Reminiscences on my 80th Birthday,or…


That morning I woke up really early. When I say early,the blooming mavis hadn’t even started chanting!

And I was excited!! More excited even than my first Holy Communion,though that might have been more to do with a new shirt instead of my brother’s old one with the collar turned!

Anyway,I had waited 8 years for this day and did I want it to be a happy one? You’re darn tooting I did!

Sorry,I forgot to mention what day. The 21st April 1951. My FIRST ever Scottish Cup Final,and ,at the big park too..Hampden Park.

I had been going to watch my Dad’s team,(it was mine tae) for all that time and here we were,there at last.

We met my Dad’s pal and his son at the South Beach Ardrossan railway station and were joined at Saltcoats by another of his/their pals. It was a long time till the kick-off but we had to visit my Dad’s Uncle Andy in St.Vincent street where he lived.

When I say visit the house I mean we went there,he came out and they all went to the pub!

Not that long afterwards we headed,minus aforementioned Uncle Andy,to the train to Mount Florida. I’ve never seen so many people…There were millions….really only 130,000 but seemed like millions and I seemed to be the smallest! We went in the nearest end (I don’t think there was separation then) and the usual coupon rules applied..We were taken down the front,told to ‘Don’t move’ as always…as if I could anyway! The bigger bhoys let me right to the front as they always did then,and I was ready for the start of my first cup final. I was praying like mad and shouting at the same time. The teams came out…. I could hardly draw breath I was that excited.

I don’t remember hearing any team announcements and I didn’t have a programme-although my Dad would have one-but there was no need. I would recognise any Celtic player even as far away as they seemed! The only problem was-What position would they be playing,as ‘the other manager’ otherwise known as Bob Kelly often produced very strange line-ups-who can forget Mike Haughney centre to right back(actually turned out not bad and I think even won a cap or maybe a league cap),but it was as normal.

Hunter,Fallon,Rollo,Evans,Bowden ,Baillie,Weir,Collins,McPhail,Peacock and Tully.

I only knew a few Motherwell players,Kilmarnock,Shaw,Redpath and Aitkenhead but as far as I was concerned we would win….the eternal optimism of the young..

The game was hammer and tongs right from the start with no quarter asked or given,as were almost all games of that time,and tackling was ferocious.

It seemed end to end,and my heart was in my mouth every time they went near our goal-and I moved forward about a foot every time we went near theirs with the crowd surge!

Ecstasy! Jubilation! Jumping up and down like a maddie!

Big John McPhail had scored a great goal with a kind of chip shot (who cared- it was in the net.) Not even a quarter of an hour gone and we are up. Tommy(RIP),the other boy and I were hugging ,shouting and laughing and nearly falling down such was the jumping about all around us. But,there was a long way to go…

I just remember Hunter making save after save and Tully and McPhail doing quite well when we got the ball,which didn’t seem very often.

Half-time. Our Dads came down to check we were alright or still there maybe! I can still remember my Dad rubbing the top of my head and grabbing both shoulders and shouting ‘We are winning,Patrick’…never done that before! Still,he remembered to give me the money for the ‘macaroon bar’ choice of halftime sustenance.

The second half seemed to last for ages and Motherwell seemed to be all over us,but the players fought like hell for every ball,and Hunter seemed to know where the ball was going every time they had a shot or header at the goal.

At bloody last the whistle went. We had won 1-0. My first cup final had been a winning one. Jumping up and down ,shouting and maybe even greetin a wee bit! It was the best game I had seen up till then as far as I was concerned.

My Dad came down for us and we went up to where the three men had been,and we were lifted onto the barrier rails to watch the cup presentation. Sheer joy it was.

We left the park in elation and made our way back to Mount Florida station,which was mobbed including Motherwell supporters,but there was no animosity or anything.

The trains seemed to be queuing up to get us all back to the City Centre and in no time at all we were back at St.Enoch’s for the train……but not this time… Me,Jack and John are going into this pub for 5 minutes,wait there at the door and we’ll bring out lemonade and crisps. This must have been a seminal moment if I’d known what that was but it hadn’t happened before on the way BACK!

Don’t actually remember getting the crisps but we definitely got the lemonade.

Not too long after they appeared and we got the train home. By this time,according to Tommy and me we had been all over them and should have won by more!

