John Hartson puts pen to paper for Majic, Stan and the King of Japan

In the summer of 2005, incoming Celtic manager Gordon Strachan faced one of the most difficult jobs in football, restoring the fortunes of the grand old Glasgow club after a heartbreaking end to the previous season, which saw legendary boss Martin O’Neill and many of the stars who had delivered such incredible success in the early part of the new millennium take their leave.

The newly appointed manager of Celtic, Gordon Strachan, poses following a press conference announcing his new position, May 31, 2005 (Photo by Getty Images)

The odds were stacked against him from the outset, but this is Celtic and our nights are traditionally darkest just before the dawn. Soon we would witness the emergence of a batch of exciting new heroes who would create their own magical history wearing those iconic Hoops, as the next chapter in the greatest football story of them all was written, roared on by that Celtic constant, a fanatical worldwide support.

What follows is Celtic theatre at its rollercoaster finest with last-minute dramas, the tragic loss of one of our immortal Lions, then ultimately a title triumph as the Hoops battle through a season dismissed by many as being purely transitional to regain their mantle as Scotland’s Champions, the Celts established once again as the dominant football force in the land.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the story of Gordon’s remarkable first season as manager of Celtic, Majic, Stan and The King of Japan, out now and available from Celtic Star Books with your copy having been signed by the author Matt Corr and the Celtic star who scored the goal that beat Hearts to win Celtic the league on his birthday – yes, big John Hartson has signed a limited number of copies and these are available this weekend.

Big John was one of our many Celtic guests at the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park on Thursday night for an unforgettable night where we not only officially launched Majic, Stan and the King of Japan but took the chance to create an event taking us through Celtic’s history from Willie Maley through to Celtic stars in the 1950s – and we had two of them at the event – plus John Fallon, Tommy Callaghan and John Hartson.

Boolavogue provide the music for the night and we paid our respects to David Potter, Frank McGarvey and Johnny Doyle and of course that Hampden in the Sun Celtic side on the 66th Anniversary of the 7-1 game and raised £1199.15 for The Celtic Foundation.

Click on the image below to order your copy of Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which has been personally signed by both Celtic legend John Hartson and author Matt Corr.


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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