Away day blues , then joy !

My first ever, proper away game was  November 1976 v Hearts at Tynecastle.
I say proper,as in outside Glasgow, where I was born.
I had already been to Hampden, Shawfield and Ibrox.
This was different though, I was just about to turn 13 and my oldest sister and her husband had decided to give me a birthday present that I would never forget.
They stayed in Govan and had invited me down to their flat, for lunch, or so they said.
I had no idea,that my brother in law (Eddie) was taking me to Tynecastle on the supporters bus, that left from the Glen Bar in Govan.
There was one small problem though, I had turned up with a blue top on, Eddie said you can’t go to the game with a Rangers top on, there was no time for me to travel back to Priesthill to change. The problem was solved, when he gave me one of his old Celtic tops. It was about 3 sizes too big, but I tucked it in and rolled up the overly long sleeves. I might have looked a sight but I felt like a king. Edinburgh here we come, my stomach was full of butterflies
I still recall my excitement of being on the bus going through to the capital. I didn’t know anyone except Eddie, but I didn’t care I was going to see Celtic. The journey passed by in a flash as I imagined, over and over again how the game would play out, every time, Celtic were the winners.
When arrived in Edinburgh the Govan bhoys went to their usual Tim friendly haunt, although I have no recollection of where that was but they all knew,where they were going.  I waited outside along with a couple of others who were too young for the pub, we waited and waited, it was nearing kick off time and I didn’t want to miss it, I was,starting to get agitated, finally the bhoys left the pub and we arrived at Tynecastle, the away support occupied the opposite end from which we do now. It was five to three and the congestion was unbelievable, sadly we still see this kind of crushing in this day in age. Eddie told me to hold on to him tight, the entrance was surrounded by tenements which, to my young mind all seemed to have Hearts flags flying from them, some of them were throwing water ( at least I think that’s what it was) down at us, by this time, I have to be honest and say it was all becoming a bit scary.
We heard the roar of the teams coming out, this produced another surge from those trying to get in, I held on to Eddie for dear life and then kick off, we were still no nearer to the entrance. A huge roar, and then the people in the tenements cheering, let us know Hearts had scored, this was quickly followed by an even bigger cheer, Hearts were now 2 up and we still weren’t in the ground. I clearly remember asking to Eddie, should we still go in? He said we can’t turn back now, we are almost at the turnstiles and who knows what will happen. Finally we managed to get in and found a place where we could stand without being crushed
Celtic were shooting away from where we were standing and to tell the truth, I couldn’t see too much, when Celtic were attacking, Celtic scored to make it 2.1 and I felt a lot better, then Hearts scored again 3.1 and I felt sick, in my young mind this wasn’t supposed to happen, very quickly though it went 3.2 and that was the score at half time. We were convinced that we would win now, why? to tell the truth, I’ve no idea, but it’s Celtic isn’t it? I don’t know if you feel the same, but I always feel when I’m at the game that I can help influence it, now that is madness,but that’s how I feel.
The second half started and relatively quickly, King Kenny scored, 3.3, in case you’ve lost track,of the,score, as a 13 year old, he was always King Kenny to me. The game went from end to end, without any further goals and looked to be heading for a draw but then, with a couple of minutes to go Danny McGrain went past a couple of players and after a ” stramash” Ronnie Glavin scored what proved to be the winner. 4.3 Celtic, unbelievable, I still recall the joy when the ball finally hit the net for the seventh time that day. What a game, to be your first proper away game. What a birthday present. I was overjoyed. Eddie teased me and said just as well we didn’t turn back when we were 2 down. I said I can’t wait to see the faces on the people in the tenements and ask them the score, I had my fingers all ready to remind them. Eddie knew better, they won’t be there, they lost, and of course, he was correct. I can’t remember any crushing on the way out, maybe it’s because I was high as a kite.
We safely made our way back to the supporters bus, everyone seemed merry in more ways than one, there was a big sing song on the way home, as songs of the day were sung, The Wild Rover and Erins Green Valley, are 2 that I remember being sung ,that aren’t sung very often, if at all now. A birthday I will never forget.
What a day!!!

Guest Post by Jimmynotpaul


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big packy

HI JIMMYNOTPAUL, smashing post I had moved down to England in 1976, but still kept in touch from the tv and radio ,unfortunately no dodgy streams then??, yes tynecastle was also one of my first away games, and king Kenny going I was devastated, but we got over it in the end.hh


Big Packy.
Thank you, my friend.
It’s scary how quick time flies, as Paul McGrath said, it’s a privilege to be able to grow old.
Hail Hail


Sol Kitts.
Apologies for not posting yesterday, time ran away from me.
I thoroughly enjoyed your insight to refereeing yesterday.
When I coached Boys clubs, the refs would turn 20 mins before kick off, if you were lucky, some would change in their cars. This is approximately 15 years ago
One game through, we arrived and the ref, a very young man, was already there, immaculate in his blazer and professional in everything he done, very formal though. I had to do find out his name, it was Andrew Dallas.
I next encountered him about 3/4 years later, we are now both at pro youth level. He was now unbearable officious during the game. He struck me as a young man who knew the laws of football inside out but no idea how football works and was easily conned.
Hail Hail


Interesting insight into the mindset of Dallas,Jr. it can’t be easy being Jr,no matter who your father is,but some people seem better able than others to carry it off.

