How Kieran Tierney’s Celtic career was shaped at St Ninian’s High in Kirkintilloch

Kieran Tierney in action for Celtic in the 2017 Betfred Cup Final against Motherwell (pic: Michael Gillen)
Kieran Tierney in action for Celtic in the 2017 Betfred Cup Final against Motherwell (pic: Michael Gillen)

From high school in Kirkintilloch to Scotland’s most expensive footballer of all time - that’s the path taken by Kieran Tierney.

The 22-year-old headed south to discuss terms after Celtic finally ended one of the summer’s most protracted summer transfer sagas by accepting an offer from Premiership giants Arsenal, thought to be in the region of £25 million.

And his move will be a source of pride to all at St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch, where Tierney was a pupil.

Through a partnership set up by the school and Celtic 10 years ago, the club established a base for its youth academy at St Ninian’s.

The brainchild of former Motherwell skipper Chris McCart, and overseen by headteacher Paul McLaughlin, the initiative allowed pupils to combine their traditional educational studies with football training and development.

Since then a number of the school’s old boys have gone to make the senior grade at Celtic, and other clubs, including Mikey Johnston, Tony Ralston, Jack Aitchison, Liam Henderson, Calvin Miller and Jamie McCart,

But Tierney has been the trailblazer. Although originally from Netherton, near Motherwell, moving from Our Lady’s High in Motherwell to St Ninian’s meant early rises as Tierney travelled through from North Lanarkshire to East Dunbartonshire every day, having to be in school at 7.30am.

But the hard work and sacrifices of those years, and the work put in by all at St Ninian’s, has reaped rich rewards as Tierney has enjoyed a glittering career so far with Celtic - and now hopes to do the same at Arsenal.