One mans view from the North Curve
Today Im delighted to bring you another guest blog , this time by our esteemed colleague Vfr who will let us know how the standing section has added to his match day experience . Many thanks Vfr .
In looking to write about the North Curve “standing section” for Sentinel Celts, I was very quickly driven down memory lane. The reality is that standing at football has been subsumed into my DNA since I first attended Celtic Park in 1965. In those days it was at the pylon between the Celtic End and the Jungle. These trips began from Drumchapel aboard a supporter’s bus with almost exclusivity for men and male children. My initial problem was that of travel sickness; a fairly common ailment then as the vast majority of us didnae have motorised transport or the money for buses or trains. No trains, planes and automobiles in those days: more often than not it was Shanks pony for us with an occasional trip into town on the train or Clydebank on the bus. Trains I could cope with; buses made me spew – literally.
So it was the wee travel sickness pill and a trip on the supporters bus from the Drum. The over-riding aroma on the bus was beer closely followed by whiskey. Partially from the breath of almost all of the men who had just come from the pub; and partially from the cairry oots brought onto the bus for consumption during the journey. This journey took us along the Great Western Road, skirted the top end of the Town at Coo’caddens, along to The Royal onto The Parade, down Craigpark and along Duke St or The Gallowgate. It inevitably ended at a pub on the Gallowgate (usually the Grange) – right where the big roundabout at Tesco’s is now.
The adults went intae the pub and the weans waited at the door and were given a bottle of ginger and a bag of crisps (often wi’ a wee bag of salt inside the crisp packet). There were many, many weans standing outside, irrespective of the weather, and you didn’t dare go inside – not even for a pee; the pub wall was the toilet way back when. God alone knows how many weans current modern Social Workers could scoop up at pubs around the football grounds back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The noise, smell and songs are still easily recalled these days and the memories are very fond ones – pals made for 30 minutes in the rainy Gallowgate, sometimes rekindled at the next home game.
Then it was the short walk down to the turnstiles at Janefield St: wee legs running and skipping to keep up; shortness of breath trying to sing along with the adults whilst running; the occasional panic if you couldn’t see your dad or big brother near you. Remarkably I never got lost or separated through what must have been hundreds of journeys back and forth along that route – crowds of 80,000 or more were not unusual. Paradise loomed through the closes as we approached, then a quick organisation of who was lifting over the weans and who would have to go through the “boys gate”. Lifting the weans over was a tradition – until the hairy arsed turnstile operative saw the long legs coming up from the older boys: “naw you yer no gettin’ a lift ower; boys gate!” Expletives and a quick exit saw the “culprit” make his escape to try at another gate “mister, gonnae lift us ower?”; or doubling up with someone else and running away from the turnstile as fast as they could. I was a few years off that, but took it all in as my education for the future.
You were then into the ground and before you could run up the steps that took you to the top of the terracing (only to go back down the other side), but first, the adults had to relieve themselves of the Indian pale Ale, Export or Stout from the Grange. The smell of the toilet is still evocative of 1960s Cetlic Park, but not in a good way! Up to our place next; at the barrier slightly to the left of the pylon. If I wanted to stay with my dad and the other adults, I was hoisted on the brightly painted green barrier and sat there till I either got bored or my bum was too numb to sit any longer. Then it was down to the front where you would meet numerous other urchins out for the day. Having a laugh, playing at writing stuff in the gravel and waiting for that most wonderful sound: “Erzi maccerooooon bars and Wrigley’s spearmint cheeeeewing guuummmm!” The occasional opportunity for a (still) too sweet macaroon bar, chewing gum or some other tooth rotting delicacy was a highlight. During all that, we watched parts of the game. Half-time saw a brief family reunion and maybe a piece on jam if some had been stuffed into someone’s pocket before we left home. The second half was more of the same with the family reunion taking place with about 10 minutes to go and then it was back to the barrier perch. The exit was reverse of the entrance with the toilet stop more than occasional .
Even in summer the ground was always wet from the residue in the beer cans: this residue was a mixture of the dregs of the beer and the copious amounts of urine deposited into the cans during the game. I would assume that most of my generation can still remember the “warm, wet leg” experienced at the football. Again, evocative; similarly not in a good way.
It was then the trek back to the bus, wee legs sore from standing and running about for the best part of 3 hours since we left the bus at around 2. The mood depended upon the result, but as I was fortunate to be brought up with the Lions as my team, it was mainly a great experience.
