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McNamara, Jackie Snr (1973-76)
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PersonalFullname: John McNamara
aka: Jackie McNamara, Sr., Boris
Born: 19 September 1952
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Signed: 3 Oct 1973
Left: 1 Sep 1976 (to Hibs)
Position: Central Defender
Debut: Celtic 3-0 TPS Turku, European Cup, 17 Aug 1974
BiogSigned from Cumbernauld United in October 1970 John 'Jackie' McNamara was an assured ball playing defender.
He made his first team debut for the Hoops on October 3rd 1973 in a 3-0 home European Cup victory over TPS Turku. On August 17th 1974 he scored the winner at Parkhead at right-half against Dundee United with a glorious low drive and against Clydebank in the Scottish Cup on February 15th 1975 he scored with another great shot.
By the summer of 1975 Jackie was a regular in the first team squad and he was outstanding against Boavista in both legs of the 1975 ECWC tie which Celtic won 3-1 on aggregate. On December 20th 1975 he scored Celtic's clinching goal at Easter Road against Hibs in a 3-1 win when he coolly lobbed Jim McArthur from inside the penalty area much to the delight of the Celtic support massed behind that goal.
He made a total of 43 appearances for the Bhoys before moving to Hibs in September 1976 in a move which saw Pat Stanton move to Parkhead. He had a niggling leg injury and Jock Stein was keen to sign the experienced Stanton. The Hibs fans were up in arms on losing Pat Stanton (a legend to them) but Jackie proved to be an able player for the Hibees who warmed to him.
Newspaper reports around that time attributed comments to Jackie that he disagreed with the way football clubs treated players and that he had leanings towards the Communist Party (something he didn't hide). This did not go down well with the more 'conservative' powers that be at Celtic at that time and perhaps this hastened his departure. Didn't exactly help when in Dec 1975 his diatribe in "The Leveller" magazine stated:
"I am a Communist...football is a sick business... the management pulls all the strings and everyone looks out for himself... Celtic and Rangers... take a shy and you see the hate on the faces... it's a shame... Celtic Park... not many politically conscious at all .... in for the wages and that's all!".
Jackie enjoyed a long career at Easter Road where he firmly established himself as a fans' favourite and all time great. As stated above he was well read, a deep thinker and was well known as a political activist. He made no secret of his then communist leanings and support for the trade union movement. An interesting character and very much a contrast to the modern player. For all that anyone can argue against his old Marxist beliefs, there is still something to admire that he stuck by his principals as it was never for any personal gain but more for the respect for his fellow man.
In truth, in his time he could take it too far on the pitch as well. He threw his jersey at the referee (Joe Timmons) at Love Street against St Mirren (Nov 1982) after being sent off. A bit of a hot head at the worst of times. Further punishments had him bringing in the unions etc to help out.
Sadly, he had to retire at just 32 after four cartilage operations forced him to call time early on his career.
His son - also né John ("Jackie") - would go on to also sign for Celtic. He spent 10 successful years at Parkhead and skippered Celtic towards the end of the Martin O'Neill era, and proved to be a very popular player as well. In an interesting twist of fate, both men faced each other in a cup final as Jackie McNamara Sr had taken a role as assistant manager at Hibs in the mid-late '90s, helping to manage the Hibs side against the Celtic side his son was playing in.
Quotes"Managers are just former players trying to hang on to something they no longer have."
Jackie McNamara snr, (1999)
| APPEARANCES |
|LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
|1970-1976||18 (3)||2 (0)||9 (5)||3 (2)||32 (10)|
Honours with CelticScottish League Cup
- 1975-1976 Losing Finalist
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, Nov 10 2012, 3:10 PM EST
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