David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.28 – Frank McGarvey

When Frank McGarvey left us in the early hours of 2023, he left memories of a great Celt and a really rather remarkable character.

He won three League Championships for Celtic, two Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup, and then he went to St Mirren and won another Scottish Cup medal with them. Indeed he had two spells with St Mirren, and played oftener for them than he did for Celtic. He was also capped seven times for Scotland.

1979 International Friendly Scotland v Argentina. Frank McGarvey and Diego Maradona at Hampden

He had gone to Liverpool in 1979 after leaving St Mirren, but that never worked out and Celtic brought him back in 1980. He could hardly be blamed for losing the Scottish League in 1980, but he did won a Scottish Cup medal in the “riot” Cup final of 1980.

He played a consistent part in winning the Scottish League in 1981 and 1982, his best game by far being the game against his old club St Mirren in March 1981 when he scored a hat-trick with devastating football.

His most famous goal was the header from an Aitken cross in the 1985 Scottish Cup final, but it was a bitter sweet moment for Frank, because he had only been offered a one year contract for next year when he felt he was entitled to more. So he left the club and finished his playing career back at St Mirren.

Frank Mcgarvey, celebrates after scoring the winner in the 1985 Scottish Cup Final, 16 May 1985. Photo Mary Evans Allstar

In later years, he admitted to a gambling addiction and his book “Totally Frank” is well worth a read on that subject. A month or two before his death he appeared at Parkhead to be greeted by the fans who still adored him.

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.

1 Comment

  1. Was at that game when he scored a hat trick. Walked it from Carntyne in a downpour, in the Jungle, soaked.
    Always worth it to be there but Frank was brilliant that day.
    Liverpool knew exactly who he was.