Sign in or
|H | Player Pics | Manager Pics | A-Z of Players | Managers | Quality Street Gang|
PersonalFull name: David Hay
aka: Davie Hay, The Quiet Assassin
Born: 29 January 1948
Signed (player): January 1965 (prov) / 20 March 1966 (full)
Left Celtic (player): July 1974
Position: Full back/Midfielder
First game: 6 March 1968 Aberdeen home 4-1 league
Last game : 4 May 1974 Dundee United Hampden 3-0 scottish cup final
First goal : 21 February 1970 Rangers home 3-1 scottish cup
Last goal : 13 April 1974 Dundee United away 2-0 league
International Caps: 27 caps
International Goals: 0
Manager: July 1983 - May 1987
First game as manager : 9 August 1983 Partick Thistle away 2-0 Glasgow cup
Last game as manager : 9 May 1987 Hearts away 0-1 league
Playing CareerDavid Hay ("Davie Hay") is unquestionably one of the most complete players to have ever pulled on Celtic's green and white Hoops.
Signed from St Mirin's Boys Guild in March 1966 Paisley-born Hay learnt his trade in the legendary 'Quality Street Gang' Celtic reserve team of the late 60s alongside the incredible talents of Dalglish, McGrain and Connelly. He made his first team debut as a substitute in a 4-1 league win over Aberdeen at Parkhead on March 6th 1968 and initially he was played in the right-back position.
Jock Stein however recognised that Hay's qualities would be much better utilised in midfield and that is where he really earned his reputation as one of the finest players of his generation. Hay was the rarest of creatures in that he was a creative midfielder who was also a peerless ball winner.
His big break came in October 1969 when he was picked at left back for the League Cup Final against St.Johnstone after Tommy Gemmell was controversially suspended by Jock Stein. Celtic won 1-0 through a Bertie Auld goal and Davie had his first medal.
On February 21st 1970 the versatile Davie ploughed through the Rangers midfield and fired a glorious 25 yard goal, the key moment in Celtic's 3-1 win. At this point he came face to face with Rangers captain and hard man John Greig but Davie came out on top of their encounters even at such a young age. He was impressive at right back against Leeds United in the 1970 European Cup semi final games and handled himself well in the final against Feyenoord, also at right back despite the disappointing defeat.
By the 1970/71 season he had became a key player especially with his versatility. In 1971 he was in central defence as left half in the Scottish Cup final replay 2-1 win against Rangers and was instrumental in bringing the title to Parkhead, helping hold off a strong challenge that season from Aberdeen. In the European Cup Celtic went out 3-1 on aggregate to the magnificent Ajax team as Europe marvelled at the unique talents of the great Johan Cruyff.
He won another league medal in 1972 though he was injured from the run in and missed the 1972 Scottish Cup final romp against Hibs. More importantly that injury cost Celtic the chance to play him against Inter Milan in the 1972 European Cup semi final games which Celtic lost on penalties and Davie's appearance could have swayed the tie in Celtic's favour. Hay's presence was key to Celtic's great success of the period and he played regularly in both full back positions and in midfield.
The 1972/73 season was another outstanding one and the league was won for the 8th successive season on a memorable spring day at Easter Road. Jock Stein stated that it was the reappearance of David Hay and Jimmy Johnstone in the Spring of 1973 that had given Celtic the edge in a tight league race with Rangers, which went to the wire on the last day for Celtic against Hibs. By this time Davie was an established Scottish international and the big clubs in England had him in their sights.
In December 1973 Davie and George Connelly were in dispute with Celtic over their pay and conditions, basically he went on strike and refused to play or train. Connelly yielded but broke his ankle against Basle in 1974 and eventually Davie also had to make up with Celtic and was in the side in midfield that won the league at Brockville and defeated Dundee United 3-0 in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden. At this point in his Celtic career Davie had played in the numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 such was his versatility and he had excelled in every position. Put simply, David Hay could play anywhere on the field and be relied to turn in good performances on a regular basis.
He captained Scotland against West Germany in early 1974 and that summer Davie was magnificent when Scotland beat England at Hampden, their first victory over the English since 1967 and also in the 1974 World Cup finals in West Germany when he was Scotland's outstanding player against Brazil, Yugoslavia and Zaire. In the game against Brazil Davie and Billy Bremner were superb when pitted against the great Brazilian midfield pairing of Rivelino and Clodoaldo. It was Tommy Docherty, who was a Scotland manager, who gave Davie Hay the moniker of "The Quiet Assassin" to define his style and quality of play on the pitch.
