A Hard Lesson

There’s been a bit of talk,lately, of cup finals and the first one you attended. Everyone appears to have attended a winning cup final.
That was not my experience, but mines was certainly character building and made me appreciate the victories that were to come.
My first cup final was Celtic 2 Rangers 3 in 1973. I was 9 years old
This final, for those of us old enough, is mainly remembered for Tom Forsyth, scoring the winner,with his studs, from about 2 inches out.
For me the whole occasion was a lesson in life and literally some hard knocks.
My Dad, hmmm, again a lot of you had good relationships with your Dad, you are the lucky ones, that’s not the case for all of us and it wasn’t the case for me. He did give me a love of Celtic and wildlife, which I’m grateful for, apart from that, life wasn’t so good.
He was a bully, thought he was a hard man and it was his way or the highway.
The first thing I remember about the occasion was queueing up for the tickets at Hampden. I vaguely recall my Dad waking me and my Mum and saying we had to get to Hampden as cup final tickets were going on sale. He had read it in the morning paper, no social media in those days, you queued up.
He went back to bed to read his paper and me and mum went to Hampden, we were told to get main stand tickets. My first lesson was soon to follow.
The queue was a mixture of Celtic and Rangers, fans, no segregation,in these days either, although that was not an issue for me and indeed, far more members of my family were Rangers supporters rather than Celtic. It was two tickets per person, we could get 4, we only needed 3. The guy behind me, who I had been talking to for hours, asked me to get him an extra one for the old North Stand, above the north enclosure, a Rangers end ticket. He gave me the money, no cards in those days and I obliged.
When I excitedly arrived home with the tickets and told me Dad about helping the man, he went crazy and gave me a right few punches. If I was getting an extra ticket, I should have done it for a Celtic fan. That certainly dented my excitement as well as my jaw. Thankfully, I still see a human,not a supporter of a team, that man had entertained and been kind to a 9 year old for hours and deserved the extra ticket. It’s important to remember because, particularly in these days of Social Media, it’s easy to dehumanize a whole fan base.
As the days approached, the excitement built,and by the time match day arrived, I could hardly sleep.
We arrived at the Hampden, having walked from Shawlands passed the Mount Florida end, yip for those that know the area, past the traditional Rangers end and a long walk with thousands of Rangers fans. I have to say, as far as I remember this was incident free. That was my Dad though, he thought that was funny.
I don’t have any great memory of any first impression of inside Hampden, but I do remember thinking wow look at the crowd.
The game itself was a classic, except we lost. Celtic shot into the traditional Celtic end in the first half. Kenny scored a cracker, to put us one up, Rangers equalised, then Alfie Conn scored early in the second half, sadly he was still a Rangers player then and hadn’t joined Celtic yet. We then equalised from the spot, John Greig punched the ball off the line, in what would be a red card offence these days, misery followed when Forsyth made it 3.2. Jinky had a goal disallowed for offside, despite being 9 years old at the time and being 60 metres away, I can confirm it was never offside, I know this, because everyone around me was saying that.
I was as disappointed as any 9 year old would be but I was now very fearful, my Dad never took defeats well.
On the way home, I remember him saying we will take the number 5 bus from Mount Florida to St Enoch, he knew it would be full of Rangers fans but he didn’t care. He said so.
The bus journey was hell, we were the only Celtic fans on it, the Rangers fans were celebrating and mocking us. Oh spot the loonies was one of the chants, I recall. Although the song that still haunts me to this day, Dawn, Tie a yellow Ribbon. They were singing tie blue and white ribbons around the Scottish Cup and as I discovered they hadn’t won the cup since 1966, so we’re singing its been 7 long years, my Dad was now muttering that he was going to smash someone, I just didn’t know, at that moment, that it was going to be me.
I don’t mind admitting I was scared on that bus, but you do find an inner strength. I then made a huge schoolboy error. A Rangers fan showed me some kindness and I reacted badly, the Rangers fan said ignore them son, it might be your turn to win it next time and gave me 50p.
I tried to second guess my Dad, I reckoned he would be raging if I accepted the money, so I told the man to stick it and threw it out the window, what a mistake that was, my Dad was raging at my behaviour and punched me, a few times, no one interjected, back then it happened to some children and probably a good few on the bus thought that little Dick deserves it, my Dad then said I would regret it. 50p was a fortune, back then, for a boy from the schemes, in fact it was 5 weeks pocket money. I instantly regretted it, worse was to follow, when we arrived home, I was given another few blows and told my punishment was no pocket money for 5 weeks. I certainly had plenty of time to think about the error of my ways.
46 years later and that final still sticks in my mind. It taught me a lot, my Dad was a bully, accept kindness when it’s given and that Celtic don’t win finals all the time. It makes the victories all the sweeter and I always have made sure I enjoy the moment,and oh aye, that Rangers fan was right, I was back at Hampden a year later, without my Dad, as we beat Dundee United 3.0 to lift the cup. I can still recall, as if it was yesterday, that sweet taste of victory, the loss had made me appreciate the victory even more.
Today, these are good times, we have just enjoyed a double treble, and indeed a 7th consecutive trophy, something I never thought I would see. It’s important to remember though, sometimes we lose.
Hail Hail

