A Real Good Night!

Concluding,until the next break from proper football,our series on Memorable Matches,one from my own memory banks which only cost me £2 to witness. Best two quid I ever spent!!!


The fifth of March is always a big day for my family-it’s my kid sister’s birthday! Sadly,I couldn’t hang around for the celebrations that night in 1980,there was agame of football which took precedent. And what a game it turned out to be.

Celtic were once again the champions of Scotland,and for the first time since 1974,we had reached the quarter finals. Least said about the previous rounds the better,they were an accurate reflection of an up and down season so far.

There are few easy games at this stage of Europe of course,and when we were drawn against Real Madrid,our anticipation of seeing Celtic play against possibly the most iconic name in World Football was tempered by the reality of our moderate form so far.

Now,on our night,we can beat anyone-but this was a Real Madrid team which had won four of the previous five La Liga,and would win it again that year too. In fact,they would only lose out narrowly to Liverpool the following season in the final. And they boasted some genuine world-class players. Jose Antonio Camacho was the best left back in the world at the time,a legend who played over 500 times for the club,and over 80 times for his country. Uni Stielike was the steel-like metronome of their midfield,breaking up attacks and starting new ones. A difficult barrier to break and a danger on the ball. Up front was another club legend,Santillana,who played over 600 times and scored around a goal every two games.

And we mustn’t ignore Laurie Cunningham,a man on top of his form,who could tie defenders in knots-and he took a mightily impressive corner kick too!

We,on the other hand,could best be described as a team in transition,and lined up against these pre-Galacticos with





The game was a one-way procession towards the Celtic goal,just as many of us had feared. Murdo and Big Roy were like terriers chasing down every ball and working to find an opening,but they were overwhelmed by the superiority of the Madrid players. Provan too was having a good night,but he was tightly marked and the defence were clearing his final ball with ease if not nonchalance. Their forwards were relentless in their attacks on our defence,where Danny McGrain might have been performing wonders against the skills of Cunningham,but through the middle,we were up against it. Of course,Real Madrid were then up against Peter Latchford-who was having the game of his life!

We were mightily relieved to hear the half-time whistle and still be 0-0,and I doubt there were many of us in the sell-out 67,000 crowd who thought it was likely to remain that way. Two pies and a blindfold was the request at the pie stalls underneath The Jungle!

Well,I dunno what the players had at half-time,nor what advice was offered by Billy McNeil. What I do know is that the second half was a complete turnaround,and an utter joy to behold. ATHINGOFBEAUTY,if you will! We came out roaring like,well,Lions. We seemed to catch Real a little cold,they ignored the move inside by Davie Provan to allow Alan Sneddon-who was also having a superb game,btw-to overlap down the space vacated by him and his marker. And it was from one of those overlaps that the first goal came only seven minutes in. Keeper Ramon couldn’t hold Sneddon’s shot and George McCluskey swept the rebound home.

The whole ground erupted! The atmosphere up till then had been amazing,despite the team being on the back foot. Now,we cranked it up to eleven!!! The team responded by putting on the style,Real responded by hitting us with everything they had. But we had the upper hand,only a few dodgy offside decisions and some ferocious tackling by Stielike especially preventing us from adding to our lead.

That’s when Alan Sneddon again took the leading role out wide. With around 15 minutes left,Murdo robbed Cunningham in midfield. Spotting Sneddon in acres of space,he duly passed it wide. Sneddon was on it,he scampered down the right and hit in a peach of a cross. Of course,we didn’t have a lot of height up front,but Johnny Doyle borrowed a trampoline from somewhere and climbed on the shoulders of giants to smash home a header.

Cue bedlam! Unbelievable,we were beating Real Madrid 2-0!!!

You know what,we could and should have scored more too. Some more decisions went against us,a particularly poor one against Tom McAdam which saw a goal disallowed,Murdo hit a screamer,well saved by the keeper-as did Danny!-but really I don’t want to be grudging about a great night,a great performance. Real Madrid played up to their best,a really good side,but they were no match for that second-half performance. And they knew it,by the end they were hanging on grimly,knowing they had been bested by a fortuitous first 45 and a whirlwind performance in the second half. Every one of our players that night performed heroics,and every fan who was there will never forget what a wonderful night it was in Paradise. Thank you,Bhoys.

