Date of Birth: 7 Jul 1991
Debut: v Motherwell 1 May 2010
Signed: 1 July 2009
Now in his 13th season in the Hoops first team, James Forrest is the longest serving Celt. In turn, he’s also the most decorated, having been given his debut by Neil Lennon during the Irishman’s first spell as manager in 2010.
Forrest joined the Celtic Youth Academy at the age of nine and worked his way through the ranks to the senior side. Replacing Aiden McGeady on his debut against Motherwell at Paradise on May 1, 2010, Forrest, then 18-years-old, repaid the faith Neil Lennon had shown in him with a goal after just six minutes on the pitch.
The longest serving Celt on the books, in turn, James Forrest is also the most decorated current Hoops player.
The winger has barely looked back since, and in 2010/11 and 2011/12 was named as the club’s Young Player of the Year. After the latter campaign, he was also named the Scottish Football Writers’ Association Young Player of the Year, the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year, and was named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year.
In January 2012, Forrest was recognised by FIFA as one of the most exciting young players in world football. In 2017/18, he made the PFA Scotland Team of the Year once more, and again made the grade the following year – while also winning SFWA Footballer of Year, the PFA Scotland Player of the Year, the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year, and the SFWA International Player of the Year for 2018/19.
As such, Forrest played an integral part of the club’s historic and unprecedented Quadruple Treble success in recent years, playing 154 times and scoring 49 goals during those domestic games.
Having clinched nine championships, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups before he turned 30, who knows what his honours list will look like in years to come.
Capped at all levels throughout his career, James Forrest made his senior international debut for Scotland under Craig Levein, starting in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Ireland in Dublin in 2011. The winger scored his first goals for the national side with a brace in a 4-0 away win over Albania in the UEFA Nations League in November 2018, before netting a hat-trick three days later in a 3-2 home win over Israel. Going into the 2021/22 season, Forrest had collected 38 Scotland caps while scoring five goals for his country.