CRAIG GORDON is poised to win his half-century of international caps when he guards Scotland’s goal against Slovakia in the crucial World Cup clash at Hampden on Thursday.
The keeper is about to cap a remarkable comeback to enter football’s Hall of Fame.
Gordon will enjoy the moment – it wasn’t so long ago he feared his 40th cap was going to be his last.
The popular Hoops No.1 was forced to face the prospect of his career being wrecked with knee and shoulder injuries leading him to soccer’s scrapheap.
However, Gordon refused to give in and fought back to earn a contract at Parkhead in 2014 as he replaced Fraser Forster following the Englishman’s £10million move to Southampton.
The comeback Bhoy, 34, said: “To get my 50th Scotland cap in a game of that importance would be huge for me.
“I was stranded on 40 when I got injured and that seems like a million miles away to get another 10 after that.
“That was part of the reason I came back to football with Celtic. I wanted to get back to that level.
“At one stage, I’d have been delighted with one more cap. Just to be able to say that I had come back and done well enough to play for my country one more time, that would have been enough.
“But to go and get another 10 to make it to 50 and get into the Hall of Fame is amazing.
“I think I’m right in saying that I will only be the third goalkeeper to do that, after Jim Leighton and Alan Rough. I don’t think anyone else got 50 caps in goal.
“Getting 50 caps is something I’ve wanted to do and as I’ve progressed in my career, I wanted to try and get closer to it. So it will be very special if I can get it against Slovakia.
“It will be very emotional to go out at Hampden and do that.
“I’ve managed to come back and play in the Champions League with Celtic but to do as well as I have over the last four years is incredible.”
Kevin Graham is back with a new CQN Podcast from Saturday. He talks to supporters on the bus on the way to Parkhead, interviews John Paul Taylor outside the ground and captures the atmosphere and action inside the ground before getting some more supporters’ views on the bus home after an eventful afternoon at Celtic Park.
Apologies for a few sweary words in this podcast near the end.