It is somewhat hard to believe, but today marks Craig Bellamy’s 42nd birthday. Craig was an absolutely stunning talent and his spell at Celtic Park was something that was thoroughly enjoyable to watch, especially because Henrik Larsson had recently departed the club and left a huge void in Celtic’s attack. Bellamy was a renowned player, who joined on loan from Newcastle United in January 2005 and later went on to play for the likes of Liverpool and Man City. He slotted into Celtic’s front line with ease, ripping teams apart with his explosive pace and terrific finishing. Whether alongside Sutton or Hartson, Bellamy rarely failed to make a positive contribution and he found the net on nine occasions in 15 games.
His highlights in Glasgow included scoring an incredible hat-trick against Dundee United and netting a sensational goal against Rangers at Ibrox. His time at the club came to an end in bittersweet circumstances. Indeed, he was part of the team that agonisingly threw the league title away on ‘Black Sunday’, but he did lift the Scottish Cup at Hampden a week later.
Bellamy indicated that he would like to extend his stay at Parkhead, but sadly the club could not afford to sign him. He always maintained a fondness for the Hoops and, in 2006, he told TalkSport: “Celtic Park is one of the greatest stadiums in the world and I would love to go back up there. My time there was one of the highlights of my career and who knows what could have happened but I would recommend that club to players, and to play against Rangers in an old firm derby is a must for any footballer.”
We wish him many happy returns!