The Lost Ten-Part Seven

Season 84/85 arrived as expected. As usual,our money men had taken the summer off,and there were no new signings to make us sit up and salivate at the prospect of the season ahead. What DID give us some hope was that Aberdeen had lost two of their best players,with Mark McGhee heading for Hamburg and Gordon Strachan blazing a trail to Old Trafford. Aberdeen reacted to this by signing the outstanding Frank McDougall for a huge fee of £400,000 if I recall correctly.

That was a mark of intent,a throwing down of the gauntlet by their board and management. Our response to it was weak and insipid. And non-existent. Few of us,with this knowledge to hand,were optimistic going into the season,but few of us would have foreseen how badly we would fare as it got under way.

The first four weeks of the season saw us draw four out of five games and bomb in the League Cup against Dundee United. Aye,we kept going through the motions for the rest of the season,but Aberdeen were stretching away from us,despite losing two of their star men. We actually put together a decent run from then,winning six in a row-including victories over Aberdeen and Dundee United for a change. The sort of results that bring out the optimist in us. So a defeat at Cappielow was the last thing we needed-or expected! We took seventeen bloody goals off that mob in four matches,they were relegated with a total of only twelve points and they managed to beat us,with former Celts Dom Sullivan and Jim Duffy running the show. There’s yer reality check right there,lads.

On the back of that defeat came one of the best performances of the era as we overturned a first leg 3-1 deficit to beat Rapid Vienna 3-0 in The European Cup Winners Cup. A magnificent night,with everyone doing their bit,but surely no more than Tommy Burns on the night. Tommy was a delight to watch,but he turned in a masterclass that night.

I’ll say no more about it,but I reckon there may be a few comments on this subject!

December hove into view and once again it wasn’t a very festive time at Celtic Park,managing to drop five points in five games. This included highly damaging defeats against both Aberdeen and Dundee United and a bloody draw at home to the huns. New Year and five points behind Aberdeen. Which was actually worse than the previous season. Happy New Year,indeed.

For once,the board had seen fit to help the manager out by shelling out around half a million on Pierce O’Leary,brother of the excellent David,and some wee Maryhill toerag. But it wasn’t going to be enough,not this season. For whatever reason,we just never really clicked when it mattered,and certainly not with any semblance of consistency. It really was a case of turning up,see what Celtic team had turned up. A genuine Aw F..k season in the league,in Europe,the League Cup.

Those four draws at the start of the season had put us on the back foot,win them and we may have had a different scenario altogether. Losing stupid points was unforgivable,and we did it with unerring accuracy. Rangers took three points from us and even Dundee managed to beat us twice. Bloody hell,even Hibs managed a win and a draw against us! It was a dismal season,albeit it one with some great highlights. But highlights win you nothing,consistency is the key. And we couldn’t even manage consistency for ninety minutes,far less an entire campaign.

Yet we went into the last weekend of April with an outside chance of winning it,even against the odds! Win against Aberdeen,we would be three points behind with four to play. Could we do it,is there another fairytale? Well,big Roy did his bit. He blasted a penalty straight at Jim Leighton’s head. Bravely,the keeper stood up to it. And wished he hadn’t. But then we allowed the free-scoring(!) Willie Miller to equalise and it was Goodnight Vienna. (Sorry about that,folks.)

Another draw against the huns and a defeat to Dundee,ffs. Seven point gap at the end up. Dismal. I’ll save the tale of our Cup Final success against Dundee United for another day. Had the tickets,went inside the stadium and walked out the other side. Watched it in The International Bar. How people weren’t killed in the crush outside the north-east corner of the stadium is a bloody miracle.

They say tomorrow is another day,but by this time,we were fed up with Groundhog Day. In seven seasons since Jock left,we had won the title three times and thrown it away four times.

Surely this couldn’t continue?

Above by BMCUWP

Fancy writing something for the site ?

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big packy
July 13, 2020 7:59 am

MORNING ALL and JIM , BOBBY, great article as usual, but as you know was down here then, and no sky tv, so cant comment?

big packy
July 13, 2020 8:01 am

THE REAL MCOY@1-46, cheers for that will enquire?

July 13, 2020 8:51 am

Thanks Bobby, it’s really good to hear your reminisces of the 80s, when I was living in England/Germany. I always got the Celtic View posted to me wherever I was, but it cannot compare with first hand knowledge.

July 13, 2020 9:32 am


Cheers,lads. As usual,I was at most games that season. There is a good reason why this article is the shortest in the series. It’s because it was far and away our worst season during the period involved. Absolutely dire campaign.

July 13, 2020 9:46 am


The Celtic View.

