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PersonalFullname: Morten Wieghorst
Born: 25 Feb 1971
Birthplace: Glostrup, Denmark
Signed: 8 Dec 1995
Left: 22 June 2002
International Caps: 30
International Goals: 3
BiogMorten Wieghorst was a likeable midfielder who unfortunately had many injury problems during his years at Celtic, and was often out of the first eleven. A notable exception is stopping the season of stopping 10-in-a-row, in which he played a heroic role.
Wieghorst began his footballing career with Lyngby in 1989 and was part of the Lyngby side that won the Danish Cup in 1990. He moved to Dundee in 1992 and his battling performances brought him to the attention of Tommy Burns. Tommy Burns brought him to Celtic Park in 1995 in a deal which partly saw Barry Smith move in the opposite direction. During his first few years at the club he struggled with injury, and found it difficult to break into a midfield dominated by the likes of Paul McStay, Peter Grant and Phil O'Donnell. His qualities as a ball winning midfield player though were evident whenever he played.
His fortunes were revived under Wim Jansen, and he played an integral role in stopping Rangers winning ten and lifting the league title in 1998. Wieghorst returned to the Danish national side that year becoming a hero when he scored in the 3-2 victory against Italy which secured their qualification to the Euro 2000 finals. At that tournament he became the only Danish player in history to get sent off more than once in international matches.
His season under Josef Venglos was virtually finished when a cruciate ligament injury picked up on the pre-season tour of Holland just about wiped out his participation in the team. He did return before the end of the season but ended up making only 9 appearances that season in what was an injury-troubled season for Celtic.
With the arrival of John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish the following season, Wieghorst was asked to perform a quite different function in Barnes' weird tactical arrangements and he drifted out of regular first team appearances, commonly appearing from the bench. When Barnes finally departed he began to see more starts but was almost immediately ruled out with a further knee injury picked up against Hearts in April 2000, which ruled him out for the final part of the season.
He was still recovering from knee surgery at the start of the following season when he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and following treatment he spent a year in recovery before returning to play in a November 2001 Scottish Cup game. He played a few league games late in the 2001-02 season which showed a player low on both confidence and fitness. Despite still having a year remaining on his contract, he chose to cut short his time with the club and made a sudden return to Denmark to join Brondby.
Post CelticIn his first year at Brøndby, he most famously suffered a gashed eyebrow in the November 2002 game against Farum BK, but played on wearing a bloody head bandage and scored four goals in Brøndby's 7-1 victory. He was appointed vice-team captain and won his second Danish Cup title in 2003.
In February 2003, he was again selected for the Danish national team to play a series of friendly matches against various Asian national teams during which he famously deliberately missed a penalty given when an opposition player misheard a whistle and handled the ball in the area. He was Danish Player of the Year in 2003/04.
In May 2004, Wieghorst suffered a further knee injury in the local derby against arch rivals FC Kobenhavn. He won the Danish Double with Brondby in 2004-05. In May 2005, he announced his retirement at the season end on June 26, 2005.
After ending his playing career he became assistant coach for FC Nordsjælland during the 2005-06 season and became manager the following season. He later obtained a position as assistant manger to legendary player (now manager) Michael Laudrup at Swansea City in 2013.
Wieghorst was a player that gave his best career years to Celtic. He always gave of his best when selected to play and became a well respected player in Scotland during the late 90's. A warm friendly family man off the field with a ready smile, he returned to the club on a number of occasions over the years.
We wish him, and his amazing Lochee accent, all the very best and success in his management career.
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Other|
|Brondby||22/06/2002||Free||No appearance data available|
|Celtic||08/12/1995||22/06/2002||£600,000||59 (25)||10||5 (3)||2||7 (2)||2||3 (1)||0|
|Dundee||02/12/1992||07/12/1996||Signed||90 (0)||11||0 (0)||0||5 (0)||3||0 (1)||0|
|Lyngby||01/08/1991||02/12/1992||No appearance data available|
|Totals||£600,000||149 (25)||21||5 (3)||2||12 (2)||5||3 (2)||0|
|goals / game||0.12||0.25||0.35||0|
Honours with CelticScottish Premier League
Wieghorst still a Celt at heartBy: Laura Brannan on 22 Mar, 2013 10:12Celticfc.net
CELTIC supporters who watched the Swansea City v Bradford City League Cup final last month would have caught a glimpse of some familiar faces on their televisions. While Ki Sung Yueng was grabbing the glory on the pitch, as part of the Swansea side which won 5-0, new Swansea assistant manager, Morten Wieghorst was also joining in with the celebrations.
The former Hoops star is now continuing his coaching career down south in the Premiership following a successful spell in his native Denmark, working with FC Nordsjaelland and the international Under-21 side.
Despite the slight Scandinavian twang, Wieghorst speaks with a broad Scottish accent and it´s not the only lasting impression this country has left on him. He looks back on his seven years at Celtic with fond memories and took a trip down memory lane with this week´s Celtic View.
It may have been almost 20 years since he made the move from Tayside to Clydeside, but the former midfielder still remembers the moment he first heard of Celtic´s interest.
"I was playing in a good Dundee side that reached the League Cup final in 1995 and they played Aberdeen at Hampden," he recalled. "I think at that stage Celtic were looking at Neil McCann, who was a big, big Celtic fan, so I didn’t know of their interest until Jim Duffy, my manager at that time, took me into his office.
"He said Celtic had been in touch as well as a couple of Danish teams. I´d been signing short-term deals at that stage, week-to-week or month-to-month. I can´t really remember, because my contract was up in the summer.
"When Celtic came in there was no doubt in my mind that I had to pursue that opportunity. Jim Duffy, being the ex-Celtic man that he was, spoke highly of the club and a couple of my team-mates were Celtic fans too.
"I remember a few weeks, maybe a month, before I learned of their interest Gerry Britton had taken me along to a European night at Celtic Park to see them play Paris Saint-Germain. It was all a bit of a coincidence because just weeks later I found myself wearing the Hoops."
Coming into a side and competing against the some top-class midfielders made it difficult for Wieghorst to stamp his authority on the starting XI right away. But he was patient and was prepared to bide his time on the sidelines.
"It was difficult but I saw myself as a squad player," he said. "I had set my sights on playing regularly but I could see when I signed Celtic were playing some fantastic stuff.
"I knew they had guys like John Collins, Paul McStay and Peter Grant still playing, and they were doing very well so I knew it would take a while before I could call myself a regular.
"In the meantime I just wanted to do my best whenever I got the chance, I just wanted to show I was good enough to play for Celtic. In that time I tried to learn from the more experienced players but also bide my time too.
"It was such a big opportunity for me to join the club - I was willing to fight for my place before I became a regular."
Wieghorst went on to shine in the Hoops and even though he had to contend with injuries and then a serious illness, he still remains positive about his Celtic days.
"The whole of Scotland was really supportive during that difficult time," he said. "I had so many letters and cards from people wishing me all the best and that is also something that will stay with me forever.
"It was tough but again it´s one of these things that life throws at you and you have to deal with it. It was hard but what made it easier was the support I got from the club and the fans. It was important for me, once I was back to full health, for me to give something back."
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