Artur Boruc, the best Celtic keeper in my lifetime

In my lifetime following Celtic (I can remember vividly from the 1987-88 season onwards) I can recall a few decent shot stoppers who have represented us between the sticks. Pat Bonner, Artur Boruc, Craig Gordon, Fraser Forster and Joe Hart are the ones you would label in the ‘exceptional’ section.

1990: Pat Bonner of Ireland with Vatican officials in the Vatican City. Photo: Allsport UK /Allsport
1989: Pat Bonner (centre) of Celtic celebrates with his team mates after the Scottish Cup Final match against Rangers at Hampden.  Celtic won the match 1-0. Photo Allsport UK /Allsport

Bonner was the first keeper I can recall for us and he was decent, but had a major flaw when it came to dealing with cross balls. He of course was sensational for the Republic of Ireland in the major competitions. I just felt he strayed just short of being labelled a top class keeper, he struggled badly with the pass back rule and wouldn’t be able to adapt to football in the present day.

Craig Gordon and Fraser Forster were and still are top class keepers. Both experienced internationals and excellent shot stoppers especially big Fraser, who could forget his heroics against Barcelona?

07.11.2012  Lionel Messi and Fraser Forster in action during the Champions League game between Celtic and Barcelona from Celtic Park.

Presently we have Joe Hart, who is a superb keeper. We are lucky to have him, even if it’s at the tail end of his career.

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart reacts during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig at Celtic Park on October 11, 2022 (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The best out of the lot in my opinion is undoubtedly big Artur, the holy goalie. What a signing he proved to be by Gordon Strachan in 2005. He was world class, there was a period during his time at Celtic when he was one of the top goalkeepers in Europe.

He had the presence, he had character, he was a leader and most importantly he was a supreme shot stopper. His critics will mention his blunders, but what top class keeper doesn’t have a blunder or two in them?

He helped us win honours and produced big moments on the biggest stage of all in the champions league. His penalty save against Spartak Moscow in 2007 was legendary as was his Penalty save the previous year in the group stage against Man United on a memorable night. That stop from Louis Saha was just as important as Naka’s stunning free kick, the roar that greeted that save was as loud or even louder than Naka’s goal.

Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc saves a penalty from Manchester United’s Louis Saha after Celtic’s Shaun Maloney handled the ball during their UEFA Champions League group F football match at Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 21 November 2006. Celtic won the game 1-0. AFP PHOTO/ PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Artur would go on to have a great career away from Celtic, and is always fondly remembered by the supporters, he was a one off. Here’s to you Artur Boruc, the best Celtic goalkeeper in my lifetime.

JustAnOrdinaryBhoy – follow on Twitter @ordinarybhoy

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

1 Comment

  1. Jim O'Rourke on

    I liked boruc but I think he stayed too long too and didn’t look as fit as he should have been.
    Of that list of goalies i would have them in this order.
    1 Gordon
    2 hart
    3 boruc
    4 Forster
    5 Bonnar
    Only because I prefer my goalie to be steady and less flamboyant
    I saw bonnars entire career and genuinely thought Aberdeen, Dundee utd, hibs and partick thistle (both Alan rough) had far better goalies than us and was a big reason for less trophies than we should have had and no success in Europe.