Celtic great Frank McGarvey passes away aged 66 following cancer battle

Celtic great Frank McGarvey passes away aged 66 following cancer battle

FORMER Celtic and Scotland striker Frank McGarvey has passed away at the age of 66.

McGarvey, who also played for St Mirren and Liverpool, was diagnosed with cancer three months ago.

His sons Sean and Scott shared a message on Twitter today revealing McGarvey passed away this morning surrounded by his family.

"Our much-loved Dad sadly passed away this morning with his family by his side," read identical messages posted by the brothers.

McGarvey with his daughter Jennifer at Celtic Park in October, where he thanked the Celtic fans for their support (Image: Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

"We are so thankful for all the support we have received over the past few months."

A week after his cancer diagnosis, McGarvey appeared at Celtic Park in October ahead of the game against Hibs to thank fans for their support over the years.

"I want to tell everybody at Parkhead today, I love you all," said an emotional McGarvey ahead of the 6-1 victory.

Century star

McGarvey began his professional career at St Mirren, where he was signed by Alex Ferguson in 1975.

He helped them win the First Division title in 1976/77, with his form attracting the interest of English giants Liverpool.

After a year on Merseyside, he joined Celtic for a fee of around £270,000, becoming for a time Scotland's most expensive footballer.

McGarvey in action for Celtic against Partick Thistle’s John Lapsley in April 1981 (Image: SNS Group via Getty Images)

He scored 109 goals in 245 games for the Hoops over the next five years, and is one of only 30 players to have scored more than a century of goals for the club.

His final goal for Celtic came in his last game for the club, the 1985 Scottish Cup Final, in which he scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Dundee United.

It was his fifth major honour with Celtic, having won the Scottish Cup shortly after his arrival in 1980, as well league titles in 1980/81 and 1981/82 and a League Cup in 1982/83.

He returned to Love Street in 1985 for a second spell with the Buddies, going on to win a third Scottish Cup in 1896/87.

He hung up his boots in 1998 after spells at Queen of the South, Clyde, Shotts Bon Accord and Troon.

McGarvey also made seven appearances for the Scotland national team between 1979 and 1984.

'Too young'

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Frank's family at this extremely sad time," read a Celtic statement today.

"Rest in peace, Frank. You'll Never Walk Alone."

St Mirren added: "Frank will forever be remembered at St Mirren and our deepest condolences are with Frank's loved ones at this very sad time.

"Rest in peace, Frank."

Queen of the South, where McGarvey was player/manager, also offered their condolences.

"Everyone at Queen of the South was saddened to learn today of the death of our former manager Frank McGarvey at the far too young age of 66," read a statement.

"Frank had been battling pancreatic cancer for a short time."