Brian McClair

Celtic hero Brian McClair was born in Airdrie, Scotland on 8 December 1963 (age 56). Follow @BrianMcClair13 on Twitter.

In May 1983, Billy McNeill signed McClair for Celtic, with the fee being £100,000. McClair was effectively signed as a replacement for the recently departed Charlie Nicholas. However, McClair would never actually play for McNeill, as the Celtic manager resigned in June 1983 and was replaced by Davie Hay.

McClair scored in a 2–0 win on his debut against Partick Thistle at Firhill in the Glasgow Cup on 9 August 1983. By the end of an impressive first season at Celtic, McClair had scored 32 goals and established himself as a first team regular. A four-goal haul against Dundee in a 6–2 win during September, an outstanding solo goal in a 5–0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Cup, and a goal in the 2–3 defeat against Rangers in the League Cup Final in March 1984 highlighted McClair’s goalscoring ability.

The following season saw the arrival of Mo Johnston from Watford and, despite their contrasting personalities, McClair and Johnston would quickly form a deadly goalscoring partnership for Celtic. McClair continued to score regularly for Celtic, and at the end of the season won his first winner’s medal, coming on as a substitute in Celtic’s 2–1 win over Dundee United in the 1985 Scottish Cup Final.

Despite competition from Alan McInally and Mark McGhee, McClair and Johnston remained the regular pairing playing up front for Celtic. Their goals helped Celtic to a dramatic league championship win in 1985–86; a memorable 5–0 win over St Mirren at Love Street on the last day of the season with McClair and Johnston both scoring twice as title-rivals Hearts capitulated to a 2–0 defeat at Dundee.

Season 1986–87 would be McClair’s last at Celtic. Despite a bright start to the season from Celtic, the team’s form began to fade during the winter months and the club would go on to squander a nine-point lead in the league, which was eventually won by Rangers. Another league cup final defeat against Rangers (despite an outstanding goal by McClair) and a fourth-round defeat at Hearts in the Scottish Cup saw Celtic finish the season without any silverware. Despite Celtic’s lack of achievement, McClair was an outstanding success that year. He scored 41 goals in total, finishing top scorer in the league with 35 goals and won both the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year and the Scottish Players’ Player of the Year awards.

In four seasons with at Celtic, McClair made 204 appearances in all competitions and scored 126 goals. He won the Scottish Cup 1985 and the Scottish Premier Division in 1986.

Brian McClair in the news

Read all the news mentioning Brian McClair.

ACSOM · Jan 7

A Celtic State of Mind – LIVE dates for 2020 including Martin O’Neill, Brian McClair, Chris Sutton, John Hartson & Danny McGrain

Paul John Dykes has interviewed some of Celtic’s greatest icons, including Kenny Dalglish, Danny McGrain, George Connelly, Bertie Auld, Bobby Lennox and Neil Lennon...

ACSOM · Oct 18, 2019

Brian McClair with A Celtic State of Mind – Pulling on the hoops for Celtic Greats’ foodbank drive

Supporting this game of football is one of the things that is thoroughly enjoyable about being involved.” It’s an appalling situation that in a civilized country like Scotland people are having to use food banks...

A Celtic State of Mind · Sep 30, 2019

Brian McClair with A Celtic State of Mind Part 2

A Celtic State of Mind was named as the UK’s Best Football Podcast at the prestigious 2018 Football Blogging Awards...

A Celtic State of Mind · Aug 10, 2019

Brian McClair with A Celtic State of Mind Part 1

A Celtic State of Mind was named as the UK’s Best Football Podcast at the prestigious 2018 Football Blogging Awards.

VideoCelts · Apr 29, 2019

Brian McClair’s touching tribute to Lisbon Lion Stevie Chalmers

In 393 Celtic appearances he scored 228 goals making him the fourth highest scorer in the club’s history with only Jimmy McGrory, Bobby Lennox and Henrik Larsson scoring more...

FansBet · Apr 13, 2019

WATCH: Brian McClair’s Football Tales at Celtic

Former Celtic forward and FansBet ambassador Brian McClair sat down with our partner, A Celtic State of Mind, to tell tales of his time at the club...

The Celtic Star · Dec 12, 2018

Jim Craig – Old Trafford, Celtic play those Rapid Vienna cheats

The first leg of the Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd round tie between Rapid Vienna and Celtic – held in the Austrian capital – resulted in a fine 3-1 victory for Rapid, with Brian McClair getting the Hoops’ only goal.

A Celtic State of Mind · Nov 17, 2018

Steve Armstrong & David Alexander of Fansbet with A Celtic State of Mind

A Celtic State of Mind was recently named as the UK’s Best Football Podcast at the prestigious 2018 Football Blogging Awards.

Into Football · Oct 23, 2018

The Glasgow Echo with Chris McQueer, Edgar Summertyme & Brian McClair

Swapping the ‘r’ in ‘creating’ to an ‘h’ will provide you with the two extremes of the alternative media scale.

The Celtic Star · Oct 22, 2018

Brian McClair – Alex Ferguson’s best ever signing for Man Utd

BRIAN McCLAIR was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as his best ever buy for Manchester United.

The Celtic Star · Sep 22, 2018

Jim Craig – Celtic’s hat-trick heroes

Dixie Deans from the 1970s ..Jimmy Walsh, the 1950s ..Willie Buchan, 1930s ..Chris Sutton, the noughties Patsy Gallagher, the 1910s and 1920s .Brian McClair, the 1980s.

The Celtic Star · Aug 24, 2018

Jim Craig – Brian McClair’s Celtic 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...

Evening Times · Jul 20, 2018

Davie Hay: Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele have the makings of a fearsome partnership

The best strikeforce I worked with in my time as Celtic manager would have been Maurice Johnston and Brian McClair.

The Celtic Star · Jul 3, 2018

Jim Craig – Paul Elliott joined Celtic on this day in 1989

Paul Marcellus Elliott first played at Celtic Park on 2 August 1986, while wearing the colours of Aston Villa in a friendly against the Hoops, when Brian McClair scored the only goal of the game...

History Bhoys Abroad · Jun 29, 2018

History Bhoys Abroad – 45 – Brian McClair

Brian McClair was a fascinatingly successful striker for Celtic during the mid 80s.

90min.com · Jun 28, 2018

SPFL to the EPL: 6 Players Who Made A Successful Move From Scotland to England

The Scottish Premier League has proved to be a breeding ground for talent over the years; talent that has, on occasion, made its way down south with great success.

The Celtic Star · Jun 20, 2018

Jim Craig: Brian McClair’s 120 goals, 199-match Celtic career

After one season with Aston Villa, where he never made the first team, Brian McClair returned to Scotland, signing for Motherwell in 1981.

Scotzine · May 28, 2018

Mcclair Welcomes Cadden, Morgan

FORMER Scotland international Brian McClair has welcomed the introduction of youngsters in Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad.

Inside Futbol · Apr 18, 2018

This Is What I Like About Leigh Griffiths – Former Celtic Forward

Brian McClair has praised Leigh Griffiths attitude, with the striker often left out of the Celtic starting eleven...

BBC Sportsound · Apr 2, 2018

Sportsound Podcast : 02 Apr 18

Kenny Macintyre, James McFadden, Michael Stewart & Darryl Broadfoot debate Davies challenge on Brown, if Derek McInnes would be interested in West Brom & Brian McClair interview...

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