In Praise of Cesar

Today is a sad day for everyone connected with Celtic Football Club,an emotional day for all of us as we pay due homage to Our Great Leader.

Billy McNeill was known as Cesar to his friends and colleagues,but to the fans,he was Caeser or simply King Billy. He was to the fore of many of our greatest triumphs. But it wasn’t one of those great days which is my earliest memory of him;this was a mundane home fixture,but it was special to me.

23 October 1971. Celtic had already won six successive league titles,and were hot favourites to win their sixth successive Scottish League Cup. My Dad took me to my first ever Cup Final-and I was gonna have my photo taken as Celtic Bhoy in the next edition of The Celtic View!

What a day,I was certainly never going to forget this! And to this day,I never have-Patrick Thistle made sure of that. Football,eh? Bloody hell…

My reward for appearing in The View was two tickets for the main stand for me and my Dad,a tour of the trophy room and the chance to meet my favourite player. I chose Lou Macari,being a local lad and a goal scoring hero. The game chosen for us was against Falkirk,four weeks later.

It wasn’t a great match,but it was a great day! We won 2-0,the second goal coming from Billy himself. I’m sure it was a shot,rather than a trademark header,but aye,I know Billy made my day that day!

I wish it had been the following week,mind-we thrashed those upstarts from Maryhill 5-1. Heyho…

Later that season,he played a major role in our Cup Final trouncing of Hibs. 6-1 and my first winning cup final. Billy nodded in the fifth as he didn’t want to be left out!

We saw the last of Cesar as a player in the corresponding game in 1975 as he rounded off a magnificent career with another winning cup final,this time against Airdrie. He retired from the game with nine championship medals,seven cup medals and six league cup medals.

Oh,and another one,The Big One,won on the day The Lisbon Lions reminded Europe how football should be played. The one where he lifted The European Cup,striking that iconic pose with which we are so familiar.

*

Billy still had his love for Celtic,and he answered the call when we needed a new manager. Since our nine-in-a-row days had come to a close,the board had steadfastly refused Jock Stein the opportunity to invest. Replacements were definitely required-we had seen departures and retirements but few new faces. When,in his last season,Jock saw the injury list pile up,the cupboard was bare.

Cesar returned to his throne,but this time it was a managerial chair. New signings such as Davie Provan,Dom Sullivan and Murdo McLeod arrived. Injured players returned. Those whose form had suffered in makeshift sides the previous season were revitalised. Results weren’t immediately impressive,but the ship was stable. A harsh winter saw us return hungry for football-and win bonuses!

They soon piled up,as we played an incredible seventeen league matches from the beginning of March. Going into the final one against Rangers,we had won twelve of them,with one draw and three defeats. But Rangers still had another match to play after that. Should they win it and avoid defeat against us,the league was theirs.

It was all or nothing for us. And at half-time,nothing was what we had,and what we looked like finishing with. But a half-time boost from Billy saw us revitalised,and against the odds-you all know the story of 21-5-79 so I won’t go into detail-we were champions!

Our Great Leader had done it again,and this time as manager!!! The legend grew,until he was forced out by an ungrateful board. That board-somewhat changed in personnel-were to turn to him again in 1987,the beginning of our Centenary Season. We certainly looked to be up against it;the previous year had seen us throw away the league to a big-spending mob from the South of the city,and they were still spending! We had lost Mo Johnson,Brian McClair,Alan McInally and Murdo McLeod. Danny McGrain and Davie Provan hadn’t been adequately replaced. The signings looked decent,but surely nowhere near the quality required. Chris Morris,a reserve right back from Sheffield Wednesday,Andy Walker,a young hopeful from Motherwell. Billy Stark and Mick McCarthy offered more promise and experience,but the signing of Frank McAvennie ignited the support and the team.

Again,you are all familiar with events,the late winners,the never-say-die attitude. How proud we were-how ecstatic!-to win The Double in our Centenary Season.

Billy was Our Great Leader for all of the above. He lifted the trophy to make us the talk of world football. He captained us during the entirety of our Nine In A Row. He dragged us out of the depths to a title against all the odds in his first season as manager.

