One of the highlights of Celtic’s dominant victory over Ross County earlier this month was James Forrest’s late diving header, a goal that ensured that the player has now scored for Celtic in 15 consecutive seasons.
Speaking following the game, Canadian right-back Alistair Johnston called for a statue to be built dedicated to Forrest, with Brendan Rodgers adding, “He’s a fantastic professional and I can trust him. He might not get the starts he has had over a number of years, but I know he can make an impact in games and he’s in the right place for a nice cushioned header for another one on his tally.”
With plenty of plaudits being heaped on Forrest for not only that incredible goalscoring record, but in unwavering loyalty as well, we decided to take a walk down memory lane at some of Forrest’s best moments wearing the green and white hoops.
Goal vs Shakhtar Karagandy
Celtic looked to be on the end of another UEFA Champions League play-off shock when they came into the second leg at Celtic Park against Kazakh side Shakhtar Karagandy. The away side recorded a shock 2-0 win over Neil Lennon’s side in Kazakhstan, meaning a major turnaround in the second leg was needed.
Kris Commons scored a scorching strike just before the break to give Celtic Park a lift, and Giorgos Samaras brought the Hoops level in the second-half.
Celtic went on to avoid a few scares from the Kazakhs and, in the 92nd minute, James Forrest was on hand to smash home an Anthony Stokes cut-back which sent Celtic Park into raptures and sent Neil Lennon galloping down the touchline to join the pile-on at the corner flag.
With his early stages at Celtic as a young prospect being hampered by injuries, this was one of his standout moments.
One of the criticisms of Forrest was that he didn’t turn up in derby matches, but he did provide some big moments in important games against Celtic’s rivals under Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon.
Forrest got his first derby goal in 2018, dancing through the Rangers defence with ease before hammering past Jack Alnwick on the day that Celtic secured the league title in style with a 5-0 hammering of their arch rivals at Celtic Park.
His best derby moment would come in a 2-1 win over Rangers at Celtic Park, a game marred by controversy, as Odsonne Edouard latched onto a James Tavernier mistake and slotted the ball to Forrest to finish it off and secure the win.
Four goals against St Johnstone
Brendan Rodgers unlocked the best of James Forrest as he became one of the key players under the gaffer as well as a key player for the Scotland national team, and his performance at McDiarmid Park in 2018 was arguably his best display in a Celtic shirt.
Celtic hadn’t won an away game in the league that season, and after losing mid-week in the Europa League against RB Salzburg, a game in which Forrest was sent off, the Hoops rebounded in style against the Saints as they dismantled them 6-0.
James Forrest scored four goals in the first-half, with Tom Rogic assisting three of them, as he blew away the home side in one of the best individual performances from a Celtic player in the last decade.
JAMES MCKENZIE // Follow James HERE