Memorable Matches-Here For The Ten!

Concluding this round of the series on Memorable Matches,this is the one that sent us on a trip of a lifetime-Seville!!

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Boavista v Celtic 0-1 (Agg: 1-2)

Semi-Final 2nd Leg.

Estadio do Bessa, Oporto, Portugal

Attendance: 10,163 (restricted due to renovations)

After the euphoria of beating the mighty Liverpool at Anfield in the previous round, the team went into something of a dip in form.

Papped out the Scottish Cup by Inverness Caley Thistle, and then a tepid 1-1 draw with Dundee. Two results that would prove to be significant, in ways we could not begin to imagine at the time, paved the way for one of the most awful evenings I’ve ever experienced watching Celtic.

Who knows what created the strange, sour, stifled atmosphere the night the Chequered Harlequins of Boavista turned up on duty for that 1st Leg of the semi-final.

It was more Purgatory than Paradise.

The stadium was lacking the usual euro-bite buzz, even the Spring evening floodlights didn’t seem to create that ‘big event atmosphere. Few of us there had attended a European night so late in the season and it did feel strange as there was still light in the Glasgow skies at kick-off time and it reminded me of the early season European games normally played in late July or August. Folk still on holiday and a kind of distracted mood.

It was surreal. For such a big game the atmosphere was flat, at best!

It wasn’t going to improve either…

Belgian ref clearly ignoring 3 handballs by the Portuguese.

A missed penalty by the King of Kings

An own goal by the very unfortunate Joos

Fans booing Lenny for trying to calm everyone down and keeping the ball.

Fans arguing and generally grumpy ( maybe that was just me, must have been insufferable)

A draw was the best result the visitors could have expected, and the fact they had achieved that AND wrapped up a precious away goal in their dirty laundry hamper, left everyone as down in the dumps as we had felt for a long, long time.

As I prepared to travel to the return leg in Oporto, my mood was not good and my expectations were less so.

As the days passed that would change.

The Portuguese FA had won the right to host (jointly with Spain) the 2014 Euro Finals. A programme of rebuilding work around their chosen venues mean that Boavista’s ground, which was cut into a mountain, would be drastically reduced. They spent £46 million building a 29,000 capacity ground on top of the original stadium. On the night of the game only 2 sides of the stadium were open to fans.

Rumours regarding availability of match tickets meant that surprisingly few Celtic fans travelled to Portugal’s second city for what was, in effect, our biggest away day since Madrid in 1980. One of my buddies told me there could be less fans in Oporto than travelled to Germinal Ekeren in the Early 90’s.

I was thinking right then about what I would give for a Mike Galloway pile-driver and a 1-0 away victory.

As I packed my bag for a busy week on the road, my travel documents did not include a ticket for the game. The general intention was to pay our hotel concierge to fix that and just pay the premium. I was thinking 50 euro max. Hoping for 30.

Walking through Glasgow airport on the Monday morning before the game, En-route to meetings in Bristol then Taunton, I bumped into Chic Young who was travelling to London. Or so he told me. I would discover later that he was trackside at the game summarising with our old hero Jorge Cadette.

He didn’t know me, but a few years earlier I had played a charity match against him and his Dukla Pumpherston team, and I used that to open up a wee dialogue as we walked to our respective departure gates.

When I explained I was heading to Oporto for the game he was non-committal, when I asked him what he thought of Celtic’s chances he just shook his head “cannot see it… sorry…”

He never even wished me luck, or made eye contact, as he toddled off to his own gate. I remember thinking he was probably right, but How much I would love to ram those smug words right down his throat!

The best I can hope for is that he reads this. So if you are hovering ….GIRUY wee man!!

Fortunately, the next few days were really busy and I was off-line in a football sense. A mad dash up the M5/M4 to Heathrow for a flight to Lisbon on the Wednesday afternoon offered the luxury of listening to radio build up,and some time to think. There was more chat about the positives and how well Celtic had done on our travels in the current campaign.

I was still thinking the worst and the only consolation was Henke back and scoring important goals, despite missing that bloody penalty…

My buddies had been in Lisbon for 24 hours already and were in full flow. The 1 nite stopover before taking the train to Oporto was full of the usual beer fuelled ribaldry and tales of previous campaigns. The mood was different though. None of us, now in early 40’s, had ever been to an away European Semi Final with the hoops. Suddenly, all those crushing disappointments of the 80’ and 90’s in Budapest, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Hamburg, Paris et al, seemed like distant memories.