Hopefully,he will learn. Personally,I have my doubts.

On your own post,thanks very much for sharing that. I have no idea where my first away match-outside of Glasgow or Ayrshire-would have been. My guess,for some reason,would be Motherwell,as I definitely remember going there as a very young kid.

Another thing I remember about Fir Park is that the turnstiles were incredibly narrow. This resulted in one of our crowd refusing to attend said venue in future.

Big George couldn’t squeeze through-literally! Mind you,he was built like Bud Spencer from the spoof western Trinity films.

If you haven’t seen them,google it!!!


Ha M. Brilliant.
Another ground with very narrow turnstiles was Love St, once they made it all seated. One or two on our bus had to ask them to go through gate for ambulance etc.
Hail Hail

saltires en sevilla


Famtastic chat buddy, love all the details and amazing how that stays with you.

Beating Hertz in their ain midden is always a treat!

Do you remember the buses parking at an abattoir or dairy then the long trek to Swinecastle…like running a gauntlet sometimes.

My dad stopped going to games after an awful event there when I was younger…young lad hit on head with a bottle… it wasn’t that game…probably season before. I often wonder what it cost him in terms of worry, to let me travel with my mates when I was 14/15.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.


Sol Kitts

Aye, I know the type. I’ve assisted some refs who just want to be the star of the show and want to severely restrict the assistants input. Don’t flag for fouls, it will make me look bad. Let me make all the decisions, just concentrate on offsides. You know they’re trying to impress the assessor, but they let themselves down by forgetting it’s a team effort. They know the laws of the game inside out, but have no man management skills and players don’t respect them. Dallas certainly comes across as that type now, got caught up trying to reach the level of his father at the expense of understanding the game.

Mike in Toronto


A very good read. I hope you continue to contribute articles.



SES and MIT.
Thanks for the kind responses.
I deliberately didn’t Google, hence why I didn’t say who scored first two goals for us, I couldn’t remember who scored them.
Tynecastle, parking was,such a long way from the ground and fraught with danger, Easter Rd not any better. It can be awful what happens to people attending football games.
That means a lot to me, thank you.
Hail Hail


JimmyNotPaul, , ,
Great start to a dreich day here, many many thanks.
That’s a great yarn by the way, and I’m seriously jealous. A 7 goal thriller at Swinecastle for first away game, I don’t think that could be beaten.
No away games under my belt.
Truth be told its probably my fav away game to view or sit down with a couple beer and savour. Not as frantic or usually meaningful as der hun clashes which makes for a better spectacle .
The jam tarts just never seem to be able to sort themselves out for a long stretch, ,,I understand they lose everyone good but it seems kinda groundhog day over there usually.
It seems an old fashioned intimidating box style stadium, with a support who don’t know who they hate exactly, but get rabid at us for some reason.
A local lady owner seems a good idea on paper, and I believe she is all for fan ownership through some method or other, again great on paper.
I wonder in 10 years will we look back and say she was great for that club? Or football in general? I think women owners get certain leeway, yer woman Brady at the Hammers marched straight into the crowd and took down a banner she didn’t agree with,, a fella wouldn’t have got away with it like she did.
Mansfield has a young woman Ceo, heard a fascinating interview with her recently.
I think the females in the sports media world have shown up many of their counterparts.
I’m definitely all for more females in the game.
I’m off on a tangent now ffs.
Anyway, great story and the front page is yours anytime.
Hope alls well with you and yours. Hail Hail



A nice memory! More importantly, you have a nice family. My first “away” game was really a home game!

I related the story earlier. My uncle took me to a Rangers vs Celtic game when we were both Rangers fans. It ended 2-2 but I was converted to Celtic and have been so ever since. My uncle stayed with Rangers and never took me to another game, although we remained friends.

One thing that I like about this blog and the stories that people tell, is that it unlocks memories that had long ago slipped to the back of my mind.

To change the topic, I am concerned about the game tonight. Several players looked mentally tired on sunday. Edouard and Rogic come to mind.

The well will be physical and their pitch is not the best for smooth football. How will the Simo/Benko partnership work out?

Any idea who BR talked to after the final?


The Gombeen Man


Thanks for sharing those memories.
I can remember visiting Tyncecastle and yobs lobbing cans and bottles from the windows of the tenements that you describe.

It’s amazing how similar our memories of following Celtic in the early days. I remember going to Pittodrie and the bus didn’t leave Aberdeen until midnight. Myself and a pal went to the pictures and sat through The Life of Brian twice.

Trouble was I forgot to tell my parents about the late departure of the bus. No such thing as a mobile phone in those days.

We didn’t get back until 4am and the parents weren’t happy.

Anyway, a fantastic post that brought back fond memories…I might even watch The Life of Brian again.

Tonight will be difficult after the exertions of last week. Let’s hope for a controlled performance and maybe Scott, Leigh and Ollie can make a contribution at some stage.


