McCarrison’s only Celtic goal, McCahill’s Hoops debut and some magic from the Maestro

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The Celtic Star

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“25th February 1989, Dundee 0:3 Celtic. Walker, McStay and McCarrison. Beautiful from the Maestro,” Li’l Ze tweeted just after midnight, when you’ll find the new day’s best Celtic moments from that same day in the past on his twitter handle, regular as clockwork.

The third goal as he points out was scored by McCarrison after Andy Walker opened the scoring and Paul McStay scored a classy second. Watch all three goals below then we’ll have a look at the Celtic career of the third goalscorer on this this day in 1989.

Where else to look for details on a player – other then dropping a message to either Matt Corr or David Potter – than on the Celtic Wiki. Have supporters of any other club gone to the trouble of creating anything similar to The Celtic Wiki?

Dugald McCarrison

Celtic’s third goalscorer that day at Dens Park was young forward Dugald McCarrison and despite being at Celtic for 4 years this would turn out to be his one and only goal for the club. Here’s what Celtic Wiki have about McCarrison…

Dugald McCarrison worked his way through the Celtic youth ranks to make his senior debut in the double winning Centenary season of 1987-88. He had originally been sourced from Kirkfield Bank BC in Lesmahagow.

Lanark-born Dugald McCarrison’s debut came in place of the suspended Frank McAvennie but it was not a dream start to his first team career as Celtic suffered a 2-1 home league defeat to Dundee United in October 1987. Still he got to play for Celtic in what was to be a dream season in the club’s centenary season, winning the league and Scottish Cup, and at this point he was still very young with time on his side.

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When Celtic had all their regular strikers fit and available Dugald McCarrison was well down the pecking order and the forward spent the vast majority of his Parkhead career in the reserves. Those who saw him in the reserves rated his ability and potential, and he had an exceptional record with the reserve team.

He was only given a single appearance each season, and even then three were from the bench. He scored his only goal for Celtic in a 3-0 win away in February 1989 v Dundee.

After loan spells with Ipswich and Darlington, he eventually left in a £100,000 move to Tommy Burns’ Kilmarnock in February 1993. He had scored one goal in four games as a Celt. He left on the day that Liam Brady re-engaged talks with Frank McAvennie, which was a backwards step for Celtic.

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Must add that this was to be a difficult time to be at Celtic. After the centenary season, Celtic sunk and would not fully recover for around ten years, with the club stuck in the rut in the battle to ‘Sack the Board’ in what is known as the Celtic Takeover era (ending in 1994). Both team and board management was mostly poor during this time, so aspiring players like Dugald McCarrison suffered in this environment.

He began well at Kilmarnock but disaster struck that summer when he badly broke his leg playing at a village fête in Kirkmuirhill. He missed two years of action and by admission was never the same player again.

He later admitted a lot of regrets and frustration, but this is par the course for many in all walks in life. Sadly football is a short window in which to achieve anything.

A short term deal with Hamilton Accies followed, before he signed for Glentoran in December 1995. The Irish club axed him after a few months because they went off the idea of paying his air fares. From here Dugald McCarrison dropped into the Junior ranks and gave many years service to his local team Lesmahagow, before playing a few games for Shotts Bon Accord in 2002/03.

In The Glasgow Herald’s match report the third goal was described as follows: “The 19-year-old McCarrison, who played one previous game last season for the top team, came on as a replacement for Andy Walker, and scored his first goal for the team. That made it a specially memorable debut for him, as it was for McCahill. The defender bought from Dumbar­ton for £100,000, who came on for the last few minutes in place of Billy Stark, making his first appearance in the Parkhead first team.”

Steve McCahill

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Again The Celtic Wiki is the place to find out about this Celtic player who made his debut at Dens Park on this day in 1989…

Signed from Dumbarton for £100,000 in January 1989 Steve McCahill made his Celtic debut as a sub in a 3-0 league win at Dundee on 25 February that same year. At time of signing he was a storeman and had yet to tell his employers he was leaving them.

He’d impressed heavily after a good performance for Dumbarton in the cup v Celtic, and manager Billy McNeill who claims to have had an eye on him before picked him up for Celtic. For Steve it was a great moment: “This move fulfills a boyhood dream”.

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The centre-half was part of the Celtic team which lifted the Dubai Super Cup against Liverpool on 4 April 1989.

However on 12 April he broke his jaw in a game at Motherwell and despite making a fully recovery he was never really in the first team picture again. A wit may actually say he was lucky as Celtic entered the start of the barren years, and so being out the first team enabled him to avoid the worst of the ensuing onslaught. After the 1989 Scottish Cup win, Celtic didn’t win a trophy again till 1995, and matters both on and off the park were to be very difficult.

Liam Brady’s purchase of Gary Gillespie (an expensive transfer in) was the likely death-knell for Steve’s chances at Celtic. As Gillespie was no great success himself in his spell at Celtic, it is a question whether Celtic would have been better having not given Steve further opportunities in what was then a cash strapped and mismanaged club.

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He played out the majority of his career as captain of the reserve team before joining Morton in October 1992, where he enjoyed some success in the lower leagues with a lower league title.