I was coming out CP after a game with my brother. He spotted a watch lying on the terrace. He picked it up. An inscription on it said “ To Paddy, happy 21st from Gran”

He sent a letter in to the Celtic view saying he’d found a watch, and if someone could tell him the inscription, he would arrange its return.

The letter was printed and a note from the editor stated “ these two letters arrived in the same post

The second letter said “ I lost a watch given to me from my Gran for my 21st birthday, and would offer a reward for its return.

My brother met up with the guy at the next game. From memory , he took my brother for a bite to eat and a few pints somewhere a week or so later .

He was very grateful. Obviously huge sentimental value.

July 13, 2020 10:00 am

I moved to Derby in the summer of 1984. I missed most of that season, and like Friesdorfer, had the Celtic View posted to me every week from home. For the first time in my life, the number of Celtic games I attended was in single figures. On half a dozen occasions during 84/85 season, I hitch hiked from Derby to Glasgow, leaving on Friday afternoon and hitch hiking from Glasgow back south on Sunday afternoon. I had some adventures and tales to tell of my HH days. Always made it both ways in under 10 hours. My secret was to wear my Celtic top and Celtic scarf while thumbing a lift. The majority of drivers who stopped for me would say that they stopped because of my colours, and we had a ready made conversation topic.
Unfortunately most of the 9 games I attended that season in Glasgow were poor performances by Celtic. The exception being the Scottish Cup Final, that my sister decided to attend with me, attired in emerald green dress and killer stiletto heels. Had someone not opened the exit gate beside the turnstiles. My sis and I would have been killed in the crush. It was very close to being a Liverpool at Hillsborough disaster.
I managed to see Celtic twice in England that season. The Rapid game at Old Trafford, and one of the best friendlies I have attended, Leeds United v Celtic at Elland Road. The Leeds fans chanting Celtic throughout the match, and their Irish support joining us in the rebel songs. My most memorable occasion that season involved another Scottish team. I attended Man Utd v Dundee Utd 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. What a great DU team that was. They outplayed MU that night, and were robbed of the victory. My green, white and orange Celtic scarf was appreciated by the Dundee United support in Manchester that night, and I was made an adopted Dundonian for the night. Lost count of the amount of Dundonians who told me that they were really Dundee Hibernian and they hated the huns. Great set of supporters. Biggest regret that season was not making the Cup Winners cup final in Rotterdam. Everton v Celtic in Rotterdam would have been some occasion. Thankfully the Scousers beat the cheats of Vienna.

July 13, 2020 10:12 am

Morning all and Packy.

Can’t remember much about that season Bobby, wasn’t paying too much attention to football at that time (sorry!).

I was living in Paisley at the time and one thing I remember from then was seeing Frank McAvennie in the lounge bar of a pub in Glasgow Road. A player with St. Mirren at the time. He was a cool dude, sandals on, no socks, rolled up white trousers, accompanied by a couple of lovely girls! For all my poor memory it’s funny the daft things you remember!
Talking of which, I recall liking the fact that the said lounge always had bowls of free nuts and crisps on the bar to help yourselves to. Several years later I found out about toilet habits. Back in the day, buckets of ice would be on the bar, no tongs or scoops! Studies showed that the remaining water had a ?% urine content! Euchhh!

July 13, 2020 10:39 am


Aye. That’s the crush in question. The fans kicked down a gate and a mounted copper drove his horse through the crush to block it off

Bastard. People could have been killed and they CGAF.

Petrified the life out of my girlfriend who never went back

July 13, 2020 10:59 am

Thankfully my sis was made of stronger stuff. She still has a season ticket in the Main Stand at Celtic Park behind the away dug out. She was nearly arrested at a huns game a few years ago, for letting sleekit, slimeball McCoist, know exactly what she thought of him. My only surprise was that she never jumped on the track, to give Neil Lennon hauners.

July 13, 2020 11:18 am


Ach,the alcohol would have killed any germs. What doesn’t kill you,etc..

July 13, 2020 11:26 am

Bobby, LOL 🙂 You’re right, I survived.
btw, My deputy manager at the time was from Dundee, a Utd. supporter. He kept me up to date with everything Dundee Utd on a daily basis! I tried to look interested 🙂 Although from what I remember they and Aberdeen were big hitters in the eighties. unlike the huns who were in dire straights.

July 13, 2020 11:28 am

Great memories Bhoys ??

July 13, 2020 12:05 pm

Good afternoon all from a very humid Govanhill.

Sol Kitts
July 13, 2020 12:14 pm

That cup final was the last time they allowed pay at the gate. Mrs Kitts and I went in, then couldn’t move for the duration. Far too many people in one area, bloody cops seemed intent on killing someone. Whoever made the decision to force horses through people who were so tightly packed they couldn’t move should have been prosecuted for reckless endangerment.

