Craig Beattie’s luck throughout his career has never been the greatest. The Glasgow born striker clearly strives to do his all for the team he plays, in exchange for love and adoration from the fans. Beattie began his career as a schoolboy with boyhood heroes Rangers, dreaming of one day becoming a hero for the club he had supported as a boy. Unfortunately it was not to be, as Beattie was released after failing to impress the then current manager, Dick Advocaat. However, Glasgow rivals Celtic clearly seen attributes that the blue half of Glasgow were unable to, and offered Beattie a contract. The faith was rewarded, as Beattie scored all six goals during an under 19’s friendly, in a 6-0 win over the promising Derry City. Beattie would then go on to appear for Celtic at senior level, securing a new 3 year deal after netting four goals towards the end of the 2004-2005 season. He highlighted the merits of his new contract at the beginning of the next season, scoring seven goals in the first three months of the season. However, Beattie’s luck was yet again against him, appearing at the club when Celtic had such star strikers such as Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Craig Bellamy and more recently, Kenny Miller. His potential was never fully valued, reflected in the amount of substitute appearances that the striker had to settle for, and in summer 2007, Beattie’s Celtic career was brought to an end, moving on to the promising Championship side, West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £1.25million.

Beattie has a promising start at The Baggies, but the success quickly fades

Perhaps this was Beattie’s big opportunity to make a name for himself, and achieve the credibility that he deserved. Yet again, the Scot started well, netting a hat-trick in a pre season match against Dutch side SC Heerenveen, and in only his second competitive game for the club, Beattie scored against Bournemouth in the League Cup.  However, this success was not to continue, as Beattie started the majority of the season’s appearances from the bench.  The resulting frustration led to Beattie being loaned out to three different clubs over his two year spell with The Baggies, and in August 2009 Beattie moved to Swansea, with the aim of reviving his stuttering career. Once more the striker started brightly, scoring a handful of goals in his first couple of months at the club but once more struggled after time, later injuring his ankle.  In October 2011, Beattie was sent on loan to Watford, in order to find some much needed game time after recovering from his ankle injury.  However, with more injuries and a lack of first team opportunities, Beattie was released from his contract with Swansea after returning to the club.

Beattie scores the winning goal, sending Hearts through to the final

Unfit and without a club, you could have perhaps forgiven the striker for not wanting to continue with football altogether. His hard luck with injuries and past clubs had left Beattie’s morale at an all time low, but interest from numerous SPL sides has given the striker another chance.  Eventually, Beattie chose the club at which he actually trained with as a young boy – Hearts. In just a couple of months Beattie has gone through the usual trend of hitting the ground running, scoring three goals  – one of which was against Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, earning the support of the fans.  Furthermore, last weekend, Beattie came off the bench in the Scottish Cup semi-final against current holders, Celtic, having a major impact by setting up the opening goal for Rudi Skácel.  Then, following a controversial decision by Euan Norris to award Hearts a penalty in the final moments of the match, Beattie stepped up to convert, sending the Hearts fans into ecstasy.

In just two short months the striker has gone from a bit-part signing to a fan favourite, earning to love and adoration from the fans which he has yearned for his whole career.  His celebration on Sunday highlighted how much he is enjoying his football at the moment, and perhaps now Beattie has found a club where he can settle, become an integral part of the squad and earn the adoration of the fans.  He has already recently stated that he is willing to discuss his future of the club, and would be happy to be at the club longer than until the end of the current season.  At the age of 28, I believe this would be a good decision for Beattie.  He always seems to start well at new clubs, and the key for Beattie is keeping himself fit and injury free, and performing consistently across a full season.  It is time for him to settle down, change his luck and truly show everyone what he can do on a football pitch.

By Steven Lamb, you can follow him on twitter here