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PersonalFullname: Mark Wilson
Born: 5 June 1984
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Signed: 16 Jan 2006 (from Dundee Utd, £500k)
Left: 16 Aug 2012 (to Bristol City)
Position: Defender, Right-back
Debut: Celtic 3 - 3 Dundee United, SPL, 28th January 2006
Squad no.: 2
International Caps: 1 [...complete at end of career...]
International Goals: 0 [...complete at end of career...]
Mark Wilson completed a boyhood dream when he moved from Dundee United to Celtic for a reported £500,000 fee on January 16th 2006.
Celtic had been watching the development of the 21-year-old defender with interest for months prior to the move as the player established himself as one the brightest prospects in the SPL. The switch to the Bhoys came as no surprise and the attack-minded full-back but still solid defender was only too happy to join the club which he had followed all his young life.
Although right-footed Wilson was initially fielded by Gordon Strachan in the left-back berth and his early performances indicated that the player was more than capable of fulfilling his potential, but in time he was moved to his more familiar right-back role. Strachan was of a school of thought that seemed to place players on the opposite wing to what they were suited for with respect to their striking foot. Works for some coaches apparently.
However injuries curtailed Wilson’s development. A broken foot and persistent knee problems limited his game time. German internationalist Andreas Hinkel arrived in January 2008 and made the right back slot his own, and even following a change of manager in summer 2009 Wilson continued to find first team opportunities limited.
Mark Wilson's injuries ended up becoming a bit of a repeated frustration for the fans who used to joke of his repeated time on the treatment bench. He ended up repeatedly playing a fraction of the games the first team competed in. The club had to have patience with him, but it was a repeated issue through his time at the club.
When Neil Lennon became the manager and made South Korean right-back Cha Du Ri one of his first signings, it meant that by summer 2010 Wilson was deemded to be pushed further down the pecking order. However a serious injury to Hinkel meant that Wilson remained at Parkhead where he continued to provide reliable cover instead of being shipped out, and a stroke of luck it was to be.
An unquestionably likeable character Wilson responded to his prolonged spell on the subs bench by simply getting his head down and doing his best to prove himself worthy of a recall to the starting line-up. A faithful and dedicated performer he enjoyed a recall to the starting line-up after Cha was called up for Asia Cup duty in January 2011 and more than showed his worth.
A decent showing in the 2-0 win over Rangers in the New Year game at Ibrox proved that Wilson was still a capable player but it was the beginning of a purple patch of form for him.
Mark scored his first goal for Celtic in a 3-0 victory against Aberdeen on the 1st of February in which he netted a fine headed goal followed by his second Celtic strike just 12 days later against Dundee United. Remarkably, Mark then scored his third, and most important, goal in the 1-0 Scottish Cup replay victory over arch-rivals Rangers on the 2nd of March. It was like a dream come true. He had to wait around 6 years to get a single goal, and now it was 3 in 6 games!
The second half of the 2010/11 season had finally seen Wilson come closest to fulfilling his early potential, with Wilson establishing himself as first choice right back and turning in a succession of mature and assured performances. His name was cheered to the rafters and he was showing the form that all knew he could produce when given a long-run in the first team. Perhaps a factor in Wilson's form has been the relationship he has created with Scott Brown, since Brown had become a regular fixture on the right side of midfield with Celtic finally getting something close to the best out of both players.
We were so pleased to see Mark back at his best. Despite having competition from Cha Du-Ri and then the young Adam Matthews, it was a great accolade that he was more than holding his own. The start of the new campaign in 2011/12 was no easy matter, but then the old injury jinx returned. Mark Wilson was again injured and this time was out for practically the rest of the season. For most supporters, it was too tiresome to see him in & out. The writing was on the wall as Adam Matthews was giving increasingly confident performances with Cha Du-Ri deputising when needed (although Cha Du-Ri was still a bit of a calamity).
We missed Mark, and at the end of the season he was given a start (with the captain's armband) against St Johnstone in May 2012 in a 1-0 win at home as a worthy goodbye to the fans for him. A bittersweet moment for him and we do respect him.
He left for Bristol City in Aug 2012 with our best wishes. A very popular player.
Honours with CelticScottish Premier League:
| KDS Honours || || |
| MOTM Winners 2006-07|
| 06-Aug-06 ||Hearts 2 v 1 Celtic|| SPL|
| MOTM Winners 2008-09|
| 17-Aug-09 ||Dundee Utd 1-1 Celtic|| SPL|
Derby hero realises Bhoyhood dreamBy: Mark Henderson on 08 Mar, 2011 11:07
SCORING the winner in a Glasgow derby – it’s a dream scenario which every Celtic supporter will have pictured in their minds on some occasion.
For virtually every fan, however, it’s something which remains firmly consigned to the imagination.
Mark Wilson had been no different until last week, when he became one of the select few to realise their dream, scoring the only goal in the Hoops’ 1-0 victory over Rangers in the Scottish Cup fifth round replay.
As a youngster, the lifelong Hoops fan always held an ambition of scoring against the Ibrox side, even when he played against them at boys’ club level.
Despite his best attempts, it never transpired. Then on the biggest stage of all, in a dramatic night in Paradise, his moment arrived. It was worth the wait. He will cherish it for the rest of his life.
“Even when I played against Rangers at boys’ club level and youth level, I always wanted to score against them, but I never ever managed to it, so to score in a real Glasgow derby match is beyond my wildest dreams,” he said, in an exclusive interview with this week's Celtic View.
