A Gift From God – A 57th Birthday Tribute to Lubo Moravcik

Today marks the birthday of one of Celtic’s modern greats – Lubomir Moravcik. Lubo was one of the finest and most gifted players to grace the field at Celtic Park and could arguably be included in a best ever XI. Turning 57 today, he was born on 22 June 1965 in the then Czechoslovakia.

9 Nov 2000: Lubo Moravcik of Celtic shoots past David Sommeil of Bordeaux to score during the UEFA Cup Second Round, Second Leg match between Celtic and Bordeaux played at Parkhead. Photo: Mark Thompson/ALLSPORT

Our ‘Gift from God’ enraptured the Celtic supporters since the day he arrived at Parkhead back in 1998. Signed by Dr. Jo Vengolos, Moravcik arrived to much derision and disrespect by the Scottish mainstream media; the words of a particularly pot-stirring hack springs to mind: “I don’t know what I find more laughable – the fact that Celtic cannot find £500,000 from their biscuit tin to sign a proven talent like John Spencer, or the fact that they then spent £300,000 on one of Dr Jo’s old pals, the unknown Lubomir Moravcik.” Scandalous when you look at the impact the little Slovakian had in Scottish football.

But when it comes to Celtic, it was always thus.

The graceful playmaker dazzled us all throughout the mere four seasons we were lucky enough to witness his two-footed genius. It would be fair to say he didn’t harm his chances of instant adulation of messianic proportions when he helped down our fierce Glasgow rivals 5-1. Lubo was magnificent that night – scoring two goals and linking up sensationally with our other superstar, Henrik Larsson… halcyon days indeed.

There were many more moments of Lubo magic across the players stay in the SPL with Celtic. Trapping the ball with his backside, countless volleys and freekicks. But then again, it would be remiss to say he didn’t shine in Europe also. A particular match against Italian giants Juventus at Celtic Park was an obvious highlight. Del Piero and his cohorts looked dismayed that night and must have been wondering who the heck this wee guy was.

At 33, we only managed to get this wonderful footballer for a few years whilst he was in his twilight. A tiny sum of money spent for a special talent who has cemented his name in Celtic Football Club’s folklore and will be appreciated alongside the greats until the end of time.

Thank you, Lubo.

And Happy Birthday from everyone at The Celtic Star.

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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