LIAM BRADYwas named as Billy McNeill’s successor as Celtic manager in June 1991.

The charismatic Irishman arrived with a dream for the club, but his vision had become blurred by the time he departed in early October 1993.

In another CQN EXCLUSIVE series, author Alex Gordon opens his book files to look back at an intriguing and compelling chapter in the club’s history.

Here is another edited extract from Alex’s tribute book, ‘The Winds of Change‘, published by CQN in 2015.

Please enjoy.

AS THE 1991/92 season rolled to a halt, first-time manager Liam Brady now fully realised what dug-out veterans meant when they oft repeated, ‘Success as a team boss will always come down to two things – results and transfers.’

The results hadn’t gone Celtic’s way, that was obvious. And a lot was made of Tony Cascarino, the club’s £1.1million signing. Celtic fans had to wait until October 5 for his first goal for the club after coming on as a sixty-sixth minute substitute for Charlie Nicholas against Hearts at Parkhead.

Two minutes after his appearance, he rolled the ball into an empty net for the clinching goal in the 3-1 win. Five minutes later, he was sent off by referee Jim McCluskey after elbowing Tynecastle defender Craig Levein in the face. It appeared the London-born player could do no right in the green and white.

He scored four goals – one against Rangers in the 1-1 draw at Ibrox in November – in thirty appearances and was quoted as saying, ‘Celtic played too much football to suit my game.’

AT LAST…Tony Cascarino manages to score for Celtic as he knocks the ball past Hearts keeper Henry Smith – moments before seeing red.

It was a ludicrous statement from Cascarino, but he got it right when he said, ‘I was banging away the goals for fun in training, but that’s no good, is it? As soon as I got on the park on a Saturday, I couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo.’

In fairness to Brady, he put himself under as much close examination as Cascarino when he persuaded the board to write the cheque for a player who had scored a mere twelve goals in fifty games for Aston Villa which was not an inspiring statistic for an out-and-out striker.

Brady had also been the player’s agent for a spell, so must have been confident of his major signing providing the goods. He got that wrong. But, while Brady and Cascarino were scrutinised, across the Clyde, Walter Smith would be given a blank chequebook and paid out £6.85million in signing six players with £2.2million alone going on Alexei Mikhailichenko from Sampdoria.

Stuart McCall (Everton), Dale Gordon (Norwich City), Andy Goram (Hibs), David Robertson (Aberdeen) and Paul Rideout (Notts County) were also shipped in.

The football world now knows where such profligacy eventually led the club, but that was hardly Liam Brady’s concern at the time.

The Celtic manager had enough to occupy his thoughts after a gruelling and intense introduction to life in the dug-out.

* TOMORROW: Don’t miss the next riveting instalment of the Liam Brady story – only in your champion CQN.

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