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Football Origins with Charlie Mulgrew

The Scotland international is next in line to talk us through his footballing career

5 March 2020

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Charlie Mulgrew is next in line to step up to the plate in our 'Football Origins' feature...

We sat down with the defender to discuss his career so far, his firsts, his favourites and much more.

This piece was in the recent matchday programme against Swansea City.

First Football Memory

Going out onto the street when I was about four or five years old and just standing watching older boys playing football, hoping that they would ask me to play. Eventually I got asked to join in and I did quite well, so I was quite proud of myself and they always asked me back to play after that!

Team You Supported Growing Up

Celtic. I grew into a Celtic family in Glasgow, where it’s either Celtic or Rangers, but I was a Celtic fan.

First Game You Attended

Celtic vs. Falkirk at Celtic Park in the early 90s. It was snowing and I remember losing my uncle in the crowds outside the stadium and we ended up having to get a bus home! I think Celtic won 3-2 that day.

First Football Shirt Owned

It was either a Scotland top or an Ireland top. My mum still has them actually, because when my sons go to my mum’s house, she puts it on them!

First Pair of Football Boots

I can remember I had a pair of Quasar football boots. I lived in Canada at the time and they were a pair of black boots, with a white sole. Apparently they had kangaroo leather on them!

Favourite Player

My favourite player growing up was John Collins. He was a left-footed number 11 for Celtic and I was a left-footed winger at the time and he was always my hero growing up.

First Junior Team

I played for a team called Campsie Boys Club. It was a small town next to the town I was from and it’s actually where the Celtic training ground is now, in a place called Lennoxtown. About 20 of us used to get picked up in the back of a Transit Van and I used to play on a Sunday morning for the Under-9s and then in the afternoon for the Under-10s.

Age You Were Scouted

My story’s complicated because I went away to Canada and then I came back and signed for Celtic Boys Club. I was about 11 when I went to Celtic’s Academy.

Professional Debut

I was on loan from Celtic to Dundee United, who were in the SPL at the time as well, and I played against Aberdeen at left-back in a cup game. We were 2-0 up at half-time and we ended up losing 3-2! But it’s a good memory with it being my first game.

Best Memory in Football

I’ve got a few. Making my debut for Celtic, winning the league with Celtic, but probably playing in the Champions League for Celtic and getting to the last 16 after beating Barcelona in the group stages. I’ve had great times here at Rovers as well and winning promotion was a great, great feeling.

Best Advice Ever Received

Just keep believing in yourself and in your ability. Hard work beats ability, so if you’ve got that attitude and you’ve got a wee bit of ability to go with it, then you can go a long way.

Advice For Young Players

I tell my son, who plays in the Academy at Rovers, things that I’ve picked up in my career. I tell him that it’s not always the greatest players that make it through, it’s the ones that work hard and react best from set-backs. 

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