Completing the defence is the left-back position. In recent years the Celtic faithful have had Emilio Izaguirre and Kieran Tierney to purr over in a position which for years could be seen to be cursed, with players having one good season then never reaching the heights of this again (Lee Naylor, anyone?).
So, here we go with the ASCOM team’s picks for Celtic’s cult hero left-back. Which player have we missed out? Let us know!
Player – Charlie Mulgrew
Signed From – Youth Academy (2005) / Aberdeen (2010)
Appearances – 203 appearances – 29 goals
Cult Hero Status – The prodigal son, as the song goes, Mulgrew was a versatile defender who was as at home in the centre of defence, midfield or in his ‘natural’ position of left-back.
Leaving in 2007 without making a single first team appearance, Mulgrew had spells at Wolves and Southend before returning to Scotland, not to Celtic, though, further north to Aberdeen. Following a successful two-year spell in the North East, Mulgrew returned home to Celtic where he would play a vital role over the next six seasons.
The 2011/12 season, however, is where Mulgrew’s cult hero status was born. One excellent performance after another led to Mulgrew becoming a real fans’ favourite and on the day that Celtic clinched the title away at Rugby Park, Mulgrew scored twice and assisted on two of goals in a 6-0 romp.
Some would say the only reason Mulgew didn’t have anything to do with the other two goals is because he was subbed at half-time… Some excuse that is!
Player – Anton Rogan
Signed From – Distillery (Free – 1986)
Appearances – 148 appearances – 13 goals
Cult Hero Status – Northern Ireland international Anton Rogan will always be fondly remembered as part of the Celtic side which won the league and cup ‘double’ in the club’s centenary season. However, the game which cements Rogan’s place as a Celtic cult hero will be the 3-0 victory over Rangers in March 1991, a game in which Anton scored the opening goal, assisted the second and cleared a certain Rangers goal off the line! A performance like that against Rangers instantly secures you a cult hero status at Celtic, especially during the barren years from 1988 to 1998
Paul John Dykes
Player – Dariusz Wdowczyk
Signed From – Legia Warsaw (£400k – 1989)
Appearances – 147 appearances – 6 goals
Cult Hero Status – Experienced Polish international Dariusz “Shuggy” Wdowczyk was brought to Parkhead in November 1989 from Legia Warsaw in a £400,000 deal.
A one-time target for Manchester United, he made his competitive debut in a 1-1 league draw at home to St Mirren. Technically assured, Wdowczyk was a cool, ball playing defender who was not afraid to carry the ball out of defence and start attacks from deep.
Despite never winning a trophy, Dariusz had his moments in a green-and-white jersey. In the ‘St. Patrick’s Day Massacre’ against Rangers at Parkhead on 17 March 1991, he struck a thunderbolt free-kick past Chris Woods in the Rangers’ goal with the aid of a slight deflection which set Celtic on the road to a famous 2-0 win. Anyone who scores a wonder goal against the Govan side should be considered as a Celtic cult hero.
Player – Badr El Kaddouri
Signed From – Dynamo Kiev (Loan – 2011)
Appearances – 6 appearances – 1 goal
Cult Hero Status – Firstly, I can imagine there may be some people reading this going, “WHO?” and, after only making six appearances, then you could be forgiven for doing so, however, El Kaddouri lived every Celtic fan’s dream by scoring against Rangers from 30 yards.
Badr hit a rather tame shot from long distance outside the box, only for Gers ‘keeper McGregor to make one of the worst mistakes in his career as he allowed the ball to go straight through his legs and into the net to put the Hoops 2-1 up.
This is probably where El Kaddouri’s Celtic career peaked and future performances led to his Celtic career being short but if you remember Badr for anything – a goal from 30 yards at Ibrox is a good memory to have.
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