“Growing up as a Celtic fan, I had to go through all the nine-in-a-row years and there was a lot of heartache back then so it was always something you would love to do but you never think you would get the chance.
“Luckily enough, I have played in a lot of derby games – and that’s one I will always remember.
“For me to get the chance to do it is something I couldn’t have dreamt of. It’s a fantastic moment in my career.
“It still surreal, I guess, looking back on it. I will still be on a high for a good bit yet after scoring the winner in a derby game. It’s not something I am likely to ever do again.”
Celtic boss Neil Lennon pays tribute to defender Mark WilsonBBC 4 May 2012
Celtic defender Mark Wilson will almost certainly be leaving the club at the end of the season, bringing to an end his six-and-a-half year stint there.
Wilson joined his boyhood favourites from Dundee United in January 2006.
"He's going to have to move on. We have made provision for next season," said manager Neil Lennon, who made Wilson captain in the win over St Johnstone.
"It will probably be his last time playing at Celtic Park. He has been a tremendous servant to the club."
Lennon and Wilson played together when Wilson made the switch from Tannadice and the manager said the club would be "more than happy to help" the Scot find a new club.
"He wants to continue his career," added Lennon of the 27-year-old Scot, who made his first top-team appearance since 29 October.
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"Unfortunately for him he has been curtailed by injury this season.
"He was magnificent for us last year. He had that knee surgery in the first half of the season and it held him back this year."
Celtic have Adam Matthews, Cha Du-Ri and Mikael Lustig for Wilson's favoured right-back berth and it is unlikely that he will be the only player on his way out of the club this summer.
"We are going to trim the squad. It's clogged up a little bit and we want to make provisions for new players coming in," added Lennon.
"We've identified a few players [to sign] but whether we can get over the line with them or not is another thing.
Neil Lennon and Mark Wilson
Lennon and Wilson look dejected after a defeat by FC Copenhagen in 2006
"We have to manage the debt here. We have to be prudent with our signings.
"I don't think there will be a marquee signing, but if there is I'll be delighted.
"In terms of the balance of the squad, I don't think we need one because they are young and hungry and vibrant. I like what we've got within the ranks at the minute."
The Celtic manager made seven changes to the team that beat Rangers at the weekend for the match against St Johnstone, which was won thanks to an Anthony Stokes goal.
As well as Wilson, Celtic gave starts to goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska, defenders Kelvin Wilson and Thomas Rogne, midfielder Dylan McGeouch, and strikers Anthony Stokes and Mo Bangura, the latter playing for the first time since December.
"We made a lot of changes but it was good to give the boys a run-out," said Lennon.
"I was really pleased with my back four and with Lukasz.
"That's 24 clean sheets, an SPL record. That's tremendous consistency."
Mark Wilson: Once a Celt, always a Celt(celticfc.net)
By: Laura Brannan on 09 May, 2012 10:07 MARK Wilson used to sit at Celtic Park cheering on the Hoops. He got to live the dream of playing for the club he loves and last Thursday, against St Johnstone, he captained the team in what looks set to be his last appearance for his beloved Celtic.
Not surprisingly, therefore, it was an emotional night for the popular player, who was intent on savouring every moment, including the well-deserved standing ovation he received when he left the field late in the second-half.
"It was a good reception because obviously I´ve never been one of the players to light the place up and get the crowd going," he told this week’s Celtic View.
"I´ve never been one of the form stars or favourites so it was a nice send off and I really appreciate it.
"It was very humbling - I never would have thought, as a young boy sitting in the crowd, that one day I would be getting that kind of ovation going off so it was pretty special.
"I knew I was going to play. The manager told me last week he was thinking of playing me either against St Johnstone or in the Dundee United game. He decided he´d play me in the home game which was good because it gave me one last chance to play at Celtic Park.
"I appreciated that but obviously wish I could be staying longer, circumstances haven´t worked out that way though. It was good to be out there one last time, and to be the captain as well was a nice touch.
"I found myself looking around a bit more and taking things in more than I would usually do. With the amount of times I´ve been there you begin to take it for granted a bit, but knowing it was my last game it was important I took as much out of it as possible.
"I haven´t played for about six months so it was good just to get a game – and for it to be my last game at Celtic Park I definitely enjoyed it."
And Wilson, who has made 138 appearances for the Hoops since joining the club in January 2006, scoring three goals, would be happy for fans to remember him as someone who always gave his best for the Hoops.
"If the fans do remember me then I hope they know I gave my all for the club,” he said. “I always tried my best and that´s what I said I would do when I first came here. I remember being asked in my first interview what I was going to bring and I said I was going to try my best for the team.
"I was going to go in every week with the right attitude and I think I did that. Even when I´ve had bad games I´ve always went in with the intention of doing well for the team.
"I´ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Celtic and I´ve been very lucky to be here."
Bristol City sign former Celtic defender Mark WilsonBBC
Bristol City have signed former Celtic defender Mark Wilson, subject to international clearance.
The 28-year-old, who was a free agent after being released from the SPL side in the summer, has agreed a short-term contract until 13 January.
He was involved in the Championship club's pre-season campaign and was in the stands for City's League Cup defeat by Gillingham on Tuesday.
It will be Wilson's first foray in the English game.
He started his career at Dundee, where he spent six seasons and made 137 appearances, before joining Celtic in 2006.
Injury restricted Wilson to only 11 games last term and he was let go by manager Neil Lennon in May.
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