Days Of Future Passed
Saturday was that rare occurrence for some of us,but by no means a rare one recently-a sobering event! If it isn’t covid restrictions denying us access to the pub,it’s watching six goals flash past our No 1 custodian.
I say sobering,but then I’ve never understood that term. Anything considered to be “sobering” is usually the kind of thing that drives us to drink in the first place. In my case,it’s the Stagecoach No 10 in Swindon,a bus service so bad,so unreliable,that to check the timetable is a definition of optimism,or of hope over experience.
Still,it’s the only one around,and so it is that I continue to present myself at a bus stop every so often armed with a phone to call whichever mate I’m meant to meet and let him know that I’ll be late,bliddy bus didn’t turn up.
And you know what? It’s a strange thing,but no matter how pissed off I am when a bus finally turns up,I never ever complain to the driver about having been let down by those who were meant to get me to my destination,but didn’t. Not his fault about the other useless buggers who can’t do their job-he’s here to do his!
And so it is with AP and Dom. No point in giving them a hard time about the eejits before them that couldn’t even supply a bus,much less a back seat. Not a lot of point either in complaining that we don’t have an all singing,all dancing and state of the art monster,that we are left with an arthritic oil burner which is in danger of failing an MOT because its brakes are shot,shit or just f…..g hopeless.
Blinkin’ flip,I know how to stretch an analogy,and I reckon you have already figured out where I’m coming from here. So let’s change the subject.
To happier things.
Sentinel Celts is not yet three years old,and while MAHE and I seem to get the plaudits for its success,we are always at pains to remind you that site was created for us by others at our request,and that it is only as good as our contributors.
One of our go-to guys for IT support is ASWGL,who apart from anything else,changes the background-and I have to say that the latest backdrop is superb. Thank you very much.
The 125 tifo is the best I have ever seen-anywhere-and of course,Lisbon needs no explaining.
There must have been near to 7000 of us over there four years ago,with not even a game on-which confused the locals at first! Thursday was the anniversary of The Great Day,with a special Mass hosted by CONNAIRE 12,which even I attended,then the continuation and fulfilment of The Pilgrimage with a visit to Estadio Nacional.
Many of us had been to the shrine at Fatima the previous day-in scorching heat. I will be 100% honest-as ever-and tell you that I don’t consider myself to be a particularly religious person,but that was an experience I will never forget. My Dad said that the steps to the chapel damned near killed him.
I couldn’t remember any steps,and I’m not kidding either. Weird,still to this day I’ve never figured that one out. And the steps exist-I’ve got photos on my phone to prove it. Yet I don’t remember climbing them,or coming down on the way out. I must have found a fire exit,I reckon…
Not as weird as the following day,when I could hardly climb the terraces at Estadio Nacional,the heat cutting right through me. Recognising the barriers that our Lions had overcome that great day,even before their superior skills could come to the fore to defeat a formidable and superbly marshalled Inter Milan. To run for over ninety minutes at full pelt,total 100% concentration,when I could barely walk along the terracing?
We were there anyway to celebrate their achievements of fifty years earlier,yet I have never appreciated just what an achievement it was,not till I experienced that lung-searing heat.
At walking pace!
It was also the perfect place to be on the day of the funeral of THEBARCAMOLE, and a little private moment as I picked a leaf from a hedge and wished him a Bon Voyage,while regretting so much that he couldn’t be with us.
I was too young for Lisbon 1967,but I’ll never forget Lisbon 2017-especially as it climaxed with our Invincible Treble two days later! We really do know how to do anniversaries,eh? Lisbon was our 80thyear of existence,though of course we rightly celebrate 1888 as our foundation. Empire Exhibition for our half-century,and then the unforgettable Centenary Season?
I didn’t miss too many games in the latter,but what could we do 25 years later? Well,what better than to invite possibly the best side the world has ever seen for a wee kickaround,a team so far that season undefeated-and looking unbeatable?
With some of the best players ever to grace the game,such as Xavi,Iniesta and of course Messi?
The world tuned into the game-who wouldn’t,with such skill and grace on show,and in one of the game’s renowned arenas? They could never have imagined what was to literally unfold in front of their eyes. They tuned in to watch the finest football team ever-what they got was the finest TIFO in history,a tribute to the club,its past,its 125 years-and for that alone,the match would be memorable.
In True Celtic Style,we abused the privilege and beat them into the bargain! We don’t just do anniversaries,we do occasions too.
The Green Brigade are worthy of respect for that night,as is every fan who was there and did their bit. Every player too,just like every fan who went to Lisbon in 2017 when there wasn’t a game on,those in 1967 who went under much more difficult social circumstances. Our players and management on each occasion,and on every other occasion in our long history.
It’s the players who fans like us go to watch-and my Dad will tell you that some of them in his day weren’t worth crossing the road for. But he,and many like him,always did. Even in the lean years,there was a Charlie Tully or a Jimmy McGrory.
Or a relative telling of better days of yore,and promising better around the corner. Because that is what we do,we all have our memories,we have all kicked every ball,we all know that this too will pass.
And it will.
But it won’t necessarily be tomorrow.
Above article by BMCUWP,but only because of the wonderful split screen background by ASWGL,to whom any credit is due.