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PersonalFullname: Derek Whyte
Born: 31 August 1968
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Signed: 14 May 1985
Left: 12 Aug 1986
Position: Defender, Full-back & Centre-half
Debut: Hearts home 1-1 League 22 February 1986
Last game: Aberdeen away 1-1 League 5 August 1992
First goal: St Mirren away 1-0 League 26 September 1987
Last goal: Dundee United home 3-1 League 28 March 1992
International Caps: 12 Caps
International Goals: 0 Goals
BiogDerek Whyte enjoyed a rapid rise through the Celtic ranks, progressing through all the Celtic Boy Club teams to be signed by the club on an S-Form, then onto the groundstaff followed by a full professional contract on 14th May 1985. He made his first team debut at the age of just 17, exactly 10 years and 1 day after another young debutant Roy Aitken had made his own debut.
The rookie defender acquitted himself well in a 1-1 home league draw with Hearts on February 22nd 1986 and his presence and maturity for one so young raised hopes that Celtic had uncovered a future captain.
Further impressive performances followed from the youngster as Celtic took the league championship on goal difference from Hearts in a thrilling climax to the season.
The next season may have been trophyless but the teenager, who had now been switched from full-back to the more demanding centre-half position, continued to earn plaudits for his mature and accomplished displays.
In season 1987/88 he formed a solid partnership with experienced Irish international Mick McCarthy as Celtic completed a famous league and cup double in the club’s centenary season. Most bizarre accolade for him that season was to be voted in the "Evening Times" newspaper as the sexiest Celtic player! Anyhow, that wonderful season was most certainly the highlight of his career and he played a great part.
A Scotland cap and a Scottish Cup winners medal followed the next season thanks to a 1-0 triumph over Rangers, but that 1989 cup triumph was to be the last honour the player was to pick up in the Hoops.
As Celtic struggled badly to compete with a big spending and ambitious Rangers, Whyte saw his form and confidence suffer. His once assured displays became more erratic, so much so that at times he appeared to have forgotten the most basic principles of defending. It didn't help that there wasn't a settled centre of defence, esp with Aitken leaving the club.
He slowly regained some form without ever coming close to fulfilling his early potential, but his last appearance was embarrassing where he has to take the flak for goals last in our defeat to Hibs, one of which was an own goal by him. It was a sad end to his time at Celtic having been a very fair and promising youngster.
In August 1992 – after making 276 appearances and scoring 8 goals for Celtic - he departed for Middlesbrough after failing to agree a new contract at Parkhead. One of the ironies is that many thought he was older than he really was, it was due to the length of time that he was at Parkhead but many had forgotten that he had started very young at the club. Leaving in 1992 he was lucky to miss the next couple of dreary years at Celtic, as the Barren Years took hold. We would have benefited if he had stayed.
Since retiring from playing, he has joined that long list of footballers-turned-TV football analysts. In his case, he has brought a little more intelligence and a little less sensationalism to the role, a far cry from many of the others, and this somehow reflects how he was as a player.
At time of writing, he is involved in property management and ownership in Dubai, and also moved into some football analysis on foreign football for local satellite TV stations.
We hope him the best.
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Other|
|Partick||02/07/2002||31/05/2004||Free||37 (3)||0||0 (0)||0||5 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Aberdeen||19/12/1997||02/07/2002||Signed||134 (2)||0||12 (0)||0||8 (0)||0||1 (0)||0|
|Middlesbro||06/08/1992||19/12/1997||£ 900,000||160 (7)||2||4 (2)||0||14 (1)||1||6 (0)||0|
|Celtic||01/01/1985||06/08/1992||Junior||211 (4)||7||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Totals||£900,000||542 (16)||9||16 (2)||0||27 (1)||1||7 (0)||0|
| ||goals / game||0.01||0||0.03||0|
Honours with CelticScottish League
1968 Born in Glasgow. 31st August 1968
1981 Joins Celtic Boys' Club aged 13 and signs an S-Form with Celtic. Plays for Scotland at U15 - U18 level
1985 Given first professional contract on 14th May
1986 Makes first team debut aged 17 against Hearts under boss Davie Hay.
1987 Makes Scotland debut aged 19 in 2-0 victory over Belgium at Hampden.
1988 Helps Celtic land historic league and cup double in their centenary season.
1992 Moves to Middlesbrough for (pounds) 900,000 transfer fee.
1997 Joins Alex Miller at Aberdeen as team captain during a period which saw the Dons fortunes rapidly decline.
1998 Is in national squad for World Cup in France.
2002 Out of contract at Aberdeen, signs for Partick Thistle.
2003 Appointed joint Player / Manager of the Jags along with Gerry Britton when Gerry Collins sacked
2004 Retires from playing to concentrate on management and soccer punditry.
2005 Sacked by Partick Thistle in January
QuotesSigning For Celtic
"As well as my school team, I started off playing for a variety of local sides in the area. I went to play for a team in Gartcosh, and the father of one of the players there helped out with Celtic.
