Quality Street Gang member and ex-Celtic boss Lou Macari makes impression with charity work

By Euan Davidson

February 17, 2021

Former Celtic player and manager Lou Macari is making all the right headlines.

Macari, who scored the winner for Celtic in the 1971 Scottish Cup Final replay, could be enjoying a quiet retirement. The former Manchester United and Scotland midfielder is now based in Stoke-on-Trent. Having left football behind, he’s making a legitimate difference in his community.

The Quality Street Gang member opened his own homeless shelter four years ago. Now, he’s adapted it to make the facility Covid-safe, and is rightly earning plaudits for doing so [BBC].

Within the converted warehouse Macari uses to give shelter to homeless people, pods have been built. The pods resemble dorms, and are socially distanced, comfortable lodgings with beds and space for personal effects. Within the Macari Centre, a community has developed, and the former Celtic man has no qualms about giving back.

The pods count as addresses. That means people using the facility are able to apply for jobs, bank accounts and other important facilities. Macari told the BBC:

“Because there’s a number outside, they can now go to the job centre, they can say number 4 Regent Road and the house I live in is number 5.”

Lou Macari scoring for Scotland against Denmark in 1972 / (Photo by Monte Fresco/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Lou Macari showing Celtic values

Macari continued:

“I took the view, I can surely get a roof over their head, I didn’t for one moment think I could do much more than that.

“The change it’s made is incredible.

“I’d stumbled onto something which is probably a far bigger help to homeless people than anything else that we talk about.

“You forget homeless people don’t have televisions, they’re not out in the street with televisions and of course now they’ve shown an interest in everything.”

Macari told the BBC that he was expecting to be more hands-off in the running of the centre. However, as he describes it:

“Because my name’s above the door, I want to be here most of the time because I want to do things right.”

ELSEWHERE: a new Celtic supporters’ campaign emerges.