: Mark Edward McGhee aka
: Mark McGheeBorn
: 25 May 19671957Birthplace
: Glasgow, ScotlandSigned
: 6 NovNovember
1985 (from SV Hamburg)Left
: 10 July 1989 (to Newcastle)Position
: Forward (inside-forward)DebutFirst game::
Rangers 3-0 Celtic,0-3 League,away
9 NovNovember 1985 leagueLast game: Rangers 1-0 Hampden 20 May 1989 scottish cup finalFirst goal: Clydebank 2-0 home 16 November
1985 leagueLast goal: Dundee 2-1 home 22 April 1989 leagueInternationals
: Scotland International Caps
: 4 capsInternational Goals:
Striker Mark McGhee arrived at Celtic in November 1985 from German giants Hamburg for a reported fee of £150,000.
The Glasgow born forward had been a boyhood Celtic fan and as a youngster while and apprentice at Bristol City he attracted intrest from the Parkhead scouts. Indeed McGhee scored in a trial for the Hoops in May 1975 but the Bhoys did not pursue their interest in the player who would eventually kick-off his senior career with Morton.
His performances with the Greenock club earned a move to Newcastle United in Decmber 1977 but just 16 months he returned north of the border to sign for Aberdeen. It was with Alex Ferguson's Dons that McGhee established himself as a striker of note. As part of the talented and determined Aberdeen side of the early 80s he bagged various domestic honours as well as the 1983 European Cup-Winners Cup and European Super Cup.
A competitive, bustling striker McGhee was a handful for most defences. His performance in the 1983 European Cup Winners Cup final against Real Madrid earned praise from no less a figure than Di Stefano who recognised the batling qualities of a player he described as a "born fighter".
At Aberdeen McGhee excelled in games against Celtic, frequently giving the Hoops defence a torrid time. If that wasn't enough to get on the wrong side of the Parkhead fans McGhee was also seen to have played an influential role in getting Roy Aitken controversially sent off in the 1984 Scottish Cup final.
A move to SV Hamburg in April 1984 didn't work out well for the Scotland international and little more than a year later he was back in his home town and declaring: "I've waited a long time to join Celtic."
Part of the deal to bring McGhee back to Scotland saw Hamburg play a friendly at Parkhead on December 9th 1985 when the Germans won more convincingly than the 2-1 scoreline might suggest. It is said that Hamburg received the gate receipts for this game as part of the deal.
Bhoys boss Davie Hay had been looking for a striker to lead the line after Frank McGarvey's departure in the summer and hopes were high that McGhee would quickly rediscover his Aberdeen form.
Hay hoped the striker’s experience would prove to be a valuable addition to his squad but the new Bhoy was to endure a nightmare start to his Hoops career.
In a debut to forget Celtic crashed 3-0 at Ibrox in a league clash on November 9th. Although McGhee hit a post with one shot he had looked unfit and overweight.
Season 1986/87 was a personal disaster as injuries and loss of form meant that he contributed only two goals. Even when fit he struggled to replace Brian McClair, Mo Johnston and even Alan McInally.
Billy McNeill returned to Parkhead as boss in the summer of 1987 and the change of manager - plus the departure of McClair, Johnston and McInally - saw McGhee thrust to the fore.
He made a great start to the season although when Frank McAvennie arrived from West Ham in October his opportunities lessened in the first team. In April 1988 he came on as sub against Hearts in the Scottish Cup semi final with Celtic 0-1 down and almost single handedly changed the game, scoring the first from a near impossible position and creating the winner for Andy Walker.
Walker's injury in the Autumn of 1988 gave McGhee another first-team chance and he scored against Honved in the European Cup in a 4-0 win and then bagged a hat trick against St.Mirren in a 7-1 win, both at Parkhead, in the space of four days. The experienced striker did not look back and cemented a first team slot, scoring 19 times in the process.
Yet after taking four seasons to rediscover his form McGhee left Celtic under freedom of contract and the Celts received £250,000 for him when he returned for a second stint at Newcastle United.
Having scored 34 goals in 113 appearances Mark McGhee never truly showed his top form in a Celtic jersey, much to the frustration of the fans. Although it has to be said there was an element of the support who could never take to him after that cup final incident with Roy Aitken. However, that shouldn't be taken that he was not accepted by all of the fans. He was warmly favoured by some, but sadly the truth is he did not show the same talent in the Hoops as he had during his peak with Aberdeen.
