Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life | OneFootball

Icon: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

·3 October 2022

Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life

Article image:Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life

David Dein is currently International Ambassador for the FA and Ambassador for the Premier League. He was the former Vice Chairman of both Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association. He was also President of the G-14 group of European football clubs and International Ambassador of England’s bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

At Arsenal he was responsible for football matters, taking an active role in the transfer of players and contract negotiations where he was able to use his extensive network of football contacts. Dein was behind the appointment of the then little known Arsène Wenger to the manager’s job in 1996. During his 24 years at Arsenal, the club won 18 trophies including the Invincible season of 2003/2004.

Article image:Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life

1987: Charlie Nicholas of Arsenal is tackled by Roy Aitken of Celtic during a pre-season Friendly match at Celtic Park. Photo Allsport UK /Allsport

Dein was the driving force behind the creation of the FA Premier League in 1992 which is now the most commercially successful league competition in the world. He has been at the forefront of many important changes in football, including the introduction of Goal Line Technology and VAR.

He was an early proponent of Women’s football and became President of the Arsenal Women’s Team which became one of the most successful in the league.

Since 2014 he has delivered motivational and inspirational talks in over 500 state schools for the Speakers for Schools programme. In addition, he has given talks in all of the 117 prisons in England & Wales and in 2018 launched the Twinning Project which twins professional football clubs with their local prison, providing training and coaching programmes to help offenders gain employment on release.

In 2019 he was awarded an MBE for his services to football and charity.

David Dein has just published a book titled Calling The Shots – How to Win in Football and Life. And there’s a nice little story in there about former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas, concerning Charlie’s willingness to help a young Arsenal fan in a bad way in hospital after a road  accident. David Dien tells the story like this.

Article image:Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life

New Arsenal players Charlie Nicholas (r) and goalkeeper John Lukic pictured with manager Terry Neill on the Highbury pitch after their summer moves from Glasgow Celtic and Leeds in July, 1983 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Murrell/Allsport/Getty Images/Hulton Archive)

“Another side to Charlie was his warm character. Every club gets letters from people who are ill or suffering, and I received I one from a mother about her son Russell. He was 17.

“He had been riding his moped, had an accident and was in a coma. The medics didn’t know whether he was going to make it or not.

“His favourite player was Charlie Nicholas. The mother asked if Charlie might do something for him. I told Charlie and he said, ‘When can we go?’”

Article image:Heart-warming story of how a former Celtic star helped save a teenager’s life

Photo imago/VI Images Hans Galje (L),Charlie Nicholas (R) -Celtic Glasgow vs. Ajax Amsterdam – European Cup 1982/1983

“’Wake up, wake up, we’re playing Spurs on Sunday,’ Charlie wouldn’t let go. He said ‘Come on Russell, come on Russell.’  Amazingly, as we’re looking at the boy, I could see his eyelids flickering open. It was a very poignant moment. The following day, I received a call from Homerton Hospital. They told me Russell opened his eyes again.

“What I witnessed seemed a modern miracle. Since then, every Christmas, I get a card from Russell with the two magic words – thank you.”

CLICK ON IMAGE TO PRE-ORDER, THE CELTIC RISING IS PUBLISHED ON FRIDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2022

More Stories / Latest

View publisher imprint