John Hartson. Celtic Legend?


The Diary grumbles at legends, not being legends

The other morning I was in the Newsagents – are they still called newsagents, or are they all now general stores? – buying a packet of Refreshers, bottle of ginger and some ready salted for my breakfast, I noticed a national newspaper advertising their serialisation of John Hartson’s book: ‘Please Dont Go: Big John’s Journey Back To Life‘.

I’m glad the Big Man has a public persona and is still around to tell his story. It’s a story that needs to be told and will provide support, comfort and will inspire all that have been affected by Cancer.

The story carries the headline ‘Celtic Legend John Hartson‘. I wish the man all the best but he isn’t a Celtic Legend.

The term ‘legend’ seems now to be attached to anyone who spends more than 5 minutes at a club and achieves something to tell his children about. The term has been downgraded to suit those who claim to ‘ someone’ after meeting them for 5 minutes in the fresh food aisle at Tesco or send xxx on text messages – even though they are only texting their bank back.

The Celtic Fraternity are hanging onto the ‘Seville Team‘ and are squeezing every last bit of life out of them due to the decline we have seen since. There was only one Legend in that team.

The Tribute dinner for wrongly has the Legend tag as well.Of course the club can’t call it ‘Lets fleece the kids of £75 dinner for a player who was quite for ‘. Chris played a major part in Celtic’s folklore and he will be fondly remembered for his efforts like all of the Seville and MON team. I included in this as well.

Neil is not a Celtic Legend. He was the club and a to the club in his handling of the off field issues that playing for Celtic saw delivered to his and his families door. He was part of a successful time at the club and played a major role. He was a Celtic fan who lived the dream and did very well. That’s all.

Hartson deserves his place in Celtic folklore. 102 goals sees him in an exclusive club. His place in our history was guaranteed that night at Anfield in 2003 but with THAT doesn’t come legendary status.

Too think it could have been all so different if a medical gave a different result and he took the dirty cash.

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  • Sean says:

    LOTW im on your side with this one. The legend tag is thrown about too easy.

    In the last 13 years ther is only one legendary player we have had. To add leverage to the claim he has been the only player, when leaving, that I can honestly say I shed a tear for, and I dont even cry at funerals.

    We have had great players, and very exceptional individuals in the last 13 years but there will only ever be one player who breathed and bled Celtic for that moniker. The genius that was Mr Henrik Larsson.

  • max says:

    Manchester United and Celtic Legend Roy Keane????


  • lordofthewing says:


    Exactly. Topping up his pension.

  • clnmckec says:

    my opinion is he is a legend… Some cracking old firm goals had an outrageouos scoring record vital goals such as liverpool and vigo… to be so pedantic to post he isnt a legend is just daft and you paid such a good picture of yourself refreshers for breakfast?

    • lordofthewing says:


      It sets you up for the day. If your criteria is too be applied then Scott McDonald could be a legend as well then.

      • Kris says:

        John Hartson is one of only 13 men to have scored over 100 goals for Celtic, he is a legend! As for Chris Sutton, he is a legend too, I’ll explain,only 3 teams in our history have reached European finals, the previous 2 sides a rightfully called legendary, why is the Seville team different? (I know Sutton was injured for the final itself but he played an integral part on getting us there) Why are Hartson or Sutton regarded as lesser parts of our history than say Jim Craig?

  • Sean says:

    @LOTW In that case then…..

    Jean Joel Perrier-Doumbe

    Celtic legend? Well his goal did win a cup final for us 😀 😀 😀 😛

  • Yogibhoy says:

    What more can a person do 2 b classed a legend by a club, as previously mentioned the man’s goal scorin record is phenomenal.

    • lordofthewing says:


      There has to be an overall package. BBJ hit over 100 goals. 27 other men have done that as well but how many of them can you say, hand on heart, is a Celtic Legend?

      If it’s only goalscoring records then you agree the Sutty and Lenny are not legends?

  • Thomas says:

    During 5 seasons under Martin O’Neill we won 3 titles (losing 2 on the last day), 4 cups and reached a European final – where we were beaten by a great team. The aforementioned players were central to those successes and two continued to play leading roles in Gordon Strachan’s first few seasons – one even going on to join the coaching staff and become manager. They have outstanding individual records and have given the supporters memories, goals and performances that are already viewed as iconic. John Hartson also had an exceptional record in derby games – although your bitter-sounding, final line seems to betray your prejudices in his case. One final note on your three targets: they, as players, men and vital parts of a team, helped change the entire mentality of our club after a dire decade in the wilderness – they have given me some of my best days in 30-odd years as a supporter. They are undoubtedly Celtic greats. And if some call them legends, I certainly have bigger problems to worry about.

    • lordofthewing says:


      Great post that nails it. Celtic greats in an iconic team.

      Though, the last line is not predujice but pointing out a fact.

  • Martin says:

    Why write this article? Absolute garbage that does nothing except slag off Big John. Wonderful player for Celtic and don’t really see the point of this blog. Well seen it’s international week and you have nothing else to write about.

    • lordofthewing says:


      I saw something that I wanted to get peoples opinion on that’s why I wrote it and it seems people want to discuss it.

      I’ve looked but like that time I tried to find that pound coin I lost in Loch Rannoch I canny find any sign of slagging BBJ. Please point me to it so I don’t do it again.

  • Max says:

    Is Lubo a Celtic Legend?
    How many years did BBJ give Celtic?
    A wee bit longer than Skippy, who jumped ship at the first op that’s for sure!
    7-8yrs I think?
    To describe Sutty as “a player who was quite good for us” is ludicrous going on sacrilegious!
    I get where you’re coming from, I actaully read some journo making the ‘Keane’ reference, but I think if someone captains a club to it’s first European final in almost four decades, collects every domestic trophy available including a treble, then go on to coach and eventually manage the club, it’s fair to say that they are a club legend!
    It’s not such a common occurrence.

    • lordofthewing says:


      I don’t think Lubo is a Celtic legend. He is a player I geniunaly believe we were lucky to see. Like Nakamura.

      When you Lennys achievements laid out they are impressive though Lambert was the Seville captain I think. I’m willing to review Lennys status at a later date. 🙂

  • Max says:

    OK, three decades. :oP

  • Jay says:

    Scary that some people took literally a line that made me laugh out loud (breakfast)! Oh, hold on…

    For me they (most of the above) are legends. BBJ may have almost signed for R*ngers but he didn’t and the passion he had when playing for us (and certainly the hatred he had for THEM, for no doubt a mix of reasons) grants him legend status. Played brilliantly and knew what it meant to play for the grand old team.

    Lennon and Sutton can be classed as legends too for similar reasons. The tales of their exploits in Europe and against Our City Rivals (if for nothing else, thank you for that Tony) will be remembered in folklore and that’s surely a big part of what being a legend is about.

    But Roy Keane? Pffft. Didn’t even buy that he was a Celtic fan. When he was playing for Utd he would have tattooed RFC on his forehead if he thought that would have brought him a victory. Spurs as a kid and Utd as a man.

    No, there’s only one true Celtic legend who has played since Lenny kicked his last ball in anger: Danny Fox

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