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With Celtic fan Ricky Burns and West Ham supporter Kevin Mitchell in boxing action this weekend, Goal.com takes a look at the top players to represent both clubs

By Luke Matthews

This weekend welcomes one of the most highly-anticipated domestic boxing matches for years. Scottish fighter Ricky Burns takes on Dagenham's very own Kevin Mitchell on Saturday at the SECC Arena in Glasgow. Both boxers are huge football fanatics - Burns being a proud Celtic supporter while Mitchell is West Ham United through-and-through - and to celebrate, we've come up with our five favourite footballers to represent both sides.

5. Ian Wright


After enjoying hugely successful spells at Crystal Palace and Arsenal, Ian Wright joined West Ham for £500,000 in 1998 after being deemed surplus to requirements by Arsene Wenger.

At the grand old age of 34, the former England international managed to score on his club debut, a feat he later repeated at Celtic.

However he struggled for form at the Hammers and made the headlines for all the wrong reasons, including being caught vandalising the referee's changing room following a sending off against Leeds.

Wright moved on to Celtic for six months in 1999, making only eight appearances (scoring three times) before switching to Burnley and ending his career in 2000 to pursue a career in TV and radio.

4. Frank McAvennie


Franck McAvennie earns the rare honour of being the only player to represent West Ham and Celtic, twice!

The Scottish striker formed a formidable partnership with a young Tony Cottee during a two-year spell with West Ham between 1985 and 1987, scoring 33 league goals along the way.

This form earned him a £750,000 move to his native Scotland with Celtic, the attacker inspiring his new team to a league and cup double in his first season.

West Ham broke their club transfer record to bring McAvennie back to Upton Park in 1989 yet the Scotland international, known for his playboy lifestyle, couldn't recapture his earlier form in a three-year spell.

Following a short stint in China, the striker rejoined Celtic for two years in 1992, scoring a respectable 10 goals in 30 appearances before making his way down the Scottish lower leagues.

3. Craig Bellamy


After establishing himself as one of the Premier League's most-feared forwards at Newcastle, the Wales international managed to fall out with almost everyone at the club including Mr Newcastle himself, Alan Shearer.

Following the fracas, Bellamy was shunted out on loan to Celtic for the remainder of the 2004-05 season, with his nine goals in 15 games earning him cult status at Parkhead, before switching to Blackburn.

After a short spell at Liverpool, Bellamy moved to West Ham for 18 months, particularly impressing at the beginning of the 2008-09 season which earned him a £14 million move to newly-rich Manchester City.

2. John Hartson


Ian Wright wasn't the first Arsenal striker in the Premier League era to be shipped off to West Ham after being made available for transfer for Arsene Wenger. Oh no. A year before, Harry Redknapp snapped up John Hartson for a then West Ham-record £3.2m. Hartson was to be a revelation at Upton Park, netting an impressive 33 times in 73 league and cup appearances.

After spells at Wimbledon and Coventry City, the Wales international moved north of the border to Celtic in 2001, spending five hugely successful years in Glasgow winning three league titles, two Scottish Cups and one League Cup along the way.

Following a battle with cancer after retirement, the much-loved Welshman is now a regular football pundit on TV and radio.

1. Paolo Di Canio


Celtic pulled off a major coup in 1996 when they nabbed Paolo Di Canio from European giants Milan and after scoring 12 goals in 24 appearances for the Scots, the fiery Italian moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1997.

Cult status ensued at the Owls with the forward leading the club's goalscoring charts with 14 goals in his first season. However, controversy followed as Di Canio was given an 11-game ban for pushing referee Paul Alcock over after being sent off versus Arsenal.

The incident saw Harry Redknapp snap the Rome-native up for a bargain £1.7m in 1999 with Di Canio becoming a fans favourite at Upton Park during his four years at the club.

The forward netted 52 times for the Hammers including the volley versus Wimbledon in March 2000 which to this day, is still considered one of the greatest strikes in Premier League history.

To watch Ricky Burns versus Kevin Mitchell on Saturday, you can sign up for BoxNation for just £10 a month with no registration fee if you’re a Sky TV subscriber. To get the best seat in the house, subscribe to BoxNation now and enter the promo code GOALBOXING (all block capitals) to take advantage of this special offer.

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