After a 16-month break, Strachan returned to management on 1 June 2005, when he succeeded Martin O’Neill as manager of Celtic. For 2005–06, his stated aim was to regain the SPL title from rivals Rangers. He had an embarrassing start to his campaign as Celtic manager, losing 5–0 to Slovakian champions Artmedia Bratislava on 27 July 2005 and three days later drawing 4–4 with Motherwell in his first SPL match in charge of the Glasgow club. The loss against Artmedia meant that Celtic suffered an early exit from European competition, despite winning the return match 4–0. After this disastrous start, Celtic started to improve under Strachan. A low-point was the shock defeat in the third round of the Scottish Cup to First Division Clyde on 8 January 2006. However, the following month his team made history when they beat Dunfermline Athletic 8–1, a record victory margin for the SPL at the time. Strachan’s first season was ultimately successful as he coached Celtic to victory in the Scottish League Cup and, on 5 April 2006, his side clinched the SPL title in record time and with six matches remaining. Reflecting this achievement, Strachan was voted ‘manager of the year’ by the Scottish Football Writers’ Association eight days later.
Gordon Strachan was born in Edinburgh on 9 February 1957 (age 64).
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