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Frank McAvennie on Celtic, Graeme Souness & Stringfellows

Written by on May 15, 2024

Being late at Celtic

I still went back down to London when I was at Celtic. I had things to do. So every Monday morning, you know how you pick horses for the Grand National? Well, the Celtic players were picking out what minute I was coming in at! I was always late – and one day, somebody actually got ‘not coming in’.

Leaving Celtic in 1989

I didn’t want to go, but when I signed [from West Ham], I took a £1,000-a-week drop in wages but was told the club would pay the tax on my sign-on fee. But the first sign-on fee I got, it was taxed. So I was raging. Everyone kept saying I moved back to West Ham because I was missing the Page Three girls and all that nonsense. But I thought I was at Celtic for the rest of my career.

Macari’s training at West Ham

It was just run, run, run. I still get sweats when I drive down the motorway and see all the cones. That reminds me of Lou Macari’s training sessions. He took us to a health farm once – I got a hypnotist to send him to sleep so we could go to a party.

The Stringfellows years

I always went to Stringfellows – just for an hour before going to another nightclub because Peter [Stringfellow] was great to me. And I loved him. He introduced me to Jack Nicholson – Captain Jack – and Johnny Depp. Absolutely brilliant.

Appearing on ‘Wogan’

It changed my life completely. I was top goalscorer that season, but the TV cameras weren’t showing football games. So I got asked on Wogan. I was just about to make my debut for Scotland, so they got me on with Denis Law. I looked like an absolute pleb, I went out and got a brand-new Cartier suit, Cartier shoes, socks, tie, everything. And 23m people were watching.

His chat with Margaret Thatcher

We met her after the 1988 cup final. I shook her hand and thanked her. She said ‘thanks for what?’ I said ‘because I was on 60% tax down in England and you reduced it to 40%’. So I was like, thanks very much, ma’am.

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