Great stuff JNP.
I was at that game, went down with the Aberdeen CS bus, there was a bit of a crush in our end I recall, and the strangest thing, there was a copper standing amongst us, anyways someone close to me did a Mickael Lustig on him and knocked his hat off, the copper though it was me and made a bee line for me, thankfully he didn’t manage to catch me and I made my escape 😉

The game tonight ain’t gonna be easy, we are going to be kicked from pillar to post and Clancy will let them without any punishment, the slightest bit of retaliation and you know the rest, such a shame that in 2018 it’s like this, but at the end of the day we bring it on ourselves by our silence.

big packy

THE EXILED TIM twas always thus, they will do whatever it takes to get lizzies eleven back, a feckin shower of bassas.hh.

Aye, as I said we bring it on ourselves, we speak out and this doesn’t happen imo

saltires en sevilla

Right bhoys get intae these Mothers.

Minimum changes in starting 11.

Go full throttle … only let up if we get to 3.

Then 3 rapid subs.


big packy

hi saltires, just heard on that other site that begins with c and ends in n, that there is 7 changes, hope not, but we just need to play the Glasgow celtic way.hh.


Seven big changes tonight – what’s the point in having a squad if some never play.

Tonight the result matters more than the performance, in fact I would say that in all away matches that should be the case – we can ‘strut our stuff’ in the League, Cups & Europe at Celtic Park, & Hampden in semis and finals.

Like to see Griff & Hayes do well tonight – also can a Croatian wall be built? HH.

big packy

GOLD, hi pal just a bit worried about too many changes, we have been caught out before.hh.

We should be out of site, sadly we are in a dog fight, some of the tackles from thems have been shocking, but expected.
Clancy has been dreadful, perfectly good goal for Benkovic disallowed and a missed Griff pen is making things a tad harder than they should be, quality goal from Ryan tho, top drawer.
I see the sheep are down to ten men, card a joke by all accounts, expected at the bigot dome, they will get their win I have no doubts about it.


Two points thrown away because we cannot turn our dominance into goals. The Benko goal was fine. Why it was disallowed, who knows. Griff is well out of sorts and does not look fit. He should not have taken the penalty. SS is powder puff as usual and really needs to be rested.

You could see the Well goal coming as they got more possession. Why Hayes came off for Rogic is a question mark. Hayes was being effective in the second half. Rogic was never in the game and frequently caught in possession.

The only good news is that they lost at home.


big packy

REBUS, why change a winning team, totally scunnered.,hh.

Saltires en Sevilla

Too many changes – Brendan promised away fans he had learned .. not clever

Tbh I thought Benkovic pulled defender’s arm ..

Penalty was really poor and Griff had a poor game yet admit he took a sore head injury that might have affected him more than he realised

TET – some of the tackling was shocking and Campbell should have walked .. one or two others too.

It was like watching an under 15 school game with the gym mistress standing in as ref.

Amateur stuff.

BBC have us 3rd

They also have Sevco as Rangers …


Sol Kitts.
After our discussion today, try and view the pen that young Dallas gives St Johnstone tonight.
It is truly beyond belief.
Hail Hail

A Thing Of Beauty

I echo every word you say rebus. Also to say the changes we made were far too many and the play too slow. I don’t want to criticise brown so will keep my counsel on his play but I thought as captain he was far too passive and allowed the players to let the game drift. Thanks jimmynotpaul for your article today. Apparently you can’t beat tynecastle for atmosphere but I was never so lucky that someone would take me!!!

It wasn’t great, but we did deserve to win the game, nothing wrong with the disallowed goal, a terrible effort from |The Griff and a fair few wasted chances, align it with sub standard officiating and there you have dropped points, par for the course in scotland, it’s a marathon, we will come out on top at the end of the day.
What it showed and the other games have showed is we really have nothing in reserve, we need to get a few in to strengthen the squad.



I must admit that I was very disappointed in the players tonight – just as I was when Killie beat us 2-1, and when St Mirren & Livingstone held us. That’s nine cheap points lost by a one paced, lacklustre and seemingly demotivated team – I am perplexed.

Maybe we need a game at CP to kick-start us again – however this week against Killie is not a given – a draw or a defeat would be problematic. There is cause for concern.

Margaret McGill

OF are us.
I agree though it will be a struggle. I do believe Brendan is for the offsky next summer.
Manchester Utd awaits.
My self imposed exile when huns are top of the league is temporarily over.:)

Back to res12 BTW
As the PLC are Tories they are by definition corporate filth.
No Holy Celtic Trinity here as far as I am concerned. They are not Celtic.
I see 2 possibilities on why Celtic are doing nowt.
1. Skeletons in the cupboard because Celtic PLC are complicit in the corporate filth corruption that is Scottish football.
2. As Tory filth res 12 is seen as a peasant revolt. To encourage it is against every fibre in their body.(bodies). I give you Lord Livingston of Parkhead for example.

As for why CQN pretends to support it but has actually tried to sabotage it can only be down to something like Lawwell promised sumbdy a job or other such vile repugnance accepted by so many Celtic supporters.

Margaret McGill

New article posted.