Speaking on the Football CFB Podcast, former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane has opened up on how close he came to joining Celtic.
The defender had been regularly linked with Celtic during his playing career due to his affiliations with the Glasgow outfit, being a boyhood supporter, and he says that he actually came very close to joining the Bhoys.
What’s been said?
Kilbane gave the full story on how he nearly joined Celtic.
“Yeah, I had a couple of options actually. It’s difficult to talk about a specific time, because you may get people in trouble for an illegal approach, but I’m finished now, so maybe I can talk about it,” Kilbane said.
“The first time I could have gone to Celtic was when I was at Everton, I initially went to Everton on a one-year contract, but there was an option for another year. I finished the one year and Celtic thought I was available on a free, and someone who was highly-placed at Celtic called me in after Jackie McNamara’s testimonial.
“I was called into the Celtic boardroom and I was told I was the number one priority for the new manager, and the new manager has three players he wants to sign and they want to take me now. I’d agreed a new contract the week before at Everton, but I hadn’t signed it. I told the Celtic representative that I’d agreed a new contract, I said David Moyes had been a big part of my life and I wanted to honour that. In me I was dying inside because my Uncle still runs a Celtic supporters club from Preston.”
“My heartstrings were being pulled and I was so close to calling David Moyes and saying ‘look Celtic have come in’ he knew me from when I was a kid and he knew what it meant to me to play for Celtic.”
What could have been
It’s a long time ago now, but we can’t help but wonder what could have been for Kilbane at Celtic.
He would have been a quality addition at the time, and he would have brought a lot of passion to the side.
Of course, Kilbane wasn’t in his pomp at the time, but at the end of the day, he’s still a player who got 110 caps for Ireland, and you don’t get that many international appearances if you’re not a top player.