I do remember we did not mention the forthcoming game or, more importantly, speculate on the likelihood of reaching the Final.

Seville wasn’t discussed.

As our train pulled into Oporto the city was buzzing. It’s worth remembering that both senior teams were playing Semi Final legs that nite and we could feel the atmosphere. Porto were off to Rome.

There were not many Hoops around as we headed to the hotel. Quick negotiations secured me a ticket for the game I paid 120 Euros for a ‘home’ end ticket that I would never use. I still have it somewhere.

Usual beers ‘n’ bars as the tension mounted and we worked our way from the beautiful city centre along the river towards the huge suspension bridge with huge Warehouses and ships advertising the local wares.. Sandman Ferriera and Salem etc.

They don’t call it PORTo for nothing…

At an hotel near the ground we bumped into a group of fans including the one and only Magdalena Larsson, Henke’s missus, who was in great form, organising huddles and leading off the songs. All of a sudden the mood was lifting. It had been fairly subdued until then.

We could actually do this. For the first time I started to have some belief that we could do a job here.

In that hotel I met an old buddy who had a few ‘away’ tickets and he sold one to me at face value ( around 15 euro). I was just glad to be in beside the Hoops fans at the game. It was a surprise how many tickets were available.

Thinking I could recoup my losses by selling my ‘home’ ticket to a local I headed out. In my mind all the Portuguese are at least as fitba daft as we are and they would all be bidding for the ticket by kick-off time….aye!

I went to the bar outside the stadium, full of Boavista fans and some Celts, and was hawking my precious brief around … in the end I couldn’t give it away. I sat at the bar and ordered a beer got chatting to a local bloke who was about my age and he was really good craic. As we departed to go the game he said that his team would soon be playing in an ‘all Oporto final” I said if that was the result I would meet him in the bar after the game and buy him a cigar and a glass of the finest port… and we shook hands on our wee wager.

Inside the modern but tiny stadium I was sat in front of two old buddies from Mickey Joe’s in Strathbungo. We settled down to watch the thick end of 70 minutes of torture. There was only one team trying to win this and they were not wearing checked shirts.

What we watched that night would be repeated in the next month in Spain. We didn’t know it then of course, but the culture of wasting time and play-acting in Portuguese fitba just does my thruppeny bits in. They clearly have talented players who could do serious damage if they really out their minds to it.

However, this mob seemed to think the best strategy was to hold onto their precious away goal and sit and frustrate Celtic for 90 minutes.

Celtic came at them wave after wave without any joy. I have to say the mood was flat as a pancake ( maybe, that was just me) as I looked around the wee stadium and their fans sitting watching their team just trying to kill,the game and waste time. I looked at the Celtic fans ( no more than a few thousand travelled and there was room for many more as the game was not a sellout) My thoughts turned to all the games I had attended away from home and the game this reminded me most, was the night in Budapest when we couldn’t beat Honved. i was with the same boys, the crowd was as small and the atmosphere was as shit.

The stakes were higher, much higher and that did make a difference. However, in that moment I was thinking that European semi-finals are not all they are cracked up to be.

You will all have seen that game and there are few highlights, the most exciting thing that happened was a guy getting covered in a tray of soft drinks…orange juice, ironically… and some comedian shouting over to him “hey big man…you’ve just been Tangoed”

The events immediately prior to the Keystone Cops skit, involved a completely knackered John Hartson dragging two players to the right side of their box and a ball breaking loose to a stretching Henrik Larsson…

I swear to almighty god and all his angels and archangels in heaven above that in that moment..time stood still for a few seconds. As we all stopped and stared with open-mouthed wonder … to this day I can remember having time to look along at the rows of Celtic fans as they waited for Henke to put that ball into the Boavista goal.

He seemed to twist his foot at the last second and the keeper looked to me to have reached it .. he had… and for another eternal second I was convinced the moment, our only real chance, was lost. If that ball didn’t cross the line right here, right now. It never would! That’s how it felt at the time.

