Craig Gordon could face Celtic in Scottish Cup Final after Hearts announce signing

AFTER announcing his departure from Celtic last minute via a classy message posted on his Instagram account, Craig Gordon today has signed a two year contract with Hearts, the club he supported as a boy and where he made his name in the game.

The announcement was made on the official Hearts website:

The Scotland goalkeeper has signed a two-year deal to rejoin the Jambos and will link up with the first team when it returns to training.

The 37-year-old has enjoyed a trophy and accolade-laden career, which began at Hearts when he joined the Academy in 1999.

Following a productive loan spell at Cowdenbeath in 2001, Craig got a taste of first-team action with Hearts in 2002 before going on to establish himself as the club’s no.1 ‘keeper in season 2003/04.

His stock rose season after season thanks to his consistently outstanding performances, which saw him win his first Scotland cap in 2004. To date he has amassed 54 national team appearances and a place in the Scottish FA’s International Roll of Honour.

Craig was part of the legendary 2005/06 team that finished second in the league, earning a shot at Champions League qualification, and lifted the Scottish Cup by beating Gretna, with Craig saving a penalty during the shootout. He was voted the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year, the first Hearts player to win the award since Sandy Jardine in 1988.

At the age of only 24, he was inducted into Hearts’ Hall of Fame in 2007 and was the youngest player to receive such an accolade.

In August 2007, he earned a move to the English Premier League when Sunderland paid £9 million for his services, a then British record transfer fee for a goalkeeper. He made 88 top flight appearances during his time at the Stadium of Light and his stop against Bolton in 2010 was voted Best Save in Premier League history, before he departed the Black Cats in 2012.

A period of coaching followed while Craig completed his rehabilitation from injury and in 2014 he signed for Celtic, where he would go on to win six Premiership titles, five League Cups and three Scottish Cups as well as his place back in the national team, and a second SFWA Player of the Year award.

His contract at Celtic Park expired this summer, allowing Hearts to make a move to bring him home to Tynecastle.

Having left Hearts for a big money transfer, Gordon then enjoyed a miraculous comeback at Celtic winning so many medals and becoming an Invincible. His football story is now going full circle with his return to Hearts to more than likely play in the Championship next season. With him in goals they have a much better chance of winning promotion back to the Premiership.

Having inside knowledge of Celtic’s intentions to re-sign Fraser Forster, Gordon took the decision to return to his boyhood favourites where he’d be guaranteed first team football, rather than warm the Celtic bench on reduced wages for two years. Despite Kris Commons trying to cause controversy around this today, it seems like the correct decision for all parties.

The Celtic Star wishes Craig Gordon all the best for his time at Hearts. He could even end up playing against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final – if Celtic beat Aberdeen in the semi-final and Hearts get the better of Hibs in the other tie. Football has a habit of throwing up these strange scenarios.

Maybe see you at Hampden then Craig!


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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