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PersonalFullname: Patrick Gordon Stanton
aka: Pat Stanton
Born: 13 September 1944
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Signed: 1 September 1976
Left: 5 August 1978 (retired through injury)
First game: 4 September 1976 Rangers home 2-2 League
Last game: 13 August 1977 Dundee United home 0-0 League
Internationals: Caps: 16 caps
International Goals: 0
BiogPat Stanton was a Hibernian legend when he signed for the Bhoys in a shock swap deal in September 1976 with Celtic's Jackie McNamara (sr) moving in the opposite direction.
The veteran had spent 13 years with the Edinburgh side – his first and true love - and was just a couple of weeks short of his 32nd birthday when he made the surprise switch to Parkhead. The signing would prove to be a Jock Stein masterstroke.
As a Hi-Bee he played mostly in midfield and was named Scotland's Player of the Year in 1970, the season Celtic made it to a second European Cup final. He had played briefly under Stein at Easter Road, captained the club for six years and scored one and created the other goal in the 2-1 League Cup final victory over Celtic in 1972 and led his Hibs side to two Drybrough Cup victories, both against Celtic, in 1972 and 1973. He was inspirational for Hibs in their 7-0 thrashing of Hearts at Tynecastle in January 1973 and was also a regular in the Scotland squads between 1969 and 1974.
Stanton was a class performer. Stein deployed him in a sweeper role and his quality and experience would prove invaluable to a young Celtic side desperately struggling to reach the standards and expectations set by the Lisbon Lions. A decade after European Cup glory the Celts’ had failed to qualify for the European Cup for the second successive season. After years in the shadow of Stein rivals Rangers were now top of the tree. Thankfully Stanton’s impact and influence was immediate.
The classy defender brought a calm assurance to the Hoops’ defence and helped the young Roddy MacDonald progress into an excellent player. Leading by example, Stanton encouraged the Bhoys to play a confident passing game. Suddenly players who had struggled just months before were turning in accomplished performances. With Stanton marshaling the defence and Kenny Dalglish inspirational in attack Celtic fans began to wonder if Stein had built another side capable of challenging in Europe.
The Bhoys won back the championship, ironically won at Easter Road, and the then Hibs chairman Tom Hart banned the television cameras from filming that day and it was felt he was still smarting from Stanton's loss. Joe Craig scored the winner in a 1-0 win. Celtic then underlined their domestic dominance by completing a League and Scottish Cup double and with a 1-0 victory over Rangers at Hampden and Pat now had a full set of domestic medals. Pat had received a good luck telegram in the dressing room before the final from his old Easter Road team mates. Only a defeat to Aberdeen in November 1976 had cost Celtic the treble when their inspirational defender was cup tied. Had he been eligible to play it is likely Celtic would have won.
Stanton played a major part in Celtic's successful tour of the Far East in the summer of 1977 where they defeated Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade although Pat blotted his copybook by being sent off against Red Star for retaliation, which was a rare occurrence.
Sadly for the Celtic support it would prove to be a false dawn. Dalglish departed for Liverpool on August 10th 1977 and just three days later at Parkhead against Dundee United Stanton suffered a knee injury which would eventually end his career. It was a double blow which destroyed the Bhoys season and Pat's steadying influence in defence was to be sadly missed.
Pat Stanton retired a year after sustaining that injury against Dundee United having played 44 times for Celtic. He will always rightly be remembered first and foremost as a true Hibernian hero but the wonderful talent he displayed in his Celtic cameo will ensure a deserved place in the history of the Bhoys. Pat Stanton was, first and foremost, a magnificent footballer.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticScottish Premier League
Pat On Signing For Celtic"I was at home, resting before an evening derby with Hearts, when I got a call from Eddie Turnbull ," recalls Stanton. "Eddie had Jock with him, and he came on and said: 'Would you like to join my team?' I said yes, and travelled to Parkhead that night. I found out later that Celtic had tried to buy me a few times."
So Stanton signed on September 1 - with Jackie McNamara moving in the opposite direction - and was introduced to his new teammates wearing a classic Arthur Montford-style checked jacket ("It was so loud you needed volume control, but I was proud of it").
Generally a midfielder at Hibs, Stein told him to play sweeper, and three days later he made his debut against Rangers at Parkhead. "All I could think was: 'Please don't make a mistake', but the game ended 2-2 and it was a great experience."
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