This continued in much the same vein until the ‘60s turned into the ‘70s and double figures were achieved in age, by which time I had mastered the ability to stand on 2 empty beer cans to see the game better I was too old to go down to the front but still hankered after the macaroon bars! As we got older, we were allowed to make our own way from the bus to the ground if we wanted and try and get a lift in; on the occasional unsuccessful attempts, we would wait for our own adults to arrive and lift us over. Paying at the boys gate still wasn’t an option. The opportunity to get one over on the auld gits on the turnstile was still very welcome; until we realised that getting money for the boys gate from our parents and getting someone else to lift us over was a far smarter option! Growing up and wising up! This very soon led to being allowed to make our way to the game under our own steam as we got into secondary school. We usually went on the train. This led to various scrapes and scraps along the way but it was all part of our social education. It also allowed us to enter more hallowed ground! The Jungle.
The transition of around 20 yards to your left took you into a whole different world completely. Up until then, I enjoyed going to Celtic Park and they were some of the best moments of my young life. When I entered the Jungle, I was in love with my club and that has never changed in the intervening years. It was entering a Cathedral of Celtic and here my Celtic and Republican education was taken to a new level completely. I was able to sing the songs I had heard as a child and began to better understand them as an adolescent. They still remain with me and resonate with my love for Celtic and my Irish heritage. Some of them were probably wrong then and most certainly are now; but the vast majority of them were necessary then and, in my book, many are still OK now. My first few years were in the west end of Jungle was as a boy from the Drum, but when I was 16 we moved out to Condorrat in Cumbernauld as part of the overspill and after a few weeks of meeting up with old friends, I began to go to Celtic Park with new friends. Sadly, my old friends drifted away, but many of my new friends are now great old friends! Celtic is a family!
The ‘70s were a great time to be in the Jungle, watching WGS winding us up and some nutter trying hit him on the park; the last games of the Lisbon Lions; 10 men winning the League; the transition to McGrain, Hay, Macari, Dalgliesh and the subsequent heroes. Being older (but not wiser) we still had a few scrapes, but in the main could avoid them.
In the early 80s I moved down south where I met my wife; I stayed there for 6 years and we moved back to Glasgow as a family. During that time I was a regular passenger on the overnight train from Euston on a Friday, pub, game, pub and back home on the overnight train on a Saturday. I was never stuck for getting up to Paradise when I wanted to and it sated my need for Celtic during those times. It was like a regular pilgrimage. By the time I got back to Glasgow, the Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle was over and the Great Scottish Football Swindle was beginning.
I returned to Celtic Park as regular but the last few years were dark days for all connected to and in love with Celtic. I took my young sons and their pals; we stood in the Rangers end looking at a less than half-full stadium. The boys often took a ball with them and kicked it around the vast empty spaces during the game; the football was dire so I can’t blame them. Even the beloved Jungle was quiet and a lot emptier. The life was being sucked out of the club. It looked as if the Kelly’s and the White’s had killed Celtic.
Then remarkably the Rebels won, standing on the steps of Celtic Park with a quiet unassuming wee guy from Canada via Croy. The club was saved and a lot of other things happened; success on the park, no more standing because of Heysel, no more drink in the grounds because of the 1981 cup final and cheating on a monolithic scale that would see its full impact some 20 or so years later. Some really good times did follow.
Roll on another decade or so and we were given back the “Spirit of The Jungle”! Following on from the success of safe standing in Germany and the boisterousness of the Green Brigade in Section 111, Celtic opened the North Curve for the 2016/2017 season to provide just over 2500 safe standing season tickets for its fans. Integral to the section were the Green Brigade who have provided most of the noise, colour and controversy over the past 12 years. I was aware of the forthcoming opening of the section and as soon as I got my letter on the Saturday morning, I was straight down to Celtic Park to take up the offer of a place. I managed to get them for a group of 4 of us who attend together. I also get to see Jobo of CQN fame each time I go – he is 2 rows in front of me.
So what do I think of the North Curve? For me (even as a more mature gentleman), it’s fantastic and has added a brilliant atmosphere to Celtic park. The front part of the North Curve is where the Green Brigade are housed so there is plenty of activity in there. I’m further up but right behind the GB; the only downside is that I don’t see the TIFO’s till after the game. So where do we start?
