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Eight Celtic 'Cult Heroes' That You Haven't Thought About Enough Recently

Eight Celtic 'Cult Heroes' That You Haven't Thought About Enough Recently
By Gavan Casey Updated

Every football club has their obscure signings and cult heroes that time forgets. It's probably truer for Celtic than most clubs in Britain, with Scandinavia and Eastern Europe in particular producing some extremely niche recruitments over the past two decades or so.

Here are eight legendary Bhoys who you might have forgotten plied their trade at Parkhead existed, or - at least - haven't given enough thought recently, considering their impact on Scottish football and various online forums in the years that followed:

Vidar Riseth (1998-2000)

The sweeper-turned-midfielder earned a highly respectable 52 caps for Norway, scoring 4 goals.

He's perhaps best remembered by Celtic fans for manhandling Tony Vidmar on an infamous day in 1999. Riseth only retired as recently as 2010 following a second spell at Norwegian outfit Kongsvinger.

Marc Rieper (1997-2000)

The Danish stalwart joined Celtic from West Ham in 1997, winning a Scottish championship in 1998.

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Later that year, Rieper sustained a foot injury which all but ended his career. He failed to make another Celtic appearance before retiring a Celt in 2000. A fairly 'grim' ending to Rieper's playing career, you might say (see what I- yeah, you did), but his post-playing career drew some parallels with Sir Alex Ferguson, in that he did once accrue the services of Liam Miller while assistant manager at boyhood club AGF.

Simon Donnelly (1993-1999)

A hero to the many Irish Celtic fans with Republican leanings, Donnelly notched 30 goals in 146 Celtic appearances, and can consider himself slightly unfortunate to have won just a league championsip, league cup and Scottish Cup in his six-year spell at Parkhead.

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Last seen as a player hugging the corner of the area for Partick Thistle in 2013, Donnelly hung up his boots to become assistant to Jackie McNamara at Dundee United. After McNamara's departure, Donnelly was named the assistant manager at York City.

Mark Burchill (1998-2001)

The forward notched an impressive 20 goals in 50 Celtic appearances before Chris Sutton's arrival saw him shipped to both Birmingham and Ipswich on loan.

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He has since represented a number of other British clubs, before being promoted from his role of player/assistant manager at Livingston to caretaker manager in December 2014. He guided his boyhood side to Scottish Challenge Cup glory in April 2015, along with Championship survival last May. However, he was sacked midway through this season with the club lying fifth-from-bottom in the same division.

Regi Blinker (1997-2000)

Every bit the mack-daddy of Celtic nostalgia, Surinamese-born winger Regi Blinker had three Dutch caps before he arrived at Parkhead from Sheffield Wednesday in an exchange deal for Paolo Di Canio in 1997. He never played for Holland again.

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£4.5m and 3 years later, Blinker was off, having scored a rather paltry 9 goals in 47 appearances. He retired at Sparta Rotterdam in 2003.

Now 45, Blinker publishes lifestyle magazines in association with his work in helping retired players deal with life after football.

Enrico Annoni (1997-1999)

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Annoni actually began his career in Italy's Serie D - which sounds like a league you'd use as an insult - and didn't arrive in Scotland for a further 15 years, joining Celtic from AS Roma in 1997.

It was once famously put that, as Annoni arrived on the field for Celtic as a substitute during a rather poor team performance circa 1998, a fan roared, "Aw naw, no Annoni oan an aw noo!" which we believe roughly translates from Glaswegian as, "Oh no, not Annoni on and all, now." However, we could be wrong.

Annoni left Celtic in 1999 to care for his sick father back in Italy. Now 148 years old, the former centre back is currently the assistant manager at Sicilian Serie B side Catania.

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Momo Sylla (2001-2005)

When managing Sylla at St. Johnstone, Sandy Clark is alleged to have once said: "He's so skilful. The thing about Momo is this - he doesn't even know what he's going to do, so how's a defender supposed to know?" In truth, nobody knew. The flying winger once picked up 16 yellow cards in a single season before signing for Celtic in 2001.

Following his 2005 departure, and after spells at Leicester and Kilmarnock, Sylla moved to Moldovan giants FC Tiraspol, where all further information surrounding his career was lost.

However, in 2012, Sylla convinced The Scottish Sun that he once stopped Didier Drogba from signing for Celtic, because he felt Drogba wouldn't have gotten in a side containing the likes of Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton and John Hartson.

Rafael Scheidt (1999-2000)

Lest we forget. Signed for £5m from Corinthians by the John Barnes/Kenny Dalglish management team, Scheidt did exactly what he said on the tin.

The injury-plagued, unfortunate central defender represented Brazil the same number of times he did Celtic (three, in case you were wondering), subsequently - and quite genuinely - birthing the legend that, in the mid '90s, Brazil were donating friendly caps which would allow domestic clubs to sell their 'Brazil internationals' to Europe at a higher price.

Scheidt actually returned to his homeland and played out the bulk of a decent career, before retiring in China at Shanghai Baorong - now known as Guizhou Renhe Football Club - who were presumably duped by those same international caps having looked him up on Wikipedia.

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