|Full name||Gilbert Heron|
|Date of birth||9 April 1922|
|Place of birth||Kingston, Jamaica|
|Date of death||27 November 2008(aged 86)|
|Place of death||Detroit, United States|
|Playing position||Centre forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Gil Heron (9 April 1922 – 27 November 2008) was a Jamaican professional footballer. He was the first black player to play for Scottish club Celtic, and was the father of poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron.
He died in Detroit of a heart attack on 27 November 2008.
He moved to Canada as a youth and was later enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. As well as being a track athlete and a boxer, he played football and broke through during his stay there. A centre forward, he signed for Detroit Corinthians and the champion Detroit Wolverines, where he was top goalscorer in the 1946 season of the North American Soccer Football League.
He was spotted by a scout from Glasgow Celtic while the club was on tour in North America, and he was signed by the Scottish club in 1951 after being invited over for a trial. Becoming the first black player for Celtic, Heron went on to score on his debut, on 18 August 1951 in a League Cup tie against Morton that Celtic won 2–0. Heron only played five first-team matches in all, scoring twice. He was released by the club the next year after making one appearance in the Scottish Football League and joined Third Lanark where he played in seven League Cup matches, scoring five goals but did not appear in the League. Next he went to English club Kidderminster Harriers before moving back to Detroit Corinthians. At Celtic he earned the nicknames "The Black Arrow" and "The Black Flash".
While in Chicago, Heron met Bobbie Scott, a singer, with whom he had a son in 1949, the poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron. They separated when Heron left for Scotland and did not meet again till Scott-Heron was 26. Heron had three more children, Gayle, Denis and Kenny, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Detroit. His older brother, Roy Trevor Gilbert Heron, served with the Norwegian Merchant Navy during World War II and then joined the Canadian army, later moving to Canada, where he became active in black Canadian politics.
- Wilson, Brian (19 December 2008). "Obituary: Gil Heron". London: The Guardian.
- Frank Dell'Apa, "Giles Heron: Played for Celtic, father of musician" Boston Globe (4 December 2008). Retrieved 2 June 2011
- "Heroes Remember: Roy Heron" Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 2 June 2011
- David A. Litterer, "The Year in Soccer: 1946" North America Soccer List (29 March 2005). 2 June 2011
- Roddy Forsyth, "Celtic's first black player, Gil Heron, dies" The Telegraph (30 November 2008). Retrieved 2 June 2011
- "Profile". Post War English & Scottish Football League A – Z Player's Database.
- Gil Heron Scottish League (5 July 2005). Retrieved 2 June 2011
- Alec Wilkinson, "New York is Killing Me" The New Yorker (9 August 2010). Retrieved 2 June 2011
- Norman Otis Richmond, "Gil Heron, 81, father of Gil Scott-Heron, joins the ancestors" Celtic graves (Republished 19 January 2011). Retrieved 2 June 2011
- Roy Trevor Gilbert Heron The Memory Project. Retrieved 2 June 2011
- Giles Heron The Celtic Wiki. Retrieved 2 June 2011