David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.76 – Murdo MacLeod

Murdo MacLeod was one of Billy McNeill’s best ever signings. He was bought from Dumbarton in October 1978 to join a fairly chaotic topsy-turvey, inconsistent sort of team, but with MacLeod on board, Celtic lifted the League title with Murdo scoring the fourth goal, subsequently claiming unconvincingly that he was merely aiming to blast the ball into the Celtic End and waste time!

It would be the first of four League titles, and he also won two Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup.

Celtic’s Murdo MacLeod (r) celebrates his goal with teammate George McCluskey (l)

He was a midfielder and very much the driving force in the team of the early 1980s. He seldom had a bad game, and was famous for his cannonball shots and ability to take free kick. Nicknamed “Rhino” for his ferocious, determined style of play, he remained popular with the fans, even when he decided to leave Celtic.

Unlike others who were sneaky and dishonest, Murdo said quite openly that he wanted to move on which he did in 1987 to Borussia Dortmund. He returned to Scotland to play for Hibs with whom he won a League Cup medal in 1991, and many Celtic supporters felt that the club could have done worse than go for him as well. He played 20 times for Scotland.

30/10/82 PREMIER DIVISION CELTIC V RANGERS (3-2) CELTIC PARK – Murdo MacLeod knocks the ball past Rangers goalkeeper Jim Stewart and into the path of Paul McStay who scores for Celtic.

As a coach and Assistant Manager to Wim Jansen, he played an important part in winning the 1997/98 League Championship.

David Potter

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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