Back home,my mother said ‘you’re back,did you win’ and after I said ‘Aye,of course we did’ replied ‘That’s good’ and that was all…and I am in seventh heaven! (Mark you,that’s more than Mrs CCB ever says or has ever said!

That was a great day and I looked forward to going the next season,but,it never worked out…my second Scottish cup final wasn’t till 1954 and we even won ‘my’ first league title then as well.

We did win a wee thing called the Coronation Cup and my Dad and I were at every game.

The funny thing is that there were three brothers and only one,my Dad,went to see Celtic (or as he said the Cellic) which goes to show I have always been a lucky bugger!!!

Anyway,by the time you are reading this I will actually be 80 and I thank my Dad often for his love of the Cellic which he passed to me and I try to pass onto my lot.

Not a happy clapper among them??.

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Great stuff. Only 21 years later,I was at my first Scottish Cup Final. The Dixie Final.

Thanks for that,Dad. And Happy Birthday!!!

A thing of beauty

Happy birthday dad
A lovely story and I thank you also for passing on the gift. It is indeed to be treasured.
Since it’s your birthday I’ll allow you a day of happy clapping without asking your thoughts on our current recruitment!!

big packy

HI COSYCORNERBHOY, first things first, happy 80th birthday, that was some read I could read that stuff all day, blooming heck 1951 I was not even born then, just thought id throw that one in ??.. its good you have carried down your love of celtic to majoc and a thing of beauty, I salute you sir have a good one.hh.

Happy Birthday Cozycornerbhoy. And many of them!

oops, Cosy not cozy

Feliz Cumpleanos CCB.
Great memories.

The Gombeen Man

Many Happy Returns CCB,

You must be proud that the family share your love for the Hoops. We all want the same thing and all have very similar memories.

Thanks for taking the time to write your story no doubt you have many more that might finding their way onto the Blog.

A great read.


Por Cierto

Cozycornerbhoy thank you and many happy returns por cierto.

Sol Kitts

Happy birthday. Was a pleasure going to matches with you, Majoc and ATOB, hope we can do it again sometime soon.

Sol Kitts

CCB, Mrs Kitts also says happy birthday ?????


CosyCornerBhoy Many happy returns to the dapperest ghent I have had the good fortune to meet. YoungatheartCSC Hh


Superb stuff by John James over the past few days as he goes after Fleming and his bigoted gang of four. ‘Corrupt then, Corrupt now, Corrupt forever’. Hh


Many many happy returns on this special day . Delighted for you all and may there be many more.
That was a great read and a great start to my day here in central California. I actually closed my eyes for a moment and attempted to picture the scene . Never seen anything like that many people , and such a mass movement would be rare now , especially with tv and the internet screening everything . It must have been some occasion .
I do recall an older fan also in his 80’s saying the 50’s were considered the lean years as little was won . The opposition also show that the domestic game was strong then , oh for that to happen again .
And the fact that the cup drew that many and was obviously considered important back then ,, dont think we could say the same now , for better or worse .
What a great memory to hold and cherish though .
Happy birthday Sir ! Hail Hail


I checked out his blog there after seeing your comment .
Ive always thought he could write and has a good way with words but I must confess I find his demeanor a bit too sardonic for my taste plus his pricing system is over the top .
Im glad theres another voice against the system and have nothing against the fella himself dont get me wrong.
But overall hes just not for me .
If his blog is popular he could and maybe should turn those hits into some form of action , but getting four and five comments per article suggests its not about traffic rather its a venture that can turn a profit . If it is his livelihood then fair play as its honest money created off his own sweat and talent .
I find it strange that people would pay money to read about the ills of Scottish football.
And handing any money over to charity ( after paying for the site hosting ) is much more up a Celtic fans street .
Hope you have a good weekend pal , Hail Hail


I concur,mate. He is on trail. The following article from him is outstanding.



Many Happy Returns. I hope your family and friends make it special for you!

Your article made me think of my first final which was the Eddie Connachan final involving Dunfermline. How fortunes have changed for those two clubs.



As someone who doesn’t actually watch that many games I can’t remember or don’t know if I’ve seen this fella Mc Kenna.
Could someone possibly tell me what type of player he is , and maybe compare him to someone so I get an idea?
I know players can divide fans but this one seems to be getting a big thumbs down by many of the support .
Anyone on here want him or rate him?

