“There’s only one Frank McGarvey,” Celtic support rallies round a Hoops Hero

Former Celtic striker Frank McGarvey has been diagnosed with cancer, his family has announced on social media. The Celtic legend’s son Scott and other members of the family posted the worrying update on social media last night confirming that McGarvey senior, aged 66, had been diagnosed on Thursday.

The message from the McGarvey family stated: “Unfortunately our Dad received a cancer diagnosis yesterday and we are waiting on more information from the experts. Will update here when we know more. Thanks for all the support and well wishes. Paul, Sean, Scott and Jennifer.”

Davie Provan & Frank McGarvey hold aloft the Scottish Cup in 1985 after defeating Dundee Utd

Frank started out at St Mirren before winning a move to Liverpool in 1979, netting Saints a transfer fee of £270,000. That was some Liverpool team and Frank was down the pecking order so when Celtic came in for him he was delighted to come back up the road in March 1980 to sign for the club he supports.

He scored a late winner in his first match against Rangers at Celtic Park and the Celtic support really did fall in love with the striker who would always give 110% while wearing the Hoops.

Frank McGarvey won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and a League Cup at Celtic and he scored the winner with an unbelievable header from a Roy Aitken cross in the 1985 Scottish Cup Final against Dundee United before being rather harshly released by the club.

He came back to Celtic Park as as St Mirren player the next season and received an incredible ovation from the Jungle and the rest of the Celtic support and in 1987 helped Saints lift the Scottish Cup.

1979 International Friendly Scotland v Argentina. Frank McGarvey and Diego Maradona at Hampden

Frank McGarvey played seven times for Scotland, making his debut as a late substitute in a Home International Championship game against Northern Ireland at Hampden Park in May 1979.

More recently Frank has been part of a Celtic podcast with his great pal Tommy Sheridan.

We wish Frank all the very best and with his fighting spirit he’s going to come through this just fine.

Frank was a hero to many Celtic supporters, his unselfishness, workrate and ability to read the game really did help Charlie Nicholas emerge as such a top talent in that exciting Celtic team of the early 1980s.

As we used to sign in the Jungle: “There’s only one Frank McGarvey,” and we’re likely to hear that being chanted at McDiarmid Park today.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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