Celtic cult hero of 1990s looks unrecognisable 20 years after retirement and his step into youth football management

GONE is the shaggy mullet that rested along the over-sized collar of the mid-1990s Celtic shirt.

Instead of the blonde locks that once marked out the Hoops favourite who led the line for Tommy Burns’ team, there is thin dark hair and much more scalp on show.

GettyAndreas Thom has been associated with Hertha Berlin almost exclusively since leaving Celtic 24 years ago.[/caption]

News Group Newspapers LtdThe German formed a popular partnership with Pierre van Hooijdonk.[/caption]

Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun GlasgowThom scored 27 goals for the Hoops.[/caption]

Standing on the sideline watching his Hertha Berlin under-19s squad, Andreas Thom looks unrecognisable from the diminutive buzz-bomb which pestered Scottish defences in the mid-1990s.

Since retiring from the game, indeed since leaving Celtic, he has been working almost constantly for the capital city side in a variety of coaching roles – including caretaker boss for three matches in 2003.

Only briefly did the Parkhead ace step into the dug-out on his own – with lower league Holstein Kiel after being sacked by Hertha in 2007.

As a player Thom was a cult hero at Celtic almost as soon as he joined Burns in 1995 in a £2.5m deal from Bayer Leverkusen.

He scored on his debut – a 3-0 League Cup win over Ayr United having partnered Pierre van Hooijdonk and Simon Donnelly in the Hoops attack at Somerset Park.

His shaggy mullet wasn’t quite as long as team-mate Jorge Cadete’s but he laid on his fair share of goals for his team-mates as a busy forward or an industrious link between midfield and attack.

He’s fondly remembered for his work-rate and his role in Wim Jansen’s 1998 league-winning side, despite departing three months before the title was won.

Now he is passing on his years of experience to a new generation – who would perhaps struggle to pick out their mentor from a team line-up for Germany’s national side or in the green and white hoops from Glasgow.

Thom does have his place in the German football record books though.

First as a member, and goalscorer, of the first team selected for unified Germany and then as a member of the 1992 Euroepan Championship team – the first time they’d played at a major competition under the unified flag.

A native east German – from Berlin – his transfer from Dynamo BFC to Leverkusen – six years ahead of his move to Scotland – was the first East German transfer into the Bundesliga.

In total he scored 27 times for Celtic in 101 games.

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