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Celtic Diary Monday October 17: James! He’s Gonna Live Forever


On May 1, 2010, Faisal Shahzad drove a car into Times Square, New York which had a bomb in it,


It wasn’t the only thing of note to happen that day,


Just six minutes into his debut, when he replaced Aiden McGeady in  what was to be a 4-0 win over Motherwell, James Forrest scored the first of his one hundred goals for Celtic.


And now that he’s rested his ankle for a bit, we can safely say one hundred and counting,



Having signed a new contract in the summer, most supporters thought it was a kind of thank you for his service, and the player knew he’d play only a bit part for the duration, but he did steal the show on Saturday with a hat trick in the 6-1 win over Hibernian,


A result that could turn out to be significant in a variety of ways.



First, and most importantly, it was a convincing win that gets the confidence back, espeically in front of goal. a largely inexperienced forward line has struggled of late, and most forwards thrive on confidence,


when experience is added to a team, no one thinks of bringing in a forward to steady the ship, but that;s what happened on Saturday, Forrest has been around a long time and knows what is needed to be a part of a successful Celtic side.



He understands the unique attributes needed to succeed at the club, and understands fully how a player can go from hero to zero and back again, in his case in less than a few weeks.


However, as you can see from his picture in 2010….



See the source image



to his picture now….


See the source image


…he appears to have been drinking at the fountain of youth, or at the very least found a face cream that works,



His boyish good looks….a cross many of us have to bear….mean that although he is approaching the veteran stage, he doesn’t look like a veteran, which means that newcomers to the club probably don;t believe him when he says he’s been there and done that.


So to speak.



Jota, Liel Abada and Daezen Maeda could certainly benefit by watching how Forrest goes about his business….



Forrest not joins the exclusive 100 club for goals scored, alongside some of the greatest names in the clubs history, as well as Charlie Nicholas and the last player to achieve such a feat, the underachieving Leigh Griffiths.


More interestingly, there’s an even more exclusive club, the 100 goals and assists club, where there are now only three members….Jimmy Johnstone, Henrik Larsson and James Forrest.



I’m not too sure of the veracity of that last claim, as it seems odd that the likes of Frank McGarvey, who played alongside charlie nicholas and George McCluskey in the swashbuckling eighties side, and others like Kenny Dalglish and Bobby Murdoch never made that level of assists, but even so, Forrest is deservedly in exalted company.



These days, one club players are rare.


Even long term  servants such as Scott Brown and Calum MacGregor have plied their trade elsewhere, if only on loan, but Forrest has never left Celtic, and never wanted to.



For a support that wept when Keiran Tierney put down his megaphone to board the London train, maybe sometimes we take some players for granted.




Next up for the hoops are Motherwell, in the League Cup, and the return to form, domestically at least, will be of confort to the manager, who if he repeats or betters the trophy count from last season, will be lauded for his relentless single mindedness and faith in himself and his players.



If he doesn’t, he’ll be a stubborn Aussie git who won’t listen to common sense.



Motherwell did make it difficult for Celtic recently, and cup games are, of course, a one off.



But if Celtic continue in the way they played against hibernian, then we should have little to worry about, and ,maybe we do have, domestically at least, the strength in depth we thought we had.




With the referees again becoming the focus of supporters attention due to their inconsistency at best and downright bias at worst, there have been calls for Celtic to say or do something about it.


Dermot Desmond is on record as saying that he prefers for the club to do that sort of business away from prying eyes, but that does little to placate a support who are clearly unhappy with how games are being officiated.



But there may be a way to force the issue, as outlined over on SentinelCelts…..



To AGM 4th November, 2022 (11:30) 

(Items to be submitted 24 hours earlier.)

“Shareholders are reminded that they can contact the Company at any time during the year with questions or suggestions via Further, shareholders are again welcome to submit questions in advance of the AGM via this email address, which the Board will endeavour to address at the AGM. 



Now, if we were to email them with a question along the lines of


“The perception of bias among the Scottish Refereeing fraternity is making it difficult for referees to do their job, so will the club be taking the matter up with the SFA, perhaps to the end that all referees must declare any allegiances, past or present, to any club, and forbidding their involvment in any matches that directly or indirectly affect their own favourites, which would then remove them from that perception of bias ?

And if not, why not ? ”



Before it becomes an issue, and costs the club a trophy…again…or the financial benefits of perhaps a UCL place.




The Celtic Symphony, possibly the least IRA related song in the crowds repertoire , has enjoyed a moment in the sun as it has entered the higher reaches of the hit parade, on the back of a bit of chanting from the Ireland ladies team after they beat Scotland to a World cup place, which may not be entirely unconnected with all the hullaballoo.



As we are well aware, anti Irish racism in Scotland is a major problem, especially at football grounds, and it was left to James MacLean to draw attention to it …again.








Maybe that’s something else for the AGM……

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John E Mitchell
1 year ago

Maybe add to the AGM letter: “…also, are referees possibly feeling ‘pressurized’ into performing to and conforming with, the ‘high’ standards ‘expected’ of them by the referees body and the SFA?”

