FORMER Celtic striker Chris Sutton has pledged his involvement for the Jock Stein 30th Anniversary Charity Match – sponsored by Direct Slating Supplies – this Sunday, September 6, at East End Park, and he’s delighted to be back in a Celtic jersey once again.
A prolific goalscorer during his time at Celtic, Sutton enjoyed a very successful period in the Hoops, scoring important goals domestically and in Europe as well as forming a potent partnership with Henrik Larsson.
The Englishman sat down with the official Celtic website ahead of Sunday’s match to discuss his excitement at running out in front of the fans once again.
He said: “It’s a good thing to see a few of the bhoys again and pull on the jersey and it’s obviously a big event.
“It’s about respecting Jock Stein and of course, a lot of people will have made a lot of effort to get there and I’m sure it will be worthwhile.”
In a Celtic career that spanned nearly six years, Sutton was renowned for his footballing intelligence and could play in defence, midfield or attack.
When asked if his trademark versatility would be on show at East End Park, Sutton joked: “I played in a game the other month with Stiliyan Petrov and my brain was working but the signal to my feet just wasn’t on the same wavelength.
“I don’t know where I’ll play but I suspect – or I can pretty much guarantee – I won’t be at the level I was a few years ago!”
A player for the big occasion, Sutton’s time at Celtic was defined by his capacity to deliver on the grandest of stages.
On his personal highlights from his time at the club, Sutton said: “It was just over five years I had at Celtic, and if I could go back and relive any of the years from my career, it would be from my Celtic days and I was lucky enough to play in a good team with a lot of top players.
“Obviously, the European nights and the games against Rangers would be personal highlights but also, what the club meant to the players at that time, and what the club meant to me personally and to my family. They are times I will never forget.”
A passionate and commanding figure in the Hoops, Chris Sutton is well-placed to speak about the most legendary names in the club’s history and he emphasised the significance of Jock Stein and the Lisbon Lions’ achievements ahead of Sunday’s game.
He said: “It’s crucially important to remember Jock Stein. Celtic were the first British team to win the European Cup and that’s an achievement in itself.
“When I was at the club, John Clark was still around and you were in touch with guys like Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox, Stevie Chalmers and they are great guys.
“Knowing them – and knowing what they achieved for the club – and mixing with them was an honour for all the players in the period that I played in.”
Celtic Legends’ Squad So Far
Manager: Murdo MacLeod
The Jock Stein 30th Anniversary Charity Match takes place on Sunday, September 6 at East End Park (KO 2pm).
Tickets for the match, priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions, are available by visiting 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