Unaccustomed As I Am…

I’m rubbish at articles, but I do this for Mahe. He is due a holiday. And I love him to bits on here.

It’s more of a prompt for you folk. To tell us about the times you have met Celtic players.

I know I have said this before but my granny’s cousin was Jimmy McGrory. A hero.
I was going with the Boy’s Guild to Celtic Park in 1967. After we had won the BIG Cup. My father said to me if you meet Jimmy McGrory remember to tell him who your granny is.

Mr. McGrory was the meeter and greeter that day! I dutifully spoke to him and said “my granny is…….” He looked at me and said “that’s nice son!” Patted me on the back.

I think they were close relatives like you meet at funerals!

Do you remember The London Road Tavern? Big Yogi used to stand outside it. (I think he owned it?) By the time I got of the bus I was brave enough top say hello. He used to play for Shotts Bon Accord I reminded him! He laughed. After a while he used to see me approaching and smiled at me. “Hello Jim!”

But even better, when I got inside the Tavern an old bird had took a liking to me. She worked behind the bar. It was about 6 deep at the bar. I would walk in and she would shout ” A Pint of Heavy Jim?” Everyone would turn round and give me daggers!

Then there was Paul McStay. 1998 I think. I was working for a sportswear firm. He came into one of our shops with his wife and a baby in a go-chair. I was wanting to go up to him, give him a manly hug and ask for his autograph. But I thought no! He probably gets pestered all the time. But he smiled at me on the way out. I think he remembered me from the front of the North Stand.

I can’t tell you how many Celts I have saw at sportsmens dinners. Everybody go up to talk to them. I didn’t. Too shy.

My biggest regret was PC Lustig. I loved that guy. Everyone was going up to get their photos with him.

Please tell us your stories about meet ups!


Today’s article was brought to you by JIMTHETIM53,aka that namedropping git! But he has put out the challenge to us all-which celebrities have met in your time? C’mon,spill the beans!

As you know,we happily solicit the opinions of our members,and when someone offers their views for Article of the Day,we always publish. Mail it to Mahe.


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September 4, 2019 7:13 am

Morning Jim.
Thank you for the article.
I’ve met many players, mainly because of my bhoy, having played at a level, for a few years.
Random meetings, I was at St Andrews waiting to play on the Himalayas, with my family ( if anyone doesn’t know, it’s a real fun putting place, the name gives you a step for a hint, as to the shape of it, anyway right behind was Paul McStay with his family, I thought how wonderful, no airs or graces and he was queuing up like the rest of us. I had a little chat, he was a true gent, then the pressure playing my first shot with Paul watching.??
One of the league cup finals, i think the Jiinky number 7, one, Tom Boyd was sitting beside me, it was in the North Stand. Tom was dealing with Celtic, hospitality, you know the premium cup final tickets, just by chance my ticket was the first that was not hospitality, so that was great having Tom’s insight throughout. A lovely man.
The same happened at Rugby Park and it was Packie Bonner who was sat beside me, now I know some give him a bad press, but the big man was great company, again no airs or graces.
Outside of football, I had a pint with Sam Torrance, I was in a pub, myself waiting on a train and Sam walked in and sat at the bar beside me.
I had a great chat with him, I had no idea, at that time, that he was a Celtic man, sadly that one turned a little sour, as some halfwit ( not me ) decided it would be fun to heckle Sam, about his wife, he didn’t react, he just said to me, it was a pleasure chatting with you,but I’m out of here, I don’t need the hassle.

September 4, 2019 7:14 am

My thoughts are with you and all your loved ones, at what must be an incredibly difficult time. ??

September 4, 2019 7:35 am


My Dad used to see Sam Torrance regularly at his golf club in Largs. Sam lived across the road at the time. But that’s for him to tell.

Same club when I drove up to pick my Dad up,one Sunday morning about twenty years ago. I’m flicking through the sports pages in the bar,which was empty apart from three blokes maybe a couple of years older than me. They were at the next table. One of them said he was sure he knew me,come over and join us.

I looked up-the two Fox brothers who owned The Metro in Saltcoats,and Andy Goram. So I politely declined. Andy Goram sneered-oh,that’ll be because of me,then.

Got eff all to do wi you,I replied. And related an occasion about a decade earlier in their club involving their stunning niece and three bouncers. Bloody hell,was that you-one of them replied. We weren’t too happy about that,son. You got lucky.

Told them that I wasn’t too happy,their niece wasn’t too happy. And that I wasn’t the one who got lucky. So can I go back to reading my paper in peace?

