ACTOR and film producer Gianni Capaldi is the latest name to sign up to the Jock Stein 30th Anniversary Charity Match, sponsored by Direct Slating Supplies.
The Scottish actor – star of films “Blood of Redemption” and “Hard Rush” – founded his own production company “High Five Films”, and frequently appears alongside Hollywood veterans like Dolph Lundgren and footballer-turned-actor, Vinnie Jones.
Capaldi spoke to the official Celtic website about his involvement ahead of the game saying: “It’s every Bhoy’s dream to pull the hoops on for a match like this.
“It tops every excitement you can have, it actually feels like Christmas Day times 10.”
Based in Los Angeles and originally from Motherwell, Capaldi also discussed the prospect of linking up with his fellow actor and friend, Martin Compston and his intention to get some pre-match training with ex-Chelsea defender, Mario Melchiot.
“Martin and I are actually going to have a practice kick-about today. Martin was the best man at my wedding last May, along with Mario Melchiot, and the three of us are going out later for a training session. Hopefully, Mario can teach us some silky skills and we can bring them to the game.”
Among the celebrities lined up to play for the Dunfermline Legends’ team, is former footballer and actor Vinnie Jones. Capaldi joked that he has still to break the news to Jones – his friend and co-star – that he’ll be lining up opposite him at East End Park.
He said: “My pal Vinnie Jones is playing – although he is playing for Dunfermline – and he has been winding me up with messages saying ‘your best man is playing against me’. I’ve not actually told him yet that I’m turning up but it’ll be a laugh playing against him.”
Capaldi added that he anticipated being in awe of the players he grew up watching. He said: “Being in the dressing room before the game is enough to be star-struck.
“It’ll be fantastic to play with the likes of Neil Lennon and Stiliyan Petrov, it’ll be an absolutely brilliant experience.”
An avid Celtic fan, Capaldi was also keen to state his admiration for Jock Stein and expressed that the nature of Stein’s legend would extend for generations.
He said: “He is a legend and legends never die, they live on and Jock Stein lives on in the memories of Celtic fans and the future generations.
“An inspiration for so many people, Jock Stein has to be up there with Scotland’s greatest of all time. A fantastic man with fantastic achievements.”
Celtic Legends’ Squad So Far
Manager: Murdo MacLeod
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
The Jock Stein 30th Anniversary Charity Match takes place on Sunday, September 6 at East End Park (KO 2pm).
Tickets for the match are priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions. There will be cash turnstiles for both sets of fans on the day but, to avoid the queues, get your tickets in advance from the Celtic Ticket Office.
Proceeds from the day will be shared between Celtic FC Foundation and the Pars Foundation, the respective charitable arms of both clubs.