“It means so much to me, the Celtic people mean so much to me, but if I’m honest with you, not just Celtic supporters but the quality of their human race – their honour, their love, their generosity, their compassion, their empathy. These are great human qualities which are probably bigger than football, it just so happens that football is the common denominator that drives us and welds us and keeps us together.” Paul Elliot
Paul Elliott was only with Celtic for two seasons but the impression he made on those lucky enough to watch him play has not diminished as the years have gone by. You could say that they are almost mythical but that would be doing the player a disservice.
When he played for Celtic, after being advised to sign by his good friend Mark Walters, Paul Elliott was one of the best centre-backs in Britain and should have been playing for England. He and Paul McStay were two players in that Celtic team who could have played for any club in Europe. We were lucky to have them.
It seems the feeling is mutual. In an exclusive interview with A Celtic State of Mind, Paul looks back with fond honesty on his time with Celtic and how Billy McNeill played a major part in him signing from Serie A, which was then the best league in the world. He also talks about how to end racism in the game.
In this latest episode, Paul John Dykes chats to the former Celtic defender, Paul Elliott, where they discuss:
Playing under Billy McNeill for Aston Villa;
Moving to Italy and coming up against Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten;
Being reunited with Big Billy at Celtic;
The Jackie show against Partizan Belgrade;
The class of Paul ‘The Hat’ McStay;
Leaving the club to chase the international dream;
How to eradicate racism in football.
Listen to Paul Elliot with A Celtic State of Mind here