Safety: this is of paramount importance after the numerous, awful deaths of fans in my lifetime at Ibrox, Heysel, Bradford and Sheffield. Each ticket holder has a “rail seat” that folds up for non-UEFA games and folds down for UEFA controlled games. There is plenty of space and you have a rail in front of you to prevent movement forward during the game, so the old events of previous terracings where in busy, excitable times you often moved forward several steps down the terracing can no longer happen. Judicious use of a yale key allows you to turn the seat lock so it can be put up during European games, or put down for a wee sit doon at half time to ease the auld weary legs!
Access: there are 3 turnstiles that give access to the standing section so there is usually easy access on matchdays. I’ve never been held up overly long and always got into the game on time, even on busy European nights. Stairways in and out of the section and up through the terracing are wide and safe. Overall, safe as safe can be in a football stadium. Tickets are checked on entry to the section so you can’t get in without one. (More on that later).
Comfort: considering the complete lack of comfort of the old terracing, this is massively improved. Plenty of space all round with no crushing. So much so that several scallywags manage to sneak into share space with their friends. It’s simple enough. Go downstairs with 2 tickets in your pocket, meet a mate and both come up with a ticket each. So far this hasn’t caused any problem.
Populous: the make-up of fans in the standing section is as varied as any other part of the ground I have held a season ticket for. Pre-school kids through to pensioners; male and female. I know one auld fella who was 80 when he still attended last season. It was a wee bit too much so he’s now in a seated area. He was there for the first 2 seasons because it harked back to how he used to watch Celtic. So there are no barriers other than for those who are not physically able to stand for the entire match. I’ve seen people with walking sticks and crutches in the section on occasion!
Atmosphere: superb atmosphere; it’s not quite the Jungle but it’s pretty close to it. It certainly has “The Spirit of the Jungle”. The noise is constant and can drown out everything else around you. On those special European nights and top or tight domestic games it is a joy and takes me back to the ‘60s and ‘70’s when we experienced those atmospheres on a regular basis. There have been some nights in the all seated stadium when we were almost there – winning the league against St Johnstone to stop 10 in a row; beating Juve 4-3; beating Barca 2-1 – but never quite the same as standing cheering the Bhoys on. It just cannot be beaten.
The “Rebs”: this is a personal opinion but in the main I don’t mind them. I grew up with them, sung them every week home and away; I also sung worse home and away but that’s another story. Ireland is in our DNA: we were allowed to celebrate that as younger people so I have no real issue with the younger fans singing them now. I’m still partial to “The Broad Black Brimmer” and “The Roll of Honour” myself so I won’t pontificate on that. Where we do let ourselves down as a support though (again, a personal opinion) is the “Orange Bastard” chants and the manipulation of “Beautiful Sunday” into the IRA chant; my particular dislike is the full version of “Build a Bonfire” – a hunnish chant if ever I heard one.
Other benefits: I get my tickets for semi-finals and finals with the Green Brigade so me and my mate Eddie are right in amongst it at Hampden (and Murrayfield) for those big games. It makes for a fantastic atmosphere during the game though it can be very boisterous at times – footballs equivalent of the “Mosh pit”. In the main the younger supporters are respectful when you tell them they are overstepping the mark; on the odd occasion one of them tries to argue they are usually taken to task by those around them if we speak out. The slight downside of it though is the fact that the smoke bombs are often rolled over in front of me and Eddie – we are assuming their logic is that the Polis won’t think it’s the 2 old guys letting them off!
Overall: what a fantastic move by Celtic. It has added so much to my personal enjoyment of going to Celtic Park (and cup semis and finals). From what I see on highlights and recorded games I watch back, it adds to the whole stadium. The only game I’ve not been in the section for was the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock at the tail-end of last season: I was a guest in the Presidents Box. I spent most of the game looking over and wishing I was standing with my mates. No matter how good the hospitality, free beer and good grub was, it was a sanitised almost sterile experience and reminded me just how much I enjoy the North Curve.
The future: my only concern now is how long I will be fit enough to keep going and standing at the football; I reckon I have another dozen or so years in me so I’ll keep on keeping on until it becomes too much and then I’ll retire to a more sedate location. It will be with a heavy heart, but succoured by the notion the The Spirit of The Jungle live on! I will always remember with pride that I was part of the first “North Curvers”. I really hope Celtic take the decision to increase the number of standing places for fans; it will give more of us the opportunity to experience what we once did and for those younger fans, their first opportunity to see why football fans should stand and celebrate their team!