A big bruiser, some say he is fast, imo he can’t turn quickly, can’t tackle very well, can’t pass the ball, half decent in the air, in today’s inflated market worth about 2 mill max.
To cut it short, He is pish. 😉
Miles away from what we need, as unlike a Brendan signing as it gets.

As for a comparison, a poor mans version of Stephen McManus.

A thing of beauty

ET, I Think you could get a job as our chief scout. Excellent summation of a player who if he was right footed would be playing in the juniors. If we are going to spend the amount it would seemingly take to buy McKenna, which I fully beilieve we won’t, surely we could do better than that. I am aware you talk a bit about the Spanish market and like you I believe there are excellent technical players available from la liga who would not break the bank or our wage structure. Honestly cannot believe we think McKenna is the answer. If brendan can make a footballer out of him then he can turn my mum into Ronaldo.


TeT, cheers for that. The boys up against it should he sign.
Mick Mc Manus,,when I think of him I can’t help but remember me screaming at the tv go to the ball,,as he was backing off Kaka who couldn’t believe his luck and stroked home. You go to the ball , never back off. Gutted I was . Caldwell and Mc Manus,,,ah the good ol days 😉


I was thinking players from sunny climates don’t tend to work out . Bobo,,possibly include Paolo,,Jorge maybe,,Izzy,, don’t think it’s a long list.
The colder the better is my theory. Just like my beer !
Hail Hail

I wish, Brendan came out and said today that as a club we don’t spend silly money on players unless they are rather special, I paraphrase, no way would we contemplate spending anything like it would take to get him. For sure, La Liga and League 1 in France are choc a block of quality defenders that could be had for wages and maybes a small signing fee if needs be, I’m surprised we haven’t explored this market more and more, we have a good relationship with PSG, they must have a few spare CB’s we could get a shot of 😉


Agree with TeTs comparison of McKenna to Mick McManus. And right now that is exactly the type of player we need. Hh

He won’t sign, yer man Stephen McGowan, writes for a paper, the mirror I think, who seems to be in the know has said we are not interested in him, thankfully.

You may well have a point, but FFS, there is better pish out there shirly 😉

big packy

THE EXILED TIM. McKenna no thanks, as you say there are better players out there who we can afford, noticed you getting it in the neck on the other channel, for daring to criticise mr lawell feck them.hh.

I must have missed that, I had a quick look earlier and didn’t see anything, but as you say, feck them, they don’t have a clue, one day they will realise that the great guru that is Pedro really isny all that special, his manipulation of the media and a couple of the blogs has them in awe of him, fair play to him.

A thing of beauty

I’m fairness mahe, we’d probably settle for those two for next season. When you look towards then, it’s simunovic who’s head is full of broken biscuits amd ajer who’s as raw as a pound of mince. I don’t even consider hendry as he should never have been put under the pressure he was and it ruined him before he got started. It’s a shocking state of affairs. Fear not though I’m sure cosy corner boy will be on tomorrow (once he’s finished partying) to tell us all about the sorrowful mysteries and that we don’t know how lucky we are!!


TeT Right now we need a solid SPL centre back who does the basics and McKenna fits the bill. We might have to pay over the odds for him but if it helps us get to the 8 it will be money well spent. Hh

Problem with that is he won’t fit into Brendan’s way of playing out from the back, I have the feeling that Brendan is thinking along the lines of we will score more than the oppo, and we won’t pay over the odds, Brendan said as much today, we have been screaming out for CB’s since he became the manager, we are still screaming out for them, this next season will be the third in a row that we will go into the euro qualifiers, the CL or hopefully not the europa with a makeshift defence, that in itself is an absolute shambles who ever anyone wants to blame, I blame the CEO as it;s his job to make sure these things do not happen, but they are and he still picks up obscene money for overseeing the shambles. Not a bad gig if you can get it.


I’ve often thought that although Aek beat us , we might be able to tempt a couple of their players away , and the games against us were a great litmus test of their ability.
Bakasetas scored against us,, has the right profile. Their loan striker also does. Their defenders were good enough to keep us out.
Our last Greek did very well for us, surprised we never consider that market.
Hail Hail

A thing of beauty

It’s hard to look at players in other markets when you’re camped outside the Man City reserves dressing room.

big packy

A THING OF BEAUTY, nice to talk to you at last, majoc talks very fondly of you, and I agree about man city.hh

We had a scout in Dundee and Pedro’s young fella at City for a while, sure it was all we needed 😉

A thing of beauty

Thank you BP. I’ve never joined in any blog before but thought I might as well. I’m enjoying it. Just hope we can all continue to post our differing opinions without resorting to abuse. I like different opinions, you learn something every day, even if it’s just that other people talk rubbish!!

