The Fringe

Duran Duran used to say that at their backstage parties a quarter of a decade ago.

The fringe delivered ultimately had a different meaning though.
Today, Ange can honestly state the above, in footballing terms.

Yesterday my partner in crime opined “A terrific game,and a good scalp to take. But at what cost?”
I instantly acknowledge the terrible mistake made regarding Furuhashi, and yes Nir isnt tip top but,,,
I ask you are injuries not part and parcel of the game and I further ask was the big lesson completely overshadowed by two injuries?
The big lesson being, the fringe delivered.

For starters it was very much a case of “let’s do this bhoys!” the backup group moving together as a unit to represent the first team must have been a great bonding experience for the group itself.


There’s the fact this wasnt a Dumbarton league Cup tie where that group would be expected to overcome, they as a group took a prestige enough scalp on Europe’s second biggest club stage, mighty impressive.
Those heads can now walk high.


Those usually selected for the first team but rested must surely appreciate the effort, hopefully have a bit more respect and faith in the others. I imagine the dressing room was extra kicking post game.

The fringe players involved can pat themselves on the back, they exceeded expectations. A hammering can scar, they had anything but on their minds.

Ive previously mentioned Ange must learn whilst winning,well he did once again. The knowledge being gleamed is the key to planning out our assault on the current Champions.
We’ve watched Welsh, McCarthy, Taylor, Mikey, Bitton, Scales, come in seamlessly.
Now the rest have opened their account with a massive plus mark beside their name.
Now they cry out for integration.


So Ange learnt one huge lesson, our depth is decent and can be called upon.
His second huge lesson he won’t forget, but such things happen, let’s not beat him up after all the positive work.
He’s probably responsible for firing up those unlikely lads.


And this is where Bobby and myself differ.
He viewed this victory as costly for injury reasons but I say that’s clearly a glass half empty man talking!
A glass half full man such as myself would state the squad players are better than we gave credit for, and we are stronger than many believe.
Aye there’s now two first team players we cannot call upon right away, but aye there’s 3,4,5 extra names in or around the match day squad now and ready to play based on what we witnessed.


Folks, the second string being good enough to take out a Spanish outfit on a cold quiet December night is quite a feat, it’s an excellent sign.


I seen a great example of squad depth, every week I see signals of squad unity and happiness, and this hasn’t been bought or inherited.
I see something special happening, even the fringe players have bought into it.

(That fringe is for Jim)

The final will take care of itself, there’s goals all over this team, and the way I see it either Tam, G-Mac or both steals the show with a license to thrill.


Those who actually read my drivel might know I have championed for young Henderson to get a chance in this new look side, and would bring his brother home in an instant.
I pretty please Euan gets more game time?


I regularly read the opinion our rivals have a better squad and think maybe but they have more miles on the clock. A few incoming Hoops would just about even things up squad wise, the rumored trio the ideal boost. Post Cup victory of course.


This title race is already exciting, and it’s not even at the half way stage.
It’s natural for your general outlook in life to pervade thoughts of your chosen and therefore special team.
They have the current Champions and collective knowhow, we have ‘the Man’, the momentum, and a better squad than many gave us credit for.


People can talk about going through, and four points all they want,,
simple facts are five domestic wins in five games, unbeaten in ten league games now, eight wins and two draws. That’s title winning form.
And to enhance the party atmosphere the fringe players or go and beat the bloody Spaniards!


One game away from silverware and let me ask you this? Do you realize any of the fringe players would totally play their heart out against Motherwell knowing a possible slot in the cup final is at stake?
Of course they would, on that front Ange now knows they can properly step up and truly represent.

Just like the 80s, our manager can properly show off his fringe.

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The Gombeen Man

The issue with Rebel Songs is similar to the problem with Remembrance Sunday.

How do we find a way to accurately acknowledge the past? The horror of war, the loss of innocent lives without falling into divisive, dangerous, nationalism?

How do we stop the tragedy of the past being revised and turned into dishonest propaganda that poisons the Present?