However when Davie returned from the World Cup, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United were after him and he was disappointed when Celtic accepted Chelsea's bid of £225,000. It's said that Davie Hay was willing to stay at Parkhead at that time for an extra tenner a week and so Celtic lost the heart of their team and future captain. Given the player's pivotal role in the success of Celtic and his growing reputation on the world scene the requests for a pay rise were probably well justified.
After a European Cup final appearance (1970), winning five league championships, two Scottish Cups and a league cup Hay left Parkhead for Chelsea after 230 appearance for the Hoops and 12 goals.
Following his switch to Stamford Bridge Hay's career would be interrupted by injury but his talent was one Celtic would struggle for years to replace. If he had stayed there is every chance Celtic would have won 10 in a row in 1974/75 as he was the driving force of the team and when he left the team was never quite the same without him and Rangers would prevent the 10 from becoming reality.
One notable point to Davie Hay's departure was the impact on George Connelly. A precocious talent, George Connelly found it hard at Celtic, and after Davie Hay's departure he didn't stay long himself. Close friends, Davie Hay to this day has remained silent on much of the period of events that surrounded George Connelly. In part, it is said that Jock Stein allowed Davie Hay to leave Celtic as he felt that it could help George Connelly (as a break between the two could be good) but it didn't work out like that.
In May 1976 Davie returned to Parkhead to play for Celtic as a guest in the Johnstone/Lennox testimonial game against Manchester United. Davie played as if he'd never been away and the fans gave him a superb ovation as Celtic won 4-0 with a Dalglish hat trick. Actually the fans were chanting: "We want Hay!". This spurred rumours that he was to return to Glasgow but, sadly, nothing ever came of it.
Davie Hay would return to Parkhead as manager in 1983 (see below), and then later again as part of the management team under Tommy Burns in the 1990s.
Davie Hay was easily one of Celtic's greatest ever players. We only wish that we could have held onto him for longer but board financial incompetence saw an end to that.
| APPEARANCES |
|LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Major honours as a playerLeague titles
Manager 1983-1987Davie Hay after his playing days were cut short was destined to find some niche in football coaching or management. He was given a role on the Chelsea youth coaching, and then later his first major management role came at Motherwell where he helped to guide them to the Premier Division by winning the Division One title. A great feat in itself and he was well respected at the club, however an opportunity from the US came knocking and he decided to take the chance with the club's blessing. It turned out to be a major error as circumstances in the US turned the dream into a nightmare and he soon returned.
After Billy McNeil's departure from Celtic, Davie Hay became a surprise appointment taking in his inexperience aged only 35.He was probably one of the last of his kind, as soon after the money revolution began with Souness to become Rangers manager and change the face of football business management in Scotland.
Seen as an intelligent, respected tactician with a relaxed style but a harder edge than his demeanour suggests, he didn't have it easy having to compete against the strong "New Firm" duo of Aberdeen and Dundee Utd. He made a rash announcement on his appointment that he would quit if Celtic didn't win a trophy in his first season. It wasn't to be so easy but rather was agonising for the new manager. We finished runners-up in the league to Aberdeen, the League Cup to the Huns and the Scottish Cup to Aberdeen again, but there were no calls for his head, and as someone humoured to Davie Hay, Celtic did win the BP Youth Cup so he was saved. It was difficult and there were elements of bad luck.
It was just as difficult in the following season where we finished second in the league (again), but Davie Hay finally managed to land the silverware he deserved by managing the side to the Scottish Cup win in 1985 where we defeated the dour Dundee Utd side 2-1 with goals from Davie Provan (yes THAT free kick) and Frank McGarvey in a cracking match. It was our first trophy since 1982 and as it was the 100th Scottish Cup final, it was a special victory. It was relief for Davie and gave him valuable breathing space, but it was the least he deserved after the way his tenure had gone being a nearly man too often in all comps.
