Callum McGregor salutes “quiet but ruthless” James Forrest ahead of testimonial

Callum McGregor has paid tribute to his friend and teammate, James Forrest, as the Celtic winger prepares to celebrate his many years of service to the club in a testimonial match against Athletic Club from Bilbao. Forrest and McGregor came through the youth ranks together and broke into the team not far apart from one another years ago too.

Forrest was first to make the grade under Neil Lennon, who fresh off the back of losing one of our greatest academy talents, Aiden McGeady, needed a new player who the fans could relate to and be that poster-boy winger too in the traditional Celtic mould. Forrest would prove to be the very man, bursting onto the scene after Aiden’s departure and helping us forget all about the Irishman’s exploits in a Celtic jersey.

20th November 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow City, Scotland; Scottish League Cup semi-final, Celtic versus St Johnstone; James Forrest of Celtic celebrates after he opens the scoring in the 73rd minute making it 1-0 to Celtic

He really came into his own under Lennon and even at such a young age, you could see James was destined to be one of the Celtic greats. Arguably overlooked when supporters speak of great players who have donned that famous green and white hoops shirt, Forrest can hold his head high and put his medals tally against the very best; that much is self-evident.

Prone, as all wingers are, to blowing hot and cold over the years, it is still quite something to behold that he has hit a century of goals for the club and provided the same in assists throughout his time in the first-team at Celtic Park. All the more remarkable when you think that some of the great modern Celtic strikers never hit the 100-goal barrier.

15.03.2015. Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland. Scottish League Cup Final. versus Celtic. Goalscorers James Forrest and Kris Commons with the trophy Photo Vagelis Georgariou 

McGregor speaks of his comrade so eloquently in the short snippet that the club’s media team have used to help advertise his upcoming testimonial match against Spanish side Athletic Club Bilbao. The skipper talks of a quiet and reserved man but yet someone who is equally as ruthless out there on the football pitch. I suppose it’s why he has become a Celtic Centurion!

29.12.2015. Celtic training ground, Lennoxtown, Scotland. Scottish Premier League. Celtic prepare for their match against Dundee on 30th December. James Forrest and Tom Rogic. Photo Vagelis Georgariou

Watch and listen to Celtic’s captain give James Forrest a glowing tribute…

Just a reminder:

The match takes place Tuesday 1 August at Celtic Park and kick-off is at 19.30pm

And like a trooper and true gentleman, James has decided to give a portion of the proceeds to charity @KilbrydeHospice and @FoundationCFC.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

Paul Gillespie

Anthony Ralston of Celtic celebrates with teammate James Forrest (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)


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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.

1 Comment

  1. Rabbie Burns on

    Deserves a good turn out as been a loyal and long servant of the club. Can be forgotten a little bit by some as they concentrate on the new heroes like Jota, Abada & Kyogo etc .. but, as Celtic fans we know our football and have long memories, so I hope fans are out in force to show appreciation for his loyalty, which, as we all know too feckin well, is VERY rare in football these days.