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McStay, Willie (1912-29)
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PersonalFullname: William McStay
aka: Willie McStay
Born: 21 June 1892
Died: 3 September 1960 at between Shettleston Road and Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Birthplace: Netherburn, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Signed: 13 Jan 1912, 19 July 1916, 23 Jan 1919
Left: 20 Aug 1929
Debut: St Mirren 1-5 Celtic, League, 19 Aug 1916
International Caps: 13
International Goals: 0
BiogThere have been few consistently excellent performers in a Celtic shirt as Willie McStay.
Signed from Larkhall Thistle in 1912 the robustly built Netherburn man spent his first few seasons on loan at Ayr United before finally making his breakthrough for the Bhoys in season 1916-17.
His competitive debut came at Love Street on August 19th 1916 when Celtic defeated St Mirren 5-1 in the league. Although his favoured position was at left-back McStay also turned out reguarlly as a centre-half and he excelled in both positions.
A strong but clean tackler, McStay was an athletic and determined player whose natural strength and keen competitive edge made him a formidable opponent and an ideal team-mate.
He was a fearless performer who never ducked out of a challenge but he was also the most sporting of players. When on the field he never gave less than his all. His fitness and stamina were legendary and coupled to his determined attitude and tremendous work ethic was a natural ability on the ball which made him one of the most accomplished defenders in the game.
His Celtic career was interrupted by the First World War and as a soldier McStay turned out as a loan signing for both Distillery and Belfast Celtic.
He returned to Parkhead in 1919 but McStay fell out with the club in the immediate wake of their 1923 Scottish Cup triumph when the committee decided that despite the cup success they would cut the players wages. McStay went AWOL and was suspended by the club. During this period he headed to the United States and with some US clubs paying the handsome sum of £14 a week to players Willie made an appearance for the New York Giants.
His stay in America was brief and he returned to Glasgow and Celtic in time for the start of the new season. In little over a year would be made captain.
As skipper he inspired his side to a famous 5-0 trouncing of Rangers in the 1925 Scottish Cup semi-final and with so many great attributes it is perhaps unsurprising he went on to become a fine captain both for Celtic and Scotland.
As captain McStay guided Celtic to the league championship in 1926 and two Scottish Cup triumphs (1925, 1927). He eventually left the Hoops in the summer of 1929 when he joined Hearts for £250. By then he had made 446 appearances and scored 39 goals.
In an interesting twist, he was succeeded as Celtic captain by his brother Jimmy McStay in 1929.
He retired from playing in 1930 and was later manager of Glentoran (N Ireland) for a period in the mid-1930s.
As a Celt he won a total of four league titles and three Scottish Cups. He was a truly great player and leader.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticScottish Division One
Latest page update: made by fitzpas
, Mar 31 2013, 3:07 PM EDT
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