Wilson, Mark

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Fullname: Mark Wilson
Born: 5 June 1984
: Glasgow, Scotland
Signed: 16 Jan 2006 (from Dundee Utd, £500k)
16 Aug 2012 (to Bristol City)
Position: Defender, Right-back
Debut: Celtic 3 – 3 Dundee United, SPL, 28th January 2006
Squad no.: 2
Internationals: Scotland
International Caps: 1
International Goals: 0


Wilson, Mark - Kerrydale Street

“I did all right against Ronaldo… he was a right moody bugger. Ronaldinho, though, was big smiles and high fives, even when by sheer fluke I got the ball off him. I loved that.”
Mark Wilson

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 Mark 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 Mark Wilson was deemded to be pushed further down the pecking order. However a serious injury to Hinkel meant that Mark 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 Mark 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 Mark Wilson was still a capable player, and it was the beginning of a purple patch of form for him.

Mark Wilson 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 Wilson 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 Mark Wilson come closest to fulfilling his early potential, with Mark 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 Scott 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 Wilson 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 more often than not).

We missed Mark Wilson, 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 from him to the fans. 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 who managed to achieve his boyhood dreams to play for the Celts.

Due to his injury issues, he ended up with only sporadic appearances at Bristol, followed by a return to Dundee Utd and then finally Dumbarton. One personal highlight was scoring his first goal for Dumbarton in a 3–1 defeat to TheRangers with a volley from the edge of the box.

At Dundee Utd he ended up in an altercation involving Celtic goalkeeper Zaluska, which ended up in court, although Mark Wilson was not charged with anything but his colleague Paul Paton pleaded guilty and was fined £500 for the incidents.

He then moved into the managerial game with unsuccessful stints at Airdrie and Brechin City.


Playing Career

0 0 0 0 0
11 0 0 5 16
0 0 0 0 0
18 2 0 5 25
0 0 0 0 0
10 1 1 3 15
0 0 0 0 0
Goals 2 1 0 0 3
2011-2012 7 0 1 3 11
Goals 0 0 0 0 0
Total Appearances 82 8 6 19 115
Total Goals 2 1 0 0 3

Honours with Celtic

Scottish Premier League:

Scottish Cup:

KDS Honours
MOTM Winners 2006-07
Hearts 2 v 1 Celtic SPL
MOTM Winners 2008-09
Dundee Utd 1-1 Celtic SPL





Derby hero realises Bhoyhood dream

By: 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 Wilson

BBC 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

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 Wilson

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.

Interview: Mark Wilson on Neil Lennon and Roy Keane’s ego battles at Celtic and when Georgios Samaras was told he’d never play for the club again

Aidan Smith
Published: 06:00 Saturday 07 December 2019
The last time I met a football manager in this hotel he explained his bold vision to me and a few days later was out of a job. “Oh no!” gasps Mark Wilson when I tell him. “I’d better see if I can last a bit longer, maybe until the weekend.”

Kenny Miller left his post unexpectedly
but Wilson’s situation, on the face of it, would seem to be one for which the ghouls and vultures are on full message-alert. His Brechin City are currently the bottomest of the bottom, the worst team in the land.

The weekend that Wilson hopes to survive comes with a tang for the 35-year-old. Tomorrow the Old Firm contest the Betfred Cup final and we will talk a lot about the pressure of playing for Celtic, which he did, and of incendiary clashes with Rangers, sometimes incurring the wrath of the likes of Neil Lennon, Gordon Strachan, Roy Keane – and, yes, the wee woman behind the checkout at Tesco because she would have an opinion, too, if our man had just had a stinker. But all of that is nothing compared with the stresses of propping up the rest of Scottish football.

The thing is, he’s smiling. He’s all in black save for the white rims of his on-trend sneakers but, despite admitting Brechin are facing the threat of a third relegation in a row, he hasn’t dressed for a funeral. A win at Stirling Albion today and Wilson’s men will stay in touch. Then, if they were to give themselves the ideal Christmas present by beating the nearest team to them, Albion Rovers, the latter might start to worry they could be overhauled, which was the trick the side from Coatbridge pulled last season, condemning Berwick Rangers instead.

Were Brechin to “go on a wee run” then Wilson believes this kind of scenario could play out. He’s got to think this, of course, but insists: “I’m enjoying the job. I was a long time out of football after Airdrie [his only other experience of management]. I did some media work, waiting for the scores to come in at Radio Clyde, but that didn’t compare with being on the touchline and the buzz you get from it.”

