Doctor Who?


Today sees the welcome return of MIKE,with another tale of his wee pal,Jimmy Cricket. Oh,and a few others who will need no introduction.


Jimmy Cricket, my uncivil partner, woke up last night bathed in sweat, he thought that he had a hole in his heart, but it was only a polo-mint stuck inside his P.J’s top pocket.

I’m always asked by friends “how did you meet Jimmy” well it wasn’t at Butlins Minehead where he sometimes worked at weekends, nor was it at his “Mammy’s” house in west Belfast.

No, it was at the football, where he played left back for his local team “Ballygobackwards”, while I was playing for my team, “Gala Fairy-dean” for whom I played as a right winger, (is it o.k. to say right winger on here)? I do not “walk” anymore, now its just a leisurely stroll.

Jimmy wasn’t good at football, when we played against each other he kept tripping over his feet, it wasn’t till the match was over that we found out he had his wellies on the wrong feet. After the game we had a laugh about it, shared a few beers, enjoyed ourselves and discovered that we both shared a love for Celtic. Friends called us the “Lego couple” as we just sort of clicked together. Later, on another date we started discussing past Celtic managers, the heroes, the villains and the unusual, and one name stood out in the unusual category, Doctor Jozef Venglos.

Doctor Jo, was Czechoslovakian (easy for you to say) who had a successful football career playing in midfield and captaining Sloven Bratislava. He was also a Czech “B” International,but unfortunately his playing career was cut short when he contracted hepatitis. Doctor Jo achieved his Doctorate in P.E. and Psychology, which should be mandatory for football managers. Doctor Jo then began a long world wide journey coaching in Australia, Portugal, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Turkey, Oman, the list is long and varied.

This highly intelligent coach had been selected often to coach at FIFA Academies world wide. He was the first manager born outside Britain and Ireland to take charge of a top division club in England, Aston Villa. He also managed many International teams before he arrived at Paradise to manage the best team on Earth. He joined Celtic in July 1998, reading his well travelled resume, you begin to understand why he was appointed the Celtic manager, a club with a reputation for appointing managers from left of field.

Results matter in football especially in Scotland-by not winning the Scottish league that meant that Doctor Jo would continue his travels at the seasons end, but what was his legacy? Well that is an easy question to answer, his legacy appeared shortly after he did, a Celtic player who would go on to become a legend, one L’ubomir Moravcik’.

Who could possibly forget his Celtic park introduction, this “little known” Slovak who “lit up Celtic park”, with seventy four Czechoslovakia and Slovakia caps,but was very much derided in Scotland as an “embarrassment” by the Scottish press. He thundered onto the football stage, turned in a sublime performance, scoring two goals beside another double scoring Celtic Icon, one Henrik Larsson. A straight right hook to the Scottish press as the Celtic turned in a brilliant performance against our nearest competition as Celtic won 5-1. L’ubomir Moravcik,a player of resolute two footed skill forced his way into our hearts and has remained there ever since.

A wee story, one day on a tour of Celtic park, pulling up in my car, I spotted the players returning from Barrowfield. I rushed over, pushed the players aside, to get to my hero, one Daniel Fergus McGrain. He autographed my diary as did Henke and Lubo. LOL, Danny was more than chuffed, but not as much as I was.

Later that day I met in the stadium big Johan Mjallby, his first signing day for Celtic. “I want a leader and got one with Johan” said Doctor Jozef, add Vidar Riseth to his signings and the disappeared later to emerge, Marko Viduka. Many would say that Doctor Jo. was instrumental in converting Henke to his free running striking role, rather than Wim Jansen. 5-1 against the Huns, 5-1 over the Dandies, 7-1 halleluja over the “Well” was other notable Venglos victories, but ultimately not enough to save his job. Doctor Jozef Venglos grew to love the Celtic and we cannot thank him enough for giving us his legacy, this humble quiet spoken man. We thank you and we remember what wee Fergus said, “out of all the Celtic managers, he was my most favoured.” He, Fergus was not easy to please…

Footnote: Jimmy Cricket is a Papal Knight, appointed by Pope Francis, the only Papal Knight from Ballygobackwards. Does that make me a Dame, cos, there is nothing like a Dame, nothing more insane, than a man pretending to be a Dame. ? <9 IAR.


Utter madness as usual from MIKE,but as is always the case with madness,the blinding clarity is seldom far away! Grateful thanks for another excellent article,mate. We always publish the contributions offered by our members. It can be your turn for Article of the Day,just mail it to Mahe

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July 9, 2019 5:13 am

Surprised none of you mentioned Nina Simone when you were referencing the greats.

What a voice,and what an attitude. A female version of Gil Scott-Heron,for me.

Amongst her many wonderful performances,live or on vinyl,this is a belter.

Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 5:33 am

Enjoyed the read Mike.

