Pat McGinlay joined at a nightmare time for the club, but still lived a dream on a personal level…
Pat McGinlay signed for Celtic in July 1993 from Hibs in £525,000 move from Hibs.
Pat’s form over the previous two seasons had impressed Celtic manager Liam Brady who was looking to add an extra dimension to our midfield and take the pressure off John Collins and Paul McStay.
John and Paul were of course two quality players who could pop up with goals now and then, but Pat was more of an industrious player who had a knack of finding the back of the net on a regular basis. It was Brady’s plan to rejuvenate the middle of the park and give us more of a goal threat while leaving the creativity up to likes of Paul McStay and John Collins.
Pat would indeed finished that season as our top scorer with 13 goals. A dream come true for the boyhood Celtic supporter. He also just missed out on a Republic of Ireland call up to the World Cup with Jack Chartlon watching him on several occasions. Pat was Scottish born and bread, but like a lot of players qualified to play for the Republic.
Despite his good form the team were in dire straits on and off the park, with all the turmoil that was going on at the time. It wasn’t a good time to be at the club and Pat like a lot of others was perhaps at the right place at the wrong time. Brady was sacked and replaced by Lou Macari and that didn’t work out well for Celtic, Macari himself or indeed Pat McGinlay, as Macari failed to play him in his correct position and generally made an dogs breakfast out of the job.
Tommy Burns came in and signed Phil O’Donnell for that position with McGinlay making way. Pat’s time at Celtic was up and a deal was done for him to go back to Hibernian just over a year after joining Celtic, with Celtic getting most of their money back.
The fee paid was £420,000, quite a sum for Hibs to be paying out when you think about it. Pat McGinlay didn’t enjoy much team success at Celtic, but on a personal level it would have been pleasing as a Celtic supporter to finish his one and only season in the Hoops as the club’s top scorer.
It was a time of nightmares more generally for Celtic, but still the stuff of dreams for this Partick born Celtic supporter. In difficult times for Celtic Pat McGinlay still lived the dream, watch Pat score twice against Motherwell below – after his first goal, the crowd start to chant ‘Sack The Board’ and there were just 16,500 at the match, Celtic’s lowest crowd of the season up to that point.
Just an Ordinary Bhoy