"I can remember asking him: ''How do you go about being picked up by a big team like Celtic?'' I was only about 12 and I had absolutely no idea how things like that happened.
"But he invited me along to train with Celtic Boys' Club on a Tuesday night. I signed schoolboy forms for them and, then, after a couple of years, I was lucky enough to be offered a professional contract.
On Making his Debut
"I made my debut for Celtic in quite a game; a showdown against a Hearts side that was on top of the Premier League table and being hotly tipped to land the Scottish title for the first time in 26 years.
"We treated that game like a final. Accordingly, our manager, Davie Hay, took us away to Seamill the night before. That was where Celtic prepared for all their big cup games.
"Davie told me I was playing at left back on the morning of the match. I was just 18 and my only involvement with the first team up until that point had been sitting on the bench for a Scottish Cup game against Queen's Park the week before.
"Celtic had a great side at that time and I was surrounded by experienced and talented players such as Danny McGrain, Roy Aitken, Tommy Burns, Maurice Johnston, Brian McClair and Paul McStay.
"A few of them offered me words of encouragement and I felt fine about things. Looking back now, I don't know how I managed to stay so cool.
"I can remember being booked just 10 minutes after the game kicked off. I tackled John Colquhoun and sent him up in the air.
"As soon as I did that, I thought: "Oh no! I'm going to get sent off in my first game for Celtic!" I had to tread very carefully after that.
We were all very down after the game, when we only managed to draw 1-1. A lot of people, including most media pundits, wrote off our chances of winning the league. We were in fourth place behind Hearts, Dundee United and Aberdeen.
On Winning the League in 1986
" . . . that side had a tremendous self-belief and never gave up. We went on an incredible run after that and won our last eight league games.
"Our manager, Davie Hay, was convinced we could pull it off.
"I think that's why his team talk was so short when we got to Love Street.
"He was content to put up newspaper clippings all about how it was going to be Hearts' year.
"He simply said: 'Read this'."
On Leaving Celtic
"I left in the summer of 1992 when Liam Brady was manager. I'd come to the end of a contract and was offered a new deal. I'd been in the first team since making my debut at 17 in 1986 under Davie Hay. Brady had signed Gary Gillespie and Tony Mowbray and I knew what kind of money they were on. The deal offered to me wasn't in the same league. I think they took me for granted because I'd come up through the ranks. I was a Scottish international and didn't feel the offer was right. Middlesbrough had just been promoted for the first season in the Premiership. I went down and signed.
"I lived in the same street as Mark McGhee and our big brothers went to the games. Sometimes my brother took me along. It was a dream come true to play for Celtic and win titles and cups. It was all a bit sudden. I'll always remember going in to pick up my boots and dropping them into a bin bag. I was 23. Neilly Mochan, the kit man at the time, was saying: "I can't believe they're letting you go." And that was it. I was sorry not to get the chance to say a farewell to the punters.
Q: Looking back on your Celtic career, how do you reflect on your time at the club?
Derek Whyte: "I think it was a wonderful learning experience with the amount of guys I was involved with from such an early age. Going right back to the start with the S-forms when we were about 13, Jimmy Johnstone and Bobby Lennox were at the club. Then when I joined in the mid 1980s, Bobby Lennox was the reserve coach and he was great teaching us about the importance of fitness which stays with you for life. Then Big Billy was the manager for a spell before Davie Hay came in and won the league in my first six months which was remarkable because I was only 17. Big Billy then came back and we won the double in 1988 so the majority of my time at the club was successful and I loved every minute of it. I’ve said before, if you play for Celtic it is with you for life. We won the Double in the centenary season and we had the boys out here in 2008 to mark the 20th Anniversary. The Celtic Supporters’ Club here brought the likes of Mick McCarthy and Chris Morris over and I helped them organise it. It’s great to do things world-wide, it’s a big family and a fantastic club to be associated with. My 17-year old son goes to the games every week - he’s a season ticket holder."
Derek Whyte & The Celtic View (2011)
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