It is beyond my gift to describe the emotions and what happened next. The closest I’ve ever felt was when Murdo thundered the 4th in at the 4-2 game almost 25 years earlier. There is that short time delay when everything is registering and all the visual checks are made… linesman running back to the centre line… ref running to the centre circle… Celtic players doing a pile up behind the bye line… Boavista players with heids doon and one or two scrambling to get the ball back. Check, check, check, check

OK Celtic fans, you can NOW go right aff yer heids.

The bedlam of the next few minutes is unimaginable … I can remember a throbbing pain forming in my head, probably a mixture of too much sun and bevvy …and tension and excitement. Its not a complaint at all, but I do recall feeling disorientated until long after the final whistle.

As Boavista finally realised they could actually play fitba, and I have to admit they were capable of beating us over the two games I watched if they had tried to play as they could for 180 minutes. They just lacked that one crucial ingredient.

Desire!

We had that in abundance and it transmitted up down and along that pitch and into the away section. Of course, we were nervous and they could have taken it to extra time. By then I just knew they couldn’t because those 11 Bhoys out there in Green and Gold wouldn’t let them. We chased them and harried them using all the street smarts i had never seen any Celtic team adopt before or since.

Then the son.

“You’ll be watching The Bill whilst we’re in Seville,coz Rangers and Europe don’t go…..Oh, Oh, Oh ” ….ad infinitum

With The Wullie Maley song thrown in for good measure.

At the final whistle I didn’t hang around, I just wanted to get out and clear my aching head. Try to gather my thoughts and take it all in. Must have ben one of the first outside the ground and I saw my lawyer and fellow teammate walking past with some of his buddies… we never spoke just looking at one another, he was sobbing real tears streaming down his face.

I popped into the bar beside the ground and it was filling up sharpish… there was no sign of the guy I made the wager with and I don’t blame him. When it came my turn to be served I thought, this is going to get mental, and as was first there I ordered 8 beers (don’t ask, I don’t know why it was eight it would have been rude to order 20 with so many waiting to be served… ) standing there alone with 8 beers as the bar filled up rapidly and a guy standing beside me looking at the beers and licking his lips ” are they all for you ye greedy bassa” … Without looking at him I was watching the door for my mates and said “just waiting for the bhoys to arrive buddy”

” can I have one…I’m parched…”

I looked up at him and immediately recognised Greg Hemphill from Still Game…

Offering him a beer ” I didn’t know you were a Tim..”

“i didn’t know YOU were a Tim either…” he replied with a huge grin.

” some result eh?” …”absolute belter!”

The bhoys arrived one by one after that and the rest of the night will stay with me forever, and ever.

We bumped into Porto fans who had just qualified from their own Semi-Final by drawing 0-0 (4-1 agg) with Lazio in Rome. We all rubbed along together and we started building the bonds of friendship that were sealed in the frying pan of Spain the following month.

Hola Sevilla!

*

Grateful thanks to SALTIRESENSEVILLA for this excellent article,and of course to everyone else who contributed articles and comments. Back to normal tomorrow-I wonder what the topic will be?

Notify of

Kicking every ball and quaffing every beer with Saltires is becoming an enjoyable habit! Glad you posted about this match,bud-I watched this with my eyes shut,so many years of disappointment…

saltires en sevilla

Majoc

Cheers TBH Right now I’m wondering if I’ll ever see those hoops play again!

I’ve seriously hadit with them and it seems 53,000 season ticket holders have not.

So conlusion I make is that I have the wrong end of the stick and that ain’t ever going to change.

Overnight Mts SeS and I have been making plans to become more active and follow the Burgh
.
We will continue to keep an eye out for the Hoops but from a safe distance.

It’s fitba Jim, but not as we know it…

Rebus67

SES,

Thanks for reviving the memories. There was someth

Rebus67

Thanks for the memories. There was something surreal about that game. I wanted it to happen but could not believe that it would.

A few weeks after the final in Seville, I was in Porto and became friendly with a Porto supporter who owned a restaurant. He was passionate about his team, as I was about mine. Amazingly, he did not see Mourinho’s tactics at the end as objectionable! He introduced me to many fine Portuguese reds which are underestimated in world markets. It took away some of the pain.

Curiously, he was hoping for Celtic in the final, not Boavista. Anyone but Boavista was the thinking.

