24th August 1983 McClair debut
When Brian McClair ran out for his Celtic debut on this day in 1983 – for a league cup tie at Glebe Park, the ground of Brechin City – only 3,000 people were in the stadium to see Celtic win 1-0.
Brian had had a successful spell with Motherwell for two seasons and was brought into Celtic Park in January 1983 by Billy McNeill ostensibly to replace Charlie Nicholas. Unfortunately, Billy soon departed for Manchester City and Charlie to Arsenal but his successor Davie Hay was initially more than satisfied with Brian’s goal scoring capabilities and the player thrived, playing his part in the Scottish Cup win of 1985 and the League Championship victory the following season, opening the scoring in the 6th minute at Love Street in the match which clinched the title for Celtic.
Brain was Scotland’s Player of the Year in 1987 but did not always feel wanted at Celtic Park and eventually moved to Manchester United for a fee of £850,000 in July 1987. For a player with a record of 120 goals in 199 appearances, it was almost daylight robbery and Alex Ferguson was well pleased with this particular piece of business.