Athletic will take on Celtic FC in a pre-season friendly at Celtic Park on August 1, at 19:30 BST. The friendly will celebrate important occasions for both clubs: Athletic’s 125th anniversary and James Forrest’s testimonial.
The Celts were recently crowned Scottish Premiership champions for a second consecutive season and will go for the domestic double when they face Inverness CT in the final of the Scottish Cup on Saturday, June 3.
Tickets for the friendly in August can be purchased via Celtic's official website and go on general sale on June 12.
This is the Lions’ third confirmed friendly of the 2023/24 pre-season, following on from the matches to be played against Chivas and Club Necaxa in Mexico, on July 16 and 19, respectively.
Forrest, a One-Club Man in the making
Forrest, born 30 miles away from Glasgow in Prestwick, has spent his entire career at his boyhood club. The 31-year-old winger signed a contract extension in May 2022 and will celebrate a 15th year with the Bhoys in 2024. So far he has made a total of 464 appearances and scored 102 goals for the side.
The Scottish club have decided to reward Forrest's loyalty with a testimonial match in front of their fans, and for this they have chosen Athletic Club as their opponents. The Lions previously presented our 2019 One-Club Award man award to Celtic's legendary captain Billy McNeill, a European Cup winner in 1967, and the Hoops' all-time appearance maker with 822 matches in 18 seasons.
The Bilbao-Glasgow connection
This will be only the second time the two sides have faced each other, the last meeting a mid-season friendly, which ended 0-0, at the old San Mames in March 2011. That fixture in Bilbao still lives strong in the collective memory of all Athletic fans, as both sets of supporters created a festive atmosphere as they sat together to watch the match at The Cathedral.
For all these reasons, added to other factors that make the clubs similar in terms of philosophy, tradition and history, this August's friendly at Paradise will fulfil a long-standing wish for many fans.
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