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This is an incredible piece of writing,mate. Couldn’t have been easy trying to second-guess someone like that all the time. Rather you than me.

I missed that final due to a birthday party.

big packy

JIMMYNOTPAUL, fabulous post cap doffed, although my own father was no angel, he would not have punched me like that, horrible thing for a nine year old to face, but you have come through it HH ??.

Awe Naw


excellent read JNP

Thanks for taking the time and effort


Outstanding piece of honest writing.
Bittersweet read.
My first cup final was on my dad’s shoulders, the year before. Much happier occasion and result. I was six, we scored six on May 6.

Jimmynotpaul, That was a terrific read, but as Garry says bittersweet. A very honest recollection but it’s good to see you seem to have maintained a level of tolerance and realism. I hope you are enjoying this trophy haul as much as you deserve.

Awe Naw

See all the Celtic fans and bloggers that are tut tutting at those responsible for coin throwing , seat damage, park invasions. Away and fuck yourselves. I only wish I could tell you to your faces. Ibrox safety certificate (10 years and still waiting). The Independently Celtic PLC safety commissioned report after the last Old Firm crush at Celtic Park. Still waiting.

If it’s true that Valencia had a good idea of our ‘game plan’ and that they played accordingly, would it not be suicidal for us to play the same again? We could be doing with a plan B. It will be interesting to see if Brendan has learned anything for this match. As I and others have said before cut out the purposeless possession. If the midfield is useless hoof it over the top of them and ‘shoot on sight’ (As Jock Stein said).

I don’t think a silky passing game is within our gift at this level. I would rather get beat 4-2 away from home with ten shots on target than suffer another 2-0 loss like last Thursday.

Mike in Toronto


It takes no small amount of skill, and courage, to write an article like that. Respect.


There’s a few of us aware of the overdue report,probably shelved like everything else Celtic promise to do.

A Celtic statement is like a verbal contract-not worth the paper it is written on.

It’s almost like they think we are stupid,with the memory of a goldfish.


Congrats on an honest piece of writing. Fathers,eh? What can you do, you are stuck with them! You did not select the one that you got. As none of us did.

My two year old grandson was over for the day yesterday along with his dad, my son. As I played with the wee guy I wondered about the relationships that I had developed with my three sons and how they felt about me. I was not raised directly by my parents but I saw them at least once a week. I knew that they both loved me but my father could never say it. He did what he could for me and set me on my career path by his sage advice but he could never say he was proud of me. I have made sure that I did not make that mistake with my guys, and I see my son hugs his little guy often.

