Gary Hooper: I can’t wait to pull on the Hoops at Paradise again for Legends Charity Match

The last time Gary Hooper ran out at Paradise was in July 2013 when he came on as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville.

Now, nearly 11 years later, the striker will pull on the green and white Hoops at Celtic Park again on Sunday, May 26 when he plays in the Celtic FC Foundation Legends Match against Borussia Dortmund.


Now 36, Hooper is looking forward to taking a trip down memory lane when he returns to Glasgow next month.

A superb striker who was always a fans’ favourite, he signed for Celtic in 2010 from Scunthorpe United, and over the next three years scored 82 goals in 138 appearances, picking up two league titles and two Scottish Cup winner’s medals along the way.

Not surprisingly, he’s delighted to be returning to Paradise on May 26 and playing for the Celtic Legends side, when he will be reunited with his former captain, Scott Brown, who will skipper the Celtic side.

Speaking to the official Celtic website, Gary Hooper said: “I’m really excited to get out on the pitch again.

“I’ve been up for a couple of games before but this will be the first time putting the kit on again at Celtic Park.

“Going into the changing room, going out for the warm-up and going out and playing a game – I can’t wait. Even being back in Glasgow again will be great.

“It’ll be a good reunion with some of my old team-mates, and having Browny as the skipper again, so I’m really excited – even I have to listen to him one more time in the Huddle!

‘That was a very good team I played in, and we should have won the league the first year I was there, although we did win the next two titles.’

Scott Brown will captain the Celtic Legends team, which will be managed by Paul Lambert and Tom Boyd, and fans will enjoy seeing some of their former heroes in action at Paradise again.

Of course, the focus of the day will be on Celtic FC Foundation and the incredible work the club’s charitable arm do, both near and far.

“That’s the main thing, raising money for the Foundation and all the work they do,” said Gary Hooper.

“It’ll be nice to play in front of the Celtic fans again as well as meeting up with some of my old team-mates again, but the charity is the main focus of the day.”

The Legends Match against Borussia Dortmund on May 26 (KO: 2pm), sponsored by Dafabet, will also be the 11th anniversary of Celtic’s Scottish Cup triumph over Hibernian at Hampden, when Gary Hooper scored twice in a 3-0 win to secure a league and cup double.

That was one of many highlights for Hooper in the Hoops, which also included some other impressive personal achievements such as five goals in a Trophy Day 5-0 victory against Hearts in 2012 and a number of decisive derby goals.

“It was everything, to be fair,” said the former Celt, “the Champions League, derby games, everything.

‘That Scottish Cup final in 2013 was just one of the highlights. We wore the black kit and I was lucky enough to score a couple of goals that day.’

Those goals, two of the 82 he netted for Celtic, ensured his place in the affection of supporters, something he continues to be reminded of.

“Even now, I meet Celtic fans wherever I go, whether that’s on holiday or even down here where I live,” Hooper explained.

“I’m sure that, as soon as I walk into the changing-room or when I walk down the tunnel and on to the Celtic Park pitch, that’s when all the memories will kick in – those games when you couldn’t hear yourself because of the atmosphere, like the Spartak Moscow game under the floodlights.

“I can’t wait to put the Hoops on again, pull the boots on too and get out there again and play in front of the fans.”


The Legends Charity Match promises to be a fantastic occasion for all the family and tickets are on general sale now, priced at:

  • Adults – £15
  • Concessions – £7



A range of Matchday Hospitality packages are available for the Legends Charity Match at Celtic Park, starting at just £30 per person.

You can register your interest in these packages here or check regularly for the latest updates.


Funds raised through the match will focus on feeding people in need of support, to reflect the heritage of the club and respond to the current cost of living crisis, which is overwhelming so many families and individuals.

This will include continuation and development of Celtic FC Foundation’s Paradise Pit Stop project at Celtic Park. In addition, we will look to secure new locations for food provision with local partners in Inverclyde and Lanarkshire, plus London and Ireland to complement our current delivery of key projects in those areas.

With Scott Brown set to captain the side, we’re delighted to confirm that a donation will also be made to Dundee Cancer Centre at Ninewells Hospital, in memory of his sister Fiona, who sadly passed away in 2008 aged just 21