Erra macaroon bars, spearmint chewing gum !!
If you remember this call, you’ve probably been going to see Celtic longer than most.
You might have watched the famous 1967 Lisbon Lions story unfold, probably the greatest football achievement ever by a group of players, never to have made it onto the silver screen.
A story of a team of local boys all from within a thirty mile radius of Celtic park, who conquered the great Inter Milan team of 1967, playing beautiful attacking football. The story takes on ever more significance because, against all the odds, it was a feat never done before, and was one which will never be repeated.
One of the most significant aspects of this story, belongs to the Celtic supporters, the fans, the ones the great Lisbon Lions manager, John ‘Jock’ Stein spoke highly of when he said “Football is for the fans. It can be the greatest game in the world but if there are no people to watch it, it becomes nothing. The fans are the lifeblood of the game.”
Many stories can be read about the fans who followed their beloved team in 1967 to Portugal, to take on, the mighty Inter Milan and their renowned coach Helenio Herrera. At least one fan sold his house to follow his team to Lisbon, even though he knew it would cost him his marriage. Thousands of fans borrowed, begged, scraped and saved, to fund the trip to see this once in a lifetime event unfold, where eleven local footballers would do the unthinkable, a team outwith the Latin realm of giants like, Real Madrid, Benfica or Milan would win the European Cup and bring it to Glasgow for the first time ever. Also making them the first British team ever to do so.
Fans, many who had never been on a plane in their life, cast aside everything to get there, no matter the cost, some went by car, which was no mean feat in those days, as others thought the car would have trouble seeing them to the end of the street, let alone get them to Lisbon, but most made it and witnessed something very very special.
More recently in 2003 Celtic fans went to Seville in Spain, to see their beloved team take on Jose Mourhinho’s Porto, in the UEFA cup final. Some estimated 80,000 fans followed Celtic to that Final, and received both a EUFA and FIFA fair play award for “Their extraordinarily loyal and sporting behaviour”. The award should come as no surprise to anyone who recalls the macaroon bars, spearmint chewing gum call, because yes, Celtic fans are indeed loyal.
Those same fans were loyal when Fergus McCann asked tens of thousand of them to put their hands in their pockets and buy shares in the club, the most successful share issue in football history. The same Fergus who had previously put in his own money, 8 minutes before Celtic almost went into administration, no matter what anyone says Fergus was a fan.
I consider the Lisbon Lions and their manager Jock Stein as two of the three most major events i have witnessed in Celtics proud history, the other was Fergus saving our club, the former have stands named after them at Celtic park, i think it shows a severe lack of appreciation for a man who saved our club, not to have one named after him.
However Loyalty can be taken for granted, there are those who believe our current custodians are playing on that loyalty, either by their inability, or lack of willingness to move our club out of sight of the chasing pack, let’s face it with the financial muscle we have, no-one should be near us.
Then there is a growing concern that these same custodians may have also helped to rejuvenate the “Od Frm”.
Something shamefully also forced upon us by the Scottish media, like the episode of the American TV Show Dallas, where in the most bizarre plot line ever seen on prime time TV, an actor returned to the soap after having been killed off with the explanation that his death, and the whole of the previous seasons events, had all been a dream. (Ring any bells?).
It was no dream, it certainly did happen, a club were liquidated and they died. They should not have been aided, by anyone in a continuation lie. I know it, you know it, the media know it, them over at Govan know it, and most importantly our custodians know it.
To the latter, we say…. “Don’t confuse Loyalty with Stupidity”.
The above guest article is by ASWGL. Should you feel like dropping us an article for the front page the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.