Celtic legend Paul McStay claims his Dad spotted a fan favourite in Kieran Tierney

By Euan Davidson

June 9, 2021

Kieran Tierney is a legitimate Premier League star now, but the former Celtic man’s beginnings are humble.

Born on the Isle of Man, Tierney was raised in Wishaw and attended schools in Motherwell, with the dream of becoming a Celtic player. In 2017, he spoke of hoping to emulate Lisbon Lion Tommy Gemmell [Daily Record], who grew up not far from Tierney’s old stomping grounds, the streets where he learned to play football.

Street dreams are one thing; a state-of-the-art football academy is quite another. But another Celtic legend entered the Kieran Tierney story early on; Paul McStay’s father.

The Maestro, who comes from a footballing dynasty, spoke to the Go Football Radio Show. In an episode featuring Jen Beattie of Arsenal and Scotland, as well as Barry Ferguson, McStay revealed that his heralded father John, a scout for Celtic Football Club, spotted the prodigious young Tierney.

McStay said [Go Radio]:

“I think [Tierney] gave everything to Celtic when he was there. A wee back story about that, I don’t know if you were aware; my dad spotted him.

“He was the scout that took him into Celtic at a young age. So, we’ve always kept a close eye on Kieran and what he was up to and how he was progressing. I’m just delighted to see him doing so well down in England.

“I definitely think he’ll be a star in the Euros. He’s an outstanding talent and playing down south, competing against better teams week-in week-out has certainly helped him.”

Paul McStay and the Scottish Premiership trophy in 2019 / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Kieran Tierney and his fan favourite status was meant to be, with a McStay discovering him

It’s just fairytale stuff. For a young Celtic obsessive, one from Wishaw no less, to be discovered by a McStay? It genuinely feels pre-determined.

John McStay passed away in 2017, and KT led the tributes [Glasgow Times]. The current Arsenal star got a response from the McStay family, claiming that John was “very proud” of the Scotland international left-back.

The McStay name is a famous one in Celtic history. Jimmy McStay was a Celtic captain, then manager between 1940 and 1945. Willie McStay also captained the Bhoys, while Paul’s brothers (also called Willie) and Raymond also represented the Green and White.

It’s great to hear from Paul McStay, generally. The Maestro normally keeps a relatively low profile, having moved to Australia after retired from football.

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