Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths names his idol growing up

By David Walton

March 31, 2020

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has claimed that his footballing idol is none other than Parkhead disappointment Derek Riordan.

Griffiths grew up a devout Hibs fan, playing with the club for a spell before signing for the Hoops back in 2014. He made 78 appearances at Easter Road over the course of two years in Leith (Transfermarkt).

Leigh Griffiths spent two years at Hibs (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Therefore, it’s no surprise to see that his footballing hero was a former Hibs favourite too. That man is also a former Celtic striker in Riordan, who never managed to make the impact we all would’ve liked him to during his two-year stint in Glasgow.

However, after spending eight years in two separate spells in Edinburgh, Riordan clearly made an impact on Griff. Speaking on Celtic’s official Instagram, the Hoops forward revealed his favourite footballer:

Celtic’s official Instagram

Derek Riordan’s talent was undoubted

You can see why Riordan was such a success with Hibs. He had plenty of talent, but didn’t seem to have the consistency to make it at Parkhead.

Working under Gordon Strachan, the Scotland international just couldn’t break into the team ahead of the likes of Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Maciej Zurawski, and Scott McDonald respectively.

With only 20 appearances to his name and four goals at Parkhead (Transfermarkt), it’s fair to say that Riordan was ultimately a disappointment. Not like Griffiths, who has netted over 100 for the Hoops overall.

Derek Riordan during his time at Celtic (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

But it’ll always be confusing as to why Riordan didn’t make it. He had clear raw ability, which was evident all throughout his eight years at Hibs. Perhaps it was the pressure of the Parkhead environment and the sheer consistency of the standards that were required.

In any case, Riordan did us a turn by helping to inspire Griffiths at least. Celtic were reaping the rewards of standing by Griff before the season went into shutdown mode.

Hopefully, when the season opens back up again, he can pick up where he left off.