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PersonalFullname Stuart Ian Slater
aka: Stuart Slater
Born: 27 March 1969
Birthplace: Sudbury, Suffolk, England
Signed: 14 Aug 1992
Left: 20 Sep 1993
Position: Winger, Forward
Debut: Celtic 1-0 Dundee, League Cup 19 Aug 1992
International Caps: None for senior; U-21s: 3 caps
BiogNow and again on Celtic forums, you will get threads on players who could have got to the top but didn't. Charlie Nicholas is a good example of this but that was away from Celtic, with Arsenal wasting his talents. Another name that is mentioned, and is more directly related to Celtic, is that of Stuart Slater.
The highly rated Stuart Slater arrived in Glasgow in August 1992 following a £1.5 million transfer from West Ham United (a then record amount for Celtic).
Sudbury-born Slater had been an exciting talent with the Hammers although critics pointed out he didn’t score anywhere near enough goals for an attacking midfield. Having achieved 3 caps for England U-21 he was believed to be a rising talent in the English game.
Quick with exceptional ball control Slater had shown on many occasions at Upton Park that he had the ability to run at and beat defences. Consequently when signed by Liam Brady (for £1.5m) he was warmly welcomed by a Celtic support which had traditionally cherished such entertainers and were now desperately seeking a new hero. Liam Brady had actually played beside him at the tail-end of his career, so knew what kind of player he was and thought that he could get the best out of him.
Sadly that hero was not to be Slater who while in Glasgow never once looked like the talent he had been with at West Ham. Started off poorly, where he didn't have a proper pre-season due to a stomach bug from a burger. Once he got going, he just couldn't get to the heights he deserved to be at. There were rare flashes of his once undoubted ability but it was all too apparent that this big money buy was an expensive luxury who couldn’t be carried by a toiling Celtic side. When he scored his first goal (which was quite late from signing), it was reported (with some relief) as if he'd won the cup or something! It was over the top, but showed how far his development lagged and how behind schedule at Celtic he had gone. He himself admitted to the relief of having got the monkey off his back.
Liam Brady has to take the flak. He did buy a prodigious talent but he just couldn't get the best out of him. Possibly Slater lacked confidence, and with a better coaching set-up he could have been moulded into a far better player. Celtic though was in the grip of "Sack the Board" fever and the place was a mess, so it was no environment for aspiring footballers (even McStay suffered heavily during this time).
He was too often a passenger in games and seemed to lack the physical or mental strength to cope with the demands of Scottish football. One Saturday, on the radio he was interviewed and said just how much he was enjoying being at Celtic and so on, the next week an offer was in from Ipswich who bid £750,000 for the player in September 1993, and Slater returned south after making 56 appearances and scoring 3 goals. A quick exit but the management likely wanted to cut their losses on him. It was for his own good as well to possibly give him a chance to kick-start his career somewhere else.
Genuinely believe he was a talented player and nobody saw the best out of him at Celtic or any of his other clubs. Sometimes luck and the right circumstances can play a role in a player's development. For Stuart Slater, he just came to Celtic at the wrong time.
Ipswich was mixed and little better from his time at Celtic. His career slid from there.
It was another great talent whose career never matched the potential.
Regardless, he came over as a good bloke, and we hope him all the best for the future.
At time of writing, he is a Physical Education teacher at Kings Langley School in England.
| APPEARANCES |
|LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
|1992-93||40 (4)||3||3 (2)||4||50 (6)|
Honours with Celtic
- none (the barren years)
Latest page update: made by fitzpas
, Mar 31 2013, 2:40 PM EDT
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