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- Joshua Thompson.
IT was on this day in 1944 that the player who was voted the Greatest Ever Celt by supporters was born.
James Connolly Johnstone, known to his friends as Jimmy and to the wider footballing world as Jinky was born in Viewpark, and he remained immensely proud of where he came from throughout his whole life.
He signed for Celtic in November 1961 and made his debut for his beloved Hoops on March 27, 1963. It was a less that auspicious start to what would become a glorious career – Celtic lost 6-0 against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park – but it did not deter or dishearten the diminutive winger.
Like many of his contemporaries, it was the arrival of Jock Stein at Celtic Park in 1965 which galvanised his career, and Jinky would go on to play a pivotal role in the unprecedented success Celtic enjoyed at home and in Europe over the next few years.
The pinnacle of that was, of course, the European Cup triumph on May 25, 1967 when Celtic beat Inter Milan 2-1.
Jinky, however, wasn’t content with just making his mark on that prestigious competition, and on Wednesday, June 7, 1967, in the Bernabeu Stadium, he and his team-mates provided the opposition for the great Alfredo Di Stefano’s testimonial.
The legendary Read Madrid player may have been the focus of the night, but it was Jinky who grabbed all the headlines with a breathtaking display that had the Madrid fans shouting ‘Ole!’ at his every touch.
Jinky stayed at Celtic until 1975, and made a total of 515 appearances for the club, scoring an impressive 130 goals.
He remained an immensely popular figure amongst the Celtic support who, in 2003, voted him the Greatest Ever Celt.
By that time, however, he was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. He faced that battle against the toughest of opponents with incredible bravery and courage, always strengthened by the support of his family and the convictions of his faith.
Sadly, Jimmy Johnstone passed away on March 13, 2006, and the Celtic support, as well as the wider footballing world, mourned his passing.
A statue of Jinky now stands outside the front of Celtic Park as a permanent memorial and a reminder to future generations of a wonderful player.
And on this, his birthday, the Celtic family will say a prayer for the loss while also remembering the unique talents of a player who was always proud to wear his beloved green and white Hoops – Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone, the Greatest Ever Celt.
0 Comments 141 weeks
Scott Brown returned from injury to open the scoring in the 2-1 victory on a glorious day at Celtic Park and Glenn Loovens headed what proved to be the winner early in the second half.
Despite Derek Riordan’s contender for goal of the season, it was not enough to salvage something for Hibs as Neil Lennon’s men made it six SPL wins out of six this season.
The Celtic boss made four changes to the side that thumped Inverness Caley Thistle 6-0 on Wednesday night, with Brown overcoming his ankle knock and regaining the captain's armband.
Charlie Mulgrew, Shaun Maloney and Cha Du Ri also returned to the side while Anthony Stokes lined up against his former team less than a month after making the move down the M8.
And with just four minutes on the clock, Brown stamped his comeback with a net-bursting goal. Stokes played the ball through to him and the captain ripped through the opposition’s defence, slamming his shot past Mark Brown from the edge of the box.
Celtic’s next effort came from a Charlie Mulgrew free-kick. He lobbed the ball into the area and Daniel Majstorovic was in position to head it towards goal but failed to make the right contact and saw it come to nothing.
The left back then made a precise pass to Joe Ledley who was rushing down the flank but the Welshman was brought down in the process. The free-kick, again taken by Mulgrew, dipped straight into Brown’s hands and the former Celtic keeper cleared the danger.
The home side took the heat off Hibs after the opening period, allowing John Hughes’ men to come into the game, but the closing 15 minutes of the half saw Celtic push forward with more conviction.
Stokes had a good shout for a penalty when he attempted to charge through two Hibs defenders. Sandwiched between Liam Miller and Francis Dickoh, the striker was brought down by the former Celt’s outstretched foot but referee Calum Murray deemed it a dive and instead booked Stokes.