July 13, 2020 12:35 pm

Sol Kitts
Yes, it was pay at the gate Hampden 1985.
My sister and I got in for free, through the exit gate that was forced open to prevent a tragedy.
I had the pleasure of using my saved gate money to buy Cup winner Frank McGarvey a drink that night. Still got a photo of Frank, me and the Scottish Cup, taken in Chambers Bar George Square, at our Lisbon Lions CSC annual dance that night. Sadly Frank told us that he had played his last game for Celtic. What a way to bow out.

July 13, 2020 1:07 pm

Garry, now you mention it I remember that cup final. I was working that day but listened to it on the wireless. I met up with my pals who were at the game in a pub across the road from the Theatre Royal. I felt sorry for Frank McGarvey being let go after scoring in the final.
Frank finished his playing days with Shotts Bon Accord!

Bada Bing
July 13, 2020 1:14 pm

CELTIC are almost certain to be seeded all the way through their four Champions League qualifying rounds – as long as Basel don’t make a miracle comeback in the Swiss league.

Bada Bing
July 13, 2020 1:15 pm

The Swiss side trail leaders St Gallen by seven points with six games left and if they fail to win their title Celtic are likely to be guaranteed a seeded spot alongside Dutch aces Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg of Austria and Greek champions Olympiakos.

July 13, 2020 1:22 pm


The turnstile operator where we were was switched on. I had tried to get my petrified girlfriend out of the crush,but realised I was closer to the entrance so went for it.

The fella just said jump over,it’s quicker. Need to get you through as quick as possible.

Scariest occasion ever apart from the Janefield Street incident.

fan-a -tic
July 13, 2020 1:33 pm

CAS basically saying sporting integrity and FFP does not apply to football.
The old time bar caveat to get around clear violations.
Seem to remember that phrase from another football corruption scandal.
A club can stonewall and obstruct and then receive a paltry fine relative to income.
Wealthy clubs will continue to hoover up all the best young talent while the peoples game becomes a cash cow for the rich.
As Celtic supporters we always knew the game was bent.

July 13, 2020 1:37 pm


I’m a believer in the theory that anything more than £20,you hand it in. That’s the level that most people will maybe report a loss.

About 15 years ago,I was making a delivery to a wee sub-post office. Drop the papers at the display beside the door,pop up to the counter and hand over the delivery note.

On the way to a counter I scooped up a trail of tens and twenties. About £500 in total

Handed it over to the postmaster and suggested he check his CCTV.

No way I could have enjoyed spending that

July 13, 2020 1:50 pm


Disgraceful decision. I’m astonished yet not surprised.

July 13, 2020 2:03 pm

I have finally realised a lifetime ambition.

I’ve drank a pub dry.

Barmaid just told me that they have ran out of Guinness.

I’m so proud…

July 13, 2020 2:23 pm

Just off the phone to Davie OldTim to wish him a happy birthday on his 81st.
Told me to pass on belated birthday wishes to you. Made the opposite joke to you, that his mother kept her legs crossed till after midnight on 12th July. ?

big packy
July 13, 2020 2:36 pm

AFTERNOON-ALL and JIM, well ive heard it all now, a lady done a bronze sculpture of john lennon to mark his 80th bithday, she wanted it put on strawberry fields, the council said no we will put it in sefton, bloody norah, if you come out of john lennons old house in menlove avenue in woolton, turn right and walk for about 10 mins you come to srawberry fields, ffs sefton is the north end of liverpool, its like someone doing a sculpture of wee jinky and instead of putting it in viewpark they put it in govan ,sorry rant over?

July 13, 2020 2:48 pm

The latest news on Leigh Griffiths is both sad and, perhaps, predictable. I do not intend to slag him in this missive but I think this will be his last contract with Celtic. His current contract expires at the end of May, 2022 when he will be 31. The question should really be, will he see out the remainder of this contract.
Depression is a nasty, often life long illness that appears in bursts throughout a life. Several close family members have had it and continue to suffer from it, so I have experience of it. If the reports that LG has returned seriously overweight are true, I can readily see why this may have happened. Depression can create a need for carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, especially at night when sleep is often not possible. I have seen half a loaf of bread disappear in 20 minutes…eaten compulsively. An individual can even realise what the consequences will be of their action but find it impossible to stop. In this condition, people need structure in their lives and a solid support network. The lockdown destroyed the structure that LG had and left him, largely to his own devices. Does he have a strong support system in place? I do not know but I know that he certainly needs one.
From past behaviour, it would be easy to conclude that LG likes to live on the edge. Playing football for a club like Celtic and scoring goals would give anyone a boost. If someone really needs that stimulation and adulation, what happens when it is withdrawn? Who knows in LG’s case, but I think it really depends on how a person can manage their life, and the support that it available to them.
Football is a very competitive business. Since LG is deemed to need his own training schedule, this will have opened the door for someone else to seize the opportunity of a first team place. I wish Leigh all the best but the reality is that the coming season is potentially a historical one for the club. Goals will be necessary to win the league but so will discipline and consistency.