Take some time on future actions re the club.

Rebus

Rebus67

Please ignore this! I guess I hit a wrong button!

Rebus

saltires en sevilla

Hey Rebus

Cheers – we are not done yet buddy.

Btw would you mind sharing info. on Portuguese reds?

Via Majoc or Mahe?

HH

rebus67

SES,

My memory is rusty but I shall try to retrieve something on the vino.

Rebus

The Gombeen Man

SeS,

Thanks for posting your memories of the Boavista game. You’ve got the gift for writing really entertaining and factual posts. I didn’t make it to either game but attended Seville and I’ve told that story on here before.
Let’s hope that things aren’t as bleak with the PLC as they appear to be. Today is very felt and it feels like we have lost to Sevco or maybe even like the hangover from Seville.
The reality is that we all know what the truth is and there seems to be no appetite for the truth in the game. Pretty bleak really.

Anyway, that was a fabulous post and thanks for taking the time to write it.

HH

saltires en sevilla

No pressure buddy – I’m hopeless remembering great wines. Mainly because i enjoy drinking them so much.

HH

big packy

SALTIRES EN SEVILLA, great post brings back lots of memories hh.

saltires en sevilla

TGM

Cheers buddy. Too kind there are too many games attended that I forget. These big event games tend to stick in the mind more or less.

I love reasing all the recollections from guys like yourself on here. Especially games I couldn’t go to.

Every tiny wee memory is valued and cherished.

HH

saltires en sevilla

Packy cheers –

Right now I’m digging out the pitchforks and flaming torches…?

Mike

Saltires that was a fantastic read, those wee details and descriptions put you in bar, in the ground and at the game.

The Boavista games both home and away were the only two games that I missed on the way to Sevilla and reading your account made me a tad jealous of your journey and your obvious enjoyment of the two games.

Fair play to you and your indefatiquability (eh)? You must have enjoyed yourself immensely, the lengths you went to, to get to that away game. (comment restricted as the steam is still escaping from my nut at yesterday’s abomination of an AGM).

That is one of the things that make’s a Celtic supporter, one who would follow the team everywhere, going to great lengths to get to the games, enjoying them with your mates, having faith that you would get a ticket and getting your reward by the team getting through to the final. Celtic supporters “Lions led by Donkey’s” if only we had a board that could share our passion for the club, backed the support, stood up for the support and led us the way we deserve to be led. The only Green that they are passionate about are the one with the backs, Greenbacks.

A reet good reed and thanks for sharing your Celtic stories, your article was brilliant….

saltires en sevilla

Mike

Cheers buddy and agree that fans make a real commitment to follow the team and provide support than anyone who takes money out the club.

HH

Jimmynotpaul

SES.
I loved reading that, I was even starting to wonder if the ball would ever cross the line. That must have been one of the best final whistles ever, for any game you attended.
I didn’t attend the away game, but you nailed the atmosphere for the first leg, it was poor, for a major European game at Celtic Park, it has to be one of the worse ever and Yes Lenny was boooed, I was moaning at fans around me that night. Best atmosphere at Celtic Park in Europe, Valencia game and Barca 2012, for me.
Hail Hail

A thing of beauty

Thanks for posting that. This was yet another game I didn’t see as I was in Australia on a family holiday. It was only 2003, no time ago at all really but I was forced to call home from a telephone box in taronga zoo, Sydney. WTF was that all about, I’m sure we had mobiles then!! When I heard those beautiful words “we did it”, well let’s just say there was an enclosure of baboons on heat going less mental than me. Beautiful memories again, thanks SES.

big packy

seems to be a lot of ghuys, over on cqn, ready to burn their season tickets, what a shambles. if awenaw is around would love to here his take on it.hh.