You could’ve cut the atmosphere wi a knife when my Dad sauntered in with his playing partners!

Happy daze…

September 4, 2019 7:37 am


Indeed. A shocking tragedy for those involved. I’ll be sending a missive upstairs at 7pm as requested.

That’s 1800GMT for those in foreign climes.

Best wishes to everyone on a very sad occasion.

September 4, 2019 8:01 am

Hey Mick.
I bet that was frosty, in the club. ???
The official Celtic Twitter, yesterday, had a picture saying good morning.
It’s of the fans and players celebrating at the end. Hamilton Tim is in the middle of it and one of the other highlights, Ladbrokes sent out, Butzy is in that one.

September 4, 2019 8:25 am


Frosty? Aye,you could say that. My Dad asked me on the way back what had happened,it was really obvious! So I told him. Ffs,I hope you’re not thinking of going there again!

Not at 35yo Dad,naw. Not really.

HAMILTONTIM and BUTZYBHOY are just attention-seeking photobombers. Not that I’m in the least bit jealous,perish the thought. Grand Lads,must mail them re the hoot. Be brilliant to see them again.

Bada Bing
September 4, 2019 9:28 am

Mario- dreadful news. HH

Twists n turns
September 4, 2019 9:44 am

Met a few players over the years:

Stevie Chalmers
Derek Whyte
Brian McLair
John Collins
Pat Mcginlay
Kristoffer Ajer
Mark Burchill
Bertie Auld
John Fallon

A few others. Some were basically just introductions, some were more than that.

Mark Burchill was very kind to me and my nephew when my brother ( my nephews dad) died. Invited us to his house and gave my nephew some mementos. Lovely guy.

Derek Whyte was an absolute gent. As was Stevie Chalmers.

Brian McLair and I didn’t hit it off. Maybe I got him on a bad day. I’ll leave it at that.

Got to know Bobby Murdoch well. Would meet up with him for a few home matches . We’d have dinner and a “ few” beers. Bobby liked his Guinness!

I took someone with me one day. He was playing in the English premiership at the time. Went on to manage in England. Again, I’ll leave it at that as to his identity.
Anyhow as I said, Bobby had a few beers , and a few more, as did I, and he was telling us a few stories about Jock Stein and some transfer “dealings” surrounding him, and a couple of other Celtic players.

It didn’t portray big Jock in a great light. Anyway, we left after a vg day. Dinner, plenty refreshments and all in the company of a guy I really liked, and who seemed to like me.

Next morning, aforementioned player calls me

“ ffs twisty, the papers would pay a fortune for those stories about Stein”

I told him to ******* wait where he was. Slammed the phone.

I drove round to his place. On the drive I was getting the absolute rage . We ‘ agreed’ that the stories would remain as a private conversation.

Never invited him back. Simply didn’t trust him after that.

September 4, 2019 10:16 am


There are a few posters on here with personal experience of the company of Bobby Murdoch. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word said about him ever.

Jock’s attitude towards his players,particularly in the earlier parts of his tenure,has been widely commented on by those same players over the years. It’s a strange thing that he apparently fussed over them like lambs yet drove them relentlessly. His support of Bob Kelly in sanctions against the players after Montevideo,the Bobby Lennox Bronze Boot,the parsimonious wages,have certainly tarnished his reputation somewhat.

His lack of empathy towards players who weren’t performing for whatever reason was legendary. And his means of ushering players through the out door was unedifying and frankly disgraceful at times. Yet there was no denying his love and pride for those players.

A very complex man,I suspect. A legend,of course. And I don’t doubt that he was a great man away from Celtic. But clearly not without flaws. And some people may have suffered unduly because of that.

Twists n turns
September 4, 2019 10:26 am

I’ve absolutely no doubt you’re 100% correct

I find it difficult to besmirch Celtic legends when they’re no longer with us and have therefore no reply. Doesn’t mean I don’t believe the stuff I’ve heard but as I say, I’d rather just push it to the back of my mind.

Head in sand? Well maybe

September 4, 2019 10:58 am

When I lived in Nitshill, Bobby worked behind the bar in the Levern Water.
It was a rough place and probably the only mixed pub, in the area, but he was loved by all sides. A true gent. It was always a bitter/sweet moment that a true legend was pouring me a pint. I always felt it should have been the other way about.

I noticed Hamilton abandoned tonight.
I thought it may be, after the torrential downpours throughout the night, as I said last week, they have been incredibly unlucky with the weather this year.
Uttoxeter is on today, that was a pleasant surprise, when we attended there, a beautiful place and facilities excellent for size/grade of track.

