JIMMY CRICKET REFLECTS…
Morning,all. Wonderful guest post from MIKE of this parish.
Jimmy Cricket, puts on his wellies and reflects on his journey to Seville, now “L is for right and “R is for left, his brother Sean is currently serving 6 months in jail , in the the first 2 months he’s had his tonsils, appendix and his teeth out. The governor thinks he’s escaping bit by bit, Mammy, Mammy. “And there’s More”.
We left early doors that 21st May 2003, heading West towards Glasgow airport, my two sons chattering away, Celtic scarves flying out the window, the dugs were barking and the wheels on our caravan were rolling, rolling, rolling. We met our friends at the airport and went for a few beers, joining hundreds of Celtic supporters looking forward to a great game. We were filled with optimism, we knew we had some great players and a great manager. The Saltires and the Tricolours were flying as we boarded the plane heading towards Seville.
The plane arrived as Celtic songs were sung as we touched down, excitement levels rose as we stepped out into the baking heat. We joined coach after coach loads of fellow Tims and headed towards the city centre. Strolling past endless Celtic supporters, saying hello to everyone. Walked into the bars, having a laugh, sitting outside in the sun, meeting and greeting an endless sea of green and white. Being asked to swap our Celtic top for a Sevilla top by one local bar owners, which was promptly refused. (Still got it, it sits in my bottom drawer marked, “to be taken out, when we reach another European final”). Parading down and through this beautiful city, listening to the “boom, boom” coming from the “Daily Ranger” bus, as the D.J. belted out Celtic songs towards thousands and thousands of Celtic supporters. We made our way towards the stadium, excited and very happy, acknowledging friends we had met at past Celtic games, everyone and their Granny was there, Jeez, I even met my mothers undertaker, I could swear the bastard measured me up as I greeted him.
Inside the stadium, we chased away those that were sitting on our seats “fuck off and get your own”. Sitting down with bottles of water, soaking our towels and putting them on top of our heads, looking like a Scottish version of, ” Lawrence of Arabia”. Watching the game, shouting at cynical Porto antics, cursing the Ref. for his one-sided stupidity, but most of all becoming hoarse as we cheered on the Celtic. Marvelling at Henke’s spring and realising that he was a World class player, swearing at Porto’s dishonesty, urging the players on and on, as the game ended we were very disappointed because we knew that we could have won it given a fair chance, but realising that the players had given all that they could have. We had gone to all the ties, home and away except the semi’s, work commitments ruled them out, the journey was over as we joined the throng of Celtic supporters, walking towards the coach’s. Laughing at one supporter lying “Paralytic” on one of the mini roundabouts on the way back to the airport.
It was said that, approximately 100,000 Celtic supporters were in Seville and nowhere, did we witness the slightest bit of trouble, the support did us all proud ,as usual, on reflection it was a brilliant day out, which we hugely enjoyed, this Celtic experience sits in our memory part of our brain marked “to be taken out when the indifferent World encroach’s too much” a remarkable experience. The support got its rightful recognition, when FIFA awarded them the “Fair Play Award”. Later in 2017, it was awarded another FIFA award for the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Lisbon, special club, special support. “A club like no other”. YNWA.
Yours in Celtic,
Jimmy Cricket. “The old home town seemed the same, as we came back from the game and there to meet me was my “Mammy”.