Lubo. What a talent eh! Never forget him trapping the ball with his backside, and making it look effortless into the bargain.

I was watching a clip of John Kennedy picking his fantasy 5 a side team and he had Lubo in there. Not surprised. Can only imagine the difficulty of facing Lubo in more enclosed spaces.

Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 5:48 am

Today’s Tic talk news in brief:

SAS team of Sawyers and Smith still on the radar.

Lenny’s gonna be giving Olly a verbal doing as a result of his stupidity in feeding the press.

Good news on the Euro squad injury front. Jack Hendry hasn’t made it

Bad news – Shved hasn’t made it.

Nothing news – Arzani has made it. ( can’t see him featuring tonight)

Betting news:

Sarajevo 9/2
Draw 13/5
Celtic 1/2

( paddy power – other betting firms will take your money)

Pick a punt : Twists tip:

James Forrest to score anytime 11/4.

July 9, 2019 5:49 am


Hmmmm,more enclosed spaces…

I remember at Ibrox in the early 80s,Davie Provan was on form. I think their left back was McKinnon,and he was giving him the runaround. Twisted blood,indeed.

One time,just in front of us in the old enclosure,McKinnon was left gasping on the ground like a gaffed salmon as Davie flicked the ball inside. Then turned to his vanquished opponent and said

I could keep a beach ball off you in a telephone box!


July 9, 2019 5:54 am


Seems Lenny was none too impressed by Olly. Good. Punt him. No use to us with that attitude.

Worse than Pogba at Man Utd. And whoever thought it was a good idea to bring him back after he tried to mess Fergie around needs a good kick up the arse.

(Just managed to prevent this post saying lick instead of kick. That would have changed the meaning of it entirely!)

Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 6:13 am

Gotta be careful with the ol’ autocorrect . Imagine the embarrassment of the boss hoping one of his female employees could start at 6am the following morning and sent her a text which read

“ you ok for sex tomorrow morning?”


Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 6:14 am

Especially when the response was “ will I be getting paid for it?” ??

July 9, 2019 6:17 am


LOL,genuinely made me laugh there!

Hope all went well yesterday. Missed a day at Ayr for that,and I hope you told them.

The Gombeen Man
July 9, 2019 6:29 am

Great read this morning Mike.

I haven’t been able to get on much recently. My daughter is in hospital and my focus is elsewhere.

Just popped in to say Happy 21st to my son, Emmet.

He spent the weekend at a festival in Turin. On seeing the CL draw he changed his travel plans. He took a bus yesterday to Milan and woke up there today, on the morning of his 21st

An early morning flight to Dubrovnik. Hiring a car, driving through Croatia today, into Bosnia and watching the Hoops in Sarajevo later.

While at the airport in Milan Samuel Eto walked past and saw the bhoys in the hoops. He smiled and winked on his way past.

I think I spent my 21st birthday in College.

Happy Birthday Enmet. Stay safe and have a great one.

Really good seeing the blog develop too.


Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 6:33 am


I put a line on in the morning with a few separate bets. Small stakes on an each way double with 2 outsiders I fancied. Both placed ( I had 20:1 and 16;1)

Backed 4 winners separately

Nigg Bay
Wild hope
Lever d soleil

Can’t remember the other one but if only I’d put them into combinations!
Still lifted several hundred so not complaining ( well I am but you know what I mean)

On the work front all good. They already made a transfer to the account yesterday with a sizeable one to follow today.

When I met them at Edi yesterday morning the first thing one of them said was “ so pleased to see you. After yesterday’s e mail we didn’t think you’d turn up to meet us “

It’s a shame it gets to that stage but sometimes ya gotta go in with all all guns blazing when courteous requests just don’t do it.
I did apologise all the same for my somewhat ott comments on previous communication.

Twists n turns
July 9, 2019 6:41 am

The Gombeen man
Sorry to read about your daughter. Nothing too serious I hope and fingers crossed she’ll be home soon.

A thing of beauty
July 9, 2019 7:04 am

Best wishes for your daughter, again I hope it’s nothing too serious. Cap doffed to your boy, that’s dedication.
Thanks for the article mike. Nice to hear the musings of others, gives me a rest from bmcuwp!!

July 9, 2019 8:06 am

Good morning Bobby, from a very dreich Scotia. As usual TGM. hits the nail on the head, the blog continues to grow and its great to see old and new friends in Celtic coming on to talk about the club and expressing their hopes for the club.
The Gombeen Man: We have all wondered where you were and now we know why you have been unable to post, thoughts with your daughter, we hope that she recovers quickly. Happy 21st to Emmet, I wish I had half his stamina.
ATOB: I could listen to Bobby for minutes zzzz. 😉
Twisty: 6am. Those were the days my friend, I thought they would never end, but they did.
I have often thought about cloning, it would solve problem positions for the club, like right back, a few of Danny’s wee floaters a willing participant and Bobs your uncle and Billy’s your aunt…

big packy
July 9, 2019 8:11 am

MIKE great post, I could watch lubo moravcik play till the cows came home, what a talent.hh.

big packy
July 9, 2019 8:14 am

TGM, nice to see you back posting, sorry to hear about your daughter, give her my best wishes.hh.