He was however noted for having one of the most charming yet unflattering chants of the era: "He's fat, he's round, he's worth a million pounds!!! Mark McGhee, Mark McGheeeee....."
Last word must be on his playing style. He used to look down whilst running with the ball, as if he had to look at the ball at all times (like some kids do when they are young) instead of keeping your head up. Never negatively impacted him but a funny note.Since leaving football he has been a well travelled, if not particuarly succesful, manager with clubs including Leicester City, Wolves, Reading, Brighton and Motherwell.
While Motherwell boss McGhee was a shock candidate for the Celtic manager job in the summer of 2009. He was, given his track record, unsurprisingly unsuccessful and would eventually takeover as boss of Aberdeen. However a nightmare start to season 2010/11 - including a record 9-0 drubbing by Celtic - saw McGhee sacked by the Dons in December 2010.
| APPEARANCES || LEAGUE || SCOTTISH CUP || LEAGUE CUP || EUROPE || TOTAL|
| 1985-89 || 87 || 15 || 4 || 7 || 113|
| Goals || 27 || 4 || 1 || 2 || 34|
Honours with CelticLeague Champions Scottish Cup Dubai Super Cup
*McGhee was skipper of the Hoops on this occasion
"Listen, I’m a Celtic supporter and when it comes down to who wins the league, Celtic or Rangers, then my loyalties are with Celtic. " Mark McGhee (The Times Apr 08)
Success in Old Firm games is a thrill money can’t buy
Published on 4 Oct 2009
Having ridden on many of the biggest Theme Park killer rides, I know the thrill that they can induce.
As a father of three boys I’ve been dragged screaming on to most of them. The rush of speed, the change of direction, the noise and the transition from darkness into the light all generate excitement that is difficult to reproduce on terra firma. For a cost of about a fiver we can all enjoy the thrill of a lifetime. Good value if you ask me.
Some other thrills cost more. Anyone who has skied off-piste knows how exhilarating that can be; expensive but available to those who can afford it. Reading chairman John Madejski once allowed me to get behind the wheel of one of his many Ferraris. If you ever get the chance to do likewise, take it. The noise of the engine and the pure power that catapults you and the car forward is an awesome feeling.
I’ve been lucky in my life to have had many thrills and exciting experiences. There are a lot of highs that you can buy if you have the dosh. However, there are also thrills that money cannot buy.
Sir David Murray and Dermot Desmond bought their respective football clubs and have been duly rewarded. The thrill of winning a league or cup, or seeing their teams run out to the Champions League anthem must offer them a great emotional return on their investments.
Running out for either side of the Old Firm in the Glasgow derby is the ultimate rush
In recent times people have invested huge amounts of money for the thrill of being in the front seat and going along for the ride at football club. Being the owner of Manchester City is the same as being in the front row of Oblivion at Alton Towers, only the ticket is a bit more expensive.
oday Ibrox will host the first Old Firm match of the season and no doubt there will be a few debutants who have never experienced the thrill of playing in this fixture before. These players will have the privilege of running out of the dark tunnel into the Govan light and will enjoy a ride that money cannot buy.
I would not swap that memory for any Ferrari or for any other thrill I can think of. It’s a thrill that no club owner will ever enjoy, no matter how much money they invest in their chosen club. Running out for either of the Old Firm sides in the Glasgow derby is the ultimate rush.
I do believe that being a supporter of the club you are representing in the match is extra special. Having stood on the terraces with my dad on many
occasions watching the Old Firm do battle and then to be given the
opportunity to go out there and be part of it was brilliant. Every fan’s dream.
There is a lot of hype associated with these games and we are at times in danger of exaggerating the importance of the fixture. Many fans would have you believe that it has global significance. It’s respected as a fixture by football fans internationally but no more than the Manchester or Milan derbies. Today, though, for supporters of the two Glasgow giants, it will feel like Glasgow is at the world’s epicentre and that all eyes are on them.
As a player you could feel the anticipation building in the days prior to the match. We would all be praying that we would be playing. Nerves were always a little bit frayed in the Old Firm week.
Unlike most other fixtures the head-to-head aspect of the match transcends any impact the result may have: you don’t play in Old Firm games for points, you play for pride, for honour and for bragging rights. Legends are formed in these games. Individual players can endear themselves to supporters by producing something special. Today’s match represents a great opportunity for a player to go down in legend – regardless of the fact that it’s only the first of at least four occasions that the teams will clash this season.
For owners, victory in these games can be regarded as a return on their investments. For the player who takes the glory, the thrill is priceless.