We’ve got to be honest and brave enough to accept that the conflict was horrific, all sides committed atrocities. Death and destruction in the name of any Cause or Religious belief is an absurdity.

The Enniskillens, the bomb on the Shankill Road, Warrington, the Disappeared, the Nutting Squad and the many horrific tragedies. Can’t be forgotten.They can never be repeated.

We’ve somehow got to come to terms with the collusion of the British State with Loyalist gangs in murder and all of the crimes perpetrated by Britain on Irish soil.

The healing process and transformation of Ireland means looking honestly at all of our darker sides. Integrating what happened, not running away from it, concealing it, or denying it.

No equivocation. No romanticisation or triumphalism.

Not falling into over analysis or point scoring.

Through honest, open dialogue. Respecting the other person’s view and taking responsibility.

By their nature, Rebel Songs don’t reflect the whole truth. They articulate the view of one side.

The priority is to build a fair society and gradually dissolve the medieval mindset of fear, division and conflict.

It’s only by looking at : and prioritising truth, can Ireland mature as an Island and move on.

That includes recognising the self-sacrifice of Volunteers, their families and friends.

All victims.

While also fully acknowledging the pain suffered by and the legitimate grievances of the Unionist Community.

The freedom of the coming generations demands that we open up to and are honest about what happened. The Irish will take the lead by listening and empathising with the minority population.

The beauty of Ireland is the sum of her disparate parts. If we aren’t brave enough to find a way to embrace each of those parts She’ll never be truly United.

An overemphasis on Rebel Songs hinders the transformation of Ireland into the egalitarian society that was envisaged in the Proclamation of Easter Week.

As the demographic of the Six Counties continues to change, the priority will be to build an integrated society.

Traditions, flags, songs (Anthems), religion. All of our conditioning may we’ll be challenged and subject to change.

The peaceful dissolution of the man-made Border will require flexibility and a willingness to be generous.

There will be a different relationship with the UK. The final solution may we’ll be different to what many of us envisaged.

Ireland will inevitably be a different place. There is an opportunity to build a free, equal society as we move out of the darkness of colonial occupation.

It’s time that well intentioned folk in exile realised that the 800 year nightmare is entering another, better phase.

It’s a time for cool, progressive heads.

On another personal note…

The Old Firm is a business that profits from the disease of sectarianism.

I’m uncomfortable with any association of Ireland with an inherently divisive cartel that thrives by perpetuating sectarian misery.

Old Firmisim is simply an antiquated instrument of domination.

It’s the footballing version of the Black and White Minstrel Show

The days of the Irish being the whipping Bhoy in a rigged racist game are over.

The Irish Tricolour has no place at sectarian football events. The flag has been hijacked by the Old Firm and it’s underlying meaning obscured.

The time is approaching to consider it’s removal from this out of date spectacle.

The Old Firm is a dinosaur.


TGM- very good folllow up to Raymac’s excellent contribution yesterday.

I disagree about the Tricolour’s presence but there’s much more I agree with.


7 folk still to get their Superbru predictions in- Gscbhoy, Gutenberg, Raplochbus, Angel Gabriel, Bhoy form the Village, Knoxy and The Lurkin Tim.

Plus Tirconnel who has left out the St. Johnstone game from his.


A lot of folk forget the Tricolour stands for Green the Catholics, Orange the Protestants and White in between – Truce and Peace. If it was always flown with that in mind it would never be problematic to any side.


Mike in Toronto, I have put your prediction on as a £1 treble bet, 6/1. Hearts to draw, Celtic to win and Lewis Hamilton to win. 🙂 Good luck to me!

The Gombeen Man


Thanks for the replies.
What would a post be without a bit of controversy?
I just can’t help throwing a spanner in the works.

Enjoy your weekend.