July 9, 2019 8:18 am

Thanks Packy, On the tour of Celtic park, I went around as well as under the stadium, when “underground” I watched as they delivered paper cups to one of the cafe’s they had the “Rangers” crest on them, I think the 5-1 game was coming very soon. when I asked why they were being delivered, I was told that is what happens when we play them and they do the same back. Just a wee telling sign of the “collaboration” between them and us….

The Exiled Tim
July 9, 2019 8:19 am

Best of to your daughter.
Great read, just finished Paul McGrath’s book and he mentioned Dr Jo, said he was way ahead of his time and that the Villa players thought he was a bit of a joke with some of his methods, if only they knew Eh.

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 8:20 am


all the best to your daughter and the family

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 8:21 am

Finally tonight. What Channel ?

July 9, 2019 8:34 am


Jaw jaw is better than war war-but sometimes you have to call in the artillery!

Well done on your successes on both fronts yesterday. Strategic planning,I can think of somewhere close to our hearts which could do with some of that.

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 8:36 am

Rangers’ Europa League opponents St Joseph’s face UEFA rap over corner flag fiasco
The Gibraltarian club had to use Rangers Puma tops as makeshift flags after the wind destroyed the originals.

By Mark Walker
11:24, 8 JUL 2019UPDATED11:51, 8 JUL 2019

Rangers’ Europa League opponents St Joseph’s were reported to UEFA after their last game in Europe after a farcical incident where they used Rangers Puma shirts as corner flags.

Steven Gerrard’s side travel to Gibraltar to face the minnows today and are massive 1/14 shots with bookies to claim a first leg lead at the tiny Victoria Stadium.

But St Joseph’s are sweating on a rap on the knuckles from UEFA after a bizarre episode during their second leg, preliminary round qualifier against Prishtina.

A swirling wind ripped off two of their corner flags during the game. And St Joseph’s had to delay the game to use the Puma shirts of Rangers as a makeshift flag on the poles.

St Joseph’s president Stuart Rodriguez admits he’s desperately hoping to avoid a repeat against the Ibrox giants tonight for the good of football in the British overseas territory.

He recalled: “Who can forget the sight of, not one, but two corner flags disappearing from their poles and the game being stopped twice, in comical fashion.

“On both occasions Rangers Puma shirts came to the rescue and was used as a makeshift flag as a Prishtina player looked for the real flag behind some scaffolding – and all this before Prishtina were trying to take a corner when there was not a soul of a single stadium official or employee on hand to help.

“It lead to the other team filing a complaint to UEFA at half-time saying that the stench that emanated from the shirt which had been doused in a powerful chemical had asphyxiated half the stadium.

“Which of course wasn´t true” added Rodriguez. “We won both shirts in a Rangers charity raffle and we accept they have not been washed since”

“We feel that we are not responsible for this and that it was just a poor choice of corner flag”

“If we want our game and our local football to be taken seriously, these things cannot happen. Imagine if this happened again against Rangers live on TV? How would it make our country and our football standards look like?

Would sponsors want to invest, would fans want to watch?”

“Not with Rangers shirts as flags. Puma were more than a tad upset and I received a threatening letter from their Chief executive who demanded that from now on we use Celtic shirts as our corner flags or they will sue”

And St Joseph’s are confident the game against Rangers – deemed a high risk encounter- will pass off without incident.

Rodriguez said: “There have been a number of high-level meetings with the Gibraltar FA, local police, and security officers to deal with any potential threats and make decisions collectively like ground security,

policing, alcohol bans, fan segregation, ticketing, clothes pegs and these meetings have all worked well.

“We all want public safety as well as making it a game to remember for the right reasons. Lincoln Red Imps have been helpful in passing information on about their experience at the Celtic game with regards to ticketing and crowd segregation, Celtic have given us their advice and we have taken their advice on these matters gladly.”

Rangers have never used Puma shirts as corner flags as they were not allowed to under the terms of their contract not even at state of the art facility at Auchenhowie.

big packy
July 9, 2019 8:39 am

AWENAW, premier sports.hh.

July 9, 2019 8:42 am



Good to see you back,TGM. Best wishes to your daughter. I hope everything turns out fine for you all.

My Dad and I spent a couple of days with a young lad called Emmett and his Dad when we were over for the anniversary of The Rising in 2016. Wee trip round the area on Good Friday,including the site of the Battle of the Boyne,plus taking in ROI v Switzerland to round things off. Highlight,of course,was watching a 13yo Karamoko Dembele win Player of the Tournament at St Kevin’s U-16 tournament against the like of Barcelona and Anderlecht,etc. Happy memories,them…

I hope he has something other than his birthday to remember today by.

