As we eagerly await the possible resumption of attending football matches I guess our thoughts turn to how safe it is going to be and are we willing to risk our health – and potential mortality – by exposing ourselves to such danger.
Are we really going to risk our lives just to watch a football match?


This takes me back to 1975 when something happened which caused me to consider the dangers of watching football – even on TV.


My mate Eddie brought into school a dog eared copy of a paperback book called Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC). It was littered with horrific photos of men who had literally melted in their armchairs in front of the TV.
In nearly all cases the MO was the same. Drunk guy stoats home from the pub. Settles down in front of a coal fire with a wee hauf to watch Match Of The Day ( or Sportscene in Scotland) and then…….basted like a pig. The individual literally melted into their chair. Bizarrely, although they were charred like a barbecued chicken leg there was little or no damage to the surroundings. Often, the carpet below their feet would be unaffected. They just appear to have, well, self combusted!


We discussed this at length and tried to come up with logical explanations.
I wondered aloud, jokingly at first, if the decisions of the officials had angered the viewers so much that they quite literally exploded with rage. Eddie wasn’t having this but after giving it some more thought I made the following compelling case:


Near the end of the 1970 Scottish Cup Final ( refereed by RH Davidson or Right Hun Davidson as my father insisted) my Da‘a face turned such a deep shade of crimson at the series of unbelievable decisions, all against Celtic, it made the Aberdeen shirts look white. My mum was very concerned about him that day and she and the 10 year old me continually told him to calm down. My Dad was not the most placid of guys but he took it to another level that day.
Perhaps if the game had gone to extra time, who knows, It might just have tipped him over the edge.


On reflection though, I think not.


However, maybe one catastrophic incident, so shocking as to be unbelievable, would be the catalyst for SHC.
I offer the critical Dixie Deans penalty in the 1972 European Cup semi final. No sooner had my Dad uttered the words “Good, Dixie Is going first. He never misses!” the ball not only didn’t settle in the back of the net, the Daily Express cartoonist suggested the next day that it may be orbiting the earth! On reflection though, my Da didn’t respond angrily to the shock he just sank back into his chair awaiting the inevitable perfect 5 from Inter which duly arrived.


Perhaps then, I thought, it would take a complete 90 mins of utter mayhem, a total assault of criminality of our beloved Celtic players, aided and abetted by a weak referee to cause the total and complete annihilation of the human body with an explosion of rage that made Hiroshima seem like a firework.
Yes, I’m taking of course about our next European Cup semi final against Atletico Madrid in 1974.


In what was effectively 90 minutes of unrelenting thuggery my Dad and I (now 14) got worked up into such a frenzy that my Mum put on her coat and went for a walk. She had tried to reprimand me for my first uttered FFS in her presence and rather than start WW3 decided to bolt. By the end of the game he was pacing up and down the living room and I was sure that his right foot was certain to go through the screen.
No meltdown that day either though.
So, I concluded that it must have been something completely off the scale like, oh I don’t know, maybe England winning the World Cup with a goal that wasn’t!


A couple of years later me, Eddie and a few other mates were now meeting in the pub. One night we reminisced about the whole SHC thing and it had turned out that the medical profession had decided that it wasn’t the mystery they had thought. The phasing out of coal fires to be replaced by Central Heating had, at a stroke, completely eliminated the “phenomenon”.
So, it seemed that it had just been a stray spark from a bit of coal that had set alight the TV viewer who, in his drunken stupor, was unaware or unable to save themselves from being cooked alive.


I still reckon to this day though that one or two of these incidents MUST have been triggered by a dodgy offside decision.


Anyway, to bring us back to where we find ourselves now, I doubt I will overcome my fears to enable me to take my place in Block 405 before this season ends.


So, maybe I’ll find out first hand if SHC is still a thing or not.
Especially, with Collum, Madden, Beaton and Red Card Ross standing between Celtic and Ten In A Row!


