FROM Riddrie to the Camp Nou. David Marshall, the young Celtic goalkeeper, yesterday continued his journey from zero to hero, transcending talk of the town to become a superman round the world on football websites from Morocco to Mauritius.

Marshall, 19, emerged from under the shadow of Barlinnie jail, which dominates the east end scheme where he was born and bred in Glasgow, to slam the door shut on Barcelona.

It was a captivating journey, travelled in part with the help of a DVD of Billy Connolly. Marshall revealed yesterday that he had watched it to help him relax before the big game.

Remarkably, only five games ago he was playing in obscurity. Indeed, one Celtic website, timzonline, last night still had a blank space where his photograph should be.

However, yesterday a picture was developing of an unassuming young man whose first bootprint on the game was made at St Thomas' Primary, where he played goalkeeper for the school team in primary six and seven.

Frances Kelly, head teacher at St Thomas', said: ''The school is very proud of David's achievements. He was always reliable and had a steady pair of hands. He's a credit to his school, his family, and Riddrie.

''His name was on the achievements board in 1997, and he is recognised by all the teachers for his strength of character.''

He then went on to St Andrew's Secondary. Down at the school yesterday, all the kids at football practice wanted to play in goals.

Bruce Malone, headteacher, described his former pupil as ''a great guy and a first-class young man, right from day one in first year till he left after fourth year''.

He said: ''He is a genuine person and very hard-working, very well-mannered, and very respectful and modest. He deserves all the success he gets. We are all delighted for him.

''He is a great role model for young people because he can show them just what they can achieve in whatever field they are working. The kids are as pleased as punch today. It's a great morale boost for the school.''

Football is the only game Marshall wanted to play and Celtic is the only team he has wanted to play for. As a boy, he was a faithful Parkhead supporter, seldom missing a game.

He was signed up by the club when he was still at school, much to the delight of his parents, Linda and David, and his two brothers, Paul, now 23, and Christopher, 13.

Marshall left school at 16 and went straight to Celtic. Jim McNally, the under-17 youth coach at Celtic, said last night: ''David only played three games for me at under-16 level. He is the most quiet, unassuming boy you could ever meet. He was always highly rated because of his height and stature, and looked a goalie all the way.

''I think he skipped through two or three years at youth level and was pushed really quickly because of the outstanding talent he showed.''

It was this talent which led the 19-year-old to produce a stunning performance at the Camp Nou stadium, standing in for the suspended Rab Douglas and making a series of extraordinary match-winning saves.

They secured his long-term future with the club. Details of the new contract signed yesterday were not revealed, but it is thought his current (pounds) 400-a-week wage packet will rise twentyfold at least.

Behind the curtains of the family home in Spey Street, nothing stirred on the morning after the night before. Marshall's family were still understood to be in Barcelona.

Asked what he thought of Marshall's performance, a teenage neighbour with two German shepherd dogs said succinctly: ''Brilliant.'' Was he a Celtic supporter himself? ''I am now,'' he said. More forthcoming was 66-year-old Mike Devoy, who lives two doors up from the Marshalls. ''He's a very nice lad. They're a lovely family. Mum and dad are hard-working people. I'm so pleased and so proud for him,'' he said.

You could almost have forgiven neighbour John McPherson, 57, if he had been slightly more grudging in his praise. But the Rangers diehard could not have been more enthusiastic.

''I think it is absolutely brilliant. Actually, I was at the Easterhouse Masonic with one of David's aunts last night and she was in tears when she heard the news. He had some game. It's been the talk of the street. I think Big Rab will need to watch out.''

Another neighbour spoke of how, after the first leg against Barcelona at Parkhead, when Marshall came on after Douglas's sending-off, the young lad had returned home after the previous highlight of his professional life - and 20 minutes later, was out walking the dog. ''I am pleased for him. He is such an unassuming, sensible lad,'' she said.

Back at the Marshalls' house yesterday, Mark Kelly, 20, from Tollcross, arrived to deliver a congratulations card to his childhood friend. The pair used to play football together in the street as 10-year-olds.

''It's unbelievable. I watched the game in the house with a couple of pals and I was so proud of David. And I just know how proud he will be himself, having been a Celtic fan all his days,'' he said.

Mr Kelly went on to say that Marshall had always wanted to be a goalkeeper, adding: ''He's decent and dead down to earth. And he is really modest. He never came out and said 'I'm going to be a professional football player', but you always knew that he had that commitment.''

As he confirmed his future for the club yesterday, Marshall said: ''My mind was always on staying and this contract was always in the pipeline. It's a dream to sign with the club I supported as a kid, but I still have to work hard in training and just stay calm and keep working hard.

''It's been an exciting week for me,'' he added with a hint of understatement. ''I got a sleeping pill when I came off the plane from Barcelona just so I could get some sleep.''

He added: ''I've not had much time to think of the game but I'll have a look at the video and see what I can improve on because there is always room for improvement.''

Although Martin O'Neill, the Celtic manager, jokingly suggested that he should retire on a high, the keeper is aware he still has a long way to go in his career. ''I am not going to live off this game. I want to go on from here.''

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