Paddy Crerand Profile

Paddy Crerand

Patrick Timothy Cre­rand, born Glas­gow, Scot­land, Feb­ruary 19, 1939. Pad­dy Cre­rand was firm­ly de­term­ined to es­cape from his rather miser­able back­ground of fam­ily tragedy and re­li­gious dog­mat­ism to be­come a pro­fes­sion­al foot­baller. A com­bat­ive play­er in every sense of the word, the Celt­ic, Man­chester Uni­ted, and Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al mid­field en­for­cer built up a wor­ld wide repu­ta­tion for his nat­ur­al fight­ing spir­it and his ac­cur­ate tack­ling skills.

Grow­ing up in the Gorbals area of Glas­gow, Pad­dy Cre­rand sig­ned pro­fes­sion­al terms wi­th Glas­gow Celt­ic in the sum­mer of 1957, and was giv­en his Scot­tish Foot­ball Lea­gue bap­tism in a 3-1 vic­tory ag­ainst Queen of the So­uth at Park­head on the fourth of Oct­ober 1958. Whi­le at Celt­ic Park, Cre­rand ma­naged to raise quite a few eye­brows when the Celt be­came a clo­se friend of Prot­est­ant Glas­gow Ran­gers and Scot­land fa­vour­ite Slim Jim Bax­ter, who was widely known for his ex­cess­ive drink­ing and gambling. Af­ter ap­pear­ing in 91 Scot­tish Foot­ball Lea­gue ga­mes for The Bhoys, how­ever, the hard tack­ling mid­fielder made a move to Man­chester Uni­ted where he was han­ded his Fir­st Di­vi­sion de­but in a 1-1 draw ag­ainst Black­pool at Old Traf­ford on the 22nd of Feb­ruary 1963. At Old Traf­ford, he would be­come a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the si­de which went on to win the Fir­st Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­on­ship twice, the FA Cup once and the Euro­pean Cup once back in the swinging nine­teen six­ties, and with­out doubt his quiet au­thor­ity bo­th on and off the foot­ball field played a cru­cial part in the suc­cess of the club and his con­tri­bu­tion to Sir Matt Busby´s te­am can­not pos­sibly be overestimated.

Pad­dy Cre­rand, who ac­cu­mu­lated fif­teen goals in 397 ap­pear­ances in all com­pet­i­tions for Man­chester Uni­ted, would ap­pear in his fi­nal mat­ch for The Reds in a thrill­ing and high-scor­ing 4-3 Fir­st Di­vi­sion tri­umph ag­ainst neigh­bouring Man­chester City at Maine Road on the fifth of May 1971. Af­ter en­joy­ing a com­par­at­ively short spell at So­uth Afric­an te­am Wits Uni­ver­sity Foot­ball Club in Bloem­fon­tein in Jo­han­nes­burg, the Glaswe­gi­an was ap­poin­ted as as­sist­ant man­ager to his fel­low coun­try­man Tom­my Doc­herty at Man­chester Uni­ted in Dec­ember 1972, but he ul­ti­mately left Old Traf­ford to take the ma­na­geri­al helm at Third Di­vi­sion si­de Northamp­ton To­wn at the start of the 1976-77 sea­son. Wi­th bo­th of his par­ents com­ing from the small to­wn of Doneg­al in the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land, Cre­rand ev­entually be­came in­creas­ingly in­volved in Ir­ish na­tion­al­ist polit­ics and such mat­ters over the years. Seamus Hea­ney: “Any­one wi­th gump­tion and a sharp mind will take the meas­ure of two things: What’s said and what’s done.” Pad­dy Cre­rand Play­ing Ca­reer: Glas­gow Celt­ic, Man­chester Uni­ted, Wits Uni­ver­sity FC. Play­ing Hon­ours: Eng­lish Fir­st Di­vi­sion 1965, 1967, Eng­lish FA Cup 1963, UEFA Euro­pean Cup 1968, Eng­lish FA Char­ity Shield 1965, 1967, Brit­ish Ho­me Cham­pi­on­ship 1962.


Paddy Crerand Quickfacts

A Brit­ish La­bour Party mem­ber, the elo­quent, and some­times out­spoken, Pad­dy Cre­rand was a good friend of John Hume of the So­cial Demo­crat­ic and La­bour Party in North­ern Ire­land, and in 1975, the no-non­sense Scots­man went to a secret meet­ing in a safe house in the Bog­side area of Derry in North­ern Ire­land where he would have secret talks wi­th sev­er­al lead­ing IRA mem­bers, in­clud­ing Mar­tin McGuinness.


Front Page