The above by Billybhoy. Should you fancy an article yourself its

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August 29, 2020 5:10 am

Napster’s follow the link pls

August 29, 2020 5:11 am

Score predictor link below

Margaret McGill
August 29, 2020 5:23 am

If you were in the catholic memento business at Lourdes why would you sell up?

August 29, 2020 5:32 am

Cos it’s in France

Margaret McGill
August 29, 2020 5:37 am

Si vous étiez dans le domaine des souvenirs catholiques à Lourdes, pourquoi vendriez-vous?

August 29, 2020 6:10 am

Billybhoy, LOL 🙂 Well done son!

August 29, 2020 6:18 am

August 29, 2020 6:35 am

Wakey Wakey Everyone. Theme for today?

Dig it out from somewhere 🙂

August 29, 2020 6:39 am

Billybhoy I was just starting to calm down after Dallas last week and you have raised my Blood pressure, just before going to bed . I am off to take my pills and to get some sleep

August 29, 2020 7:18 am

Abba singing Waterloo in France! LOL 🙂

Noel Skytrot
August 29, 2020 7:24 am

Morning all, I agree with Jim the Tim’s comment about being positive from today, the reaction from some quarters over Wednesday’s defeat, particularly on social media would suggest that some were mentally self combusting and some were in the super-nova category. Its done, we need to try to go forward in terms of playing football and secure the three points.

August 29, 2020 7:34 am

Cheers Noel. Played on this stage once. Not to such a rapturous audience however. But it was memorable.

August 29, 2020 8:02 am


That’s a fantastic bit of writing,fair put a smile-of sorts!-on my Saturday coupon! I know what you and your Dad mean by Right Hun Davidson-“yer faither’ll be proud of ye the day,son”-although the worst I witnessed from him in person was him sending off Wee Jinky for having the temerity to be in the way every time an Aberdeen player-Forrest,I think-tried to clear the ball.

One of the most equitable and pleasant people I’ve ever met used to post under the moniker of JIMBO67. No matter the circumstances,that man would crest the waves,is that the best you can do,nobody died,who cares. The type that just goes-“och,I’ll still be alive in the morning”

Light the blue touchpaper,run like f..k and quietly say-“so,Davidson in 1970,Jim? How bad was it?”

Jee-zoh,like lighting up Krakatoa.

big packy
August 29, 2020 8:08 am

hey you ghuys you could have told me the game was ramorra i left cheshire at 4-30 this morning just arrived at parkhead not a soul here, even the burger vans not here, ach disnae matter ill nip aff to the wee shop in the barras where i bought my deep purple albums from, should still be,there, although it was 1971,H.H.

The Gombeen Man
August 29, 2020 8:18 am


All good thanks.

It’s pointless hurting folk by continually suggesting that a league flag or national flag is only a rag covered in dye.

They don’t want to hear that individually we’re all as self-centered as Pedro but instead of facing it, the tendency is to run to a dogma, belief, political party, priest, guru, publican, career, gym, scientist, drug or bookie.
It’s pointless too pointing out that the illusion of dominating Sevco is simply fear.

There’s no point in regurgitating the mistakes.

Conditioning brings about misery and a new coach can’t change that.

Hopefully if one or two don’t get stuck in the blame game, Pedro’s antics might provide them with a mirror?

Best of luck to the young one in school.

August 29, 2020 8:20 am


Welcome back,oul’ son. Wee hug to “yer” “rye” family.

August 29, 2020 8:38 am
The Gombeen Man
August 29, 2020 8:44 am

Cheers M,

Things always work out. 😉

August 29, 2020 8:54 am

Good read bud. Really good. Thoroughly enjoyed that article.

Definitely good for the soul.

I struggle big time with it. Consistency is my problem. One day I’m up for it. Nothing phases me. The next day I can be like a ticking time bomb. I don’t mean depressed as such, just on edge.

I’ll tell you what determines it. Everything that’s going on at any moment in time in my life. I guess that’s the same for a lot of people. Clearly not all given the example Bobby gives earlier. Some people handle stress remarkably well.