He may not have won the league as yet, but we competed well and he had some fine but difficult players under his belt including Brian McClair, Murdo MacLeod, Alan McInally and Mo Johnston, which created a great attacking side to watch. Defensively things were not as good as they could be and was a continuous weakness. Overall, Davie Hay was gaining experience and could see increasingly where things were going right and wrong. It was learning at the deep end but he was doing a fine job.
Despite the difficulties at home, there was some respite and drama in Europe for Hay. A cracking match against Sporting Lisbon rekindled memories of old as we won by a breath-taking 5-0 at home after being 2-0 down from the first away leg. The match is marked by many as one of our greatest European matches (we then lost out to Notts Forest in a later round).
The main talking point on Europe have been the matches against Rapid Vienna (Austria) in the UEFA cup in 1984. In the first games, after a difficult 3-1 first leg defeat Davie Hay's team got it right in a wonderful 3-0 win only for all the work to be then undone. Cheating and deceit saw UEFA at its lowest and most incompetent, awarding Rapid with a third game. Rapid duly won the replay match at Old Trafford 1-0 despite some good play by Celtic; we'd let ourselves but most importantly the players had let Davie Hay and themselves down. Taking in that we really were more than a match for them we could have gone all the way to the final as Rapid Vienna did that season (thankfully losing to Everton). It was heart breaking for Davie Hay, and he was cheated out of scaling the heights in Europe.
The 1985-86 season was a difficult season. Despite the parsimonious nature of the Board, the 85/86 season started well with McClair and Johnston the celebrated scoring duo in the League but the defensive errors and deficiencies soon became apparent. It was exciting play to watch and Davie Hay was building a good side. However, Hay was denied the cash to go out and buy the defenders required and with the appointment of the hapless Jack McGinn to Chairman the rumours for the replacement of Hay grew. Jack McGinn was out of his depth and his man management was later to show just how woeful he was.
To the surprise of many the championship went down to the wire between Celtic and the Gorgie Cloggers (Hearts), and against all expectations we won the League on a memorable last day at Love Street. Hearts only needed a draw and we needed to win by a hatful, and that we did winning by a giant margin to send the support into raptures. It was the least Davie Hay deserved. We'd fought all the way. Some ridiculously refused to give Davie Hay full credit but the league is a marathon and not a sprint and we finished top. In this case, we really were better it wasn't just a case of Hearts slipping up as cynics like to claim, plus Hearts dire style of football would have been a travesty for football if they were the league victors.
For the 1986-87 season, things were to change dramatically again for Scottish football. Rangers were reinvigorated with large cash injections and an ambitious new manager (Graeme "the Beast" Souness). In contrast, Davie Hay was again denied any support or real funds to go out and buy the players required to shore up the squad. Around Jan 1987, Jack McGinn (newly appointed chairman) disparagingly stated: "If Davie Hay wants to bring those players to Celtic then he will have to pay for them himself!". Charming!!! The biscuit tin mentality was really in vogue with the board. Defensive lapses were the real problem. We'd a terrific attacking side but not a complete team. If the management were more effective then Davie Hay could have been allowed to buy those defenders he required, and it was to backfire on us badly.
We'd established a good points lead in the League, but this was thrown away as points were lost later through repeated defensive errors. Furthermore the issue of player re-contracts had not been addressed (which led to the loss of Brian McClair to Manchester United for next to nothing at the end of the season and the departure of the gems in our squad at the time e.g. Murdo MacLeod to Borussia Dortmund, Mo "Judas" Johnstone to Nantes etc).
The league was lost to Rangers in a truly lacklustre style. A little extra spent on transfers would have made all the difference and given Davie Hay the recognition he deserved. The mutterings for the replacement of Hay grew, and with Jack McGinn at the helm of the club, it was already believed that he had wanted Davie Hay out months long before the end (a personality clash?).
Strangely, at the end of the season Hay was finally permitted to go out and buy a defender - Mick McCarthy for £500,000 from Manchester City - a player precisely the kind he had been begging the board to buy during throughout the season. Then the following week he was called to a meeting with chairman Jack McGinn, and Davie was asked/forced to resign. According to Davie Hay in his biography, Jack McGinn said: "We have decided that we must get rid of you as manager of the club. You can either resign or you can be sacked, but we would like you to resign. There will be compensation from the club."
Hay refused and was sacked on 28th May. He learnt of Billy McNeill's return as manager from the radio later that same day. Ironically he was replaced by the manager he had taken over from.
