Cameron Carter Vickers Celtic Journey has first club Catholic United revealing 1968 connection that is finally being repaid
Fifty-four years ago, Celtic sent a box of stripes to help a non-Championship club in Essex reach a cup final.
Racing for the Walton Cup clash in 1968 in Lisbon Lions kit was enough to spur Catholic United to a 2-1 victory over Haden FC, a triumph that remains one of their best .
From then on, it was written into the amateur club’s constitution that their colors would always remain green and white hoops in a gesture of thanks to the giants of Parkhead.
But more than half a century later, Catholic United hope they have finally repaid the Hoops in full with their own special delivery – helping send Cameron Carter-Vickers on his way from schoolboy wonderkid to potential Champions League star .
Carter-Vickers are set to make last season’s loan deal to Parkhead from Tottenham permanent with personal terms agreed between the player and the club, such as Save sport unveiled on Tuesday.
After being a mainstay in Ange Postecoglou’s defense as Celtic reclaimed the title from Rangers, the 24-year-old looks set to end a 13-year spell with Spurs.
This association with the Premier League giants dates back to when the now United States international was an 11-year-old schoolboy plucked from the youth ranks of Catholic United after impressing at the scouts.
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As Essex side chairman James Paviour said Save sport Last night his journey from the club dubbed the Essex Bhoys to the real Bhoys was nothing short of a fairy tale.
Paviour said: “Cameron played youth team football for us for a good few years before being snapped up by Spurs.
“He’s a local boy who went to Catholic primary school here. A few of our current team were in his class.
“We also have a Sunday League team and a few of those boys still talk to him regularly.
“He was already a supreme athlete back then. A very capable player with huge drive.
“It’s so nice to see how well he’s done.
“I’ve always been a Celtic fan anyway, so Cameron going there didn’t change anything in that regard.
“But the history of our club is that Celtic sent us kits in 1968 for a cup final.
“Our chairman at the time, Glen Foy, wrote to Celtic chairman Bob Kelly to explain that we had this huge game coming up but our kit was a bit off.
“He asked if we could buy a set of bands from them as the manufacturer at the time did not allow the kit to be sold generally.
“The club didn’t hear anything for a few weeks.
“But the day before the cup final a big box arrived filled with Celtic bands and a letter wishing the club good luck. It was just amazing.
“Fortunately, we won the final 2-1!
“It was before my time, but recently I was at an event with some of this team who played in this kit and their memories of that final are the kind of thing that makes your hair stand on end.
“So to now have a former player playing for Celtic on loan was amazing, but if it becomes permanent, even better.
“Nice to think that we may have helped reimburse them for those tapes!”
“Not only are we extremely proud of what Cameron has achieved, but the impact his time at Celtic has had on our club is nothing short of remarkable.
“As a by-product of his signing for Celtic, we gained 22,000 social media followers and people made trips from Glasgow to watch games.
“It’s all just been a fairy tale.”
Celtic have a £6m option locked in the terms of Carter-Vickers’ loan move to Tottenham, which was only finalized in the final hour of the transfer window last summer.
It could rise to £10m with add-ons and it is understood the mechanics of that deal are still being discussed between the two clubs, although Spurs could take the option off the table on June 15.
But Carter-Vickers’ sensational form on loan last season has made him a priority as Ange Postecoglou looks to build on his instant success in Glasgow.
The eight-cap United States international has played 45 times and scored four goals, including the winner in Old Firm’s decisive 2-1 win at Ibrox in April.
His form saw him included in the PFA Scotland team of the season and earned him a recall to Gregg Berhalter’s USA squad for the first time in three years.
It’s the prospect of playing Champions League football next season that excites Paviour the most, with the Hoops already through to the group stage.
He said: “It’s amazing.. we had a couple of our players who played international football in the 1970s and 80s, our most recent was a goalkeeper with Antigua.
“But I’m sure Cameron will be the first to go on and play in the Champions League.
“It will be another small piece of history for our club and will once again be directly linked to Celtic.
“It would be nice to see Cameron playing in our hoops again… but I think that ship has sailed.
“If it doesn’t work out at Celtic, he’s welcome!”