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PersonalFullname: Joseph Hislop Craig
aka: Joe, Josie
Born : 14 May 1954
Birthplace: Bridge of Allan Stirlingshire
Signed: September 1976
First game : Hearts home 2-2 - 18 September 1976
Last game : Rangers home 3-1 - 9 September 1978
First goal : Kilmarnock away 4-0 - 25 September 1976
Last goal : Partick Thistle home 5-2 - 22 April 1978
International Caps: 1 versus Sweden April 1977
International Goals: 1
BiogCentre forward Joe Craig was a much sought after youth footballer with several top English sides keen to lure the Bridge of Allan born youngster down south (Spurs & Liverpool in particular). Partick Thistle boss and ex Celt Bertie Auld persuaded Joe to remain in his homeland and nurture his talent at Firhill.
A quiet and unassuming character Craig impressed enough at the Jags to be signed by Jock Stein as a replacement for Dixie Deans in September 1976 and Celtic were in much need of height and strength in attack.
Craig made his Celtic debut on September 18th in a 2-2 home league draw with Hearts. An old fashioned type of forward Craig used his strength and height to hustle defences and he soon revelled in the service provided by Kenny Dalglish and was able to take some pressure of Kenny to allow him to concentrate on his own game. Joe also continued to have a good on field relationship with Ronnie Glavin which they had previously nurtured at Firhill.
In his first season at Celtic Park he hit 23 league goals and helped the Celts complete a League and Scottish Cup double. Joe was instrumental in bringing these trophies to Parkhead and he is best remembered for a glorious winning goal against Rangers at Ibrox on November 24 1976. On April 9th 1977 Joe had the privilege of scoring the only goal against Hibs at Easter Road which brought the Premier League trophy to Parkhead for the first time. Unfortunately the Hibs chairman Tom Hart inexplicably banned the television cameras from recording the events of that day.
Joe scored four goals against Airdrie in a Scottish cup replay and scored both goals against Dundee in the semi final. He played in the win against Rangers in the final but missed two good chances in the second half. In April 1977 he made his only appearance for Scotland against Sweden at Hampden and scored with a header before he had kicked a ball.
The Celtic forward line in 1977 had a formidable look to it and the front line of Doyle, Glavin, Craig, Dalglish and Conn was one of the best the club have had in modern times. However, with the departure of Dalglish to Liverpool that autumn Joe Craig’s form and goal scoring touch suffered and after the success of his debut season he now looked a spent force. When Billy McNeill arrived as manager he preferred Tom McAdam and a young George McCluskey as spearheads in his in attack and it was time for Joe to move on.
He was consequently sold to Blackburn Rovers for a reported £50,000 in September 1978 after 72 appearances and 37 goals for Celtic. His swansong for the Hoops was as a late sub against Rangers on September 9th when he went on a fine run and eluded Tom Forsyth (who tried to rugby tackle him !) to create Celtic's clinching third goal, for Tom McAdam, in a fine 3-1 victory.
| APPEARANCES |
|LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
|1972-78||53 (1)||7 (1)||5 (2)||4||69 (4)|
Honours with Celtic[Indicate any known awards (player of the year, etc)]
Latest page update: made by st.anthony
, Apr 22 2012, 4:24 PM EDT
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