Woof Charlie
1 year ago

There’s a wee down side to the ‘what club do you support’ plan and it’s plain obvious in the stands at Hearts, Kilmarnock and many other clubs. You don’t need to be a follower of the clubs out of Ibrox to be anti-Irish. Now here’s one for the FM. As much as the contents of the space between your thighs are of importance it’s no less important than your cultural identity. I’m seeing massive changes in the proactive approach to minorities in Scotland and squat-diddly with regard to our section of the Irish diaspora. As the same polis who shepherded orcs through the heeliman’s singing the famine song investigate the Irish women. If it was anti-trans they were getting nicked.

1 year ago

How heated are the arguments in the British Imperialist media about the singing of a song, the latest occasion by passengers at Dublin Airport. But yesterday the Orcs sang the ‘Famine Song’ and their usual ditties, nothing to be seen. As the Younies wallow in their detrius claiming ‘we are the peepul’ admiring pomp and circumstance the Establishment and Government wallow with them. As for Polis Scotland looking into the Irish girls singing a song, that really says it all.
One man’s terrorist is another man’s hero!
As for Jamsie an underrated player as he stayed at Paradise, over the years he has turned many a game around (St Johnstone) unlike some of the other vaulted players he at least can score.
As McLean the referee on Saturday, he appeared to be confused by his own stupidity, his colleagues no5 much better. Again the Wankers appeared to have got away with another positive decision in their favour

1 year ago

The issue of refereeing on the Sentinel Celts blog is worth repeating in full because the problem is much wider than referee/VAR allegiance but addresses it if adopted. Cultural change is needed and the proposal, based on experience, delivers that.


Fellow Sentinels,

Celtic have made an announcement in the forthcoming AGM papers that paves the way to wider engagement with shareholders before and at AGMS. It provides an opportunity to address issues that might otherwise get lost on the day. 

The announcement said.

To AGM 4th November, 2022 (11:30) 

(Items to be submitted 24 hours earlier.)

“Shareholders are reminded that they can contact the Company at any time during the year with questions or suggestions via Further, shareholders are again welcome to submit questions in advance of the AGM via this email address, which the Board will endeavour to address at the AGM. “

This provides Sentinel Celts with the opportunity to present the following question asking Celtic to consider how referee standards in Scotland might be improved. It is an effort worth making and Celtic’s response will be interesting on a number of levels.

Sentinel Celts group (SC) ask that AGM consider the following as a means of addressing the ongoing issue of poor Refereeing standards in Scotland.

SC believe the existing model is damaging the quality and credibility of the game in Scotland. There are too many examples of poor decision-making to list here. 

However, we believe that trust in our Refereeing Process Is at an all-time low. Despite some welcome recent successes in Europe, there remains a view that our football is lacking finesse. That skilful footballers are being intimidated, injured and lost to our game. 

The SFA manage everything: Recruitment & Selection, Training & Development and allocation of fixtures, to Evaluating Performance and Reviewing Disciplinary Processes.

The SFA, even with VAR ,will be marking their own homework. Fans ( customers) feel there is no visible means to address inconsistencies and quality of service. There appears to be little or no accountability. They lack openness and which leaves them open to allegations of incompetence, or worse.

Our Aim is to explore viable options to improve the game we love.


We propose AGM appoint a Celtic official with prior knowledge of existing administration and processes. To explore options for change and seek expert advice and opinion to aid and inform on practical solutions.

We also engage with other clubs, and their fans, to establish if there is a broad consensus for change. 

Ultimately, take proposals forward to SFA for consideration, and with enough votes, implementation.

SC recommend utilising The next Fans’ Forum #25 and form a Sub Group to discuss/debate feasibility of establishing SFA as a ‘Service’ to customers (SFAaaS):

A) SFA continue to:

•           Recruit & Select Referees

•           Train & Develop Referees

•           Allocate matches to Referees.

B) Customer Service Panel (New and Independent of SFA run by member clubs Tbc)

  –  Evaluate Performance of Match Officials & publish ratings

•           Manage Disciplinary Procedures & Appeals

•           Manage VAR Service in liaison with English or European provider 

•           Manage Drug-testing of Match Officials & Players.

•           Provide an Annual Report to SFA Clubs & Fans

The Cha
1 year ago

Forrest not joins the exclusive 100 club for goals scored

Does anyone know of any list of all Celtic’s centurions?

The fishal site, Celtic Wiki etc only list the top 10 goalscorers but we must have had about 20 or 30 who have reached that feat.

there’s an even more exclusive club, the 100 goals and assists club, where there are now only three members….Jimmy Johnstone, Henrik Larsson and James Forrest

I’ve never seen a list of Celtic assistors and assume it’s a more modern stat, with Jinky probably being guesswork.

As you say it’s odd that the likes of Murdoch, Auld, Lennox, Hughes, Chalmers and further back, Patsy Gallacher, Jimmy McMenemy etc never reached this feat or, more likely, it wasn’t recorded.

The Cha
1 year ago

I fear that any AGM questioning of officialdom will be met by the same response ie “we prefer to do things quietly behind the scenes”

The fact, if they’re doing that (debateable), its producing no positive results will trouble them not in the slightest.

Caption – Media scrutiny of latest appalling referee performances affecting Celtic (con) and Huns (pro)

1 year ago
Reply to  The Cha

The point is issues can now be raised at any time during year rather than a bun fight at AGM that divides support and SC blog in full covers it.

1 year ago

Any idea where my post expanding on referee blog on SC has gone?

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