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McFarlane, John 'Jean'
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PersonalFullname: John McFarlane
aka: "Jean" McFarlane
Born: 24 Nov 1899
Died: 25 Feb 1956
Birthplace: Bathgate, West Lothian
Signed: Nov 1919
Left: 20 June 1929 (to Middlesborough)
Debut: Motherwell 0-0 Celtic, League, 17 Apr 1920
BiogThe Bathgate-born son of a colliery manager, John ‘Jean’ McFarlane first signed for Celtic in November 1919 after being spotted in the junior grade at Wellesley.
Initially signed as an inside right he made his big team debut in a 0-0 league draw at Motherwell on April 17th 1920.
The following year he was tried out at left-half in Patsy Gallacher’s benefit game with Burnley and such was the quality of his assured performance that it was not long until he made the position his own.
An elegant presence on the pitch Jean was a wonderful passer of the ball and was supremely gifted at feeding his forwards with chance after chance. He revealed in his weekly (humourous) column for the Weekly News that it was a Celtic groundsman who first started to call him Jean instead of John and it stuck ever more.
He played his part in the Scottish Cup triumphs of 1923 and 1925 and even when Celtic were off colour McFarlane could always be relied upon to provide some moments of real quality to lift the support. He even set up the winner in the 1925 Scottish Cup final for Jimmy McGrory:
"It was a mighty goal scored by McGrory diving full-stretch to ram a perfect free-kick from McFarlane past future Celt Jock Britton. Jean McFarlane was a classic wing-half, a carpet artist and an all-time Celtic great." (Eugene MacBride, A-Z of the Celts)
A consistent and faithful Celtic servant Jean played 304 times for Celtic and scored 13 goals. He eventually departed Parkhead for Middlesbrough in June 1929 but by then there was no doubt he had given his very best service to the Bhoys. He later moved to Dunfermline Athletic in 1934, retiring the following year.
A tremendous footballer and a Celtic great.
William Fagan was Jean's nephew and Celtic player who also came from Wellesley.
[....needs heavily expanded, he played around 300 games....]
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Honours with CelticScottish League
- [to be completed]
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, Dec 18 2012, 10:35 AM EST
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