It’s been a long time since anyone thought of Ian Wright’s connection to Celtic. The player’s time at Celtic Park was a footnote in his own career and certainly a distant memory, one best forgotten, in the club’s history. That was until today when The Scotsman revealed extracts from the striker’s autobiography where he made some negative comments about his brief spell in Scottish football.
Aside from criticising the sectarian element of the Old Firm derby and proclaiming the mainstream media “pro-Rangers”, Wright recalled the time he was involved in the infamous Celtic defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup. The veteran was a half-time substitute after leading goalscorer Mark Viduka got into an explosive shouting match with assistant boss Eric Black and refused to play the second half. Celtic, trailing 2-1 at the time, would go on to lose 3-1 to their First Division opponents, securing one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history.
Wright left Celtic a short-time later and (for those of you who don’t own a television) has done pretty well for himself in the years since. But what about the rest of them?
He won’t feature in a list of Celtic goalkeeping greats, but Gould is fondly remembered for playing his part in the 1997-98 title win and subsequent stopping of Rangers winning ten-in-a-row. He was binned by Martin O’Neill for Rab Douglas in the campaign following the ICT loss and would wind up playing in New Zealand before he retired.
Where is he now? Gould is now goalkeeping coach at English Premier League side West Bromich Albion.
Celtic robbed Chelsea blind when they pulled off a swap deal that saw Boyd arrived at Parkhead in exchange for struggling hitman Tony Cascarino. After a slow start to his Celtic career in terms of silverware, he would go on to become the first Celtic skipper to lead the club to a domestic treble since Billy McNeill.
Where is he now? Boyd is now an official ambassador for the club.
The Ivorian’s most memorable contribution to Scottish football was being one third of a humourous sounding back three that never actually played together (Weir-Tebily-you know the rest). At Celtic he often terrified the life out of his own support and became a bit-part player by the end of his first season. Surprisingly, he went down to Birmingham thereafter and became a well respected member of the City side for five years.
Where is he now? He now owns a drinks company called OT Cognac, as he works towards his goal of becoming “the first African wine grower”.
The French defender could be volatile on occasion - he loved a hard tackle - but was generally well regarded for his time with Celtic, which included the 1998 league title win. He would leave for Hearts in 2001 and spent a productive two years at Tynecastle, adding some steel to Craig Levein’s side, before retiring in 2003.
Where is he now? After managing French lower league side Saint Nazaire, Mahe took on a number of jobs in amateur football and is now employed by the National Union of coaches and technical officials of French football (or UNECATEF for short).
Not a terrible player at Celtic by any means, but he did fail to hold down a regular spot in the starting XI through the unproductive Venglos/Barnes years, so not exactly revered either. He did, however, score in the League Cup final victory later in the season after Kenny Dalglish had taken over the head coach’s job.
Where is he now? He retired after leaving Strømsgodset in 2009, where he played under Ronny Deila for a year, and is now a sponsorship manager for supermarket chain REMA 1000.
The young midfielder was largely absent from the first-team set-up through the Barnes era, so it was just bloody typical that the manager decided to bring him back in for the Inverness CT debacle. It never quite happened for Healy at Celtic but he did manage to fashion himself a long career in the game, including winning 12 caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Where is he now? 36-year-old Healy is the only player from the infamous side still playing. He’s currently in his second spell at Cork City.
If you were being kind, you could describe Blinker as an inconsistent talent during his time with Celtic. Occasionally he would show some class, but was often found wanting, and it’s no coincidence it was the Dutchman who gifted Inverness CT a needless penalty in this match. He would be released at the end of the season.
Where is he now? After retiring, Blinker founded Life After Football, a magazine that fuses football, fashion and lifestyle.
The Slovakian’s 1998 signing was greeted with derision from the mainstream press, who viewed it as Dr Josef Venglos giving one of his old pals, a 33-year-old one at that, a free move to Celtic Park. However, it was Celtic and the player who would have the last laugh, as he went on to be an undoubted star in his four seasons with the club. The main highlights were a pair of doubles scored in Old Firm derbies. One of which helped give Celtic a 5-1 win; the other trounced Rangers at Ibrox.
Where is he now? ‘Lubo’ is assistant manager of Slovakian side ŠKF Sereď.
As bad as some of the signings were during the Barnes/Dalglish era, Berkovic was arguably the worst. Signed for £5.75m and sold for £1.5m less than two years later, he was rumoured to be a cancer in the dressing room and apparently got into a shouting match with Jonathan Gould at half-time during the Inverness CT game. He admitted assaulting a football coach for substituting his son in 2007.
Where is he now? After spending a year in charge of Hapoel Tel Aviv, Berkovic decided to buy his own club, becoming president of Israeli side Hapoel Rishon LeZion last year.
The Australian sparked the half-time brawl that would contribute to Celtic’s insipid second half performance against Inverness CT and signal the end of Barnes’ time in charge of the club. Surprisingly, despite taking his boots off and refusing to play, Viduka came out of the debacle a lot better than some of his club-mates, seeing as he was in rich goalscoring form at the time. He was named Scotland’s Player of the Year at the conclusion of the campaign and earned a £6m move to Leeds United.
Where is he now? Since retiring, Viduka has deliberately kept a low profile, moving back to Melbourne and coaching the same Melbourne Knights youth squad that his son plays for.
The scorer of Celtic’s goal on the day. Despite six caps for Scotland and a 17-year professional career, it’s fair to say things never quite worked out for Burchill the way many of us envisioned when he was scoring regularly as a teenager at Parkhead. He left Glasgow for Portsmouth in 2001, but other than smacking Harry Redknapp in the head during a live TV interview (allegedly) he never did much of note down south. His most productive post-Celtic spell came with Dunfermline between 2005 and 2008.
Where is he now? Burchill is looking to get back into management after being sacked by Livingston in late 2015.
Wright was coming to the end of his career when he made the ill-advised move to Celtic Park. Though he did score three times, he struggled for form over his brief tenure and was released shortly after Barnes was sacked. He finished out the season with Burnley and then retired.
Where is he now? Wright works as a pundit covering English football. He is a regular guest on Match of the Day.