September 4, 2019 11:00 am

Bit of luck,put on an old compilation CD and it’s got a one hit wonder on it.

So what?

Well,the so what is the amazing guitar on it.


Twists n turns
September 4, 2019 12:12 pm

I was planning to go

Stuck on a few ante post bets last night

Got up this morning. My PP account showed over £100 more than I thought! I immediately thought I’d had a bet up that I’d forgotten about ?. Opened up settled bets


All void. Stakes returned ?. Realised then it was abandoned.

Uttoxeter – been many times. Met Bob Champion there. He joined my table and went through the card with us. Didn’t get a winner?. I thought “ I can do that “??

Nice chap though.


Twists n turns
September 4, 2019 1:04 pm

Looks like I’ll be at Hamilton today after all:

Just had a call from Carly inviting me through for a complimentary dinner in Dukes . That’s today’s meal sorted?

… and I won’t back any losers either… bonus ?

September 4, 2019 1:29 pm

Excellent, Twists.
That’s a win/win.

September 4, 2019 1:30 pm

So the teenage bigot who abused Brown has now been charged.
His parents will be proud at rearing another disgraceful little neanderthal .
What transpired between now and the time of incident when the police took no action?
Are the police so biased they need to be publicly exposed before they take the appropriate action against the sevco support?

A thing of beauty
September 4, 2019 1:34 pm

Mario, terrible news. Your family has been dealt a rough hand, hope you can be strong for them.

Twists n turns
September 4, 2019 1:37 pm

I’ve not seen the news being referred to, but clearly it’s not good. Whatever it is bud, thoughts are with you and yours.
God bless


A thing of beauty
September 4, 2019 1:39 pm

Great wee stories there pal. I would love to regale you all with the tales of all the Celtic players I have met but I can’t. I become completely tongue tied and make an awful fool of myself. Doesn’t stop me trying to speak to them though.
As regards the guy who shouted at Scott Brown about his sister, there are no words for that. As for the policeman who told him that’s enough of that then did f all. Well done, your superiors would be so proud.

September 4, 2019 2:17 pm


There are no words………. i can think of nothing worse than to lose a child. Sincere best wishes from myself and my wife as your family moves through this terrible time.


September 4, 2019 3:05 pm

I in my career i have had the opportunity to work with many movie stars,musicians and sports stars.
It led to the realization that if you want them to remain heroes then it would be better to view them from afar.
Humans can be conditioned by their surroundings and while they may be brilliant at their jobs their environment can lead to a distorted sense of self.
Many are fantastic people but to say some have disappointed would be an understatement.
A friend once asked me if i wanted to be introduced to Bertie Auld at a function.
I politely declined as he is such a legend and huge character to me i didn’t want to take the risk of possibly diminishing my adoration for one of my true heroes.
I preferred to remain awestruck from across the room.

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 3:48 pm

Nothing worse than that, so so sorry.

September 4, 2019 4:09 pm

Following up on Res12 Next Steps a good sized number of shareholders were e mailed since Sunday night late finishing last night and responses are coming in.

It will take a while to respond to everyone but if you expressed interest you should by now have the necessary paperwork to take the next step.

Many thanks.

September 4, 2019 4:57 pm


I echo your wise comments re “personalities” inside and outside the football world. When I finished university and went to work in the big smoke of London, I met a few personalties from showbiz. In fact one was/is a Celtic fan. He was quite different from the stage image that the public get to see.

The woman in my life at that time was a dancer and used to get gigs on TV shows at the BBC at White City. After she recorded her show we would go upstairs to the bar and, perhaps, some of the other performers would appear. My lady would always try to get me into the recording of shows with a Scottish element to them. I recall one session in the BBC bar after a recording of a show headed by a particular Scottish comedian/singer. Let me simply say I was almost ashamed to be Scottish that evening. There are two types of comedian. One that is genuinely funny all the time, and the other who can be funny when scripted. This guy was the latter but thought he was the former…….usually the prelude to a disaster. He exemplified the stereotype of a Scot from the English perspective…….a plastic Jock!

One time, I was walking up Regent St on a Sunday when I noticed a couple walking arm in arm in front of me. Every so often they would stop and canoodle. The guy was a well known group that changed the tenor of British radio comedy and he was imitating some of the many voices that he had perfected in order to impress his lady. She was a well known US singer who had a very famous mother. I believe at least the guy was married to someone else at that time. I am far from being a prude but I never felt the same about his performances after that.


