It may come as a surprise to younger Celtic supporters, but there was once a time when Mark McGhee’s name rang out in tribute around the terracings at Ye Olde Celtic Park. Yes, the miserablist Motherwell manager, he of gurny greetin’ face and forked flaming tongue, nowadays best renowned for childish fall outs with Celtic managers and coaches, was once a fans’ favourite back in the 1980s.
Some players wear the Hoops bursting with pride. McGhee often looked like he was about to burst through them. Burly, chunky and big-boned are some of the euphemisms that are applied to the fatties in football these days but Celtic fans weren’t concerned about McGhee’s not inconsiderable girth. The former Aberdeen and Hamburg striker was a strong addition to Davie Hay’s squad and this song was sung with only a slight tongue-in-cheek:
He’s worth a million pounds!
No matter that in today’s money he would be worth the equivalent of Moussa Dembele’s big toe, a million was a lot for a player back then. The man known to his team-mates as ‘Dingus’ served Celtic well in his four seasons at the club when he was usually a spare striker to the likes of McClair, Johnston, Walker and McAvennie – yet still scored 34 goals in 113 appearances.
His tenacity helped beat Hearts in the 1988 Scottish Cup semi-final and keep alive the dream of a Centenary Double and he scored Celtic’s only goal in front of a 100,000 crowd away to Dinamo Kiev in 1986. His rotundity did not stop him finding the net when the chance arose and, as a Celtic fan, he played a proud part in that unforgettable Centenary season.
More Celtic songs and chants can be found here – get singing!