Some guys just can’t kick the habit. Even if your next game will attract one hundredth of the attendance due at Hampden tomorrow, never mind the millions who’ll watch on TV, you will want to stay involved. You’ve gathered experiences which might prove useful as a boss, although some simply won’t suit Glebe Park.

Wilson explains: “I always knew when Gordon [Wilson’s first manager at Celtic] was going to blow up at half-time in the dressing-room because he’d reach for a piece of fruit. It might have been an apple, maybe some grapes, and you’d think: ‘Oh no, here we go again.’ But we all listened and we all reacted. He didn’t explode all the time, just enough for you to think: ‘Crikey, he means it.’”

So Wilson couldn’t copy these five-a-day fulminations in League Two? “We can’t afford fruit at Brechin,” he laughs. “I’d have to bring in my own and I don’t think it would look too cool, me turning up with bags of plums.”

Wilson won the full set of domestic honours with Celtic and three league titles in all. But he was involved in relegation scraps with Dundee United and Bristol City so knows how that feels, too. He knows what it’s like to be almost crippled with nerves: “My first day training at Celtic was calamitous. I wasn’t expecting a fitness test right away and of course it was the dreaded 
VO2 Max where you run until you can’t run any more.

“After that I found myself in a circle with Roy, Stan Petrov and Alan Thompson watching some of the best possession I’ve ever seen. It was supposed to be just a bit of fun before the session proper began but I kept losing the ball. John Hartson said, ‘Come on, young man – relax’, but I couldn’t. Then it was the hurdle races, me against Roy, when I kneed myself in the nose, 
splattering blood everywhere. I just thought: ‘I can’t do this. I’m not going to last long here …’”

How are the nerves up Angus way? “It’s important my players try to stay confident but every defeat saps a little bit more of it. A lot of them came to us having been released by academies so they didn’t have much first-team experience and they’d never been in a relegation battle.” Only two seasons ago Brechin were in the Championship where they went the whole campaign without winning a game. “I was on the radio then,” says Wilson. “Every week it was a bit of a joke: ‘Have they managed to win this week?’” Now it’s his job to locate three points somewhere, then find a few more. Has he dared contemplate the possibility of the tumble down the divisions taking Brechin right out of senior football? “Yes, you need to think about that trapdoor. Livelihoods could be at stake.”

From his own career, Wilson has another first-day horror-story from Tannadice, not from when he joined United as a 16-year-old from Glasgow, this was the moment Ian McCall took charge: “Under Alex Smith I felt like the golden child. I was never in any trouble and Alex loved me. I was a sitting midfielder at that time and he told me I’d play for Scotland in that position. Then Ian turned up and almost the first thing he did was omit me and Stephen O’Donnell from the first-team squad. ‘You pair aren’t midfielders,’ he said. ‘Just wait ’til Mark Kerr arrives, then you’ll see what one of them looks like.’ My first thought was: the manager’s a clown. But he was trying to toughen up our personalities.”

Wilson talks warmly of Jim McLean, at that point the United chairman, even though, as a youth-team player, his match already played in the morning, he was relaxing in front of the TV at home and looked on with astonishment as the Tayside legend thumped BBC Scotland reporter John Barnes. “I’d not long joined the club and wondered if I’d done the right thing. But I came to think that Jim loved me the way he did all emerging talent. He’d ask: ‘How are you, Wilson?’ It was always second names. He had a terrifying grip on the young boys but he was lovely with us as well. He was intimidating but he would excite me. Whenever he shouted on you, you got butterflies.”
Interim Everton manager Duncan Ferguson, wearing his trademark wristband, celebrates victory over Chelsea. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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Dundee were battling relegation when they sold Glen Kamara to Rangers last season. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS
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Wilson was a clean-living lad in those days and didn’t drink. “Me from the east end of Glasgow, too. Growing up there, out in the street until 11 o’clock, my pals would be smashed.” So his body was his temple, then? “I wouldn’t say that. I was a sweetie fiend. Them and cakes. There were boys at United better than me who when it was day off would drink and eventually that caught up with them. I wasn’t at my fittest at United but Gordon Strachan sorted that out. He got me hitting the treadmill on my own after training. That was weird.”

