Tuesday’s announcement of Wim Jansen’s passing was met with great sadness by the Celtic faithful. The Dutch coach only spent one season at Parkhead, but it proved to be one of the most important in Celtic’s history.
The man who ‘stopped the ten’ played a pivotal role in the Hoops’ revival, ending nine years of Rangers dominance and helping start a power shift in Scottish football’s most famous rivalry. Jansen won the league and cup double in that magical season, and also helped bring a certain ‘King of Kings’ to Parkhead.
Jansen passed away after a battle with dementia, an illness he revealed to be suffering from in his biography, Meesterbrein, published last year.
Interestingly, he too arrived at Parkhead on the back of a managerial stint with a Japanese club, similar to Ange Postecoglou.
Postecoglou and Van Bronckhorst pay tribute to Celtic hero Wim Jansen
While speaking to Sky Sports, the current Celtic manager offered his own tribute to the Dutch legend:
“Like all of us you pass through these places and you want to make sure you leave your mark and in the 12 months he was here he certainly did that.
“You can imagine back then when he came across here Google didn’t exist, so people’s research on him would’ve been a lot more extensive or difficult than research on me.
“It was a brave move by him. All we try and do is make an impact, leave a mark. Leave the place a little bit better than what we inherited and he certainly did that.”
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, current manager of the Rangers, also offered his respects, and reflected fondly on the time he spent playing under Jansen as his first youth coach and also as assistant manager at Feyenoord:
“I’m very sad to hear it, very sad to learn that Wim Jansen has gone. I’ve known the family for many years and I had Wim as an assistant when I was a player.
“He was the first coach I had as a youth player who let me train with players who were two, three years older than I was.
“He saw my potential when I was young and really helped me in my development as a player. I’ve got really good memories of Wim Jansen.”
As well as establishing a strong reputation as a football coach, Jansen enjoyed an illustrious playing career. He even was part of the Feyenoord team that lifted the 1970 European Cup, defeating Celtic in the final to deny the Bhoys their second European title in three years. Today, he is remembered by the fans as a club hero.
But although he will forever remain a Celtic legend, his true connection came with boyhood side Feyenoord, where he spent many years in various playing and coaching roles. The Rotterdam outfit, who led the tributes to Jansen’s passing, stated that they had lost an ‘icon and child of the club’ in their official statement.
At Celtic, he’ll always be remembered as a man who restored faith amongst fans, and preventing Rangers from winning the holy grail. Goodnight, Wim, and rest in peace.
This article was originally posted here