Celtic neared the half-time whistle with three dubious offside rulings in quick succession, the first by Cha Du Ri and the next two by Gary Hooper.
Juarez then made a charging run towards goal but was brought down just outside the box. Despite Paul Hanlon’s sliding tackle the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of the Mexican and his team-mates.
Celtic made one change at the break and Ki Sung Yueng’s introduction meant Joe Ledley slotted into the left-back role at the expense of Charlie Mulgrew.
And the restart saw the match burst into life. Derek Riordan had a good attempt to punish his former side after Stokes gave the ball away but Loovens did the damage at the other end instead.
The Dutch defender headed a Shaun Maloney corner into the far corner on 51 minutes. Despite Hibs' best efforts to clear it on the line the goal was rightly awarded, doubling Celtic’s lead.
But Riordan continued to terrorise the backline and got the better of Loovens minutes later when he pulled back a delightful goal for Hibs, chipping the ball over Fraser Forster from the edge of the box.
And he had an opportunity to level the score-line just after the hour mark when he took a free-kick 30 yards out. Forster wasn’t troubled, though, and the keeper collected the ball into his chest with ease.
Celtic continued to drive forward with some excellent passing play in front of goal but Hibs also threatened just as much in the opposing half.
The end-to-end game was almost wrapped up by former Hibee Stokes who picked up an inch-perfect pass by Brown and slid it just past the far post.
And just seconds later Efrain Juarez’s header from close-range looked certain to break the net but instead crashed off the bar.
Hibs refused to give up, though, and immediately charged down the wing, but Riordan, again the main threat in a Hibs jersey, couldn’t beat Forster.
Celtic, however, remained resulte in defence and finished the game with a well earned 2-1 victory to move back to the top o
0 Comments 142 weeks
Scottish Premier League
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
(Murphy (pen) 41, Stokes 52)
Man of the Match: Anthony Stokes
Words: LAURA BRANNAN
KILMARNOCK (4-4-2) Bell; Clancy (Kelly 77), Wright, Pascali, Gordon; Hamill, Bryson, Eremenko, Hay (Rui Miguel 71); Forrester (Invincibile 63), Sammon
Subs not used: Letheren, Taouil, Old, Owens,
CELTIC (4-4-2) Forster; Cha, Loovens, Majstorovic, Izaguirre; Maloney, Kayal (Ki 77), Ledley, Brown (Juarez 46); McCourt (Stokes 22), Murphy
Subs not used: Zaluska, Rogne, Twardzik, Samaras
Neil Lennon’s men, who are still unbeaten in the new campaign, came from behind against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park to win 2-1.
Stokes, a first-half substitute for the injured Paddy McCourt, added to Daryl Murphy’s penalty to cancel out Killie’s early lead.
McCourt had started the match at the expense of Stokes, with Beram Kayal being the only other new face in the side from the line-up which beat Hearts last weekend. He replaced James Forrest who picked up an ankle injury.
The match started at a fast tempo and it was Killie who caused the early problems. Conor Sammon made an early run into the box to test Fraser Forster and pressure Celtic from the off.
Glenn Loovens’ tackle from behind then gave away a free-kick midway through Celtic’s half and Kilmarnock took it quickly, playing a short pass to Craig Bryson. The midfielder unleashed a low drive but it went just past the near post.
Mixu Paatelainen’s men continued to press Celtic and tested the Hoops’ defence on seven minutes. Sammon was again the danger man and this time he slotted the ball low past Forster for the first league goal Celtic have conceded this season.
Bryson came close to doubling the home side’s lead on 16 minutes when he beat the offside trap and broke away from Celtic’s backline, but he failed to convert and the visitors began to push play up the park.
Lennon’s side began to get into the game but couldn’t create any chances in the final third. Emilio Izaguirre made a good run down the left flank and Shaun Maloney linked well with Stokes, but Kilmarnock continued to keep Celtic out until five minutes before the break.
