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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
McNamara makes switch to Wolves
Jackie McNamara
McNamara was given a Celtic testimonial last month
Wolves have completed the signing of Celtic captain Jackie McNamara on a two-year contract.

The Scotland defender turned down a late offer from Celtic to end his 10-year association with the club.

"I want to play in the Premiership and as far as I'm concerned, Wolves are a Premiership club in the wrong division," said 31-year-old McNamara.

"Celtic went into overdrive to keep Jackie and we see this as a massive coup," said Wolves chief Jez Moxey.

New Celtic manager Gordon Strachan voiced his desire to keep McNamara at the club but the player was upset at the club's sluggish response.

"I gave Celtic an opportunity to sign me to a new contract but I was a little surprised and disappointed it took them so long," admitted McNamara.

I told Celtic I was leaving and they spoke to me as I travelled down but I'd already given my word to Wolves
Jackie McNamara

"It could have all been started before the end of last season and if we'd started talking then, I don't think I'd be with Wolves now, two weeks before the start of pre-season.

"But it took them a long time to make me an offer whereas Wolves made me feel important to their plans, they showed a great interest.

"I told Celtic I was leaving and they spoke to me as I travelled down but I'd already given my word to Wolves.

"Once I gave my word to Wolves that was it. I was coming down for my medical and then I was going to sign.

"There's no ill will towards Celtic though.

"I have a great affection and always will have for the place and the people and the club itself."

McNamara lifted the Scottish Cup for the third time last month and picked up four championships and three League Cups during his time at Celtic Park.

A statement on the Celtic websitet read: "We offered Jackie a greatly improved deal and, contrary to reports, we offered Jackie a two-year contract.

"Naturally, we are disappointed that Jackie has chosen not to accept our offer but this is clearly his prerogative to do so."

Interview: Wolves' Jackie McNamara


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