Frank Brogan’s passing was announced today. A popular Celtic player of the early 1960’s Frank came through Celtic’s famed youth set up from that period. A skilful, pacy, left winger with an eye for goal, Frank sadly never got to give Celtic his best years. Blessed with lightning pace, it was reported that he could run one hundred yards in just over ten seconds
He came from a Celtic background in an era when players took great pride in playing for the jersey. In 1962 he had the privilege of scoring Celtic’s 5000th league goal against Partick Thistle at Firhill and created his own little bit of Celtic history for which he will always be remembered. That goal made headlines and he was pictured in the press, with the match ball, in highly impressive company next to Adam McLean (2,000th), Jimmy McGrory (3,000th) and Jimmy Delaney (4,000th), some of the greatest Celtic players of all time.
Unfortunately Frank was one of a number of unfortunate Celtic players in the pre-Stein era who never fulfilled their potential and one can only wonder how many of those players Jock could have converted into superstars had he got them under his tutelage before his arrival in 1965. By 1964 Frank had lost his place in the Celtic team as the likes of Bobby Lennox and John Hughes fought it out for a place on Celtic’s left wing. He accepted a generous offer from Ipswich Town and enjoyed 7 enjoyable years with the Suffolk club as he helped them to promotion to Division One (then the top tier) and played under the early managerial years of the great Bobby Robson, whilst at Portman Road.
Frank was one of a select few Celtic players who got to play for the Celts with his brother. Frank and Jim were very much chalk and cheese; Frank a skilful left footer in the forward line and Jim, a robust right footed defender. In later years, Frank was extremely proud of Jim’s achievements during the glory years of Jock Stein’s reign from 1965 to 1975.
In 2012 Frank made a fine gesture by presenting the ball from which he had scored Celtic’s 5000th league goal to Celtic on the 50th anniversary of that goal. He was invited as a guest of the club and appeared on the pitch at half time to take a bow in front of the supporters at Parkhead as the club laid out the red carpet treatment for this old Celtic hero. Hopefully Celtic have given the ball pride of place within the stadium.
Frank Brogan was a true Celt to the very end. May eternal light shine upon him and may he rest in peace.