David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.9 – Stiliyan Petrov

“Stan” is a regular pundit on television these days, and is as much loved by Celtic fans now as he was when he played for them in those momentous years when Martin O’Neill was Manager.

He had actually joined Celtic from Bulgaria as early as 1999, and indeed he won a League Cup medal in 2000 but it was only under O’Neill that he really flourished as a midfield player with loads of power, thrust and will to win.

17.09.2003  imago/Ulmer  Team photo Celtic

There were so many good players around that sometimes one forgot about Stan, but he was a marvellous servant to the club winning League titles in 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2006, the Scottish Cup in 2004 and 2005, the Scottish League Cup in 2000 and 2006 and 105 caps for Bulgaria, in spite of a bad ankle break sustained at St Johnstone in 2001.

It was no great secret that he got on with Gordon Strachan in season 2005/06 less well than he had done with Martin O’Neill, and he left in 2006 to rejoin Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa. Like so many Celtic players, he played far better for Celtic than he did for the team that he joined, but in any case, his career was badly disrupted in 2012 when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Happily he recovered, but he never really played football again.

He remains a much loved Celt.

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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