Kieran Tierney - from Motherwell roots via Celtic to £25m Arsenal move

Kieran Tierney battles for possession with old schoolmate Chris Cadden during the 2017 Betfred Cup final (pic: Michael Gillen)
Kieran Tierney battles for possession with old schoolmate Chris Cadden during the 2017 Betfred Cup final (pic: Michael Gillen)

From primary school in Muirhouse 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 Brendan’s Primary in Muirhouse and Our Lady’s High School in Motherwell, where Tierney was a pupil.

Born in the Isle of Man, Tierney was brought up in Netherton. He wasn’t the only future star in the area at the time though - Motherwell’s Chris Cadden lived round the corner and was the year above him at Our Lady’s.

The future Scotland star has always tried to remain grounded and close to his roots, notably in his support for his local amateur side Bullfrog AFC.

Tierney left Our Lady’s to move to St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch to attend the Celtic youth academy there, an intiative which was the brainchild of Celtic coach and former Motherwell skipper Chris McCart.

Similar to the School of Football at Braidhurst High where Motherwell FC based their academy, the initiative at St Ninian’s 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. Going 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.