Tom was never capped for Scotland, but he did play at a time when Scotland, actually did have outstanding defenders.
He returned to Parkhead in 1993 when he became a coach. He once again, stepped up to the mark to assist Frank Connor, when Frank briefly became interim manager, between the departure of Liam Brady and the arrival of Lou Macari.
They were unbeaten in that time and perhaps, with hindsight,Celtic should have left them in charge!!
Tom is fondly remembered by the majority of the Celtic support, he was modest and unassuming, but could always be counted upon when Celtic needed him.
As ever, many thanks to The Wonderful Celtic Wiki.
Above article by JIMMYNOTPAUL. As always we are on the lookout for your opinions. for Article of the Day. Mail MAHE