Excellent read vfr. Born in 55 this mirrors my experience up to the north curve chapter.
A fabulous read F.
I’m aged 55 and recall many of the things you’ve written about, great memories, The Grange bar and the Wrigleys Spearmint chewing gum, as you say, with all the “abandoned children” the SWD would have a field day now.
The standing section is brilliant, in my opinion.
Smoke bombs, we were up in Dingwall 3 years ago,it’s a small seated section behind the goal, very close to the pitch, as you know, any way Celtic score,the two bhoys in the same seats as us, but exactly one row in front, let off a smoke bomb and ran away.
Apart from nearly killing us, you’ve guessed it, the smoke blows away and there’s PC Plod and his daft pal waiting to ask us about it, thankfully they accepted what you wrote, look at the age of us, do you seriously think It was us?
It’s got me thinking though, I wonder what else we older ones can get away with
Fabulous stuff,F. Thanks very much for that,it brings back so many memories,the lemonade and crisps,beer-cans having multiple uses,the lift over. Etc. Not just for me,either-I reckon most of us have similar memories.
Thanks,Dad. You did me proud taking me to my first match in 1967. And so many afterwards.
As it turns out,the “family seats” were in 111 for a number of years,where the GB set up their entertainment section for a good while. At first,it was an utter joy,but then the hangers on arrived,they just wouldn’t sit down at all during a match. My Dad was in his mid-70s by then,he couldn’t stand for 90 minutes,and if you have to watch the game on the big screens,you might as well watch it at home.
They all moved seats about four years ago,great seats in 106,but I know where I would rather be! Hopefully,Celtic can get permission to gradually increase the number of standing STs,a couple of handshakes should do the trick…
ACGR used to wind my Dad up by accusing him of never going to the matches without the pyro shoved in the pockets of his Crombie.
My Dad vehemently denies EVER wearing a Crombie!
Btw,we swapped tickets with him one night so he and his young lad could experience the GB first-hand. They loved it. Which was no surprise.
Wonderful journey through time and the joys of growing up, bhoy to man, as a Celtic fan.
“Great Rock n Roll Swindle…” ..loved how you utilised that line!
So many familiar wee recollections, made me smile. Plus a decent insight into the new standing areas.
You know you will get some chat on the Rebs. I’ll leave that to others, and watch with interest.
Broadly I agree with you.
Great stuff… keep them coming.
I dunno whether any of you have seen this,copy of the Police Scotland report into the near-fatal fiasco at the hun game on 2 Sept.
Grateful thanks to VIDEOCELTS and to SETTINGFREETHEBEARS on CQN for highlighting it. There are many parts in it where they are clearly attempting a cover-up,an unbelievable read. Best bit is where they maintain that it is all the responsibility of the host club-like as though Celtic or any other club can override a decision made by Police Scotland.
I was brought up to have a very high regard for the police. Those days have long gone,much of it through personal experience,the rest of it by garbage like this.
Glad you enjoyed it,and welcome aboard. Don’t be a stranger-and if you want,you can put your own opinions at the top of the page for a day by mailing Mahe on
I was listening to the Pistols over the weekend as I was finishing it off, so the musical reference was easy enough! Resonates with Sevco as well: a great line from the trailer states “The movie where the audience incriminates itself.” How appropriate!
Ever get the feeling you´ve been cheated
I fully expect another “incident” at the final on Sunday.
When I was writing it, it surprised me just how quickly the name of The Grange sprung to mind! They were fantastic days in the main but some dark days as well. In 1984 less than 5,000 turned up to watch Celtic against Dundee (24th April 1984). Difficult days indeed. The average attendances are difficult to accurately guess in those days because of the false numbers provided by the club. I remember the time we played Dundee and it was sop b use that fans sat around the track; the official attendance was something ludicrous like 40,000. Crazy days indeed!
Not a feeling; I know we were. Ever since the foundation of the Club. Murray and co. just took it to a whole new level. This Sunday’s ticket allocation along with the appointment of Dallas are just another continuation of it.
What hurts them the most though is the fact that now they are under our heel and will remain there for a while yet!
I read it this morning. Unbelievable at times. There is an open contradiction where in some places they highlight the crush as being reported at 11:44, but in one document they admit the issue was raised at 11:30 – almost 15 minutes earlier than they first stated there was an issue.