Dad was never interested in football….quite the reverse, in fact. I had to hide that I was going to games. However, he never once criticised me when he found out that I followed the Celts. He was pleased that I walked away from the Lodge and the masons, even although he was one.

I recall the day that I grew up. I was 16 at the time. (I have never grown any older in my head since!). I was dating a Catholic and Dad lost the place, saying that I should stick to my own kind. I saw my Dad as a flawed human being and not as my Dad from that day on. Afterall, we are all flawed.

RIP Dad. i wish we could do it all again,


Awe Naw

It’s almost like they think we are stupid,with the memory of a goldfish.

99% of them truly are

Awe Naw

Great recollection JNP, as has been said a very bittersweet story.

Awe Naw
I posted on the other channel that if the Celtic support were to stop throwing coins and damaging seats we would be the only support in the land not doing so, only one agreed, the rest were tut tuting to beat the band, the brainwashing and sanitisation is near completion.

How careless misplacing $100 million 😉

Awe Naw


Not at all surprising, make no mistake I hate them obsequious yes men more than huns if the truth be told. They are far more loathsome and nasty than the huns . It´s their self righteousness that´s the most pukable. Their lack of education combined with preposterous beliefs allows them to believe that they can speak up when their is absolutely nothing of any substance behind it. Most of them pensioners. the quicker their Lord takes them the better life will be for all of us

Margaret McGill

Great story!


Thanks to all, for the kind comments made on the article.
I never expected that sort of reaction.
It’s a strange world, I nearly didn’t sent that one in, to the site, as I thought it may have been a hard read.
Hail Hail


Many many thanks for sharing todays article . It cant have been an easy one to pen and if its any consolation we can all tell youre a gent through and through and youre more than welcome here anytime all the time . Youve been to some games though , Im well jealous here. Can count mine on my hands. Lifes winding road carried me away from those parts and I will not complain one bit about the journey Ive had.
10k fans in Valencia ,, Im looking forward to some reports . If the lads were a bit more tech savvy we would have a live video blog to wake up to tomorrow.
IM sure there will be some photies or videos doing the rounds .
Gotta catch up with the world , will be back
Hail Hail

The Gombeen Man


A very touching read thanks for sharing.


Awe Naw
It’s like they are so happy when the support do something that the media have a field day with, it gives them some sort of justification for being fecking sanctimonious arseholes.


Awe Naw/TET.
I know it shouldn’t Awe Naw,but that made me laugh out loud. I said that to my son once, talking in a political sense, the sooner those old yins go the better, he replied Dad, you’re one of the old yins. That made me laugh too.
What I don’t understand is all the doing is the media’s bidding for them. Why?
Battery thrown at Leigh at Ibrox, Broonie attacked, on the park and so many more, yet no one in the media bothers.
It’s, so obvious it’s agenda driven.
Hail Hail


I’m reading on Twitter that Valencia have softened their policy on ticket sales to Celtic fans, so hopefully those ticketless fans well get into the stadium.
Hail Hail

Awe Naw

As TET says sanctimonious pricks. I always leave a spelling mistake in the above type of post. I hoot even louder when it’s picked up on


It WAS a hard read,mate. But it was worth every syllable. As you know,I’m in Valencia at the moment with my Dad,wee treat from us all for his 80th. He’s maybe not perfect-though not far off it,IMO-but he’s maybe a bit perfecter than some.

But even if he was far from perfect,we only have one Dad. Yours introduced you to Celtic and so did mine,I’ll always be grateful for that.


My Dad and I spent about four hours around the stadium and online with obliging Spaniards who were knocked back. Including,only 20 minutes ago,our hotel desk staff.

We will fire into it again tomorrow,it’s only a €5 taxi,but so far I’ve only met two people who have got tickets today-and one of them had her id from Andalusia.


You must tell me about Valencia as I am considering a holiday there in April/March.

What is the temp? Are you staying in the historical centre?