Good morning all, the wee man’s fitba is aff due to pitch conditions – very unusual as the grass park we play on is usually pretty good!
Anyway…TGM, I always enjoy your contributions but I think you’re off the mark this morning! Despite your view of the Tricolour being displayed at Celtic v TRFC games it’s an inherent part of both the Club and a large section of her Support, further without the input of our Irish forefathers there would be NO such named Club as Celtic. You know this though and as in your reply to Auldheid I suspect you’ve thrown the grenade and are standing back waiting for the reaction! 😱🤣
Also, a lot of your post seems to suggest an inevitability about the reforming of a United Ireland – attempts to gain independence for Scotland have been futile despite massive support in the populus, and we’re approaching it from a much, much less conflicted position than the situation in Northern Ireland! The UK Government have shown for centuries that it does not give up Sovereignty easily. Do you feel that a United Ireland will happen soon, relatively speaking, even in our lifetime? I’m not convinced that will happen.


Okay TGM…just read your reply to SFTB and Jim…I say grenade, you say spanner, let’s call the whole thing off!! 😳🤣


Wonder if we will see a couple of the B team on the bench tomorrow

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Whilst very disappointed that we ended up with an injured Kyogo, are we all really saying that we can’t beat the vast majority of uour next batch of opponents without 1 man?
As an aside, the majority of the young ones are big and strong and muscle can be built up.
Bring them on!!


The Celtic star reporting that maby Dawson and Moffat from the B team could be in the squad tomorrow, as they were not in the team for last night’s match


Craig, LOL 🙂

The Fenian Whaler

100 years on from the Treaty it is time to reunite Ireland

Fitting she chose Arbour hill. Move forward towards the future but never forget those who sacrificed so much in the struggle for freedom for all of Irelands Children.

The Fenian Whaler


Are you Irish? You have some interesting views and a differing perspective on Irelands way forward than many. I, perhaps mistakenly, have the impression that you have a unique angle on Irelands’ problems and possible solutions, a decidedly un-Irish way of looking at things if you will. And that is meant as a compliment.


I wonder if Awe Naw gets commission for each T Shirt sold 😀

big packy

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM from a wet cheshire, just missed the rain this morning, went out on my pushbike done a hundred miles then came back, and done a hundred lengths in my swimming pool, hey its not just solkitts who has a swimming pool in his back garden😎 did i tell you about the time JIM came down to visit ,red hot day do you fancy a swim jim yes he says ill go and get my trunks, next thing he appears with a lifejacket on, is about to dive in, FFS jim i shouts thats the shallow end its only 2 foot deep,another true story😎😎



What reply by TGM, what spanner/grenade?

The Gombeen Man


Ireland is moving on.

The priorities in the Republic are things like Housing, the Health Service, Education and the Economy.

The Troubles and the impact of domination by the British are rarely spoken about where I live.

The focus is on the Present and making the future better.

Celtic PLC are a willing part of the sectarian Old Firm.

The Old Firm mentality is an obstruction to a peaceful transition to Irish Unity.

The association of the Irish flag with the sectarian, exploitation of the Old Firm is increasingly distasteful.

The shenanigans of 2012 and the failure to act in a transparent manner is making the presence of the flag at Celtic Park untenable.

There needs to be consequences for deceit and the reliance on the maintenance of the sectarian divide

Football is trying to move on from the past. The campaign against racism is evidence of that.

Watching an Old Firm game or reading much of the commentary on Blogs is the equivalent of Alf Garnet or Love Thy Neighbour.

The demographics in the North are changing. The ballot box will sooner or later determine what happens.

The reality of a United Ireland is likely to be different than that envisaged by many. A vital part of the preparations for some kind of lasting settlement is the letting go of prejudices.

That’s one reason why the Irish Team recently wore orange and blue strips.

North and South have changed radically.

The Old Firm represents an increasingly, antiquated, hardcore perspective. It’s not helpful.

It would be more helpful if the Scottish diaspora concentrate on improving their relationship with their Nationalist and Unionist countrymen.

Not an easy task.

Flags are just rags covered with dye. It’s a mistake to attach emotionally to any flag.

So too is an over concentration on a version of history that tends to reinforce conditioned beliefs.

