The Celtic men from Scotland's last major tournament: where are they now?
We’ve talked about the Scotland squad being full of Celtic players, past and present.
It’s a good thing. Not only is it helping to repair the relationship between Bhoys fans and the national team, it’s recognition that many of our players deserve. Yet, there’s relatively recent historical precedent for Hoops figures dominating an international squad.
In the heady days of 1998, the Tartan Army travelled to France. Drawn against Brazil, Norway and Morocco, Craig Brown’s selection was full of Celtic names. Some had moved on, like John Collins of Monaco and Derek Whyte of Aberdeen. But a whopping 8 current Bhoys made the flight to Paris.
And what names they were, too. Let’s see what they’re up to now. The squad list is courtesy of the BBC.
Born in Paddington but eligible for Scotland, Gould was in and around the first-team from 1997 to 2003. Brought in during a goalkeeping crisis from Bradford City’s reserves, the Scotland goalkeeper was capped twice by Scotland, but not until 1999.
So, that’ll give you an impression of how his World Cup 1998 went. Capable of both an acrobatic save and a howler, Gould was gradually kept down the pecking order by Rab Douglas, then Magnus Hedman, but he still impressed in the 97-98 season, when Celtic stopped our rivals getting 10IAR.
He’s now a coach with New Zealand and Napier City Rovers, having enjoyed spells coaching at Middlesbrough and Preston North End, where he moved to after his spell at Celtic.
Full disclosure: I still wish I was Tom Boyd in 1998.
The former Motherwell and Chelsea defender was a long-tenured servant of Celtic Football Club, and captained the title-winning side of 97-98. His World Cup didn’t entirely go to plan, however. In the first game, against Brazil, Boyd scored a bizarre, unlucky own goal to give Ronaldo and co a 2-1 lead, which they held on to. Cue Cafu doing a front-flip in the Stade de France, and 6-year-old Euan being very upset indeed.
Boyd stuck around at Paradise until 2003, taking in a treble and the Seville run. He’s now an ambassador for the club, a member of the Scotland Hall of Fame, and a class-act all round. A fantastic, and very underrated captain of Celtic Football Club.
Jackie McNamara – still a prominent Celtic voice
His forté was in turning defence into attack. A legend.
Jackie McNamara enjoyed a starring role for Scotland in 1998, playing an exquisite pass to Craig Burley in the Tartan Army’s second game of the group stages. His connection with Burley led to the midfielder chipping the ball over the helpless Norway keeper, and – of course – it was wonderful.
You know all about Jackie’s career after that; trebles, the captaincy and being a jack-of-all-trades and master of many, playing multiple roles for the Bhoys until 2005.
McNamara took in spells at Wolves, Aberdeen and Partick Thistle after rather unjustly leaving us in 2005. He became a manager of very decent repute, coaching a talented Dundee United side, as well as Partick Thistle and York City.
Now, you can find him on 67 Hail Hail, giving his take on all things Celtic.
Tosh McKinlay – still at Celtic
Thomas Valley “Tosh” McKinlay. What a name.
And what a player. McKinlay got onto the park twice for Scotland in 1998, as a substitute against Brazil and Morocco. He retired from international duty immediately after that tournament, but it’d been an interesting year for the full-back. Prior to being selected by Craig Brown, he’d had a bit of a dust-up with Hoops legend Henrik Larsson [Celtic Wiki], and had his place in the Celtic team threatened by Frenchman Stephan Mahé.
After leaving Celtic, he had spells with Stoke, Grasshopper Zurich and Kilmarnock, which is about as varied as it gets. He retired in 2000, and now works as a scout for his beloved Bhoys.
Craig Burley – an underrated Celtic player
I don’t know if you remember your first match programme, but I read mine cover-to-cover hundreds of times. In it, I remember an interview with Craig Burley. Asked whether he prefers a bath or a shower, he said he normally tries to squeeze himself into the sink.
There are some very basic maths things I can’t remember how to do, but my brain clearly has space for that non sequitur from a wee book published in 1997. How the mind works is still so much of a mystery.
Anyway, Craig Burley was a classy attacking midfielder, who as we mentioned, found the scoresheet for Scotland in the 1998 World Cup. His time at Celtic was all too brief, only spending two seasons at Paradise before moving on to Derby County in 1999.
A fantastic finisher, Burley was impressively prolific from the midfield, and was a vital man for Scotland. Even when his career was winding down at Dundee, Burley was getting picked, retiring from international duty in 2003. Looking back, Burley was a massively underrated player, and really deserved more for his talents.
He now works in the US, as an analyst for ESPN.
Paul Lambert – an important Celtic captain
The only Champions League winner from this group, what a player Paul Lambert was. Underrated as a captain, and a key presence for Scotland, Lambo marked Zinedine Zidane out of a CL final, before joining Celtic. The 90s – a strange time all-round.
Over 8 years at Celtic, Lambert led by example. A fantastic on-field leader with excellent ability on the ball, the former Borussia Dortmund and St Mirren midfielder was a vital cog in Martin O’Neill’s winning machine, as well as under Wim Jansen and Dr Jozef Venglos. The less said about John Barnes in the dugout, the better.
Lambert left Celtic for Livingston, where he made just 7 appearances, but began a fruitful coaching career. He would perform wonders for Norwich City and Wycombe Wanderers, before embarking on a managerial second-life that saw him become a mainstay in English football. Spells with Aston Villa, Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and latterly Ipswich Town have seen diminished results, but he’s a former Manager of the Year in two leagues, and is in Norwich’s Hall of Fame.
So, not bad at all. He’s currently looking for his next job in management.
Hand on heart – do you remember Darren Jackson and his beautiful barnet at the 1998 World Cup? I’m checking my notes here, and despite the memories of the tournament being tattooed on my brain forever, I can’t recall Jackson getting his two WC98 appearances.
Yet, they happened, that’s indisputable fact. Jackson never really got a significant look-in at Celtic, behind the likes of Henrik Larsson and Harald Brattbakk, despite Fergus McCann shelling out over a million pounds for the ex-Hibs man. A dogged, determined forward, Jackson scored Celtic’s first goal in the revamped Champions League, but didn’t get to talk to the press about it afterwards [Sunday Post].
That was Jackson’s Celtic experience in a nutshell, really. Fleeting glorious moments. And hey, he was part of a historic Celtic side, and got to the World Cup. So, all in, it can’t have been the worst move. Jackson subsequently spent time playing for Coventry City, Hearts, Livingston, St Johnstone and Clydebank before calling it a day in 2002.
He’s worked as a coach and an agent, most notably with Jackie McNamara at Dundee United. Also, he was in the papers for a story involving major Celtic shareholder Chris Trainer.
Last, yes, but certainly not least.
Donnelly, an absolute trooper through some rough years at Celtic, was a favourite of Tommy Burns over a 6-year spell with his boyhood club. Still very much associated with the Hoops, Donnelly was a mainstay in the 95-96 and 96-97 seasons, rarely missing matches and troubling defenders with his pace and direct running.
A fan favourite, Donnelly left Celtic in 1999 alongside the much-missed Phil O’Donnell, joining Sheffield Wednesday. He subsequently played for St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic and Partick Thistle, playing on until the grand auld age of 37.
Donnelly, like Jackson, is closely associated with Jackie McNamara, because you would be too if you had the chance. He was Jackie Mac’s assistant at Partick Thistle, Dundee United and York City. Nowadays, you’ll see him alongside Mark Wilson on the Celtic Huddle Podcast.
Apropos of nothing, he seems like one of the best 90s Celtic players to get a pint with. That’s just a feeling I have.