The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 5:53 pm

Thanks for the article Jim, it got me to thinking, met a few players over the years, mainly through Billy, Big Billy’s wife, Liz, her brother married my cousin, Ryan Christie’s great grand father and my grandfather were cousins, that’s about it 😉

September 4, 2019 5:56 pm

Help required. Going to Derry this weekend with a group of 8 guys. 3 youngsters the rest old guys. Which pubs are good and where should we avoid (if you get my drift!)

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 5:58 pm

This is hilarious, lots of swearies but just what you would expect.

September 4, 2019 6:44 pm

Thats hilarious .
As Cartman would say your tears are delicious.
Wonder who between sky and bbc will be first to employ him as an analyst?

Mario Bertolini
September 4, 2019 7:02 pm

candle lit for Arabella.

Mario Bertolini
September 4, 2019 7:04 pm

Thanks for all your comments, much appreciated. love to all. Arabella only knew love and caring.

September 4, 2019 7:07 pm

I’m new to this site so we’ve never spoken. My heart goes out to you and yours, there are no words as others have said.

I hope you somehow find comfort and a mechanism to get you through the tragedy. All the best

Sol Kitts
September 4, 2019 7:20 pm

Thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Sol Kitts
September 4, 2019 7:37 pm

In December 89, I was invited to a corporate day out at Celtic v Dundee; the whole package, stadium tour, meal, free bar, seats in the main stand, meet the club legends. I had an absolute ball, even stood on the pitch (for which I got a row from the groundsman). I was thinking the day couldn’t get any better, then it did, big style. Our seats in the stand turned out to be the plush, padded ones where the directors and ex-players sat, and I was sat next to Jinky. I don’t remember much about the game apart from we won 4-1, but the 90 minutes sat next to the wee man are indelibly etched on my brain. He had me in stitches several times, and his passion for the club was still as strong then as it always would be. It was a crying shame that such a vibrant, witty and energetic man should suffer MND.

September 4, 2019 7:51 pm

Very sorry to hear that desperately sad news. I’m sure your strength will be of comfort to the family.

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 8:59 pm

Mario-like everyone else words escape me,god bless you and the family .
Still canny believe that was as easy as it was?
BMCUWP’s-I remember you told me that story regarding gorum,think you were trying to tell me something else though ?

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 9:03 pm

Ok, here are my picks for the first bet.
Dundee Utd
Fingers crossed.

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 9:13 pm

TET-5:58pm-That was FUCKIN brilliant ?
And he did say he backed slippy 100%?

September 4, 2019 9:20 pm

Best of luck.

Re Meeting your hero’s. Henke Larsson – I was absolutely dumb struck. My wife managed to get a pic of me and my all time Celtic hero together after her having to ask Henrick if it was ok as I was too shy :-). I also meet Samuel Eto while sitting in a Jazz bar in Douala (Cameroon) watching an absolutely fantastic James Brown tribute act.

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 9:36 pm

Aye, it wisny bad, they are no right in the heed 😉
I will need it, not been doing too well this past few weeks.

September 4, 2019 9:38 pm

Dumb hun reiterates how he is a fan and loves slippy then proceeds to massacre him.
I was impressed how articulate he was for a hun.
With supporters like that who needs enemies

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 9:39 pm

I have a picture laying about somewhere of me holding up the Sam McGuire.

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 9:44 pm

Jtt53- regarding the Celtic players we’ve met ?
To few to mention ?

The Exiled Tim
September 4, 2019 9:45 pm

He is a big bhoy

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 9:47 pm

With fans like that ?

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 9:57 pm

Anybody watched The Rangers commentary on JH goal ?apparently ‘we stole the game’

September 4, 2019 9:58 pm

The other day the new signing O’Connor mentioned that he can also play in midfield.
Made me wonder if in signing discussion the idea was suggested to him?
Also i think some of Ajer’s recent performances at right back were reminiscent of the brilliant swashbuckling Tommy Gemmell.
Would be tempted to give him a run there.

September 4, 2019 10:01 pm

if it wisnae for Fraser’s two world class saves from there trundlebolts we wid of got gubbed!

September 4, 2019 10:05 pm

Jullien has some width in those shoulders. Massive broad shouldered bhoy. Loved his attitude on Sunday. Good interview too. ?

Fairhill Bhoy
September 4, 2019 10:08 pm

Fan-a-tic- it’s the hope/hate that kills them ?
Away again,it’s stopped raining ?

September 4, 2019 10:08 pm

We stole the game wi two daft goals, according to RTV commentator. ??