Not once,but twice!

Above all,he was a marvellous ambassador for his club and for his family. We have grieved with his family this past week,and we will grieve with them again on Friday when he is interred.

Today,with great sadness,we will celebrate his life. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.

HAIL,CESAR!!!

*

Above article is by BMCUWP. It replaces the usual match preview for obvious reasons. As always,we would like as many of you as possible to review the match for publication on Monday.

Additionally,on this occasion,we would appreciate eye-witness accounts of the celebration of Billy’s life. No matter how much or how little detail,even just an anecdote from the day,we will publish it,attributed to the contributor.

Mail us please on

sentinelcelts@gmail.com

Notify of
mahe

BP,,no no,,it was the closest shave yet on the roads. No accident , just an almost. But family on board at time which upsets me . Don’t wanna dwell on it though.
Hail Hail bruv

big packy

MAHE, point taken. as long as you and yours are ok.hh.

Sorry Mahe I know you don’t want to dwell on it but thank God you and the family are OK. I’ll say no more.

I’m afraid the link isn’t working on this damned laptop of mine. Probably something I have done! Me and the lap top don’t get on.

Mahe, you could try sending me the link to my email address?

mahe

Jim,,aye for sure I will . Email sentinelcelts@gmail.com with the address you want them flung to and I will indeed.
Hail Hail

Mahe
Sorry for your wifes loss.
Take care
HH

Gordon64

Amazing end to the Nuremberg v Bayern Munich match. Also some strange stuff going on with James Rodriguez who came on as a sub and was then subbed.

8.30pm and it’s not dark yet. Street lights still to come on. Birds still flying about.

Luvly Jubly. 🙂

big packy

JIM its the twilight zone.https://youtu.be/NzlG28B-R8Y

fan-a-tic

Hey Mahe glad you came through unscathed.
There are some truly feckin awful drivers in the USA.I got my US license by driving for about 2 minutes and being able to park where 2 buses could have fitted.
Just returned home after 3 weeks jaunting around Europe.
Caught some of the games but being honest watching Lennon’s Celtic is like a punishment.
Did not bother to watch yesterdays game on rerun as it all sounded so familiar.
I have previously stated that in his previous stint i felt we played to keep things tight and hope our better players pull out a win with some individual moments.
His first two games against Hibs and Hearts games were exactly that.
The non appearances of Weah ,Toljan and Burke are telling.
If as expected he gets the gig i will be so disillusioned but not surprised.
The Celtic board have always been adept at killing our momentum.
Glad to see big Jozo getting some plaudits as i felt he was given a raw deal by BR.
Bain has not surprised me and i’m still puzzled why it took BR so long to give him the jersey when it was obvious he fitted the style of play we required.
Still can’t see why young Henderson has dropped out of the picture though Lennon’s cautious style is the most obvious reason.
As we trundle to the title i see the establishment still keeping hope alive with the usual allocation of penalties to the huns.
They are so blessed that the best wee country can’t look at itself in the mirror.
Wonder which 4 horseman will be given the gig to stop the treble treble???

Packy, ha ha! It’s getting dark now! I remember posting on here at the tail end of last year “It’s 4pm and it’s dark already”

big packy

FAN-A-TIC missed you on here pal, don’t be a stranger by the way you are correct,hh.

Packy, did Fan-A-Tic bring us any pressies back from his holidays?

bada bing1

Forrest POTY
Ajer Young POTY
GOTS Broonie

bada bing1

I criticise the Club on various issues, but the tribute to Billy yesterday was fantastic, well done.

fan-a-tic

JIMTHETIM53
First two weeks were work.
Third week was to busy carrying the missuses shopping bags to get any pressies for you guys.
First two weeks were in Prague,long work days but got a decent amount of cycling in every night.
Third week was 5 days in Provence which is where i want to retire to.It really is beautiful and civilized .
Then 3 days in Paris which i enjoyed but realized i’m getting to old for this city living.
Tried on the last week to avoid watching Celtic as our recent dull play really affects my mood.
Should be to old to let it bother me but unfortunately it does.

