Celtic's top 30 players - Number 20

Celtic Stands

We continue our countdown of the greatest 30 players to appear for the Bhoys.

Following defensive rock Johan Mjallby at number 21, the number 20 spot on our list of the greatest 30 footballers to play for Celtic goes to a teammate of the Swede who was another stalwart of the club's backline in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The son of a former Bhoys player of the same name, Jackie McNamara arrived at Parkhead in 1995 from Dunfermline and quickly established himself as an exciting, attacking full-back, being named PFA Scotland Player of the Year at the end of his debut campaign.

Under the management of Wim Jansen, he was employed more often in midfield than at the back as the Hoops won the double of a first league title in a decade and the Scottish League Cup in 1997-98, and was named the PFA's senior player of the year.

McNamara found his game time slightly reduced in the following seasons and upon the arrival of Martin O'Neill, but he remained of the club's most consistent performers when called upon.

However, he enjoyed a resurgence in 2003 when injuries to regular defenders such as Mjallby and Joos Valgaeren allowed the Scottish international to convince O'Neill of his importance.

In Celtic's double-winning season of 2003-04 he played 43 times in all competitions in a variety of positions across the backline and midfield, and at the end of the campaign he was chosen as FWA Player of the Year and named as club captain by O'Neill.

After being awarded a testimonial a year later, McNamara made a surprise move to Wolverhampton Wanderers following a contract dispute with Celtic, but he would struggle with fitness for two years in England before returning to Scotland.

In total, McNamara played 358 times competitively for the Hoops, and remains an unglamorous but defining name from the club's late 1990s and early 2000s successes.

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