Fraser Wright brought Stokes down in the box and referee Craig Thomson immediately pointed to the spot. It was Murphy who stood up to coolly convert his second penalty of the season and pull Celtic level.
The equaliser lifted the strong travelling support and, in turn, the team who came close to turning the game around in the final minutes of the half.
Scott Brown played on Stokes who back-heeled to Cha Du Ri. The South Korean crossed the ball to Maloney on the far side of the penalty box but his powerful drive was blocked in front of goal.
Half-time came just as Celtic were making a stamp on the game and the half finished with Scott Brown going over on his ankle on the touchline. He was replaced by Efrain Juarez at the start of the second-half.
Within minutes of the re-start Stokes fired an ambitious turning volley from 30-yards out but Cammy Bell saved well.
But the first-half substitute didn’t have to wait long for his moment of glory as he gave Celtic the lead on 52 minutes.
Izaguirre’s superb cross across the face of goal was met by Stokes who slammed home his first goal for the club to put the Hoops ahead.
Maloney then got himself into acres of space down the left and set Joe Ledley up with a good ball into the box. The Welshman played in Juarez but the substitute’s long-range effort was controlled by Bell.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes Kilmarnock tried for the equaliser but it was Celtic who almost scored again. Another Izaguirre ball across the six-yard box was just narrowly missed by Murphy, Stokes and Juarez.
But Celtic did enough to secure a well-deserved victory and maintain their 100 per cent start to the SP
0 Comments 143 weeks
Bhoys And Ghirls Of Celtic
CELTIC Football Club is delighted to announce the unveiling of a plaque in honour of Tommy Burns, one of its greatest ever players and finest servants.0 Replies 168 weeks
The plaque, or 'relief' as this form of sculpture is known, will be positioned at the Main South Stand entrance to Celtic Park.
The bronze sculpture shows the three stages of Tommy's career with Celtic Football Club - the young, talented, exciting player that all Celtic fans came to love, as manager enjoying Scottish cup victory in 1995 and an image of Tommy in later life, when he was the club's first team coach and Head of Youth Development.
The three stages of Tommy's life at the club are also set against a backdrop of Tommy's strong faith, with the sculpture framed by an image of the doors of St. Mary's Church, Calton - a place so important to Tommy throughout his life and the Church where thousands came to mourn his passing in May 2008.
Speaking on behalf of the Burns family, Tommy's daughter, Jenna said: "As a family we know more than anyone how much our dad dedicated his life to Celtic as he had such a great love for the club and its supporters.
“He knew exactly what it meant to be associated with such a special club and felt truly blessed that it was a major part of his life and that he could live his dream here every day.
“We are sure that he would very humbled at the fact he is taking his place beside Brother Walfrid, Jimmy Johnstone and Jock Stein, people who have played a huge role in Celtic’s history.
“We are extremely proud of our Dad for being the person that he was and living his life the way it should be lived, by doing this he was in our opinion a great representative for Celtic and this honour today recognises that…we are all very grateful for this gesture.”
Celtic Chairman John Reid commented: “It is very fitting that Tommy takes his rightful place at the steps of Celtic Park.
“As I have said before, Tommy Burns will forever be remembered as one of the club's greatest sons. Tommy's warmth, generosity and personality crossed all boundaries and his death hit all within the wider Celtic family like no other.
“As a player, manager and coach, Tommy gave his life to the club and it is something which the club will forever be so grateful for. It is fitting that the sculpture we unveil today reflects such an enduring association with the club.
“Indeed, it was vitally important that Tommy was honoured outside his beloved Celtic Park, where our many thousands of supporters who enjoyed such a great bond with him and loved him so dearly, can now pay their respects.
"To have Tommy a part of Celtic for so many years, was a true privilege. He was a man who lifted the spirits of all around him, a man whose humanity and integrity was an example to us all.
“Like no other player, Tommy Burns loved this club - Tommy will always be Mr. Celtic. Moreover, he was indeed one of the finest men I have had the honour of meeting.