The reality is the past has gone. It has vanished.

Supporters would be better to focus on the football and ensure the PLC deliver value for money, without relying on the easy sell of sectarianism.

Dermot and the boys are getting an easy ride behind that increasingly out of place flag.

Jobo Baldie

Good afternoon, friends and Happy Matchday – well…… it is for me and it’s one I’ve been looking forward to as EKFC host Sevco B in the Lowland League. A big crowd expected for the all ticket affair. As I don’t have any EKFC merchandise I guess I’ll just have to wear my usual football colours!

The Gombeen Man


I think McCaff might have mistaken you for SFTB.
An easy mistake to make.


On Kyogo, his all action style of play is positive in the efforts he makes to defend from the front but can also be rash as we saw on Thursday.
He needs to take this period to rethink and trust in his midfield and defensive colleagues to deal with the opposition in our half without the need for him to bust a gut , race back 40/50 metres and lunge in.
There was an inevitability about him getting injured at some point.

With our reinstated back line in position giving little away domestically we may have to endure a few 1-0 victories.
Abada through the middle is a decent shout as I don’t believe MJ has the positional sense.
Goal scoring contributions from our midfield wouldn’t go amiss either.

Mike in Toronto

Good luck to Ronny Deila whose NYCFC team play in the MLS Cup final today.


Apologies Auldheid! Should have been SFTB! it was early, for me, when I replied!!

The Gombeen Man

The Catalpa,

Thanks for the compliment.

‘I’ just do my thing.

No allegiance to any nationality, flag, political party etc

I’ve got a Passport, due to the fact that I’m too old to do a runner at Customs.

I’ve lived near Drogheda for the most part of 25 years.

To be honest I don’t find there’s much talk about this type of thing where I am.
Maybe it’s a survival device? Just keep your head down. A learned behaviour.

I avoid Politics but had some dealing with Sinn Féin, who were excellent and followed with phone calls to ensure the matter was resolved.

No surprise with the latest Poll Rating @ 35% and the largest party of the Middle Class in the ROI.

Drogheda is partly in Meath/Louth and suffered terribly at the hands of Cromwell. The Boyne battle site is 5k out of Town.

A couple of years ago I found out that the main man on the Catalpa Rescue was baptised just outside of Drogheda, John James Breslin.

A Celtic Blogger did all the work and uncovered the birthplace.

I’m from Glasgow, originally and escaped/ deported in my early 20s.

Anyhow, I’ll leave the Blog in peace for the weekend.


TGM…I’m a novice in the politics of Ireland in comparison to yourself. I am aware though that things are moving fast in terms of attitudes. It’s a fair old jump for me to place the Tricolour at Celtic Park as a major obstacle in the future politics of the country. I understand the “Old Firm” mentality you speak of but I’ve refused to use the term since ’12. I recently had a wee taste of looking at my family tree, McCafferty and O’Prey are my father and mother’s names. Both from Down as far as I can see but my it was three generations ago my mother’s side came here from Ireland. I haven’t looked at my old man’s history yet but the story will be similar, I expect. My point is I know deep in my own history I can claim some relationship with Ireland but I don’t! I see myself as 100 per cent Scottish with a nod to my parents’ Irish roots. As far as Celtic’s history is concerned they are steeped in Irishness! A glance at the foundations of the Club but more importantly the reasons for the Club give them every right to fly the Tricolour. How other people interpret the flag is for those individuals to ponder but Celtic are absolutely right to display it as proudly as they do. For the record, like many on here I am not a fan of the Rhebs being sung at games although I did sing them and still play them at home on occasion…this is a wee favourite of mine just for a bit of fun…

The Gombeen Man


I know, I’m only drawing it to folk’s attention.

You should visit Down. It’s just up the road from here.
The Mourne Mountains are a spectacular site from where I am.

At GAA Matches I used to smile when I heard the shout of “Up, Down.”

The young fella would get a real sense of connection here.

There’s something special when you’re name just fits in.

