For every great player who’s adorned the green and white, there are innumerable others who have slipped through the net, for a variety of reasons.
One of those who Celtic didn’t sign went on to become one of the greatest Scottish players of all time, winning eight Serie A titles, four Italian Cups, the French national league and two Golden Boots.
No other Scot has as many gongs and medals on their mantle piece.
It was not through want of trying. Celtic sent a scout to look at the youngster, but it was soon apparent something was amiss.
“Our coach said to the Celtic scout – ‘she’s a wee lassie.’ I was devastated, I was in tears: I could not understand why I couldn’t sign on,” said Rose Reilly after she retired.
To be fair to the scout, Reilly was of an age where the obvious signs differentiating a boy and girl had not quite blossomed. It was obvious that Reilly had skill – she scored seven times in that match alone.
With no Celtic Ladies team at the time – that wouldn’t come till much later – Reilly moved to the more accommodating France initially and then to AC Milan. Her two Serie A medals there were joined by another six with various clubs including Napoli and Lecce. it was all a long way from Stewarton United.
Furthermore, Reilly was eligible to play for Italy (despite playing 10 times for Scotland) and helped them win the unofficial World Cup in 1983, being voted best player in the Italian side, and scoring in the 3-1 win in the final against the US in front of 90,000 fans in Beijing. Not bad for a wee lassie from Kilmarnock.