At Tannadice Wilson got back in McCall’s
line-up in a new position – right-back with benefits. “Because we played with no midfielder on that side I had free rein. I was involved in set-pieces and corners from both flanks. I took the penalties. I scored in a Dundee derby, albeit with the worst free-kick of all time, but I was prominent and a bigger club took a look at me. I’ve got a lot to thank Ian for but I also have some guilt. I missed a penalty at Kilmarnock, we lost and he got sacked.”

Wilson was convinced he’d fail the big-club medical; so was his dad smoking furiously in the corridor. He’d needed the first operation on one of his knees right after his United debut. The 15th would end his career prematurely but suddenly he was a Celtic player, his boyhood dream.

He thought he’d be a squad man, used sparingly, until Strachan asked: “Can you play left-back?” “I’d never been there in my life, was worried he’d change his mind, so said: ‘Aye of course.’” Still, it was a surprise to find himself holding down the position for his first Old Firm game, at Ibrox in 2006. “I was convinced I wouldn’t be playing and so sent my wife Kelly, who followed my whole career, on holiday to Mexico with her sister while my folks were in Spain.

“I was nervous beforehand – unbelievable. In the tunnel, the music, the crowd, proper goosebumps. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to make it onto the pitch. But as soon as the whistle went I was fine and we won 1-0, Maciej Zurawski scoring.

“I think I did okay in that one. Put it this way, with Roy, Neil and Stan in front of me in the midfield I really should have done. Neil was my captain and, for a 21-year-old, pretty intimidating. He used to swagger into training, not dressed particularly well, bit like a teenager in hoodie and baggy jeans, but he had a presence and at first I thought: ‘Best not to approach.’ But the times he gave me a blast I didn’t mind. I didn’t want him treating me as some sort of charity case.” The blasts continued when Lennon went into the dug-out, once being persuaded of Wilson’s fitness following his latest injury only to roar at him afterwards: “You played like an old man out there.”

The Lennon-Keane dynamic fascinated Wilson. His very first game in the Hoops had seen old team United fight back from 3-1 for a draw. At the post-mortem Strachan invited Lennon to explain what had gone wrong. “But Roy took over saying he couldn’t believe the players weren’t grabbing each other’s throats and fighting. It was close to what he’s like now in punditry.”
The incident chimed with what Wilson was told about the fall-out from the notorious Scottish Cup defeat at Clyde: “Back at Celtic Park the players were told to 
wait in reception like naughty schoolboys outside the headmaster’s office. After 45 minutes of that Roy turned to Lenny and said: ‘What are we doing here? Are you going to sort this out?’

“Roy, Lenny and Gordon – suddenly I was in among these massive egos. Was Keano more intimidating than Lenny? I don’t know. Certainly he played the part of Roy Keane to a tee, he did it brilliantly. On the training pitch he seemed to have a thing about me and gave me a hard time. We’d be doing possession, him on the far side nowhere near me, and he’d think I’d been the guy who lost the ball when I hadn’t, and he’d shout in that high-pitched voice: ‘Willo – for f***’s sake!’ The rest used to kill themselves laughing. But when we were finished for the day he was great with the young lads and used to entertain us with stories from his Man U days. He told me and Shaun Maloney about this detox clinic in Italy where he went every close-season. ‘You boys should go,’ he said. ‘Nothing to eat for a week – it’ll flush all the rubbish from your bodies.’ ‘No thanks,’ I said, ‘and my holiday’s going to be all-inclusive!’”

If it was wise to sometimes give Lenny and Keano wide berths, the trick in the Champions League was to try and get close to Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. “I did all right against Ronaldo. He wasn’t quite at his peak then but he was a right moody bugger. Ronaldinho, though, was big smiles and high fives, even when by sheer fluke I got the ball off him. I loved that.”

His life at Glebe Park is a lot different now. “If you want a contrast it would be Brechin’s training the other night in the wind and rain at Little Kerse [in Grangemouth]. We only get given a third of the pitch and this time had to wait for Celtic’s under-eights to finish their session. Their coach asked me to say a few words to them but no one would have known who the hell I was.”

Wilson recalls Strachan’s advice when he told his old boss he was entering management: “He told me: ‘Learn Spanish – you’ll be able to get a job anywhere.’ He wonders how football’s pre-eminent Spaniard, Pep Guardiola, would cope with having to retrieve errant balls from Glebe Park’s famous hedge. But the father of two boys, both of whom hate football, repeats: “I’m where I want to be. The chairman hasn’t put any pressure on me and he and the board have Brechin in their hearts. We all know that if we end up in the playoffs to avoid going out of the SPFL we could come up against a big-spending Highland or Lowland team so we’d do our damnedest to avoid that.

