Happy St Patrick’s Day from all the team on The Celtic Star

Happy St Patrick’s Day!…and it seems the perfect occasion to recall the first-team debut of an Irishman in the colours of Celtic.

This young man was born in County Donegal and after some time with youth teams in that area, got a trial with Leicester City in season 1975-76 and then with Celtic in 1977.

One year later, on 14 May 1978, he signed for Celtic, becoming the last player ever to be signed for the club by Jock Stein. And he did not have to wait too long for his chance in the first team. On this day in 1979, Pat Bonner ran down the tunnel at Celtic Park in the goalkeeper’s jersey to face Motherwell in a league match, when the team was Bonner, McGrain, MacDonald, Edvaldsson, Lynch, Aitken, MacLeod, Burns, Provan, Lennox, Doyle.

At the time, Celtic were lying 8th in the table, with 21 points, Hearts were 9th on 17 and Motherwell 10th on 13. Granted, Celtic had three games in hand of the others but that lowly league position had an obvious effect on the gate, which was a very poor 16,000.

Celtic won 2-1, both goals coming from Bobby Lennox, one in the 13th minute and the other five minutes into the second half. The Motherwell replay came from midfielder Donnelly in 63 minutes.

It was a good start to Pat Bonner’s Celtic career and he would go on to make another 640 appearances for the Hoops.

Jim Craig

“There is surely no denyin’, wi’oor captain Willie Lyon, we will win the Scottish Cup once again,” a pre-war Celtic chant

About Author

Lisbon Lion and Celtic Ambassador Jim Craig provides The Celtic Star readers with a 365 day diary of all things Celtic, providing a remarkable and unique insight into our club from one of the players who won us The Celtic Star in Lisbon on 25 May 1967.

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