I wonder if it applies to how we deal with our reaction to Celtic too? If all is rosy in our garden, do we react less to adversity?

Something I’ve found works well for me. There’s a Buddhist principle that says when you’re feeling low, you should give something away and you’ll feel better. I’m not sure why that should work, but I find it does. Doesn’t necessarily mean money, could be your time, your advice , whatever, but it genuinely puts me in a better frame of mind when I do it.

I just need to practice it more often.

I’ll tell you what’s more. My wife would agree. She can tell by just looking at me when I’m stressed and it obviously worries her.

Just rambling here now but I know what i mean even if nobody else does 😁

August 29, 2020 8:59 am

So what is the tactic for the naps today?? Chase the big winner?? Try for a 6/1 or so and try to get off the mark and up the league?? Settle for a Championship place and try to win that?

12 weeks to the split so plenty time.

Hmmmm – There’s a 66/1 shot I like today😁. Actually there’s an 80/1 I also like. I’ve backed both but do I take one in the naps?? Do I risk it? Or play a bit more sensibly?? Decisions decisions 🤔

August 29, 2020 9:03 am

Twisty, Spill the beans. You know I like a long shot ew at the week end.

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 9:10 am

It would seem the Bayern München master plan is to take all the best Celtic youths.

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 9:12 am

Btw the only reason I’m posting so early on a Saturday morning is due to being 2 hours ahead of you. Don’t worry chaps

August 29, 2020 9:14 am

Good article BB

Certainly brings to life being a hot head while watching the footie

(I’ll get my coat…)

August 29, 2020 9:18 am

Twisty, my strategy is is just to try and get a wnner 😄

I like a few today, struggled to pick one.

Ill need to back the others noo, ’cause ye know what will happen

Good luck on the mahoosive prices

Big Audio Dynamite
August 29, 2020 9:22 am

Rebus – spent most of last night thinking of you, mate.

Really hope you are looking after yourself as you look after others. I’m a FT carer and I know it can take a toll…don’t think my sporadic insomnia helps! So, I know how tiring it can be, when you spend a lot of time worrying & looking after others. I know it won’t be your main priority right now, but it’s something to consider. Wish there was more I could offer 💚

You have my utmost respect, my friend HH🍀

Big Audio Dynamite
August 29, 2020 9:26 am

Awe Naw, have you been following a fav team in Germany? Had you been going to any matches?

August 29, 2020 9:35 am

I got the green light
I got a little light
I’m gonna turn this thing around.

August 29, 2020 9:35 am

Awe Naw
I forgot you were ahead of us.

Let me know what wins the 3 o’clock will ye 😬

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 9:37 am


Eintracht Frankfurt.

Commerzbank Arena is a lovely 3km bike ride through the woods with a famous Biergarten half way. They sold all their best players last summer as is the Celtic way due to receiving offers they couldn’t refuse. Went from EL semi finalists to flirting with relegation.

My first team was Darmstadt SV and I love to see them doing well also.

Bayern I hate with a passion. They do play great stuff though. We were the inspiration › football
Web results
Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 Bayern Munich: Bundesliga champions …

If you told me then that Bayern would go onto a clean sweep id say naw

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 9:41 am


Some 80-1 Donkey mate

August 29, 2020 9:49 am


That didnae work for THEBARCAMOLE,and being in The Phillipines he was eight hours in front. Mind you,some of the horses he picked needed that much of a start!

August 29, 2020 9:51 am

Awe Naw

Tell ye what, if my 80/1 shot wins I’ll send ye the equiv of £100 in €€’s. Ye can take the good lady for a meal and a good drink on me. That’s a promise.

Don’t go omitting tonight’s dinner from your shopping menu though. At 80/1 you’re probably gonna go hungry. 😬

Call of the Jungle. 2-50pm Navan. Still 80/1 on PP. Just remember, it’s 80/1 for a reason. It was last seen in Blackpool beach wearing a straw hat and had a 6 year old jockey aboard.