JNP~Awe Naw
In my opinion it’s all about perspective, we are talking one single coin here, and a few broken seats, broken seats happen at every ground at every game, yet it’s news from time to time when we break them, the coin throwing shouldn’t happen but it does, it’s just the nature of the game, hate is generated and some geyt swept away with the hype, I don’t believe their is anything sinister in it at all, as for the pitch “invasion” a few young fellas expressing their emotions, nothing more, nobody was hurt and nobody was going to get hurt, yet the sanctimonious ones are on their high horse, it actually makes me upset that Celtic fans behave in this way, the hate against us is palpable yet they add fuel to the fire, it saddens me big time.
I bet they are still talking about it on the radio this evening, taking batteries to a football match and throwing them is premeditated, yet silence, attacking Broonie as you say, yet more silence and what is worse, nobody stopped yer man, had it been a Celtic supporter, well we all know what would have gone down.
Eff them all, we need to stick together more than ever.


That’s disappointing Mick.
Someone on Twitter put a picture up of their ticket with their name written on it, they said they told Valencia they were tourists and asked were there any tickets available. They were given tickets in the section next to the away support.
Hail Hail

Margaret McGill

Dont worry. Celtic PLC will say nothing.
Their silence ensures the bigotry festers. Cha ching.
Who cares about the well being of football fans on any side. Exploitable peasants anyway. Cha ching
or players? Cha ching.
Stay silent then you are not forced to lie. Cha ching
Whats not to understand.?
Oh aye and dont forget to buy yer ST’s, tickets, merchandise, nostalgia dross and TV subscriptions bhoys!
A team like no other. Cha ching.
Hail hail.
As for the sanctimonious green huns. Dont get me started.


On Killies statement, it doesn’t even make sense.
We will telling Celtic they are paying for the damage!
It’s in the rules that they pay and they will !

So why even mention it,,why not send the photos and bill over as the rules will state ? Do they mention every time they are about to send a bill somewhere or just us,,,give you one guess.
Unclassy or what ?
Hail Hail


Killie are heavily indebted to The Killie Trust, which is made up of fans who put money into the club.
The statement, for me, looks as if it’s been written to appease them.
It’s a really poor statement, which manages to show them in a bad light.
Hail Hail


Well, no surprise.
Richard Gordon has revealed that Aberdeen invoiced Sevco for 200 broken seats from their recent visit, that is close to 10% of the tickets,given to away fans.
That was kept very quiet and tells you, how agenda driven Sunday was.

SSB are still trying to push the agenda as well.
Had the huns won on saturday and we dropped two points a bomb could have been thrown at fat boy boyd and it would all be about the huns and their title chances.


No lie,today was like August in Scotland. Oranges are growing fat on the trees-in the middle of February! Our hotel is next to the Ceramics Museum,and it’s like Belgravia/Mayfair. Designer furniture and clothes everywhere.

Natch,my Dad and I have still found a lovely tapas bar wi free food and €3 a pint. Kinda place I could even take my Mum. And where we are taking ONEMALLOY and his lovely better half in an hour or so needs to be seen to be believed.

Honestly,mate,if you Google places to see and things to do in Valencia,you might be put off. It’s a wonderful place. I’ll mail you the details of our hotel later-a top 1% restaurant at €15 set price is just round the corner too,Cinnamon it’s called. Gaun there the morra.

I live about 30 minutes by train from Bath,go there often and I think it is the most wonderful place I’ve ever been.

This is close. Seriously.

