IT was all over for Leigh Griffiths at Celtic on January 16 2022 when his contract was scrapped and a financial package was thrashed out between the club and player for the remaining five months of his terms.
It was an ignominious end to the striker’s career at Parkhead following his £1.2million arrival from Wolves in January 2014.
BHOY ALONE…Leigh Griffiths sits in the Parkhead stand after being substituted in the Scottish Cup-tie against Falkirk in April 2021.
At 31, Griffiths was cast adrift with the board determined not to allow the issue to drag on and become a sideshow as Ange Postecoglou attempted to win the Premiership in his debut crusade. The forward would not be adding to the 123 goals he scored for the Hoops.
The once-prolific attacker had moved on loan to Dundee on the last day of the August transfer window, but, after only three goals in 17 games for the Dens Park side, they exercised an option in the contract and he was returned to Celtic early in January.
He joined League One outfit Falkirk to help them in their push for a Championship play-off place and he was reported to be picking up £1,500-per-week for his efforts.
DOWN AND OUT…Leigh Griffiths in a low moment in his Hoops career.
Griffiths hit two strikes for the team as they failed in their bid and he was released at the end of an ill-fated season.
Thirty goals in four years was an infintisemal return for a player of the stature of Griffiths.
Postecoglou paid tribute to the former Scotland international marksman and, speaking in a CQN report, said: “Leigh is now looking for the next chapter of his career.
“An outstanding football career at Celtic. All of us, we kind of pass through clubs, but you want to leave a mark there when you do.
“Leigh has certainly done that. I think he can look back on his Celtic career with great pride and he goes on to the next chapter of his football career. We wish him all the best.”
Ironically, Griffiths did not kick a ball in competitive action for Postecoglou. He made a 45-minute appearance against West Ham at Parkhead in July and was booed by a section of the fans who once adored the little forward.
THE START…Leigh Griffiths celebrates his first Celtic goal in a 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle in February 2014.
THE END…Leigh Griffiths in action during his final appearance for Celtic in the friendly against West Ham at Parkhead in July 2021.
Months later, the player revealed: “I did leave Celtic with regrets about the way it all ended.
“The new manager was absolutely unbelievable with me – I don’t have a bad word to say about Ange. I don’t have a bad word to say about anyone at Celtic.
“I played against West Ham and it’s the lowest I have ever felt in football. I left that game, climbed into the car and drove back home.
“I was crying – that was the point that I knew my time was done at Celtic.”
The forward will turn 32 next month and his next move is crucial. There is talk of as attempt to revive his career in Australia.
Celtic fans most certainly saw the best of Leigh Griffiths.
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