There’s another place where they state a flash-bang was thrown outside the ground and attribute that to the Green Brigade – who were marching down London Road at the time!
RALPH over on e-Tims just referred to Dallas as “the Orange who didn’t fall far from the tree.”
As I said in yesterday’s article,”Blame them Tims!”
We are winning on the park (keeps most fans happy) and we are making truck loads of money (keeps the plc and most fans happy) but off the park
1) When 8000 Celtic fans are involved in a serious life threatening crush because thems need more money
2) That 10,000 Celtic fans that used to attend Ibrox without a bona fide safety certificate because thems cannot afford to fix their dilapidated roof (still being ignored) not that any of our bigots give a fuck.
3) When the Celtic community has/had to tolerate the OBAF act because of teh same game and thems going down the toilet
4) Semi finals played in Rugby stadiums because thems are playing at Hampden
5) Inconsistent disciplinary issues ( Thems being black sheep)
6) The undermining of Mac Lennan because thems dont like him
7) Gary Hughes stepping down from the SFA because thems didn´t like him and want their own man in
8) Inconsistent policing issues. Kettleing Celtic marches versus Accompanined Union Thems march
(that could be a separate 100 item policing list)
9) Refereeing decisions, appointments etc. … (could be another separate 100 item officiating list)
10) Thems now have control of Resolution 12
Only a top ten…. as you all know the list is endless
As you all know the board apologists will not pick up on The Ibrox Safety Certificates, They will find solace in the fact that the huns are being pumped. In fact that is all the bigoted board apologists care about. Not even their own childrens safety — way to go huh ?
THEMS ARE NOT DEAD AND WILL SOON BE BACK AND THEY WILL NOT BE AS UNDERSTANDING AS OUR TEMPORARY PLC
RALPHS A GIBBERING BIGOTED MORON WHO ALSO BARRED ME FROM POSTING DIFFICULT STUFF FOR HIM TO COMPREHEND ON ETIMS
Negligence, at best!
Does anyone feel they are going to learn anything from this. A culture of pointing fingers and failure to engage to find safe solutions.
Underfunding may have a part to play?!
However, the latent hostility to Celtic is fans the real issue and it doesn’t look like that is about to change.
Police need consent to function.
I was brought up to respect the Police, and have to say found the majority of them have been helpful and supportive. Professional even.
The overwhelming feeling is this would be different if I was wearing a Celtic scarff. In fact the only time I had direct dealings with them wearing a Celtic scarff, I was threatened with ‘jail’ for asking what 2,officers intended to do about a thug Rangers fan that had punched me on the head right in front of them.
They could see I was walking home after the game. Not singing or dancing or provoking anyone.
Just being a Celtic fan was enough for someone to punch me from
Behind, run away and not a single action taken to deal with it by Police who were as close to me as the coward that did it.
There is a huge problem and it’s clearly not improving.
it´s the ever increasing hostility from our own PLC that is the CURRENT AND REAL issue. Nothing new about thems behaviour towards us
An entertaing & nostalgic piece.
Although I do not occupy a ‘seat’ in the North Curve, I completely identified with your growing-up experience.
There was a complete disregard for any kind of sumptuous surroundings, whether at Celtic Park, or, any away ground – the only thing that mattered was watching the Celts, and seeing them win.
I’ve introduced many new supporters to Celtic and every time,I have to warn them that the police are NOT our friends. I was always greeted with disbelief.
Until it was their turn.
I remember one particular occasion with a British Transport Police officer,Forest game,I think. Lucky escape,that one-and Naw,I hadn’t done anything wrong,bar the wearing of the green. And it was in my pocket!
Worst might have been the crush at the NE corner of Hampden,85 final v Dundee Utd. To relieve the crushing-which was the worst I’ve experienced-the lads at the front tried to burst an exit gate.
The cops drove two bloody horses through us to protect the gates,basturts!
the shame game
I’m getting the feeling that the board erred severely at the AGM,particularly in the placement of a question about sectarian singing,and then saying the the Resolutioners were happy with how things were being dealt with.
This on top of a truly shambolic window where-lets be honest here-Lawwell downed tools and refused to do the job for which he is handsomely overpaid have seen a stirring in the support. Long may it continue,if their eyes are open,I hope they stay open like Alex in Clocwork Orange,long enough to get a fair idea of just how little our board are really supporting the football team and the fans.