Thanks for the reply.

Till later.


I’ve spoken on here before about the young Argentine guy who helps with the wee man’s fitba team. He came over here a year ago to do his SFA coaching badges with the intention of eventually becoming a professional fitba coach – the new Bielsa, if you will! Anyway, he obviously doesn’t have a great support network over here so my missus and I have welcomed him into our lives. He’s a fine boy, training to be a lawyer in Argentina but by laptop from the UK! He was over one Saturday night for a bite to eat and a couple of beers, I had the tunes on YouTube and Spotify (not the Rhebs) and he didn’t recognise any of them so I handed him the buttons to make his own choices to entertain us. His first choice was “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” by the Dubliners! I was astonished!! He had about a dozen Dubliners songs on his playlist…he’d heard the songs in Argentina, loved the tunes but had no idea about the background of the tunes or the lyrics. When I explained them the song took on a new meaning for him. His grandparents were exiles to France as a result of the Military Govt and his father and mother spent a long time in France as a result of it. He told me stories of the military coming and shooting up the villages. The similarities, and the coincidental irony, of “Come Out Ye Black and Tans” to his own grandparents’ story is incredible!


TGM…I was in Newcastle, Down in ’03 for my bro’s wedding. Stayed in a wee cottage on the seafront along from the polis station. The wedding was in a wee Proddie church (maybe up behind the cottage iirc, a Google maps search reveals St John’s Church of Ireland) and then onto the Sleive Donard. I loved it but we didn’t do much touring locally. We did visit Derry during our stay but that ws to see Barcelona take on the mighty Derry City in a pre-season friendly and into Donegal to visit my cousin’s inlaws!





I happen to agree with TGM.
To fly that flag should come with responsibility, the first of which is you stand up for each other and what’s right. That club doesnt, off field that club stinks.

The nation shall soon unite. Unlike bonnie Scotland it can financially cope with independence.

Happy Saturn day
Hail Hail


Message for Griffiths ! 🤔



Thanks. I did wonder given the similarity in our thinking.

Reading your latest I am reminded of the principles of Truth and Reconciliation leading to forgiveness.

On that score I tried to get the Scottish Govt interested in the work of Prof Robert Enright of the International Forgiveness Instiute as well as the latest Archbishop in Edinburgh without success. Not ready is my conclusion.

Enright did good work on the subject in Belfast with school children.

There is another guy who wrote The Paperboy , the story of a teenager growing up in the Protestant environment in Belfast during the Troubles. I wasnt surprised on reaching the final pages he had become an advocate for T&R.

On Cromwell I’ve already mentioned To Hell or Barbados, an eye opener in many ways. Religion used as an excuse to land grab.

No problem. I’ve done it myself.


The fabric of the Club is wrapped up in the Tricolour, it is a vital component of the Club’s identity, actually it’s much much more than that – it is the fabric of the Club, our raison d’etre. The current keyholders don’t understand or recognise their responsibilities but they don’t control the feelings or thoughts of the support and they certainly didn’t form the history of it’s foundation or past successes. I would be disappointed if a decision was made to remove either the Tricolour or the Saltire from Celtic Park.


Celtic were founded by an Irishman, Brother Walfrid, who chose the name ‘Celtic’ to symbolise the merging of Irish and Scottish identities, while a Celtic (pronounced ‘Keltic’) cross and a four-leaf clover have each featured on iterations of the club’s badge at some point. Plus, their green and white colours go hand-in-hand with Ireland. 🇮🇪


Mike in Toronto

The only green Celtic cares about is money. Their partnership with the zombies is an affront to decency and an insult to the memory of the fans who came before us, and suffered for their religion and race.


MiT 🍀=💷 Boom ! 💥

big packy

MIKE,,well said, luv to you and seamus 👍

Prestonpans bhoys

Fascinating contributions from TGM and McCaff today, well worth a read if anyone hasn’t read them👏👏👏


For all the Crazy Sentinel Celts…

big packy

FFS, the nightshift have started already,😎😎

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