Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Summary: John Divers was an iconic figure within the Celtic football community. From his early days as a player, to his time as a coach and scout, he left an indelible mark on the club. In this article, we’ll explore some of the key aspects of his career and the impact he had on Celtic.

1. The Playing Years

John Divers began his footballing career as a striker for Celtic in 1983. Although he wasn’t necessarily one of the most prolific goal scorers in the team, he was respected for his hard work and commitment on the field. He played with Celtic for several seasons before moving on to other clubs.

Despite playing for other teams, Divers always maintained a strong connection to Celtic. He continued to attend games and support the team through thick and thin. It was this loyalty that ultimately led to him returning to the club later in his career, in a different capacity.

In many ways, Divers’ playing years set the foundation for the rest of his career. The lessons he learned on the field – about dedication, teamwork, and perseverance – would stay with him throughout his life and shape his approach to coaching and scouting.

2. Coaching Successes

After retiring from playing, Divers transitioned into coaching. He quickly proved himself to be a talented and thoughtful coach, with a keen eye for talent and a knack for getting the best out of his players. He worked with a number of different teams over the years, both in Scotland and abroad.

However, it was his time as assistant coach at Celtic that really cemented his reputation. Working alongside manager Martin O’Neill, Divers helped guide Celtic to a period of incredible success. During this time, they won several Scottish Premier League titles, as well as reaching the final of the UEFA Cup in 2003.

Although O’Neill was the public face of this success, Divers played a crucial behind-the-scenes role. He was known for his meticulous preparation, his ability to motivate players, and his uncanny talent for spotting promising new talent. His influence on the team cannot be overstated.

3. Scouts’ Secrets

While Divers was undoubtedly a talented coach, he was also a gifted scout. In this role, he was responsible for identifying new talent and bringing them to the attention of his club. This required a keen eye for detail and an encyclopedic knowledge of the football world.

One of Divers’ secrets as a scout was his focus on character as well as skill. He believed that the best players were those who were not only gifted technically, but who also had the right attitude and mindset. It was this philosophy that allowed him to unearth diamonds in the rough and turn them into stars.

Divers’ scouting network spanned the globe, and he was known for his willingness to go to great lengths to identify new talent. He once famously travelled to Brazil to scout a young player he had heard about. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, he managed to see something in the player that others had overlooked, and brought him back to Celtic where he flourished.

4. The Legacy Lives On

John Divers unfortunately passed away in 2019, leaving a huge void in the Celtic community. However, his legacy continues to live on. His impact on the club, both as a player and a coach, cannot be overstated.

Celtic supporters still celebrate Divers’ contributions to the team, and his name is regularly mentioned in discussions about the club’s greatest players and coaches. His emphasis on hard work, loyalty, and attention to detail is still reflected in the team’s values today.

Divers’ influence has also inspired a new generation of players and coaches. Many cite him as a role model and source of inspiration, and his approach to coaching and scouting is still studied and admired by those within the football world.


John Divers was an icon of the Celtic football community. From his days as a player, to his time as a coach and scout, he made an incredible impact on the club. His approach to coaching and scouting – emphasizing hard work, character, and attention to detail – continues to inspire players and coaches today. Although he may be gone, his legacy lives on in the hearts of the fans and the success of the team he helped build.

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