July 9, 2019 8:44 am


Paul McGrath’s book is excellent. And harrowing.

July 9, 2019 8:45 am


Haw,you! I’m stressed as it is,what wi the impending Royal Visit!

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 8:49 am


cheers Bud 7:30 k.o ?

July 9, 2019 8:50 am


Surpassed yourself there,mate!

July 9, 2019 8:51 am


1845 BST,I believe.

July 9, 2019 8:53 am


Minutes. Lippy sod!

Thanks again for the article,mate. As ATHINGOFBEAUTY nearly said,it’s always a pleasure to get a different take than just Mahe and me. Much appreciated-by everyone,as it turns out!

The Gombeen Man
July 9, 2019 9:05 am

Thanks all for the good wishes,

They have landed in Dubrovnik and I’ve a live location feed on WhatsApp and pictures too. Modern technology.


There’s a coincidence…?


July 9, 2019 9:06 am


I was thinking that myself…

July 9, 2019 9:33 am

Footage has emerged of the Tyrone team on their match bus singing ‘Come out ye Black & Tans’ as an Orange Parade passed their bus,as they were on their way home after the Cavan match last Saturday night.

Tyrone GAA has apologised for incident. Bloody Hell Shocking.

July 9, 2019 9:36 am

The Exiled Tim, I will need to get Paul McGrath’s book, I am in the middle of reading George Connelly’s republished autobiography and had in my mind to write something about it and then ^ ^ ^ appeared and all reasoning disappeared…

Bobby, just a bit of fun, sometimes life can be too serious, sometimes humour is a necessity to blow away the clouds, life is to be enjoyed as much as it can be… thanks for putting it up. I only joined Sentinel Celts, because you seemed disappointed by the uptake, I could sense your frustrations, but it takes an awful lot to write daily and sometimes you need a wee break, but you have a lot of friends ready to assist you with the blog, that is obvious, so all the best mate….

July 9, 2019 11:32 am

Morning all.

July 9, 2019 11:35 am

Morning Weefra. Half dozen eggs please 🙂

Here’s hoping for tonight, think it will be tight especially at the back. But we have goals in us. I just wish we would score early rather than later.

Sol Kitts
July 9, 2019 12:30 pm

I heard that the bloke who invented autocorrect died recently. His funfair was last Fried egg.

July 9, 2019 12:49 pm

Today is the beginning.

July 9, 2019 12:56 pm

The documentary is worth watching.

July 9, 2019 1:01 pm


All the very best for your family and your daughter in particular.

I have my son and family over from Sweden with their one year old. It is hectic. Later my son from London and his two kids arrive. We shall be spent by the summer’s end.

I hope all goes well for your family,


July 9, 2019 1:06 pm


How you today jim? Seen a guy on a motorbike yesterday and on the back of his jacket it said “ if you can read this, my wife’s fell off the back”. ??

July 9, 2019 1:09 pm

Weefra, sounds like my cousin, he’s a mad biker.

July 9, 2019 1:21 pm

Right ghuys, off to see ma favourite nurse. Hopefully coming to an end any time soon. Been attending since last October. ?? Later.

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 1:33 pm


Ralston SImunovic, Ajer Hayes

Forrest Brown Bitton Sinclair

Eduaord Griffiths

July 9, 2019 1:41 pm

Awe Naw, If each of those players played to their best, it will be a comfortable win.

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 1:43 pm


I´ll take a scoreless draw and go for a 1.3 win Leighbhoy getting two

July 9, 2019 1:46 pm

That’s what I meant this morning, there is a possibility of goals in there.

July 9, 2019 1:49 pm

I loved that season when VVD & JD played together at CB. They were good for some lovely goals too! I think they scored about half a dozen each that season.

Awe Naw
July 9, 2019 2:01 pm


Yeah why not tonight also Big Jozo may have a point to prove tonight.

July 9, 2019 2:09 pm

Morning folks,,
Mike many thanks for today’s food for thought. Much appreciated. Thought the doctor was a good coach with an eye for a player indeed.
Enjoyed watching his team in the flesh a couple times. Cheers pal.

Gombeen Man,, we have noticed your absence indeed. I hope things are OK with your wee angel. Will offer a quick prayer. Mine gets more amazing by the day. Don’t want her to grow up..

Should be an intense atmosphere tonight,, hard places breed hard people and the crowd will be sauced and expect their boys to take no shit and dish plenty out.
Any victory would be nice.
Hail Hail

July 9, 2019 2:13 pm

Happy 21st birthday to Emmett.
Shares a birthday with my beautiful wife
Happy Birthday my Yankee lass also!