This week’s Magic Number takes us to the much loved #10 as we look back at four men who have made an impact on Scottish football whilst wearing the number.
Darren Mackie – Aberdeen
He scored one of the most comical goals in Scottish football over the last couple of decades, so of course he makes today’s list! The 5ft 9 striker joined Aberdeen in 1998, and was to stay there for a whopping 14 years. Mackie amassed over 350 appearances in red & white, and scored surplus of 50 goals during his time at Pittodrie. He scored important goals, like his winner in a UEFA Cup tie against Dnipro in 2007. He also scored sensational goals, a volley against Hearts at Tynecastle in 2010 being one of his best. But, thanks to Alan Combe’s wayward throw, Darren Mackie scored one of the most memorable goals in Scotland’s top flight as the goalie’s throw-out pinged off the back of the unsuspecting striker’s head and looped into the net. After Aberdeen, Mackie went to Phoenix FC in The States, before heading back to the north of Scotland where he played for Turriff United for three years. He now turns out for Inverurie Locos.
John Hartson – Celtic
The big Welshman spent five years in the East End of Glasgow during what was arguably the best years of his career. Having made a name for himself with Arsenal, West Ham and others south of the border, Hartson was lured to Celtic Park by Martin O’Neill in 2001. During his time at Celtic the Swansea-born forward won six trophies, and played an integral part in Celtic reaching the 2003 UEFA Cup final against Porto, although he didn’t feature due to injury. In total, Hartson played 201 games in the green & white hoops, and his goal tally reached 109. After Celtic, Hartson played a few games for West Brom and Norwich City before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thankfully he battled and beat the disease, and now works as a TV pundit in England, Wales and here in Scotland.
Osman Sow – Heart of Midlothian
The gangly Swede only spent 18 months at Tynecastle, but that was more than ample time to make himself a firm favourite with the Jambos faithful. Signing on a free transfer following his release from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2014, Osman Sow didn’t waste any time in putting himself into the hearts of the Edinburgh clubs fans. Latching onto a 92nd minute pass from Sam Nicholson, Sow dispatched the winner under Rangers’ Cammy Bell and set the tone for a rampant season for Hearts in the Championship. When he came into the top flight of Scottish football, Sow would again make his mark and scored some wonderful goals in the first half of the 2015/16 season – the picks of the bunch being his long-range smasher against Motherwell and his last minute free-kick against Celtic. These strikes were to be part of his maroon swansong however, as he joined Henan Jianye in China in February 2016.
Russell Latapy – Hibernian/Falkirk
As soon as he was snapped up by Hibs in 1998, Russell Latapy set about making himself a household name in Scottish football. He formed a key part of Hibs’ promotion back to the SPL, and would create effortless pieces of magic with his technical and skilful ball work. In a total of 84 league appearances for the Hibees, Latapy got the crowd jumping with 22 goals and many assists. Most notably for the Easter Road side he grabbed an assist, a goal, and put in a man of the match performance in a 6-2 demolition of Edinburgh rivals Hearts. Two years later, following spells with Rangers and Dundee Utd, Latapy signed for John Hughes’s Falkirk. He would go on to become a hero over his six years at Falkirk, playing 194 games and scoring 29 goals. Latapy has now taken his coaching badges, and is looking to become a manager.