‘A beautiful, magical night,’ for Preston NE as they sign Scotty Sinclair from Celtic

SCOTTY SINCLAIR last night left Celtic to join Preston NE on a two-and-a-half year contract, having won all ten domestic competitions he competed in during his time in Scotland. Scotty won the Scottish PFA Player Award in his first season in Scotland and his arrival propelled Celtic towards an incredible Invincible season and of course winning the first of three Trebles. Overall Sinclair made 167 appearances for Celtic and scored 62 goals – an incredible return from a winger.

From his first goal at Tynecastle, coming off the bench on the day after he signed to score the winner to his last strike, against Partick Thistle in this season’s League Cup, Sinclair was always delighted to find the back of the net for the Hoops and enjoyed an extra-special relationship with the Celtic Support, who honoured him with the most wonderful, magical chant ever heard at a football ground.

This season he has been on the sidelines at Celtic after the club extended his contract in the summer by activating a year extension clause in the hope of recouping some of the transfer fee paid to Aston Villa. There was no summer sale though and it’s widely believed that Sinclair wasn’t featuring due to the heavy salary the club was carrying – believed to have been in the region of £40k per week.

That money is now saved but it seems unlikely that Preston have paid any transfer fee for the former Celtic Player of the Year.

Speaking to the official Preston NE website Scotty Sinclair was clearly delighted at the move that will see him back playing again.

“I am so delighted to get the deal done. I have been waiting to finally get down here to sign and I can’t wait to get started and to finally meet the lads.

“I spoke to the manager before I came and he spoke about training, about the tactics and I like where the club is heading – he persuaded me to come and I am so happy.

“I have had a fantastic three-and-half-years with Celtic, we did the treble-treble, I got the PFA player of the year, scored goals and was top goalscorer, but now it is a new chapter for me. I am coming here to improve and to help the team push for promotion.”

The Preston manager Alex Neil was also delighted at the deal going through last night.

“I am delighted. The season until this point has been good, in terms of getting us into that top six contention, but we have needed to strengthen and add a little bit of knowhow and experience in certain areas.

“Scott is someone we have been interested in, and we have coveted before, and now that we have got him across the line, I am hoping that he will add that bit of quality and experience that we need.”

Scotty Sinclair is a player who likes to hit the ground running so don’t be surprised if he scores and probably grabs the winner for Preston on his debut.

Thanks for the goals, and the memories Scotty. It was wonderful, beautiful and magical and the best of luck at Preston!

Celtic confirmed the deal last night, saying “We have reached an agreement for the permanent transfer of Scott Sinclair to Preston NE. All the best, Scotty Sinclair and thank you for your wonderful service.”

“It’s been beautiful, magical! Thanks for the memories and best of luck at Preston NE”…

Neil Lennon, speaking in Dubai yesterday as reported on The Celtic Star, had this to say about Scotty Sinclair…

“His time was limited here in the first half of the season and at his age he wants to play regular football, which we could not guarantee.

“But he’s left a great legacy. Scotty was Player of the Year, he was a treble Treble winner and he played a huge part in that.

“We tried to treat him with as much respect as we could because he did not give me one day’s problem.

“I think the fans would hold him in high regard.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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