Fight the fight, Leigh, many others have done so before you and will continue to do so,


Mike in Toronto
July 13, 2020 3:02 pm

Wim Suurbier, the right back of the great Ajax and Dutch teams of the early ’70’s, has passed away. He was never as flashy as some of his teammates on the great teams, but he was an integral member of those teams. Due to the fluid nature of those teams, and their approach to roles, he was certainly one of the players who helped create the modern wing back role that is so common today.

July 13, 2020 3:07 pm

Yesterday I watched Fenerbache vs Sivasspor in the Turkish premier league. It ended 2-1 to the away team. There were two outstanding players on the park. Firstly, Luiz Gustavo, Brazilian and 32 played as a defensive and holding midfielder for Fenerbache. He provided a masterclass on how to play that position! He has been around a bit, including Bayern Munich, but he still has a lot to offer.

Secondly, the left winger of Sivasspor, Emre Kilinic scored a goal and was a constant threat throughout the game. He is valued in the range 4-5 million and is only 25. I hope he is on our radar.Here he is, complete with offside goals!


big packy
July 13, 2020 3:10 pm

anybody watching the snooker, asking for a friend?

big packy
July 13, 2020 3:19 pm

HI MIKE, nice to see you posting, hows things with you and seamus ? think jim is watching snooker?

July 13, 2020 3:34 pm

Re Leigh’s situation. Just how far does duty of care go regarding employees, there is a stage where a company has to realise that the situation is not going to improve?

I was once involved with something similar being manager of a small group of experienced oilfield engineers who used to be sent worldwide to trouble shoot various well related issues. One of our engineers would often deem himself unavailable to travel overseas / offshore citing mental health issues, which in fairness was always corroborated by a medical certificate certifying he was unfit to work. As the company had invested a lot of expense and time training the guy replacing him on a temporary basis would have been problematic if not impossible and being a close group of work colleagues all of us wanted him to recover. But as a small group being unable to rely on one of the team made it quite difficult to function effectively and we had to cover as best we could due to the uncertainty of the situation. I had to try and do 2 jobs and others had to cut short their field leave or postpone holidays to help out, it was also a certainty that it would impact on the company’s ability to service it’s contracts sooner rather than later.
Once senior European HR became involved things moved fairly rapidly. Company paid for their own medical assessment, as well as our having a generous private health care provision in our contracts which he was requested to avail himself of . End of the day between HR and the company legal team his employment was terminated as he was deemed unfit to perform the tasks as stated in his contract.

Just how much support is enough – is there a limit?

July 13, 2020 3:41 pm


Final piece of housekeeping from last year’s competition. Big Packy has donated his winnings of just over £80 to the Scottish SPCA.

A very nice gesture and I’m sure they’ll be delighted to receive his donation.

Mike in Toronto
July 13, 2020 3:44 pm


Like everyone else, just trying to figure out how to negotiate my way through these crazy times.

TFC playing a 9:00 am kick off this morning because of the heat in Florida.

In spite of the heat and early start, the TFC keeper was clearly awake

PS… well done on the naps/SPCA.

July 13, 2020 3:50 pm

I agree there has to be a point in time whereby if the club feel Leigh isn’t making progress that they cannot issue a new contract.
I’d hope that until that point in time, the club would offer as much professional support as they can. I think Neil will be acutely aware of the illness that is depression.
From what I understand, Celtic have supported Leigh throughout.

It’s a very complicated situation. I’m not sure any of us have all the answers. How long you ask? I honestly don’t know.

I’m sure we all hope for a good outcome. If Leigh was to be released from his contract, I think his future could be a very difficult one.

big packy
July 13, 2020 3:58 pm

MIKE, dont know if ive ever told you this, when wee joan and i were in toronto, we paid a visit to the hockey stadium one day, nobody playing, but there was a hot dog vendor on the concourse, we both had one, have to say one of the best hotdogs ive ever ,tasted ,another true story?

big packy
July 13, 2020 4:02 pm

TWISTY, thanks for all the time and effort you put into the naps competition, its really appreciated ?