It still is,mate. Any disagreements are left at our own front door when we leave,we are off to see Celtic. Only discussion is who should be playing.
It´s not how boardrooms do business anymore. The Chief Executive can do whatever he likes or wants without supervision, that’s exactly his role. The only measure that the real power brokers (owners) are interested in is the share price. They will look at the share price at the end of the day possibly. In Celtics case I´d imagine once a month. If that is stable or going upwards then no need to waste any valuable time on a tiny puny wee irritating part of your portfolio that you have reluctantly obtained and don´t know what to do with and certainly do not want it interfering with your golf handicap.
If there are any disasters (production down time – doesn´t really happen at Celtic ) or somebody (The Chief executive or any of his subordinates) spends a large amount of unexpected dough going out then the owner might take an interest. Normally that happens after its too late and the spender of the money gets fired.
Celtic is managed from the Golf course and probably about 4 days a year
The singing squirrel was plain daft.
Misleading the room on Res12 was a howler that could still come back and bite them on the arse.
Regardless what your viewpoint is on the debate. To be corrected by one of the main Resolutioners, in such a public way, begs the question if his information about attendees was flawed. Was Auldheid wearing a hoody and a pair of Bono’s sunglasses ( just kidding Auldheid…?)
There is leverage to be gained on that faux pas. I can hear someone saying ti was just arrogance/hubris feeling assured and confident with fullest control.
Suddenly, the projected narrative… is absolutely NOT what the Res12 Bhoys think.
Thar was more than a glancing blow…cap’n!
I can see Auldheid and the rest tossing away a splintered lance and picking up a mace…wait a min… mebbe a broadsword?
Sounds about right!
Fond memories indeed. ✅
Similar for me …
As LP Hartley states in “The Go-Between”: The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.”
The younger Celtic fan missed all the trials and tribulations we experienced along the way to where we are now. Good times were a-plenty but so were the bad times. To me it still remains the same, no matter the surroundings or journey – watching Celtic. To quote another wordsmith: “the same as it ever was!”
We are the Celtic Green Preservation Society
God save Dave King, Vaudeville and Variety
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Preventing the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
We are the Bigot Brothers Preservation Society
God save Andrew Dickson and good Old Campbell Ogilvie
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
God save the George Peat’s and all those who are like him
We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
Help save The boys in blue, Moriarty and Dracula
We are the Green Brigade Persecution Affinity
God save little shops, BT Sports, Sky and virginity
We are the Skyscraper condemnation Affiliate
God save tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Preventing the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the Celtic Green.
Vfr, unfortunately unexpected events mean I must be brief but you’ve went above and beyond expectations with your fantastic piece. On behalf of us all many many thanks. I will Keep the Faith by the way. Hail Hail
What an excellent piece of writing. You did what few can achieve with the old pen! What is that,you ask? Van the Morrison summed it up with…” if my heart could do the thinking, and my head could only feel…”
You combined both heart and memory to great effect. I had tears in my eyes reading some of that …. but I am still a man! I experienced much of what you document and the memories flowed. Nostalgia does round off the hard edges of experiences. Some of the terraces were death traps with their worn earth filled steps; occasionally there would be a knuckle dragger who wanted to fight rather than see the game, and those police horses! The horses were brutal but effective as they barged into a crowd and swayed their backsides knocking Tom, Dick and…..wait now…Paddy, Mick, and Sean ….off their feet.
The pies, the bovril, the ability to move around the ground …..all part of a great day/evening out.
Nowadays, something has been lost…or is that just age talking?
Thank you for reviving the memories.
PS A comment on the blog…..I hope that we can continue with a blend of the memory/history pieces and something on the injustices. Too much of one over the other will take away from the blog’s uniqueness. Just one view.
Mahe, it was a pleasure to write. My initial thoughts were that I could knock it out quite quickly but as I started to write the memories came flooding back. I was looking at incorporating some of them as a comparison but quickly realised it would not do them justice so I started again by going down memory lane. Hence the dealt!
Very kind words, so thank you. I personally don’t feel that nostalgia rounds off the sharp edges. It probably dulls the pain of the memory but it’s still there.
Football had become sanitised now in many respects and when sone elements of the tribalism vibes through people don’t like it. Many of my generation and older are intolerant of younger fans and that’s a shame. They were halcyon days but some of the memories hurst and others shame. Still, they made us who we are today I guess!