A thing of beauty

Seems so ET. It must be said though that Brendan does not seem overly concerned which I find absolutely astonishing. Like you said centre half has been a problem for 3 years. As for thinking we’ll out score the opposition. I worry about that. Away from home we are not creating. Hopefully the new players will change that but Burke needs space to run into and that won’t happen. Weah I’m sure has plenty of skill but it’s hard to display that when you’re getting hoofed up in the air. oh dear, I think I better go, my glass is empty never mind half full. I’m getting myself down never mind everyone else.

I think, tho not 100% that most decent Greek players don’t play in Greece, also the top teams in Greece don’t have that many Greek players in them, that is off the top of my head so don’t quote me.
There are so many more markets out there we could and should be looking at, the doom mongers will tell you that we can’t compete etc, bollix, of course we can, money is what 99.99% of footballers care about and by coincidence we have a few bob going spare, so much so that we actually will have to pay tax, that in itself is a criminal matter for a football club that has-or should have ambitions.
Back to the transfer market, a few years ago the huns set a precedent that whomever they bought got a licence to play in scotland, they are useful for something, so we should be scouting in the south American, Asian markets, just look how much we made from Naka, Pedro was beside himself, there are players out there, many for free, all it takes is to look for them.

Pour yersel a glass, if you drink that is, and relax, what will be will be 😉
In saying that……..seriously tho, I honestly think that Brendan believes that the squad we have are good enough, the media have whipped up the huns are back and challenging to such an extent that the average Celtic supporter are crapping themselves, mass hysteria is so easy to do, we are suffering from it just now, the players we have will kick on and do what they should have been doing, I have faith that they will, I get down from time to time like everyone else does, but things are not as bad as most are making out.
I still think that Pedro is a chancer and that John Greig is a bastard 😉

big packy

THE EXILED TIM, that last sentence ?.


That was a brilliant read thanks. It conveyed the excitement of my first cup final in 1972. I was 6 and saw us score 6 that day. Remember the day and match vividly.
Happy Birthday sir.

Totally off topic, I bought a new gas hot water boiler today and put a deposit down on a solar hot water system, forgot to buy a couple of bits for the boiler and can’t get them till monday and I am not the flavor of the month, ach what’s new, they have very good things here for decent prices and they are very easy to install, if you remember to buy the right bits that is, new boiler and a 300 lt solar system, for 1300 euros, I thot that it was a good deal.
Even more off topic, vino time, been neglecting the vino of late, can’t rememebr if I have extolled the virtues of this one, a Navarra Crianza 2012 called Mezquirez, superb value vino, less than 2 euros a bottle, gave Pat [CCB] a few pointers about decent vino on sale here, this one is a Lidl stalwart, can’t go wrong for the price and it really does taste good believe it or not.

big packy

garry, that was my last cup final I saw in the flesh before I moved down to England, I was 19 always remember it.hope you are well.hh.


As I said earlier,that was my first Scottish Cup Final too. Not my first final,but I prefer not to dwell on a certain match the previous winter.

What was the crowd like? Yet neither of us complained about being punted down the front,unable to see our dads,we knew they could find us in that huge crowd. Probably get lifted for child neglect nowadays!


I am good thanks. Just finished my first week of night shift. My body clock is all over the place. Hope you, your good lady and dugs are all grand.

big packy

all good here thanks garry,. ynwa,


I was on my dad’s shoulders at the very back of the Mount Florida end for the first half. Great view of King Billy scoring with his foot. First I saw that, only remember Cesar heiders apart fae that day. At half time a battle broke out in front of us wi bottles flying between Hibs and Celtic supporters. My dad and I made a hasty exit, and we watched second half and cup presentation from main stand enclosure.
This was my first ever final. Just before I turned 7. That and my first Holy Communion the following year are my greatest memories fae that time in life.

They say that the best unions are born from ones who have mega differences at the beginning, you two get a room FFS 😉

big packy



Aye,football in those days was fun-the entertainment didn’t stop during half time,that’s for sure.

I don’t remember my first communion,probably because I was raging at missing playing football with my pals! “How come I’ve got to go to the church every Sunday when my pals don’t?”

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