Mike in Toronto
July 13, 2020 4:06 pm


If you are going to have a hot dog, it should be at a baseball game. I am not a huge baseball fan, but there is something about sitting in the stands on a sunny day eating a hot dog. For some reason, they always taste better at a baseball game.

July 13, 2020 4:07 pm

Good afternoon all.
I back Leigh to the hilt, if his depression has caused this latest issue.
If, however, it was nothing to do with his depression and it was because he broke lockdown regulations ( as another rumour says) and was nothing to do with his depression, then i dont.
That’s the issue, only a select few know exactly why he’s been left behind.
I’m not one of them.
On a happier note, I’m going to see my old maw ( 81) tomorrow, first time since lockdown.
She will probably make a point of going out, before I get there.?

big packy
July 13, 2020 4:09 pm

MIKE, sorry might have been the baseball stadium?

big packy
July 13, 2020 4:16 pm

JNP, enjoy your time with your maw, wish my maw was here as well,,give her my best wishes?

Mike in Toronto
July 13, 2020 4:17 pm

At half-time, TFC are up two, and have an extra man, after DC had a man sent off …. home and dry, right?

Around 70 minutes, TFC coach decides to replace not just one, but both centre-backs at the same time … never seen that done before … and DC score two in the last 10 minutes (including the last, which was a game of head tennis in the box) to pull out a draw …

this is the second time in three games that TFC have given up the tying goal in extra time … not enough to call it a trend, but worrying nonetheless …

July 13, 2020 4:48 pm


I think there is a limit on duty of care. One aspect that puzzles me and has a bearing on future action, is the question of who is paying LG’s wages? Is there an insurance policy that covers all or some of his wage? If so, there is little to no financial pressure to release Leigh.

I had to deal with a similar situation where someone was unable to perform their job….namely teaching Accounting to an MBA class. Depression was at the root of it but it had morphed into alcoholism. I and those above me delayed calling it for what it was…..covered it up, in fact. In retrospect that was the wrong course of action. Ultimately, it led to a worse situation that required drastic action. The lesson? Deal with these situations sooner rather than later.

If LG’s current problem is a mental health issue, then there needs to be a long term strategy put in place for the duration of his contract. A strategy that includes both monitoring and support. If the strategy is mutually agreed and it is violated, then the future is clear.

Of course, we do not know the source of the problem……….nor should we if it is personal.
If it is a discipline issue that puts teammates at risk then it is a different matter.


Sol Kitts
July 13, 2020 4:53 pm

Campbelton Loch is on standby alert ??

July 13, 2020 4:56 pm


Ah,Campbelltown Loch,I wish ye were Lanny…

July 13, 2020 5:23 pm
July 13, 2020 5:35 pm


When I was the same age as Leigh,I was out of control. I didn’t know why,and I explained similar last night. It’s a horrible situation to be in.

Roughly 35yo,I got diagnosed,and while my friends and family will tell you it wasn’t overnight,I think they’ll agree that I became more like the person they wanted me to be,the person that they knew was there.

And more importantly,the person I wanted to be-or as close to it as I could get.

You are absolutely correct in what you say. A diagnosis of depression is not a Get Out Of Jail card. The patient has to be willing. But you know what? I know how much mine fucked up my life.

What if his is worse?

big packy
July 13, 2020 5:48 pm

its the 12th of november 1969, im walking up to parkhead floodlights sparkling in the distance, we are playing benfica, its a capacity crowd ,everybody wants to see eusebio, the game starts and to be honest, john clark did not give him a kick of the ball ,if eusebio went left, john went left, if eusebio went right john went right, if eusebio tried to go through the middle john blocked him every time, i often wonder why the great eusebio went off at half time, JOHN CLARK, one of the unseen heroes.H.H.

July 13, 2020 6:17 pm


Apparently,Jinky was guid pals wi Eusebio. And also with Alfredo Di Stefano. He went over to visit de Stefano quite regularly,although how they communicated I do not know

Anyway,he was desperate to get Eusebio to sign for us. Kept telling him he would be a God at Celtic-and that if yer a God at Celtic,yer a God forever.

Never happened of course. The wee man could charm the birds out of the trees,but he couldn’t charm Eusebio away from Benfica.

His scoring record,and that of Gerd Muller,take some believing. A goal a game,give or take.

Nearly as good as Jimmy McGrory!

big packy
July 13, 2020 6:21 pm

BOBBY i swear at that game john clark was a worldbeater, he had eusebio in his pocket ?

July 13, 2020 6:35 pm


John was always a world beater. And the best player in the world knew that. He demanded his shirt after playing against him.

Rumours that John already had Pele’s shirt inside his back pocket may or may not be true.