But hey,don’t take my word for it. Have a look for yourself.


Above article by BMCUWP. If you want to share your experiences or simply offer your thoughts on any subject,let us know at


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big packy
March 27, 2019 7:52 am

HI BOBBY, bless me father for I have sinned, was going to be married 2 months later so had other things on my mind, I did not know we were playing real madrid that night, I will watch that you tube clip later.hh.

March 27, 2019 7:55 am

“£2 to witness”?
Sounds the same amount Mike takes to an ETims night out….
Probably left with change as well.

March 27, 2019 8:04 am

HAHAHAHA You forgot the packed lunch, the inflatable dug and his metal bowl that doubles up fur begging. “Shut that door”. Some great players in that team Bobby, not glamour players but players that had fight as well as skill. Like packy I will watch it and savour it later….

March 27, 2019 9:11 am


If the e-Tims nightoooots are anything like the hootenannies we’ve held over the years,it’s just an ocean of bevvy waiting to be drunk. You don’t bother much with rounds,just order up when you’re ready and make sure that the available stock is replenished!

Next one,btw,is scheduled for 23 September,as Mahe and Beppe,his Spanish pal that he converted to The Hooooooops,are in town.

McChuills,I expect. Fairly central for everyone.

A thing of beauty
March 27, 2019 10:11 am

Thanks for the article bmcuwp. What a birthday present that would have been and it would only have cost you two quid. Ya selfish b. As I say often on these pages, it’s a wonder I’m a Celtic supporter at all.

March 27, 2019 10:20 am


Haw,come on! You’ll notice I carefully avoided saying what birthday it was,but there’s no way Mum would have allowed that! In fact,I don’t think you were even allowed to stay up for the highlights.

Bloody lucky she let me and SOLKITTS take you to a Partick Thistle match on a Saturday about three years later,we got some grief for that. Dropped you off and effed off to The Lauriston,haha!!!

March 27, 2019 11:35 am

Its never a good thing to witness, families falling out. “Ya selfish b.” “There’s no way mum would have allowed that” its clear who’s mummy’s bhoy. A thing of beauty, what a lovely moniker, mine’s is, “Ya selfish b.” and his is, Dun Dee Bobby Mick and Tich. 😉 Sounds like good healthy fun. Bobby, there’s a new tool to help you find your way when driving its called “Sat-Nav”. I have white sticks with rubber tips ( careful now) attached to my car and with HUGE rubber strips around my car, I got it from the circus. Saves me a fortune on repairs.

March 27, 2019 11:38 am

Great story that jogged a few memories.
Cunningham was mesmerizing in the first but seemed off kilter in the second.
The trampoline reference to wee Johnny was so apt.
A great European occasion made even more poignant with our recent European record.
We need a return of the Celtic mentality.
When better teams genuinely feared us.

March 27, 2019 12:02 pm


ATHINGOFBEAUTY and I never fall out-we’re too busy arguing for that kind of stuff!

March 27, 2019 12:04 pm


Maybe we need to bring back the thunder? Maybe,of course,we could do without overthinking things,let the players play.

March 27, 2019 12:18 pm

I like the way you think.
Sick of self important coaches nullifying our strengths with a strict adherence to flawed and poorly implemented tactics.

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 12:25 pm

Our earlier email regarding qualifying criteria for the semi-final was incorrect and we apologise for any confusion caused.

Following the initial ticket sale, all remaining tickets are now on sale to those Season Ticket holders on the Home Cup Ticket Scheme who paid by Direct Debit for both home matches against Airdrie (January 19) and St Johnstone (February 10) but were unsuccessful in the original sale of tickets.

Those Season Ticket holders who were offered a ticket in the first ballot but who did not purchase before the deadline are no longer eligible to purchase tickets for the match.

The deadline for those who meet the qualifying criteria to purchase their ticket is 5pm on Friday, March 29.

March 27, 2019 12:53 pm

I trust that the owner of the site in question won’t object to me posting this here,but this is a fascinating analysis of Oliver Burke since he joined us.


Fool Time Whistle
March 27, 2019 3:23 pm

Morning all,

Bobby, great match to finish the series.

