John Hartson delighted to return to Paradise for charity match

ANOTHER fans’ favourite is returning to Paradise for Celtic FC Foundation’s charity match at the end of the season with John Hartson set to be reunited with two of his former team-mates, Henrik Larsson and Lubo Moravcik, for the game on Sunday, May 28.

The Welsh striker is always delighted at the opportunity to play in front of the Hoops fans, and would clearly love the chance to score again at Celtic Park

Now 41, the former Celt netted an impressive 110 goals in 201 appearances for the Hoops during five years at the club, and among the many highlights from his time at the club, one goal in particular will always savoured by supporters – his strike against Liverpool at Anfield in March 2003 in the second leg of the UEFA Cup quarter-final clash with Liverpool.

It gave Celtic a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-1 aggregate victory, putting the team a step closer to the final in Seville.

The goal saw the Welsh internationalist combine with Henrik Larsson before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out that sent the Celtic fans in the stadium into raptures. It still remains a favoured memory with Hartson too.

“I suppose it was one of my best goals, and certainly one of the most important,” he told the official Celtic website. “It stands out in the memory. It was such a crucial goal but the strange thing is, it should have been a foul before that but the referee did not blow for when Sami Hyypia pushed me in the back. I played a one-two with Henrik and he just rolled it back into my path with perfect pace.”

Not surprisingly, having witnessed the talents of both Henrik and Lubo at close quarters during his time at Celtic, John Hartson is a fan of both players, and considers himself lucky to have played alongside the two of them in what was an extremely strong side under Martin O’Neill.

“Both were terrific players,” he explained. “Henrik is in the all-time top three of strikers in Celtic’s history. That is no mean feat. The word legend gets used far too often. Legend is a word for Billy McNeill and Jimmy Johnstone, in my humble opinion. They are genuine greats but Henrik is also in that category. I was blessed to play with him and blessed to play with all that team, to be honest.

“And Lubo was a maverick. Lots of people may have been wondering who he was or where he had been when he signed, but a mate of mine, Brian Stein, played against Lubo in France. He told me Lubo was tremendous so I knew about him and was not surprised at his quality.”

And as someone who continues to do so much impressive work for charity, John Hartson knows that the real winner on what will be a special day at Paradise will be Celtic FC Foundation.

“I’m sure it will be a full house and it will be nice to catch up with a few of the old Bhoys,” he said. “The main thing – for fans and players – is to be there. This is all about a great cause. It is for Celtic FC Foundation and will aid the great work the people there are doing. It will be an honour and privilege to be amongst the Bhoys and in front of the fans again.”

Henrik’s Heroes versus Lubo’s Legends will take place at Celtic Park on Sunday, May 28, 2017, with a 2pm kick-off.

Tickets are on general sale, on a first come first served basis – maximum of 10 per person – priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions*. 

Tickets are available to purchase online at, by calling 0871 226 1888** or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office. Rail Seating does not apply to this match.

Premium tickets (£30) and corporate packages (£135) are also available by calling 0871 226 1888** (Option 4) or emailing [email protected] 

Net proceeds of the game will be devoted to Celtic FC Foundation, a charity aiming to uphold and promote the founding principles of our football club. The four priorities are to improve health, promote equality, encourage learning and tackle poverty and the Foundation have a strong track record of delivering successful community-based projects. There will be detailed projects in relation to proceeds from this match in due course.

* Concessions 65+/Under 16s.

** Calls cost 13p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. Booking fees apply online and via our sales line.