Jordan Jones came from nowhere (or as it’s called in the changing room ‘back from Siberia’) to maybe even save his Rangers career on Sunday. There have always been rumours of him being told that he needs to find a new club – and even that he’d been training with the kids.

It’s demoralising for the big hitters at Rangers and Celtic to be sent from the pitch you could eat your dinner off to the pitch that doesn’t get a bit of attention unless the groundsman has a p**s on it when he gets a spare five minutes. Jones deserves massive credit for having the mental strength to get through that hard winter period and shake the icicles off his Nike Vapours to come back and make a genuine impact on his first game back in the team. I’ve seen plenty of big names who couldn’t quite manage the same thing.

Tommy Graveson came into Celtic with £40k a week in his pocket and pieces of Robinho’s head still stuck in his knuckles. He came through the door at 100 miles an hour. He was one of the best players I’d seen – technically he was outstanding. But his larger-than-life character and tendency to run about like a stolen motor seemed a bit too much for then manager Gordon Strachan.


Inevitably, he was sent down to train with the boys. Once there, he used to pick the ball out the net after his team had gone 3-0 down only to announce that we were starting again from 0-0 and if anyone dare argued, they would be put in a headlock so tight that it would take a box of paracetamol to fix the pain. Other than the time I thought my head was going to fall off, we really reaped the benefits of having him with us, not only with his football experience – some of us even managed to make a podcast out of the stories we left with!

We were in stitches every day, and Tommy seemed to enjoy our adulation. The superstars of Real Madrid must have been a much tougher crowd than a bunch of immature neds from Glasgow. Within a year of football, he had gone from flinging Robinho around like an empty trackie, to playing centre midfield at Albion Rovers with me – a guy who would go on to Robinho a living for years in front of a crowd which mainly consisted of empty trackie pockets.

I’ll never forgot looking over from the centre circle towards the dugout and thinking: “What is Thomas Graveson doing standing on the left wing at Albion Rovers?” This thought had nothing to do with the superstar slumming it, but more to do with the fact he was meant to be playing in the middle. “Tommy!” I shouted. “Where are you going? You’re meant to be in the centre with me.”

“If you can’t play centre-mid on your own at Albion Rovers laaad, how are you going to play for Celtic?” was barked at me in the strangest Danish-Scouse accent you will ever hear.

After the game Tommy enjoyed the free role he’d given himself so much, he asked to come on a pre-season tour of Ireland with us. Anyone who has ever played for the reserves will know that first-team players would rather train on the M8 than with us. And to make the trip even more entertaining for us young whippersnappers we not only had Tommy, but Strachan also teamed him up with Derek Riordan. “No trackie backie” is how I would describe Deeks off the ball, but on it he was outstanding. Both of these guys had so much ability you would be in awe of the things they could do with a ball. They got on so well that in one of the games for a good minute they stood on opposite wings of the pitch pinging passes to each other over everyone else’s heads.


And it wasn’t only on the pitch they connected. A love for Call of Duty would see these two sit up to all hours playing with their headsets on. In the morning, we would get a running commentary. Deeks was more than happy to explain how it had been just like a Saturday night up in Niddrie, but words were not enough for Tommy and instead one of the boys would have to be used to demonstrate exactly how he stabbed someone in the throat for his 10th kill.

As if all this wasn’t entertaining enough, Tommy then announced that he was desperate to see the new Batman movie. The entertainment in the cinema wasn’t just on the screen – Tommy was sat in the front row, eyes glued to the screen, with a bucket of popcorn laughing his head off. Deeks was sitting next to me asking: “Where’s that Gotham city, likes, I’ve never heard of it?”

I still speak to Deeks and have been invited to his new pub in Edinburgh for a pint. He gets a bad reputation but in my experience, he’s a quiet, almost shy, guy and in no way how he’s sometimes portrayed. His ability to find trouble as easy as he can find a top corner with either foot genuinely amazes me. Tommy, on the other hand, told us he would go and play poker in Vegas. He ended up making millions! Even as a guy with all that money in the bank, he returned for a Celtic game a year later. It was the last time we would see him, and in true Tommy style he bowled up to Kerrydale Street with the Celtic club suit on! What a hero. And of course, a man unafraid to take the field with the ressies.