Several Celtic players have been unlucky enough to have played at a time when, in spite of great skill and commitment, they failed to establish themselves as first team regulars. Often, they had competition, in their position, from formidable teammates; in other cases, they were just unlucky. Many of these players played during the 1960s. Hugh Gallagher looks back to this period and profiles some of the players who fall into the Nearly Men category and concludes by talking about how valuable they’d be to today’s Celtic. So far Hugh has featured John McNamee and Charlie Gallagher. This time he features Frank Brogan…





Most Celtic fans, of all ages, will have heard of Jim Brogan, whose tackling made Roy Keane’s look like what occurs during a playground kickabout and who terrorised Rangers’ forwards between the mid 1960s and mid 1970s. However, many fans will not have heard of his older brother, Frank.

Like the aforementioned McNamee and Gallagher, Frank Brogan joined Celtic at a time when the club was in the doldrums. He signed, as teenager, from St Roch’s Juniors, in the early 1960s. A left winger with super speed- he could run 100 yards in fractionally over 10 seconds – he also suffered in the general malaise of the early 1960s when chairman, Bob Kelly, completely dictated team matters to manager and legendary former player, Jimmy McGrory.

In spite of playing only 48 games before his transfer to Ipswich at the end of 1963-64 season, he managed 17 goals. 1962-63 was his best season, in terms of appearances. However, with hot competition for the outside left jersey, from Lennox and Hughes, he struggled to establish himself. Also, he had demanded that his wage increase from £26 to £30/week. Ipswich trebled his wage but, even then, he would have stayed with the club he loved, if he’d been given the extra £4/week. He will be forever, in Celtic’s record books as the scorer of the club’s 5000th goal in competitive football. A few seasons ago, he returned the ball that he scored that goal with, to Celtic as a gift.

Next up is JOHN CUSHLEY…

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