“The fans are a good bunch. They haven’t got on the players’ backs too much, even though we’re on a terrible run right now. At Airdrie the supporters never took to me, possibly because of my Celtic connections, and the stuff got personal: ‘You shouldn’t be here, Wilson. You were crap as a player and now you’re crap as a manager.’ I guess that’s another difference between my football life now and before. In Old Firm games, 60,000 people in the ground, there’s just this big, low growl the whole time and you don’t hear individual shouts. Down the leagues it can get quite specific so I tell my players there are worse places to be. Like Airdrie.”

Wilson remembers two occasions at 
Celtic when the team returned to Parkhead after humiliating defeats and had to run the gauntlet of seething mobs. “The first was when we lost the [Scottish Cup] semi to Ross County. I felt sorry for Neil, who was trying to get the manager’s job full-time. He’d ripped into the team, telling Georgios Samaras he’d never play for the club again, but the fans were entitled to protest. I hadn’t actually been playing in the game but got it just the same. The walk to my car was the longest of my life. Then there was the 4-0 defeat at St Mirren which was the end for Tony Mowbray. I was certainly culpable that night and it was right that we all had to face the music.”

Such scrutiny and rigour comes with the territory for the Old Firm, not least when the Glasgow giants collide. Wilson’s lowest feeling in the fixture might have been when a touch of complacency let in Daniel Cousin and Rangers staged a 4-2 comeback. “Those are the times when you feel everyone in the street is staring at you: ‘That’s him. That’s the clown who gave the goal away.’ I even thought the wee wifey in Tesco was looking at me funny.” The best feeling? No doubt about that: it was when he became the most obscure hero of Old Firm skirmishes, the nearly-forgotten man behind the strike which clinched 2011’s “Shame Game”.

“There was a weird atmosphere that night. The game was under the lights which for the Old Firm is unusual but it was more than that: very, very edgy. I had a feeling something strange would happen and then a defender – kind of unattractive
– scored the winning goal. But we all remember what happened next. Neil and Ally [McCoist] had their dust-up and I was bumped right off the back pages!”

Dundee United’s Paul Paton admits punching Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska


27 October 2015

Dundee United’s Paul PatonImage source, BBC Sport
Image caption, Dundee United’s Paul Paton pleaded guilty to assault

Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton has been fined £500 after pleading guilty to hitting a former Celtic goalkeeper after a night out in Glasgow last year.

Paton, 28, changed his plea on the first day of evidence and admitted punching Lukasz Zaluska on the head in Byres Road on 20 October 2014.

In his defence Mr Paton’s lawyer said he was provoked by abuse and there was no injury to the victim.

A charge that accused him of a further assault on the goalkeeper was dropped.
Celtic goalkeeper Lukasz ZaluskaImage source, SNS (Scotland)
Image caption, Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska signed for Celtic from Dundee United in 2009.

Mr Paton was previously fined four weeks wages by his club.

The player said he regretted what had happened.

The sheriff said the charge to which Paton pleaded guilty was significantly less serious than the original indictment.

During evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court, ex-Celtic and Dundee United player Mark Wilson said his former team-mate Mr Zaluska had thought Paton was a Rangers fan.

Mr Wilson told the court Mr Zaluska said he hated all Rangers fans and wanted to kill them.

After Mr Zaluska left Ashton Lane with Mr Wilson and went on to Byres Road, Paton punched the former Celtic goalkeeper on the head, causing him to slide down the side of a taxi.

Paton then walked away from the incident and a short time later Zaluska was found unconscious and bleeding on the ground in Ashton Lane.

Paton, from Paisley had been accused of repeatedly hitting Mr Zaluska and causing injury but the Crown amended the charge.

He admitted punching Mr Zaluska on the head.

Sheriff Andrew Normand fined him £500 and told Paton: “It is clear this is an incident which you regret”.

Defence lawyer Billy Lavelle said: “Mr Paton faced substantial provocation from the other gentleman.”

He said that it did not justify his client’s actions but “perhaps gives a background” and that on that day he “felt he couldn’t take any more of the abuse”.

The solicitor advocate said: “He has never denied that, the question was whether there was a second incident, which he did not accept.”