AS an actor, Martin Compston is no stranger to lining up alongside some big names in film and television.
However, this September, Martin – star of such films as ‘Sweet Sixteen’, ‘The Wee Man’ and hit BBC drama series ‘Line of Duty’ – will be playing alongside famous names of a different variety as he swaps the screen for East End Park to play a starring role in Celtic FC Foundation’s Jock Stein Charity Match.
Sponsored by Direct Slating Supplies, the Jock Stein Charity Match will take place at East End Park on Sunday, September 6 (KO 2pm) and features a squad of Celtic Legends taking on their counterparts from Dunfermline Athletic to commemorate the 30th anniversary passing of footballing legend, Jock Stein.
The proceeds from this event will see Celtic FC Foundation and the Pars Foundation – the respective charitable arms of both clubs – as beneficiaries.
Having previously played in 2013’s Stiliyan Petrov tribute game as well as last year’s Maestrio match, Greenock Bhoy Compston spoke to the Celtic website of his delight at wearing the Hoops and his determination to rise to the occasion at East End Park.
He said: “It’s becoming like a second job at the minute! I could not be happier, even just pulling on the Hoops.
“Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve got a bit of a jinx for these games. For the Stiliyan Petrov match, I had just come back from Ibiza and in the run-up to the Maestrio match, I’d cracked two ribs. So for this one, I’d just like to be able to run about sober and injury-free!
“I’m really looking forward to it and it’ll be good taking it on the road this time. It’s been incredible playing at Celtic Park and it’ll be a new and exciting experience playing at Dunfermline.”
The Scottish actor also voiced his enthusiasm at once again linking up with Hoops legend Stiliyan Petrov.
“Stan has just been an inspiration and I’ve got great memories of the Martin O’Neill era,” he said. “I grew up during one of Celtic’s worst periods historically during the 1990s.
“When Martin O’Neill came and Henrik Larsson and Petrov came into their own, those were the good times and in my mind, Stan is one of the greats. He’s such a lovely man and he is an inspiration to Celtic fans with what he been through.
“He was really generous and had time for everybody at his charity game and I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him again.”
Compston was also quizzed on his eagerness to make an impact and get on the score-sheet.
“I’m definitely keen to get a goal,” he joked. “In the Petrov game, I knocked the ball through to Henrik and he pegged it back to my mate Warren Brown who scored, and he has still not shut up about it.
“At the Maestrio game, I missed an absolute sitter which my mates aren’t letting go either, so I’m eager to stick one in the back of the net.”
An avid Celtic fan, Compston emphasised the emotive importance of this game as a fitting, celebratory tribute to the memory of Jock Stein.
He said: “As a Celtic fan, it means everything to play in this game. Simply put, Jock Stein is the greatest manager in our history. Alongside Sir Alex Ferguson, I’d say he is one of the greatest in the game for what he achieved.
“People talk about Barcelona winning the treble last season but we did it first and with 11 home-grown players, something that I don’t think will ever be done again.
“At Celtic, we’ve always had a phenomenal reach support-wise but Jock Stein made us – both on and off the field – the best club in the world. It means a lot and it’s great that we are honouring him in this way.”
Tickets for the match, priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions, are available ONLINE, by calling 0871 226 1888* or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office.
Matchday Hospitality is available, on a first come, first served basis, in the Purvis Suite at a cost of £45 per person, or supporters can upgrade to a pitch-side box for an additional price of £100 per person.
To make a booking please visit www.dafc.co.uk, contact DAFC on 01383 724295, or [email protected]
Tickets for the dinner are priced at £500 for a table of 10 or £50pp. To make a booking call Celtic FC Foundation on 0141 551 4321 or email [email protected]
* Calls cost 13 pence per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. For customer enquiries relating to existing purchases only, please call 0141 230 1967. Calls charged at standard rate.