SES
Your posts just get better and better, close my eyes and I am there, Oh how I wish I was, watched the game in Rathcoole just outside Dublin, a place I do have regrets leaving but we did the best thing for us at the time, as it happens it will help our weans so much better that we moved, so that is a positive.
Sadly these things are in the past and the place we are now is a bit of a downer, the ejits who think we are on top of the world will get a taste of reality soon enough, things never stay the same and us on the top is not on the agenda.
Like you am scunnered but I will fight the bassas till my last breath, I need to see what the Res12 bhoys are doing, I assume they are on it, Auldheid is rather miffed, if he is talking about police et all it tells you what you need to know, the Canman will decide what to do, it’s his baby after all, I have faith he will do the right thing.
HH
………………………………………………
TGM
I agree that the other sites leader today was a joke, I don’t agree that we shouldn’t post on it now and again, just to piss them off is a good enough reason for me, it’s not the board lovers blog, it’s everyone’s blog, I posted on there last night cos there was nobody on here to converse with, I upset a couple, you know this when they don’t reply to you, job done, the main reason I hardly ever post there now is the right wing posters who think the corrupt board can do no wrong, that really pisses me off, even when the facts are staring them in the face, yet they profess to be educated, arse lickers imo are never educated, they are worse then the hun who doesn’t know any better, they cause us more harm than good, just my humble opinion.
HH

THEEXILEDTIM

Article tomorrow here on the subject.

Split-shift for me,so no time to do it justice,and it’s Thanksgiving over in Mahe territory.

Also,I’m hoping for some outside input,and had to clarify a lot of other stuff to ensure it doesn’t get “moderated” by the site’s legal eagle!

Garry Duncan

SES
Crackin article. I had been at Blackburn away and Liverpool away matches that season. Watched the Boavista game in my house in Knightswood with my 2 sons who were 14 and 9 years at the time. When Henrik scored, my two bhoys went mental. I just sat there in stunned silence, saying to myself,”I never thought we would get to a European final again in my lifetime. ”
It is the only time I have never celebrated an important Celtic goal. I was in a state of shock. I have never experienced anything like that feeling, before or since. Surreal
YNWA

The Gombeen Man

TET,

I just don’t like giving them hits or traffic. Sometimes there’s no point in debating. They have convinced themselves of their view and only the unfolding of events will reveal what’s happened.
You are 100 % right to post. Even if it just gets it off your chest.

Till Later

saltires en sevilla

BP

Hoping to see AweNaw make an appearance tomorrow when we have the leader from Majoc or Mahe on current (currants…hehehe) state of affairs ?

saltires en sevilla

JNP

You know what buddy nail on the head … best final whistle I ever heard.

Just realised…

HH

saltires en sevilla

ATOB

Cheers.

There was some zoo like behaviour in the Old Town that night ?

saltires en sevilla

TET

Cheers – I’m hoping some well- heeled bhoys take this on.
I’m with you on helping to crowd fund so count me in ✅

saltires en sevilla

Garry

That’s it ‘a state of shock’ was the phrase i was looking for.

The bar immediately afterwards was quiet- bhoys trying to handle it all , like shock symptoms.

big packy

saltires .hope so, this board are green huns no wonder the exiled tims blood pressure has gone through the roof ,.by the way if majoc is about, could I post a wee memorable game post tonight if possible,hh.

Jimmynotpaul

Majoc/Mahe.
A great series, I thoroughly enjoyed all the contributions.
I was fairly certain that at least a couple from Lisbon Leeds at Hampden or Elland Rd. 10 men won the league, 4.2 in 79, Centenary cup final and more recently, Tom Rogic invincible treble would have been written about.
It shows you how little I know and how many memorable games there are to choose from.
Hail Hail

big packy

JIMMY NOT PAUL I have one if you want to hear it.hh.

JimmynotPaul

Hey B.P.
You’ve already had a shot.??
Only kidding, as Majoc says, post what you like, within reason.
Hail Hail

big packy

okay bhoys its 1970, im 17 years old we have beaten the mighty leeds united 1-0 at elland rd ,thanks to George connely,now second leg at hampden, my dad informs we have 2 tickets for me and him so next its transport, the bhoy next door brian Kinsella doesn’t drink so that’s a bonus, only thing is brian has no ticket ,so my dad says take us brian and we will try and get you a ticket outside the ground, so we set off 5 of us in the car, we got about a mile from hampden, and realised the size of the crowd was unbelievable, we had to park here, there was one tiny space but we could not manouver the car into it ,so we all got out and pushed the car into it so it was bumpers touching, now comes the sad and embarrassing part, im claustrophobic and although in big crowds at parkhead, as I approached the ground I froze, the number of people piling in those gates frightened the shit out of me, dad I said give my ticket to brian I will wait for you here and listen to the game on my transistor radio, which I did so there you have it. that’s where I watched/listened to the 1970 European cup semi final and yes im still embarrassed.hh.