A thing of beauty

Jimmy not Paul
That was a very brave piece of writing and was moving to read. As MIT says, respect.
As regards the Kilmarnock pitch invasion and coin throwing. It is my opinion that our away support are becoming an issue. Far too many people coked up, or pissed up and disinterested in the good name of the club. I think there’s a bit of Hun like no one likes us we don’t care attitude. I really don’t understand why we sing so many songs about the Irish republican movement be that from 1916 or 1970. Where is their relevance in a modern support, in a club that’s open to all? I posted previously about our recent scottish cup tie at Celtic park where a Moslem family were sat behind me at their first game. Are they likely to become Celtic supporters on the back of the green brigade singing about a broad black brimmer or a full stadium singing just can’t get enough. I have previously had arguments with people about the difference between political songs and sectarian songs but to other supporters they hear us singing about the IRA and it’s carte Blanche for the two cheeks of the same arse shite. When we throw a coin at a player we give them more grist to their mill. I have no issue with the broken seats, I was at the game, it was sheer exuberance, not vandalism but running on to the park from the opposite end where the goal was scored, cmon? We need to sort this out. We need non stop songs about Celtic because we can do that, we’ve got plenty for the full 90 minutes and leave the Rebs for the bus and the pubs of your choosing. Only then can we start asking questions about what gets sung and the behaviour of the follow follow brigade. As I said at the start it is my opinion and I expect all people will not agree. That’s fine, I will read their argument with interest and respond with respect. That’s what the blog is about.


Thanks for your kind comments. Genuinely appreciated.
My issue is the agenda driven media, as I’ve said 200 seats damaged at Pittodrie, ignored, battery thrown at Leigh, ignored etc.
The OTT reaction was all to do with Sevco going 8 behind. The media attacked us as a form of deflection.
Yes, we have a few issues in our support but I refuse to do the media’s bidding for them. That’s not to say some of your points aren’t valid.
Hail Hail.


I’m trying to find some stuff about stuff. I’m pretty much in the line of JNP,but it’s worthwhile remembering that ATOB isnae an idiot. If she’s pissed off,and remember I took her up to games in the early 80s and taught her the songs,then there’s a good reason.

There’s an article coming up about this shortly,but it will be enhanced if I can find one particular fact. If I can’t,I’ll post a 90% article. If I can track it down,nuclear. Much as I love being a Celtic fan,loud and proud,I’m certainly not proud of the loud wee pricks I see on the telly every away game.

Fuxake,a sub-puberty knob trashing our rep? Not even old enough to be a wanker.

Appeasement has NEVER worked in the past.
Appeasement DOESN’T work in the present.
Appeasement WILL NOT work in the future.
If you give them an inch…..it will be the wearing of the Green.
Eff them

Sing Celtic songs home and away.


Brilliant and poignant,


Fully agree.
The best wee country is a cesspit of bigotry.
When we turn the other cheek they just stamp on it with their jackboots.
When we do nothing they invent reasons to incite hatred and justify their prejudice.
The back of the bus is not for me.

A thing of beauty

I take on board your points about the agenda driven media but it is difficult for us to address this when they just throw the IRA chants at us. Believe me when I say I won’t sit at the back of the bus, I am just saying that times have changed and we as a support need to change with them. A lot of our support are not comfortable now a days with rebel songs and I think more join in with Celtic songs thus giving a better atmosphere. I was in the standing section last Thursday and started to join in with the broad black brimmer but I just feel it’s not for the game any more. What’s the point in singing a song that everyone doesnt want to join in with. Same with shouting fat orange bastard at Boyd. Why bother? He’s much more offended by the zombie chant, that hurts him more, I’m sure. I get what you say about the wearing of the green and when st Johnstone threatened to stop us bring our flags to the game a few years ago I likened that to the wearing of the green but this is not the same. As for the flares, how many times have the support been told about flares yet they keep doing it. As I said, no one likes us we don’t care. That’s not a Celtic supporter to me. You cannot disregard the well-being and reputation of your fellow supporters so you can do what you want.

big packy

morning bhoys and ghirls, living down here in England ,I miss square susages, a well fired roll with Scottish pride butter, a mothers pride square loaf, bridies and proper mince pies,, what I don’t miss is the hatred towards my football club and my religion, yes the best wee bigoted country,, HH.

New article posted!