Celtic pay tribute to nine-in-a-row goalkeeper following death at 79

Connaghan was in goals when the Hoops clinched the historic feat at Falkirk in 1974.

Celtic pay tribute to nine-in-a-row winning former player Denis Connaghan following death aged 79 SNS Group

Celtic have paid tribute to former player Denis Connaghan following his death at the age of 79.

The Glasgow-born goalkeeper spent six years at the Hoops between 1971 and 1977, helping them to win three league titles, including when they became champions for the ninth year in a row, and the Scottish Cup.

He made 56 appearances under legendary manager Jock Stein as well as spells at clubs including St Mirren, Morton and Clyde.

Connaghan started his career with Celtic as a teenager in 1963 but left after being unable to break into the first team.

After seven years with St Mirren he returned to Parkhead to joins Stein’s side in 1971 during their nine-in-a-row run.

Making 15 appearances as they clinched seven-in-a-row in in 71/72 he also played both legs of the European Cup semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in 1974.

He played in goals when the ninth consecutive title was secured at Falkirk, equalling the then world record and setting a new Scottish record that has never been bettered, and in the Scottish Cup final that year when Dundee United were defeated.

He left for Morton in 1977 and spent two years at Cappielow before joining Clyde where he finished his career.

He also made two saves in a penalty-shootout victory over Rangers in the final of the Dryborough Cup.

Speaking back in March 2017, in an interview for the Celtic matchday programme, Connaghan picked out his best Celtic memory.

He said: “Being part of the Scottish Cup-winning team in 1974.

“There were a couple of earlier finals where I was sitting on the bench or in the stand, so that 3-0 game against Dundee United was one that I really did enjoy. It was a great day for me and a great day for the team.

“Even down at Seamill on the morning of the final, I still wasn’t 100 per cent sure I was in the team. Big Jock had the team-talk and then he said, ‘Right, the team today will be, Denis in goal…’, and I thought, ‘what a relief’. There were no mobile phones in those days so I had to find a phone, then call home and say, ‘tell my Da I’m playing today’.’

In a statement on Monday, Celtic said: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Denis’ family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

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