Happy Birthday to Craig Beattie who will be 32 on the 16th Jnauary. It’s fair to say that Craig has played for one or two clubs since he left Celtic and seems to have become a “have boots will travel type of player” currently playing with Stirling Albion.
Craig was capped seven times for Scotland with his first coming under Walter Smith in a World Cup Qualifier against Italy at Hampden in September 2005, coming on as a sub for goalscorer Kenny Miller just after the Italians had equalised to make it one each, which was to be the final score.
A few days later, the Scots beat Norway 2-1 with Craig coming on in the 72nd minute for James McFadden. This is the game where Miller scored two goals in the first half and looked as though he would score a barrow load until he was injured shortly before half-time.
It would be March 2007 before Beattie would get another chance and this would be Alex McLeish’s first game in charge and indeed would be memorable for that one Craig Beattie moment we all recall, as he scored in the 89th minute to give us a victory over a stubborn Georgia team in a Euro Qualifier. Craig had come on for Kris Boyd, who had given Scotland an early lead only for Shota Arveladze to equalise before half time and the second half seemed an endless, torturous one until Craig’s golden moment.
Another sub appearance and his last as a Celtic player at the Stadio San Nicola, Bari followed four days later with the Scots losing 2-0 through a double from Luca Toni.
His first game as a West Brom player was in August, 2007 when he and Kris Boyd came on as a double substitution in the 68th minute in a friendly against South Africa at Pittodrie. It would be Boyd, three minutes later who would score the only goal.
Another struggle at Hampden in September, 2007 as the Scots were drawing 1-1 with Lithuania in a Euro Qualifier and Beattie and Shaun Maloney are brought in the 76th minute; Maloney had one touch ten seconds later and from the resultant cross Stephen McManus scored. A James McFadden goal a few minutes later made it look a better score than it really was.
Craig’s final game would be against Georgia in Tbilisi, where like last year there would be no moment of magic for the Scots as we lost 2-0 and our chances of qualifying from the group went oot the windae as they say.
So Happy Birthday Craig and although your Scotland career was all as a substitute for that one moment where Hampden exploded with joy. Thank you and all the best.