Craig Beattie says performance for Rangers earned him Celtic move

By David Walton

February 6, 2019

Former striker Craig Beattie has explained how his disdain for Celtic helped to make the Hoops move for him.

The former Scotland international played for an incredible 15 clubs during his career. He only just left Elgin City a couple of weeks ago, with his future now in limbo.

But he’s most known for his spell at Parkhead. Beattie spent a solid four years at Celtic, and made over 60 appearances for the Hoops. He was by no means a hero, but he did manage to bag 16 goals before leaving Glasgow.

Craig Beattie scored 16 goals during four years at Parkhead (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Despite spells at Hearts and West Brom, Celtic was by far his most high-profile club. And, speaking to the Open Goal podcast (28:55), Beattie opened up on how his hatred for Celtic earned him a move there.

“I was playing in Rangers’ youth team. Top scorer and was doing really well. I was taken in and told by John Brown and John McGregor that I wasn’t going to get a contract.

“I got a trial at Coventry. Went down to do pre-season and Strachan was the manager. Got to the final of a tournament and were playing against Celtic. So I’m (thinking) ‘I hate these so and so’s’.

“It’s the worst kept secret in Scottish football involving me – I grew up a Rangers fan. That got me my move – being so up for this game. I scored two goals. So I’ve gone from Saturday morning to trying to stick it to Celtic because I didn’t like them very much, to being in a room with Martin O’Neill signing a three-year deal.”

Just never worked out

Beattie certainly didn’t show much affection for Celtic in the Scottish Cup back in 2012 (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Beattie was always a solid grafter, but he never had the quality to be at Celtic for the long-term.

The departures of the likes of Chris Sutton and John Hartson did open up opportunities for him. But his partnership with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink never really took off.

Since leaving Celtic, Beattie did come back to haunt them. His celebration after knocking Celtic out of the Scottish Cup back in 2012 didn’t leave Hoops fans very amused. It was as if the big man had rediscovered his disdain for the club with his over the top jersey-off celebration.

But there’s no denying he gave his all to the cause at Parkhead, and is/was a very good pro on top of it. Whether the future holds a role in punditry or indeed another professional or even junior club remains to be seen.