Shabbily handled by the board, it is a clear illustration of the cruel nature of the game and the incompetence of certain management. Hay was being sacrificed by the board having gained the invaluable experience he required. In truth he made few poor purchases and this was all on a limited budget. If the board were set to sack Davie Hay, why did they let him go out and buy a player for so much just before they dumped him? Baffling!
In fairness, Hay had now been given four seasons and only succeeded in one to win the league. He'd lost the last league in his last term even though we had a ten pt cushion at one point and we allowed the Huns to overtake us. That was difficult to argue against. He'd had success in getting strikers yet not any defenders, so could the blame then really be the board alone?
On the other hand, how was any manager to succeed against the free spending Huns in his last season whilst Davie's hands were tied behind his back? At the time, English clubs were banned from Europe and so a number of their better players were easy to cherry pick which Rangers did. Sadly our financial and board level blindness held us back, and Hay was left to suffer the consequences.
Tommy Burns summarised a common opinion on Davie saying: "Davie Hay is a hard, hard guy and a lovely, totally straight-forward and honest bloke. But I don't think he was the right man to manage Celtic." Maybe it is simply true that the management life wasn't for Davie Hay, but he had succeeded well in inauspicious circumstances so Tommy was being a touch unfair. It didn't stop Davie Hay to continue to try elsewhere again in management and he showed he had the bottle to take on the difficult role and succeed.
Davie Hay was very unfortunate in that he was given the job when inexperienced and still learning the ropes, but as soon as he gained the experience he was dumped. Poor treatment of a good man. Who knows how it might have panned out if he remained. Nevertheless, he can hold his head up high for his time as Celtic manager and many believe he should have been kept on.
In the new commercial world of football, Celtic were to be initially poorly placed relative to Rangers, and Davie Hay became our first casualty. He was not to be the last.
Post Celtic ManagementDavie Hay went on to have rewarding spells in management at St Mirren, Motherwell, Lillestrom (Norway, where he won the league) and Livingston (winning the league cup), returning later to Celtic as a scout for players, finding amongst others the highly talented but ultimately troublesome "Three Amigos" - Pierre Van Hooijdonk.,Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete. At the end of the 1996/97 season following the sacking of Tommy Burns and resignation of Billy Stark, Davie Hay held the fort at Celtic until the new General Manager, Jock Brown was appointed.
Under Jock Brown, Davie Hay was appointed Assistant General Manager as well as Chief Scout. When Wim Jansen was appointed they found that they had a lot in common and worked well together to identify players and signing targets at the start of 1997/98.
Sadly, a fallout with Jock Brown lead to his moving on again from Celtic, and this departure was with some acrimony, and sadly led to a court case for compensation.
Time has passed, and Davie Hay remained very much a Celtic man to the core, commonly appearing on Celtic TV. His opinions and comments are always well thought-out and valued by many within football. He will always be one of us.
Honours as Celtic ManagerScottish Championship
- Mon the Hoops interview with Davie Hay
- Interview with David Hay after he rejoined as Chief Scout in June 1994
- Paradise Lost: The Davie Hay Storyby Davie Hay with Ken Gallacher (1988)
- The Quiet Assassin: The Davie Hay Story by Davie Hay with Alex Gordon (Author) (2009)
Quotes"Davie Hay has a fresh pair of legs up his sleeve "
John Greig (ex-Hun captain/manager/legend (sic!))
"Davie Hay is a hard, hard guy and a lovely, totally straight-forward and honest bloke. But I don't think he was the right man to manage Celtic."
Tommy Burns 1996
Latest page update: made by fitzpas
, Mar 31 2013, 1:27 PM EDT
(about this update
About This Update
Edited by fitzpas
1 word added
1 word deleted
- complete history)
More Info: links to this page
|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|HenryClarson||Feb 21st 1970 Celtic 3 Rangers 1||2||Jul 13 2010, 8:39 PM EDT by jamiebs|
Thread started: Jan 12 2010, 6:23 PM EST Watch
Apart from Davie's spectacular goal in that game, I've got another great memory of the headline on the front page of the old Glasgow Sports Times (the Pink).
CELTS MAKE HAY IN THE RAIN!
1 out of 1 found this valuable. Do you?
Showing 1 of 1 threads for this page