Kevin Graham with A Celtic State of Mind – My Greatest Celtic XI

When you see the question about Celtic’s greatest XIs and dare to look at the comments these selections generate, most go for the players that they believe are the best in their positions. It’s a simple solution to a subjective question that has no right or wrong answer.

It’s complicated as your view is always based on two things: Your own experiences or others telling you their experiences. My greatest XI are guys who, when I saw their name on the team sheet, gave me warmth at different times in my life and for different reasons. Some were lights in the dark, others geniuses, some conflicted and some genuine good human beings. It was tough to leave out some players who we have loved and have given us joy and I’m sure if you ask me in five years’ time it may change, but I’m comfortable it won’t change too much…

Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind with JAMES ENGLISH here:

Artur Boruc

God took the stereotype of a goalkeeper and added some steroids to create this one. Great goalie and mentalist to boot. Won games for us being the best of himself.

Jackie McNamara

Always looking 12 and we never got a jersey to fit him. Dependable no matter where he played.

Paul Elliott

He had dreadlocks. He came from London via Pisa. He came from Serie A which was the best league in the world at that time. He was a big deal and also turned out to be a damn fine footballer who was at the club at the wrong time. As good as Virgil.

Roy Aitken

A leader from a young age. Utterly fearless. Centenary captain and for that alone he would get in my side.

Dariusz Wdowczyk

Yeah, he suffered like the rest of us during the early nineties and had settling in issues – not helped by the club – but this guy was a highly-rated international player that we were lucky to sign. On his day, he was easily the best left-back in the country. A pleasure to watch.

Paul McStay

I have a strange relationship with McStay. I never appreciated him at the time and it wasn’t until he was gone that I realised what I had watched. One of the best player that Scotland has ever produced and Scotland’s last world-class midfielder.

Stan Petrov

His main creative weapon was stealth and a bulldozer strength. While others would pick holes, he would look for straight lines and get to the point quickly. A perfect painting of what Martin wanted, and got, from his Celtic sides.

Shunsuke Nakamura

A perfect sentence. He put the capital at the start, perfected the prose, put in punctuation and expertly put the full stop at the end, which was usually the ball ending up in the net from a free-kick.

Tommy Burns

A man who means so much more to many than just a player. Celtic through and through.

Brian McClair

His strike partner got all the publicity but he scored more goals, won more awards, and was by far a better player who made decent life choices and went on to have a stellar and successful career. One of my first heroes.

Henrik Larsson

No-one of my generation will not have this man in their team. Probably my last true footballing hero before I became cynical and old.

Kevin Graham

Watch Sophie Millar stunning rendition of ‘Come Back Paddy Reilly’:

Leave a Reply