Fan, I’ve never been in Provence but I’ve never heard a bad word about it.

Yes I feel likewise abut Celtic. We had that wee run after the winter break when Broonie and Ntcham were not playing – that was worthwhile. I think we need a new manager (and coaches) plus about 5 new players.

Maybe a new board wouldn’t go amiss.

Mahe, Bobby, All the monikers have taken a shift to the right. What is going on? What are you two up to? We should be told! I hope it is not political. I’m leftish.

JIMTHETIM53

Seems ok on my device,mate. Just looks pretty normal.

Btw,mailed you those photos from Mahe.

bada bing1

Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of Lennon, both as a gaffer and as a man.

Bill Lackie in The Hun

It will be something I have done. I had bother with my emails earlier. I couldn’t view the full page, about 10 characters short on the R/H/S.

mahe

Jim ,, pale face here just about worked himself to death there gathering leaves and twins to burn. The labour under the sun has me half dead so hopefully a rest and beer kick start me.
Sunburnt tomorrow no doubt , never learn.
Hope alls good pal
Hail Hail

Twins to burn? !!!

mahe

Oops twigs to burn obviously. Terrible slip.
I’ll say a Hail Mary tonight for that
Hail Hail

bada bing1

Correction McGregor POT

Twists n turns

45 minutes gone on Saturday and I was more than a little concerned. I said to my twins at half time that not only was I thinking we were not going to win, but it was very likely we would lose 1-0. Changes were badly needed at half but I had no confidence it would happen. Just for clarity, there’s no rule that subs can only appear after the 60 minute mark is there?

In no particular order Izzy, Lustig, Rogic, Eddie, Jamesie, were awful.

Bain my man of the match and I guess that says it all.

Hey ho. The 3 points were very much needed and leaves us needing one point. Aberdeen away? Hmmm. Huns away…. double hmmmm. My blood pressure might not allow me to attend a final day home title decider. Just do it this week please Celtic.
We all need the close season.

On the Neil Lennon debate. Not for me. 5 season books in the household. None of them being renewed if he gets the gig was the status . 3 e mails from Celtic recently. Reminders I’ve now two weeks left to renew. Clever stuff eh. Renew before you know who’ll be managing the team.

These e mails follow the announcement that there is a 10,000 waiting list for season books. Even cleverer.

So decision time. Give up the seat after a long number of years? I’m 80/20 for giving it up at present. Given there won’t be an announcement on the manager pre deadline, I think it’s time up for me .

New article published.

Twists n turns

Non football post- ignore if no interest in wildlife 🙂

I was standing outside in the sunshine yesterday contemplating the easiest way to get power to the summerhouse.
Something caught my eye. Movement on the decking. Initially I thought it was a small leaf. Closer inspection revealed it was a tiny bird. No more than a day old I’d say. Not a feather on its minuscule body. Just the tiniest sign of life every 20 seconds or so.
No trees in sight. No nests anywhere near. Where did it come from? It’s as though it’s fallen from the sky? Any suggestions to satisfy my curiosity most welcome.
Anyhow. It was very very cold. Couple times I assumed it was actually dead but then there would be a very slight movement. I took a plastic box out and lined it with grass. Tried to get some water into it, but was having to hold its beak open. (The beak suggests it’s probably a starling)
After about 30 minutes I took it to my mums. She quickly warmed it in her hands, emptied the grass out my box, put a warm towel in there and mashed some dry mealworms in warm water. Struggled to get it to take anything but couple hours later she tried it on some dog food and got a few morsels in it. Yes, dog food!
I phoned late last night and wee Cesar as I called him was chirping for food. Hopefully he’s still the same this morning.
My question remains though. Where on earth did it come from? I’m genuinely puzzled? Any ideas? As I say, no trees or nests anywhere and it was lying on the decking well away from the house?

TWISTSNTURNS 600

Sounds like you should have called it Lubo-A Gift From God!

Possibly dropped by a greedy crow or magpie having robbed a nest?

Your Mum did well,btw. Leaving green stuff in there might have asphyxiated it. Learned that the hard way when my cousin and I found a similarly distressed linnet.