From that video, your comments & those of Arthur Montford & Ian St John – something was put into the tea at HT.
It seemed that both Bobby Lennox & Davie Provan both on as wingbacks, worked their socks off & tracked back to defend much more in that 2nd half.
The more things change the more they stay the same.

Any particular reason why Laurie Cunningham got the booing from the home crowd? Heard it especially in the 1st half.

Think the term enigmatic was invented to describe Laurie. To use a well known moniker, in full flow he truly was a thing of beauty & he had other players almost stop playing just to watch what he was doing. I often think that the move to Madrid ruined his career, and restricted his England caps. Hard to believe he only had 6 caps. Another lost too soon in a car crash aged 33.

As for Oliver Burke & the statman…I personally had no doubt about his positive contribution since coming aboard in January but could only waffle about why. Nice to have a number cruncher do the work. Seems that his play requires adjustment from those around him to maximise his impact. Odsonne plays better with the ball at his feet going at a defence whereas Ollie can run at defenders & play with his back to goal. If the opposition press us then his pace will leave his opponents and the crowd gasping.
I get the impression from his interviews, play & general attitude that he would come to Celtic but could we afford the fee & the competitive wages?


I have tree fellers – wee pun there I think – in the back garden/yard. They’re taking out an almost dead tree between us & next door.
Good news is the tree is down, bad news is that they might not be completely sober. When Mrs FTW asked I said it was a Southern male thing but she knew I was flim flamming.


Fool Time Whistle
March 27, 2019 3:57 pm

Report on the crush Sept. 2018



Thanks for this.

From my initial scan through it, it seems to suggest that the crush was being monitored by the Control Room and that due to their response & actions things were sorted out pretty quickly (20 mins is what I read). This doesn’t seem to chime with the accounts from the poor souls who were there at the time. Maybe, condensing all those reports has given me an exaggerated sense of how it was, since they were usually being experienced simultaneously and not consecutively. Wonder what the fans who were there think?

What initially jumps out from the recommendations is “communication, communication, communciation”.
In light of what happened at Dundee on St Patricks Day the benefit of effective communication are still not recognized. I know that was an away fixture but how good was the communication between Celtic and the travelling support?

Second thing for me is from the investigation part. Stewards & Police did not working in unison so that at times both seemed to be unaware or underestimate what was happenning – which again speaks to the lack of communication & proper planning.
At Dundee, their stewards and police worked closely together & although there were issues they weren’t because of a screw up between the two organisations. The rogue steward who pulled down the tricolour was wrong & that was not part of the agreed protocol. Dundee were on this promptly, met with the fans & got an apology out very quickly. Their handling of the follow up to that day was very good.

Hope you’re well & having a grand day.


March 27, 2019 3:58 pm

Theres another game I had absolutely no idea about , happens often on these series which is great. One to give Beppe a bit of stick over and all .
And to think Norn Iron used to produce players of the La Liga quality . I will have a wee look at them actually in tomorrows article .
Im very jealous of all these memories but of course delighted you guys have them to share.
Being able to go to that is a privilage ,, to attend a game against Real now would almost certainly be a trouncing , thus not as anticipated etc. The game has moved to far away from us .

Great stuff pal , thanks for the memories.
Hail Hail

March 27, 2019 4:03 pm

I see the crush report has finally been published ! As Im babysitting all day if anyone see’s anything that stands out please copy and paste. I shall try and get my teeth into it. I woulda thought Friday morning but hey.
Hail Hail

March 27, 2019 4:25 pm

One thing I noticed in the Crush report:

“Fairhurst did establish that the gates located within the North Stand underpass were not closed at any time in the lead up to or during the incident”

I thought that was a very contentious issue with some of the supporters who claimed the gates were closed initially and the stewards/police refused to open them. Maybe I read it wrongly.

March 27, 2019 4:30 pm

Don’t know about anyone else’s opinion on Fairhurst’s report into the “Janefield street crush” but for me there is three things that stick out.
1. The “tunnelling effect” when wide areas of traffic condense into a narrow width, you get this “funnel effect” in some ways this was a part of the reasons for the Hillsborough tragedy.

2. Traffic going both ways into the underpass, I used to moan about this happening when I attended games in the north stand.

