Celtic have confirmed that James Forrest will be honoured with a testimonial this summer with the Scottish champions facing off against Athletic Bilbao.

The match will honour Forrest who has been associated with Celtic for more than 20 years, while also forming part of Athletic Club's 125th Anniversary celebrations.

Forrest joined Celtic’s Youth Academy in 2002 and then in 2009 joined the club’s first-team squad. During his time with the club he has lifted 11 league titles, five Scottish cups and five League cups.  

The Scotland international was also named the Scottish PFA and Scottish Writers’ Player of the Year in 2019, also receiving both prestigious awards in 2012 as a young player. He was also named the country’s top international young player in 2012 by the Scottish Football Writers’ Association.

Forrest has scored over 100 goals for Celtic, scoring in 14 successive seasons, and only Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox and Scott Brown have won more medals than him for the club.

The testimonial match will take place on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, with a 7:30pm kick-off, and a significant proportion of funds raised will go two charities, Kilbryde Hospice and the Celtic FC Foundation.

Celtic have history with Athletic Club, who are currently in seventh position in Spain’s La Liga. The clubs met in a friendly in the Basque city of Bilbao in 2011, and in 2019 Athletic Club kindly awarded their One Club Man Award to Celtic Great Billy McNeill - the award being established with the aim of honouring players whose career with one team represents the values of commitment, loyalty, responsibility, sportsmanship and respect, which embody their identity as a club.

In an emotional ceremony, Lisbon Lion and Celtic great, John Clark travelled to Bilbao to accept the award on behalf of Billy’s family.

Stevie Kilcoyne, Chairman of James’ Testimonial Committee said: “We are delighted to announce this match in tribute to someone who has given so much to Celtic.

“James has been connected to the club for more than 20 years as a young and senior player and has contributed massively to the success of the Celtic first team.

"He has a phenomenal list of honours to his name and is someone who really has devoted his whole footballing life to a club that he loves. We hope that a great crowd will some to Celtic Park to honour such an important player.

“It is great too that charity will be benefiting from this match, with Kilbryde Hospice and Celtic FC Foundation being supported to carry on their great work.

“We would sincerely like to thank Celtic Football Club for granting James this testimonial match and, of course, we are very grateful to Athletic Club for agreeing to travel to Glasgow to take part in this celebration of one of the club’s most successful players and greatest servants.”

Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou said: “James has been a hugely important figure to Celtic across so many years, contributing massively to such a sustained period of success for the club and he is really deserving of this great honour.

“Although he has achieved so much he is someone who remains so humble and unassuming, continuing to quietly get on with his job and striving every day to do all he can to bring more and more success to our supporters. 

“I am sure this match will be a great occasion for James and the club. It will be our first match back at Celtic Park after the summer break and we hope as many supporters as possible will be able to attend.  

“We look forward to welcoming Athletic Club to Glasgow and we are sure they will provide a great test for us, but above all we look forward to a special night, honouring someone who has given us all so much.”

Celtic Chief Executive, Michael Nicholson said: “We were really pleased to grant James this testimonial match, and we wish him and the Committee all the very best for the game, which we are sure will be a wonderful occasion.

“James has committed himself to Celtic and has delivered success after success to our supporters and our club, for which we are all grateful. James could not be more deserving of this honour and I am sure the match will be a great celebration of his Celtic career.”

The James Forrest Testimonial Committee today announced that tickets will go on sale from 2pm on Friday, May 26, initially to Season Ticket holders looking to secure their own seat for the match.

Tickets will be available to buy online only, priced:

Standard Tickets - £22

Concessions - £14

Booking fees apply.