Celtic have signed striker Colin Kazim-Richards from Dutch side Feyenoord on a two-and-a-half year deal.
The 29-year-old Turkey international is a replacement for Nadir Ciftci, who has been loaned out to Eskisehirspor until the end of the season…
And so it is that one of modern footballs most interesting stories winds its way into Celtic, into Glasgow and into Scotland. From Coca-Cola kid, to Champions League giant tamer, to European journey man, to Celtic. Welcome to Scotland, Colin Kazim-Richards.
Kazim-Richards has scored over 50 goals in more than 350 club appearances across spells in England, Turkey, France, Greece and the Netherlands.
The London-born forward, who played for Bury, Brighton and Sheffield United early in his career before heading abroad, said he felt “privileged, thankful and ecstatic” after accepting Celtic’s offer.
Colin was born in London and started playing football at his Primary School in Walthamstow. The sun of Turkish Cypriot and Antiguan parents he qualified to play for Turkey though his mothers side and with that connection ended up playing over there as well.
Kazim started his professional career by joining Bury at the age of 15, breaking into the first team in the 2004-2005 season at the age of 17. At the end of that season Coca-Cola ran a competition where one lucky fan could win £250000 in transfer funds for their club. The winner was Aaron Berry, a fan of Brighton & Hove Albion, and the player they signed with the money was Kazim who became known, because of this, as the ‘Coca-Cola Kid’.
Continuing his strange career Kazim scored six goals for Brighton that season, not astonishing, but one of them included the clubs 5,000th leage goal. At the end of the season he submitted a transfer request after it seemed that bigger clubs where paying some sort of attention to him. The summer past without a deal being made and Kazim was pushed to the very edge of the squad by an angry manager. The new season began with Kazim very much out of the first team but, on transfer deadline day in unlikely circumstances, a club once again saw something in Kazim and plucked him from obscurity.
The move was to Sheffield United and he enjoyed a patchy season there, scoring one audacious goal against Bolton in the league. At the end of the season Kazim packed his bags and headed for Turkey. From there he enjoyed a fascinatingly contentious time in Turkey with intermittent loan spells at Toulouse and Blackburn (where he was charged by Sussex police for a homophobic gesture).
Never one to be pinned down, Kazim headed for Bursaspor back in Turkey where he would be earning a reported €1million a year. A little over a season later though he was headed to Feyenoord, where he enjoyed a good year and a half before joining us here in Scotland.
“To tell you the truth, I never wanted to come back to Britain,” he said. “But once this opportunity came, it was an obvious decision.
“I have played at big clubs but this is one of the biggest. The fans can expect someone who will give 125% every day, not just on match-day. I’m really honoured to have this opportunity to come and show my abilities.”
So! Welcome to Scotland Colin Kazim Richards!