When most young Celtic supporters were getting Henrik Larsson’s name printed on the back of replica jerseys, Shane Duffy always had a different hero.
Shane Duffy was unveiled at Parkhead earlier this week after arriving in Glasgow following last week’s Republic of Ireland Uefa Nations League matches.
Duffy arrives at Celtic on a one-year loan deal from Brighton and reportedly turned down a couple of Premier League clubs who were interested in him.
🍀4⃣ @shaneduffy has arrived at Paradise!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 8, 2020
The Derryman grew up supporting Celtic and he has revealed the player he looked up to most as a young boy.
He told the Daily Record:”I loved big Bobo when he played for Celtic. That’s probably my first fond memory of properly supporting Celtic.
“I had Bobo Balde on the back of my top. Balde six, I think it was the yellow top.
“Everyone loved big Bobo, didn’t they? I just went along with it, you don’t really study football when you’re that age, do you?
“Everyone else was Henrik Larsson but I was big Bobo.
“I was always dead tall and skinny but I filled out more when I went to England.
“I was always good at heading the football, I’d throw myself at anything. It was a bit stupid. Big Bobo could head it too!”
Just as Balde relished Old Firm derbies during his eight years with the Hoops, Duffy is looking forward to the unique challenge of facing Rangers.
When he does – with the first Old Firm clash of the season scheduled for October 17 – Celtic’s new No. 4 will come up against former Brighton teammate Connor Goldson.
It was Rangers’ Goldson who jokingly responded to Duffy’s celebratory announcement of his move to Celtic with the comment: “Does the contract have a 14-day cancellation period?”
When asked what his relationship with Goldson is like and whether the English defender had played any role in convincing him to move to Glasgow, Duffy said: “He actually told me not to come. He said ‘stay away’.
“I’m very close with Connor from my Brighton days. It’s different up here but we are close, so yeah… it’s an awkward one! He’s still my friend so it’s hard to tell what will happen because the rivalry is so fierce.
“He’s a mate but listen, when I play against him he won’t be a mate. He will be the exact same!”