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PersonalFullname: Craig William Burley
aka: Craig Burley
Born: 24 Sep 1971
Signed: 25 July 1997
Left: 1 December 1999
International Caps: 46
International Goals: 3
BiogCraig Burley was one of Wim Jansen's first signings for Celtic as the Dutchman set about building a team capable of ending a near decade of Rangers dominance. A bit of a surprise as he was said to be quite a staunch Rangers supporter.
When Burley arrived from FA Cup winners Chelsea in the summer of 1997 for £2.5m few Celtic fans would have dared dream that the Ayrshire man would have the impact he eventually did. Indeed, despite being a Scotland international Burley was a little bit of an unknown quantity to many in his native land having played all of his club football upto that point with the Stamford Bridge side.
An industrious rather than graceful attacking midfielder, Burley quickly settled into life at Celtic Park and his willingness to get forward at every opportunity quickly won him admirers among the Bhoys following. He scored his first league goals for the Hoops with a brace in a 3-2 victory at Motherwell in September as Jansen's side at last started to settle after a poor start to their league campaign.
Burley posed a real goal threat from deep and he was exactly the type of midfielder Celtic had sadly been lacking in recent campaigns.His driving and tenacious style of play was a key factor in Celtic's resurgence which saw them pick up the Coca Cola Cup (League Cup) on November 30 with Burley hitting the last in a 3-0 drubbing of Dundee United at Ibrox.
Paul Lambert had arrived at Celtic Park from Borussia Dortmund just prior to that final and as Christmas approached Burley and the Champions League winner began to form a formidable midfield double act. This was perfectly illustrated on January 2 1998 when the pair bagged a goal each as Celtic defeated Rangers 2-0 at Parkhead.
Burley played a vital role in the run in to the Championship climax, netting some crucial goals as the Bhoys finally halted the Rangers jugaurnaut to claim the title and end the Ibrox side's dream of 10-in-a-row.
Burley's invaluable contribution - he scored 15 goals in his debut season - saw him pick up the Scottish Football Writers Association Player of The Year Trophy and he headed of to the World Cup in France as an integral part of the Scotland team. The Celtic fans spent the summer justifably believing that in Burley they had another Celtic legend in the making. However things would never be so good again for Burley.
The following season, with Jansen now replaced as coach by Jo Venglos, Burley struggled with injuries and never hit the peak of the previous year. But when John Barnes took over as coach in the summer of 1999 hopes were high that a fully fit Burley would again play a key role in driving Celtic to the title. In truth his face never fitted under the Barnes regime and in December he was off loaded to Derby County in a £3m deal. It was a move that bewildered the Celtic support who believed Burley still had a lot to offer the club. Indeed the decision to sell Burley caused many fans to openly question Barnes' ability to take Celtic forward. Burley was certainly not a boyhood Celtic fan but his effort and attitude while wearing the Hoops had been consistently excellent The same could not be said of some of Barnes high profile, big money signings.
Burley scored 25 goals for Celtic in 93 appearances but he never did recapture his form of the Jansen year. His career sadly faded out due to injury and he moved into the media .
Sadly, as part of the media, as a Scottish football pundit he has not hidden his bitterness or disregard for the club. It's been quite disgraceful the way that he has been as anti-Celtic as you could get in the media. Never a good word for us (!) and always wanting to offend. A classic offensive load of unsubstantiated nonsense as per the below article on season 2010-11 has made him a person non-grata. A disgrace, and it's sad to see an ex-Celt turn so much against a support who gave him nothing less than their full support.
May 2011Craig Burley on Celtic
Anecdote"[Before he had come to Celtic, one day] during a game of 5s in training, the ball has bounced to waist height near the goal. Burley in two minds whether to knee it or head it into the net and in the end did both! Kneeing himself in the face and knocking his teeth out!"
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Other|
|Walsall||15/03/2004||19/05/2004||Free||5 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Preston||27/01/2004||15/03/2004||Free||1 (3)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Dundee||12/09/2003||25/11/2003||Free||1 (1)||0||0 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Derby||01/12/1999||12/09/2003||£3,000,000||73 (0)||10||2 (0)||0||5 (0)||3||0 (0)||0|
|Celtic||25/07/1997||01/12/1999||£2,500,000||61 (3)||20||7 (0)||2||9 (0)||4||13 (0)||0|
|Chelsea||01/09/1989||25/07/1997||Trainee||86 (28)||7||14 (3)||4||8 (0)||0||3 (0)||0|
|Totals||£5,500,000||227 (35)||37||23 (3)||6||23 (0)||7||16 (0)||0|
| ||goals / game||0.14||0.23||0.3||0|
Honours with CelticScottish Premier League
- Player of The Year Trophy 1998
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, May 5 2012, 7:00 AM EDT
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