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PersonalFullname: Neil Mochan
Born: 6 Apr 1927
Died: 28 Aug 1994
Birthplace: Larbert, Carron Scotland
Signed: 8 May 1953
Left: 17 Nov 1960
Position: Forward, Left winger & left-back, Outside-left
Debut: Queen's Park 1-3 Celtic, CC, 9 May 1953 (scored twice)
International Caps: 3
International Goals: 0
Celtic Coach: 8 Feb 1964
Celtic Kit Manager: June 1991
BiogNeil Mochan was a powerful forward who established his eternal place in Celtic folklore just weeks after joining the Bhoys.
The Larbert-born player signed for the Hoops in May 1953 from Middlesbrough and remarkably he went on to win two trophies before he ever made his home debut! Mochan’s debut came in a Glasgow Charity Cup final victory over Queen’s Park at Hampden - he scored twice - and he was to play his next three games at that same ground as Celtic claimed the Coronation Cup. His jersey was on display at the People's Palace Centenary Exhibition in 1988.
With pace and power in abundance Mochan also possessed a famously fearsome shot which he used to excellent effect. These attributes made the robust Mochan exactly the type of forward Celtic had been crying out for.
The Bhoys reached the final of the Coronation Cup with wins over Arsenal and Manchester United and in the final Celtic emerged victorious after a shock 2-0 victory over the highly fancied Hibernian – Mochan opening the scoring with a trademark long rang drive.
His impressive start to his Celtic career saw him pick up three Scotland caps as he was selected for the 1954 World Cup squad. A constant goal threat and an inspiration to team-mates and fans alike Mochan could play on the left wing or through the middle but despite an excellent scoring record he was not always an automatic first team starter – much to the bewilderment and anger of the Parkhead faithful. He became somewhat of a utility player, filling in at inside left and even left-back when required.
Mochan did however start in the final of the 1957 League Cup ['Hampen in the Sun'] when as a left winger he got the better of marker Bobby Shearer to score twice as Celtic thumped Rangers 7-1 at Hampden.
Neil eventually departed Celtic in November 1960 for Dundee United after 268 appearances and 111 goals. He had collected winners medals in the Coronation Cup (1953), League championship (1954), Scottish Cup (1954) and League Cup (1956/57 & 1957/58).
He returned to Paradise on the coaching staff and was a popular figure as a trainer with Stein's all conquering side and was a much loved member of the backroom team for many years, and continued in a coaching capacity well into the 1980s, under Stein's successors Billy McNeill and Davie Hay.
He may not be the most noted player we have ever had, however he is the link to many of the greatest moments in our club's history. He was there for the Coronation Cup, Hampden in the Sun, the Lisbon Lions of 1967,Ten Men Won The League and so on.
Neilly's nickname with the Celtic faithful was "Smiler" which was a sarcastic play on his generally dour appearance. He was however a truly great Celt.
Neilly sadly passed away in 1994. He died of leukemia. Neilly's Funeral Mass was at St.Francis Xavier in Falkirk and he was laid to rest in Camelon Cemetery.
Quotes"Neilly Mochan was a greyhound enthusiast. I remember he wanted a dog from Ireland, and I put him in touch with an owner that I knew. Neilly bought it for eighty pounds. A few days later it dropped dead! He never forgave me."
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticCoronation Cup
The Glasgow HeraldAugust 29, 1994
ONE of the acknowledged greats in the history of Celtic,Neil Mochan, died yesterday at Falkirk Royal Infirmary after a short illness. He was 67.Mr Mochan served the club admirably as both a player and member of the coaching staff. He was a player whose talent was probably only fully appreciated when he had stopped playing.He first came to prominence during the Second World War when he signed for Morton in June 1944 from juvenile club Dunipace Thistle.
Mr Mochan soon made a mark as a fast centre forward, supported by three future internationalists in Billy Steel, Tommy Orr, and Johnny Kelly.While still with the Greenock club, he became one of comparatively few visiting players to score a hat trick against Celtic at Parkhead.In May 1951, he moved on to Middlesbrough for a fee of £14,000 but,although he did well enough on Teeside, he did not settle and, two years later, signed for Celtic -- then going through an indifferent period.Mr Mochan made a major impact on the Parkhead scene and before he had even played at Parkhead itself, he had helped Celtic win two trophies at Hampden, the Charity Cup against Queen's Park and the Coronation Cup against Hibernian.
His vigorous forward play, whether through the middle or on the left wing inspired a previously-jaded Parkhead side and set them off on their way to a league and Scottish Cup double in 1954.NeilMochanwas gifted with a truly venomous shot and his hard, driven low crosses from the wing were a constant source of danger to defences, several times resulting in own-goals from desperate defenders.In his latter years at Parkhead, Mr Mochan was most often to be found at left back but he occasionally resumed his forward station to deadly effect, as in the Scottish Cup tie of 1960 against St Mirren when he scored all his side's goals in a 5-2 victory.Before leaving Parkhead, he took part in Celtic's epic 7-1 win in the League Cup final against Rangers in the autumn of 1957.
In 1960, he moved on to Tannadice and his skilful defensive play over the next three seasons did much to help Dundee United consolidate their newly-won first division status.In 1963, he crossed the Tay to Kirkcaldy where a season with Raith Rovers brought his playing career to a close.Almost immediately, he returned to Parkhead to become Celtic's assistant trainer, taking over as chief trainer in the close season of 1965.He was therefore to be very closely associated with the club in the great days under Jock Stein.
He was capped three times for Scotland, two of those caps being against Austria and Uruguay during Scotland's chaotic World Cup campaign of 1954 in Switzerland.
Always affable and accessible, his nickname of Smiler testified to his enduring popularity within the game.
The Neil Mochan Collection(Glasgow Road of the CGS forum)Source: http://celticgraves.com/topic/9330076/1/?x=50
In late November 2011 myself CB and TC were invited to view the memorabilia collected over the years by Neil Mochan.
On show were medals not only from his playing career but also medals won as coach/trainer/kitman in his five decades of devotion to Celtic. It was an honour to hold such cherished items and be given a first hand insight into the history and knowledge of each piece, a wonderful evening that I'm sure none of us will forget.
Initially we had arranged the meet to view and photograph medals for TC's fantastic Medal Thread but upon arriving it was clear there was a lot more on show and what a treat awaited. An actual Lisbon strip (player unnamed) was proudly sitting on the table with an Inter strip by it's side, the Celts strip signed by the whole side and backroom staff apart from Neilly, signed 67 club tie, USA Tour booklet signed, handbooks, Neilly's contract, Coronation Cup gifts, Testimonial gifts and a wide range of unseen mementos picked up over the years.
Having viewed all this whilst photographing and getting some background information on the items we were then thrown two massive piles of strips (one Celtic, one European) to have a rumble through, this for me topped off the night, Inter, Benfica, Real Madrid, Leeds, Fiorentina, AC Milan etc all strips obtained by Neilly from Celtic European opposition, some still dirty, and the Celtic pile of Neilly's Coronation Cup strip, another few 1950's strips, 1960's different styled hoops, Cup Final shirts, Testimonial shirts etc truly magnificent collection which in itself deserves some kind of public showing.
We were there for over four hours and still never got through it all, we were told it wasn't half the stuff that has been collected, so fingers crossed this will be the collection in photograph up until now.
We done our best to photograph most stuff, unfortunately my close up shots of most medals have not turned out so well but we may get another chance to rectify that. It may take a few sittings to load up all my images and hopefully TC and CB will add or correct me on any information I add to the photographs.
Here is to Neilly and this remarkable collection:
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