Big Audio Dynamite
August 29, 2020 9:57 am

Awe Naw

Sounds great. Always thought I would like Germany (I went to Canada) and definitely would have followed the football. In Canada I just couldn’t get into sports. Are you now officially German? A bit of a Bundesbanker?

Heil Heil! 😉

August 29, 2020 10:01 am

I’ve had a cracking few days on the betting front between Wed night and yesterday afternoon. Today will no doubt see the trend bucked!

How’s this for being scunnered. I had a 22/1 winner . The first on my line. Then I’d a 14/1 winner. The 3rd goes in at 6/1 but I had it at 16/1. I’m waiting on the last one. For a lot, and I mean a lot of dough. Evening race. Got caught up in some work mail and lost track of time. Looked at the clock. Race went off 10 mins ago.

Walked into the living room. Said to the wife, “ ah fff, missed that last race. I’ll check the result”

Opens up the results. Said to her “ ah ffs. I don’t believe it. 2nd. Not only second, look at the distance. A fffkn nose.” No joking. A bloody nose.

She looks at the result . 12/1 shot won it. She says “ oh I had £2 on that winner. You’ve told me to bet that horse before”

I said that horse has cost me literally thousands. Her reply? “ I got £26 back”

Well done hen .

😡😡. Felt like stringing her up !!!

Big Audio Dynamite
August 29, 2020 10:02 am

Awe Naw, what like are the prices to watch football? Can you still drink in stadiums?

Sorry for all the questions 😕 But me and the wee man had kinda started touring the big stadiums in Europe, and Germany was On the list before the world went mental!

August 29, 2020 10:11 am


Stick the pound IN the donkey rather than ON it,it’ll run like the wind!

August 29, 2020 10:15 am


Bloody hell,£5865 Treble going onto the last?!

I’d have had the rosary beads out…

Tell M yer deducting the winnings from her housekeeping,that’ll soon wipe the smirk off her chops.

August 29, 2020 10:23 am

August 29, 2020 10:28 am

Weve got one in the front, two at the back!

August 29, 2020 10:29 am

I hadn’t done them to £1 units unfortunately. I chase the odds most of the time so it’s small units staked. Still mounts up and keeps the losses low. Betting every day I need to keep the stakes lowered.

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 10:35 am


You put that money into you and BMCUWP Germany holiday fund

August 29, 2020 10:37 am


Now you tell me!

I’ve just sent you a begging letter anaw,price of stamps nowadays I canny afford to waste them.

August 29, 2020 10:38 am


Bring us back some skwerr and some decent rolls,there’s a good lad.

Big Audio Dynamite
August 29, 2020 10:46 am

BP, you a man of leezure now? You getting tossed out the house each day, cause you’re getting under Joan’s feet? If so, hope you’re enjoying your well earned rest, buddy👍

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 10:48 am


Yes they sell Bier and Sausages at the game and Äpfelwein. You can smoke in the stadium too as it’s considered outside. My sons ST costs 180€ for the North curve and that inclues local transport. So if your going to a home game or playing a team in Hessen you use it on the local transpoet Mainz, Darmstadt, Offenbach but you can’t take high speed international trains ICE if you do there is a surcharge. It’s a Stehplatz ST also. Standing. I’ve used it a few times. I’m known as Celtic Charlie. Not conducive to having a fag though. 803€ for the VIP section been in there a few times. I twice had to sit in the disabled area I felt like that bloke in Little Britain Andy?? Brilliant view of proceedings all the same. At my age and with my habis I prefer the mid range 308€ ST still on that waiting list though.2 years and counting.

Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 10:50 am

The transpoet?????

Got to be an Irishman 🙂

August 29, 2020 10:51 am


Awe Naw
August 29, 2020 10:53 am


Yes I’m a full German Irish Republican that speaks with a Whitburn downdie accent with the papers to prove it

Billy Bhoy
August 29, 2020 10:55 am

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the article guys. It’s been in my mind to share it for a while and now seemed the perfect time.

I had anticipated that some of us might have been allowed back on Sunday but I think the Government have probably called it right. Let the rugby fans be the test case. !ol

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