David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.23 – Pat Crerand

Pat Crerand emerged in the late 1950s as a superb right half with marvellous passing skills, and the clear ability to “take a grip” of a game and turn it round.

He steadily improved throughout the 1960/61 season, and in the 1961 Scottish Cup final replay, he did more than enough to win the game on his own, but was let down by inept finishing. His best season was 1961/62, in which he earned his first of his 16 caps for Scotland, and was looked upon as a truly great player in the 2-0 win over England at Hampden.

But Celtic Park was a frustrating place in 1962 with the team badly led and repeatedly letting itself down by losing games they should have won, and Pat’s annoyance was sometimes obvious.

In the New Year Day game at Ibrox, Pat never got going, fell out publicly with management and never played again for the club that he loved. He went to Manchester United in February 1963 in a transfer that broke the hearts of the fans, but was a success for Crerand. The transfer money was never re-invested.

He remains fond of the club he loved, but what a pity it was that Jock Stein was never given the chance to manage Celtic when Crerand was there! All Pat’s many honours were won with Manchester United, and that hurts.

David Potter

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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