3. The attitude of the police and stewards, they are always less than helpful, lucky that no-one was killed or seriously injured.

March 27, 2019 4:39 pm

“A constrained window for arrivals of supporters attending the match as a result of the combined effect of: – scheduling of the fixture; – a limited public transport availability; – closure of the railway station closest to the stadium”
That was really clever of the railway company closing the station on the day of a Glasgow Derby. Public transport is reduced by 50% on Sundays.

Ties in nicely with the problem of no parking around the stadium. The council needs to get it’s act together with public transport.

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 4:45 pm


Or how about re-routing 15,000 fans through a narrow space, to accommodate 800 huns? That’s what happened…..

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 4:45 pm

JTT- The gates were closed, that is a blatant lie….

Margaret McGill
March 27, 2019 4:47 pm

Im not going to even read the report. It will be a whitewash. Guaranteed. paid off private company.

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 5:03 pm

That report has more squirrels, than a Celtic AGM…

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 5:05 pm

With 4 days until the vermin are at CP again, what is the plan, what are the details?

March 27, 2019 5:06 pm

The police should wear high vis headwear so they are more visible to the fans in a crush!

The Exiled Tim
March 27, 2019 5:12 pm

Evening Timland from a hun free mountain valley.
I’m with Mags on this, pointless reading it, so far after a couple of posts it’s obvious a whitewash is the order of the day, the PLC won’t hang anyone out to dry unless it’s the support.
The sooner the support get some balls the better, but we know that’s never gonna happen, after all they contribute to getting cheated so why would they care about a whitewashed report.

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 5:32 pm

Wee Theresa to resign

March 27, 2019 5:57 pm

God help us, step forward Boris Johnson.

March 27, 2019 6:00 pm

Imagine Trump & Johnson together at a meeting. A barber’s nightmare!

March 27, 2019 6:07 pm

I’ll make an effort to be at that m8, cheers!

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 9:09 pm

JTT- Bring back Sweeney Todd…

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 9:16 pm

RANGERS fan group Club 1872 have failed to overturn a 11am cut-off time for away fans to be inside Celtic Park on Sunday.

Gers supporters who have briefs for the Old Firm game have been warned they must be at the turnstiles an hour before kick-off – or miss the start of the match.

A thing of beauty
March 27, 2019 9:26 pm

As someone who was caught in the crush with my sister I am not surprised to see that the crush was reported as beginning at 1139. I would say it was earlier than that but it certainly was not 1150 as the police said on the day it happened. I said at the time that was a blatant lie and an attempt to blame the support. I expect Celtic to demand an apology from police Scotland for that. It was the lies that compounded the tragedy of hillsborough and obviously our police need reminding that it’s not ok to tell lies to cover up incompetence. Also the fact the report states clearly that some police did not do their job and were not listening to fans who were pointing out the life threatening incident that was happening is very telling. I have to question what is the actual point of police at our games. In my experience they do not respond when faced with impending danger, they do not respond when faced with hooligan behaviour and they do not respond when up to 40000 people are being racially abused, so wtf are they getting paid for? I don’t expect anything of stewards, they are not trained or paid to respond to danger or violence. I also though it telling that in part the report blamed the lack of transport on a Sunday for people getting to the game around the same time. I assume this will be used to ensure the traffic restrictions around Celtic park will never be brought in because if we can’t manage the numbers getting the train to the game against the Huns now how the heck is it going to cope with 3 or 4 times that number getting the train. The report was also clear the support were not to blame and all in all I thought it was quite balanced and thorough in its findings. There are questions to answer for our match day planners as to why they didn’t fore see the issues but We can only hope lessons have been learned. I’ll be the first to post when I hear that apology from police Scotland – lying swines.

Bada Bing
March 27, 2019 9:40 pm

ATOB- I was at the junction of London Rd and Springfield Rd about 10.15,asked a policeman if it would be ok to walk to the Main Stand that way,he said eh….yes of course……eh no I’m not sure….eh will go and ask a supervisor. So the police who were patrolling that area,didn’t have a clue,here’s me thinking for an event with 60k attending, there would be a planning meeting with all involved, a total sham,and a cover up. Don’t hold your breath waiting on a Club statement of sorts mate.HH

March 28, 2019 3:19 am

New Article Posted!