"While we all continue to miss Tommy immensely, today is an opportunity for us to once again celebrate the life of a true Celtic great."
Louise Westy Noof
Decisions that have went against Celtic have cost Celtic 9 points this season. Rangers have gained 6 points from dodgy decisions and have stayed in the Scottish Cup due to a dodgy decision. A potential 15 point swing based on poor refereeing decisions.0 Replies 174 weeks
3 opposing SPL managers make admission to the poor decisions against Celtic and a ref admits to error.
8 stonewall penalties denied for Celtic and 4 valid goals chopped off.
Here are just some examples and quotes from media.
10 February 2010 - Motherwell 1 Rangers 1
Motherwell denied a goal which was 2 yards onside that would have put them 2-0 up. Linesman flagged incorrectly for offside.
Craig Brown was livid after seeing TV evidence showing goal was well onside, TV pundits Hendry and Butcher both agree goal should have stood. Ray Stubbs on ESPN said that point could make all the difference at end of season.
ONE point gained for Rangers
16 January 2010 - Celtic v Falkirk 3 major decisions go against Celtic
Hand ball by Falkirk defender - no penalty
Fortune pulled down in box - no penalty
Arthur handles ball 17 yards from goal 1 yard inside his box and a free kick is given to Falkirk 20 yards from goal. This could have given Falkirk the winning goal
Referee - Alan Muir
Mail on Sunday - 'Falkirk manager Eddie May said: "Overall, I thought it was a fair result. But I think they should have had a penalty."
Daily Mail - 'Alan Muir denied the Parkhead club a late penalty claim - when Brian McLean tangled with Fortune - in the 1-1 draw with Falkirk on Saturday. Hinkel was also unhappy about Celtic keeper Artur Boruc being penalised for apparently stepping out of his area late on. "It's not really my thing to say something about referees but, once again, we had some very strange decisions," said Hinkel. Not even just the penalty - look at the situation when Artur had a free-kick given against him.
TWO points dropped. Opposing manager admits Celtic should have had penalty.
10 January 2010 - Hamilton v Rangers
3-2 down and a very very doubtful penalty given to Rangers, Hamilton player lying on ground while trying to move his hand away hand ball penalty given.
Referee – Charlie Richmond
Scotsman - "They needed a touch of good fortune to equalise when referee Charlie Richmond rather harshly penalised Hamilton debutant Stuart Elliott for handball, awarding the spot-kick from which Kenny Miller converted."
A gift given to Rangers by ref to keep them in the Cup. It’s okay saying Richmond denied Miller a penalty in the replay but if it was not for the ludicrous decision in first game there would have been no replay.
3 January 2010 - Celtic v Rangers
2 shocking decisions cost Celtic the 3 points (regardless of the poor finishing) Fortune scores a goal - chopped off incorrectly.
Lafferty assaults Hinkel - a red card offence but only yellow given.
Referee - Steve Conroy
Scotsman - "Following the controversial decision by Conroy to disallow what looked like a perfectly good Fortune goal after 19 minutes. Moments later, Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty was perhaps fortunate only to be booked for a late challenge on Celtic right-back Andreas Hinkel."
TWO points dropped. ONE point gained for Rangers. 2 derbies in a row that multiple decisions go against Celtic.
12 December 2009 - Motherwell v Celtic
Celtic denied TWO stonewall penalties.
Samaras chopped in box in 1st half - No penalty.
Hand ball by Motherwell defender - No penalty.
Referee - Charlie Richmond
Celtic do get penalty but only after having 3 claims for a penalty, two of which were stonewallers.
Guardian - "Even if Celtic did have a legitimate claim for a penalty when Samaras was tripped by Reynolds. Another two poor decisions from referee Charlie Richmond denied them penalties after McGeady had equalised. When Celtic were finally awarded a penalty for Saunders's foul on Samaras, Robson gave the goalkeeper an easy save with a weak shot close to
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