I am 72 and now reside in Canada. In professional sports on this side of the Atlantic, there is certainly strong allegiance to teams but it falls far short of tribalism. In hockey, Montreal vs Toronto..certainly hotly contested but not at the level of Celtic vs Rangers/Sevco. Last weekend we had the Grey Cup which is the final of Canadian football. Ottawa and Calgary contested it but off the field it was a series of friendly parties by both sets of fans.
As an old fart, I feel that, in most of professional soccer, the emphasis has shifted too much to results, and away from the joy of competing. I suspect it has to do with the influence that money has had on the game.
I have not been to a Celtic game for years so I have not experienced the GB but I hope that I would see a younger version of myself in the young fans of today.
Rebus, was interesting to read your thoughts on sport in Canada. Sounds a bit tamer than here. What do you watch now in Canada? Does any of it excite you? I always thought if I lived there I might get into Ice Hockey.
I, agree with you.
The blog has a good balance, as it grows, hopefully the balance remains.
I lived for a time in Saskatchewan and got hooked on the Roughriders…..a Canadian football team, who play in Green and White. Rider pride is the term for the type of support that the team gets. The whole province supported the team through the good and the bad times.
When I moved to Canada I followed ice hockey and the Edmonton Oilers who were a young team full of up and coming stars…..Wayne Gretski was the best of them. He became a legend. At that time hockey was dominated by Canadian players, including in US teams. They still form the majority but there are many more US and European players in the mix. The league expanded and came under the auspices of the US where money talks. Now it is very difficult for a Canadian team to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup.
I like the draft system where the teams that finish in the last slots of the league get first chance at selecting youth players. I also like the sin bin where players are penalised for a period during the game. These are worth looking at for soccer. The first would address the tendency for the rich clubs to snap up the best youth players and never play them. The second would ease the burden on the refs…sending someone off for 10 minutes is an easier decision than the red card.
However, overall, professional sports has become a plaything for billionaires and TV networks…all the usual negatives flow from that here as well.
Great minds or fools?
Couldn’t agree more. I love the memory pieces like today’s but we also need to keep an eye on the cheats in the game.
the PLC secured their grip on the shares and finances by having all 8 resolutions passed at the 2018 AGM. The staged throwing the fans under the bus was an irrelevant distraction. The fact that PL dissed Auldheid in front him is another irrelevance. Moving on.
In case you haven’t heard, Almore is in TO over the holidays, so some people are meeting up on the 29th. You would be most welcome.
What an opportunity! If only I had known sooner me and Mrs Rebus could have driven down and she could have stayed with her sister while I had fun! Unfortunately, it is too short notice if you mean 29th Nov. i am meeting up with Tom Campbell for the LC final in Ottawa so all is not lost.
Please keep me in mind for the future, I’d love to meet up. I enjoy your posts.
vfr-you will have to go summit to beat that ?
Outstanding writing ?
I can’t speak for you but in my case, Fools.
I see that King, when questioned at the AGM on how long would the loss-making club be sustained by loans, he answered “as long as it takes”, meaning of course, as long as it takes to overcome Celtic.
Does he really mean this? Well Murray famously said “for every fiver Celtic spend, we will spend a tenner”. We all know what the outcome was.
King, like Murray, is a business gangster – gangsters are materialistic, street-smart, immoral, meglo-maniacal, and self-destructive. That is why I am sure another ‘Downfall will occur.
The difference this time is that Celtic is in a position to have a direct input and impact on what goes happens at Ibrox.
The people who run our club are cleverer than King, more honest than King, more professional than King and in an infinitely better financial position than King.
We can see what is coming from a mile down the road and we must insure that we stay ahead of them, week after week, competition after competition and season after season.
As everyone on here knows, I believe in those who run our club, however there can be/will be no excuses if we do not build on the significant advantages that we’ve earned over the past seven years.
The greatest wrongdoing is not what went on in the past – the greatest wrongdoing will be if we allow them to overtake us in future.
Celtics future path is clear and unambiguous.
Rebus … sorry, I wasn’t clear … it is December 29. some guys are meeting at the Scarborough club to watch the game, and then brunch at TAL’s place, I think. You probably know some of the TO guys, but if you haven’t met Almore, he is an absolute gent.