SES
I heard a rumour a while back that there was a couple of supporters who had a few bob and were willing to weigh in, I hope it was for real, but if not crowdfunding would do the biz I reckon, there will be plenty out there who would be willing to throw in a few bob if needs be, only this time instead of funding a pathetic newspaper add, filling the pockets of a few for T shirts it will be to go after the real crooks.
HH
…………………………………….
TGM
I agree with you and wouldn’t go there if there was somewhere else, I needed to get it out last night and it was the only place I could, I am barred from just about every other site 😉
The SFM site have barred me a few times, the last time for bringing up the standard of referees in scotland, they told me that referees were nothing to do with the game in scotland, seriously they did.
I have been barred from KDS a couple of times as well, the last time for calling them a bunch of tossers, they take things awfy seriously over there so they do 😉
In saying all that there is an ex pat site here that I have been barred from about thirty times, I just keep registering with a different email addy and away I go, jeez they are so easy to wind up, thick brits to a man and woman, it’s delicious.
HH
………………………………………….
M
I trust it will be well put together
HH

Garry Duncan

SES
First thing I did was negotiate with my wife a week in Spain. Knew I had a ticket due to attendance. Took tickets for Celta and Boavista and gave them to family travelling there. Used my Blackburn and Liverpool tickets.
Bittersweet Symphony

big packy

THE EXILED TIM with you brother 100 percent.hh.

Garry Duncan

TET & BP
Keep on Keeping On!
Redskins CSC

big packy

cheers garry your a true tim,hh??

Jimmynotpaul

Big Packy.
Great story, thanks for sharing,absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.
Hail Hail

BP
See when you were outside listening to the game on the radio, you will have heard me cos I was inside 😉
Traveled down to the game with three other blokes from the NE, we were in the Celtic end and the crush was a proper crush, could move once we were in situ, I was sloshing when I got back to the car, as were the others, it wasn’t a pleasant experience, a three hour drive home covered in pish, but the result was well worth it 😉
Gary
You to mi amigo
HH to ye both

big packy

JIMMYNOTPAUL THANKS PAL.HH??

Garry Duncan

TET
Just thawing out after a 12 hour shift. Baltic Glesca. Wish I lived where you live. ?
YNWA

Gary
It’s been raining here for a few weeks now, still warm enough tho, but I have lit the stove, it helps keep the dampness out of the air, as I said it’s no cold, I am sitting about ten feet from our back door which is wide open, the dugs need to go out so it’s easier just to keep it open than clean up a mess.
HH

Garry Duncan

For TET &BP
Redskins CSC
https://youtu.be//R7tbFqBYxQk

BIGPACKY

Ya eejit,ye! Done similar,mind. The New Year game in our Centenary Season.

I drove up with my Dad and my Uncle Jim. And three tickets. All fine,you might think-except that we were also meeting SOL KITTS of this parish.

I had to listen to it in the car,as Paul McStay released the pass of a lifetime for Chris Morris to release inside to Macca!

Couldn’t even have a pint,although I had plenty when I got back!!!

Garry Duncan

TET
Sounds good to me.
Sorry link didnae work.
Crackin genius lyrics song.
Keep on Keeping on by The Redskins.
YNWA

AGM article sent for approval. That’s not been necessary before-in fact,I don’t think it is necessary this time either-but it’s only fair to Mahe as the host.

I hope he’s not too busy rustling up a feast and keeping both eyes on wee F as she makes her customary break for the big outdoors!

Garry Duncan

TET
Two RRs in Garry.
Last warning or I set my mammy who picked my name, on your case. ??
Wee Molly ran wi the Maryhill Fleet in the 50s.
Your card is marked son. ?
YNWA

big packy

cheers majoc nice to hear from you,hh.

FFS, so sorry, habit is a terrible thing 😉
HH

THEEXILEDTIM

Schoolboy error there,old bean. It’s customary to blame such indiscretions on your spellchecker.

Checking in before heading oot!

Bloody Baltic down here anaw,btw. If I wanted weather like this,I could’ve stayed in Scotland…