The things we do for love (of Celtic)

This wee tale was inspired, not by the 10CC song, but by a response from ATOB to one of my recent posts. She outlined the lengths she went to to ensure she saw a particular Celtic match before going on holiday.


It got me thinking that we’ve probably all, at some point, gone above and beyond to see a game.


My story begins shortly after Celtic clinched the Centenary year double in 1988. My wife and I flew to Australia for a six week holiday – as I have lots of family over there.


We had an overnight stay in Hong Kong that neither of us particularly enjoyed due to the oppressive heat and humidity. One memorable feature of our stay was the sight of many local teenagers wearing a T-shirt which consisted of a Union Jack brick wall crumbling away to reveal the red flag of China – a celebration of the imminent ending of UK rule over the colony.


At the time I felt that it was quite a sinister image. I wonder if any of them has fond memories of it now!


Five weeks later we were sitting on Bondi beach with a copy of the Daily Record ( I know, I know, but I was desperate for news) and it had the fixture list for the new season. I was gutted to see that our opening game v Hearts was taking place at the exact time my plane was landing at Heathrow Airport.


At this point, Operation Fly The Flag was created.


Firstly, I discussed with my wife that it seemed a very long time since we had seen our Mums and extended family. She agreed that this had been hard. I then reminded her how uncomfortable we had felt in Hong Kong and wondered if she felt, like me, that perhaps the best thing to do was to abandon the overnight stay and make the long journey home in one go. It only took 10 minutes for her to come to the same conclusion.


And so off we went to the offices of British Airways to make the necessary arrangements. We had to accept losing the £100 hotel fee as we were cancelling so late – a lot of money for us in 1988 but a price I was prepared to pay.


And so it was that on the evening before the game I boldly walked into the local pub to the amazement of my friends who knew through my mum that I wasn’t due home until Saturday night. I was then able to take my place in the Jungle the following day to see the bizarre sight of a Daimler car making the short journey from the tunnel to the end of the Jungle (containing Mrs Jock Stein IIRC) to raise the flag – ironically to the tune of the British Airways TV commercial “ We’ve won the league again – fly the flag!”


So there it is, my example of going the extra mile, or, in my case, the extra 10,500 miles to see the Celts.


I considered it very worthwhile, particularly as it completed the historic Centenary Year celebrations. Unfortunately, despite a 1-0 win against Hearts, who had been runners-up the previous season, it would not be a great season and it took a Joe Miller goal in the Scottish Cup Final to prevent the Foe Malign from capturing the Treble.


Finally, I’m sure many have a tale to tell about a particular game. I’d encourage as many as possible to share it with everyone and give the Three Amigos a well deserved break.

Billy Bhoy

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February 24, 2022 6:26 am


Ya cunning sod! I think a few of us will be “pleading the fifth” on this one,as you never know who is looking in!!!

The only incident of similar note for me was,at a push,21-5-79,a Monday night during O-grade season. Fortunately it was also union conference season and my parents were away at one. Certainly no regrets about that night.

Thanks once again for the article,always appreciated. I fear it is likely to be more upbeat than my match report tomorrow. At least the kick off time means I will be able to watch it in full.

February 24, 2022 6:48 am


A cunning plan that worked better than any of Baldrick’s! Good work.

On a different matter:
Someone has commented on the PMcG site that there are 432,328,634 Hun shares in existence!!
Some eejits are giving the club millions of quid for nominal 25p share certificates that are actually worth 10p or less.
Complete madness.

Or are they?

Who in their right mind, no matter how Loyal would do this unless it was a laundering exercise.
Fraud on an industrial scale?

Some journalist, from outside Scotland, should be on this.
No one that has made money gives it away at a 60% discount. Just does not happen unless that’s the cost of cleaning it.

February 24, 2022 6:51 am


Bearing in mind that Green paid £6m for that basketcase of assets,each share is actually worth about 1.4p


February 24, 2022 6:54 am


I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt re inherent value. It will have increased since Charlie and the Boys involvement.

Something definitely stinks in that parallel universe at Ibrox.

February 24, 2022 7:37 am

Back in the late 1990s, I had several debates with my dad re their finances. Dad was a numbers man (bookies runner in 1930s Springburn) and he simply couldn’t get where the cash was coming from to fund the purchases of that era. We now know it was the EBT schemes, but our favoured option was dodgy Norn Iron sourced cash washed through Ibrox.
There has been no proper scrutiny of the new company’s financial dealings since King delisted them from the Stock Exchange, so it’s anyone’s guess. There are rumours about Hong Kong, the base of two of their newly appointed directors. Whatever the source/sources of their cash, there will be a reckoning one day. Our MSM are cowardly in not investigating this. Mind you, who wants to incur the wrath of the klan?

February 24, 2022 7:59 am


Your dad was spot on. EBT’s and the Masonic compliance of a Bank that destroyed itself through malfeasance in its dealings- not just with Murray. I know of other businesses that profited big time from that source.

Another Scottish “great institution” that reeked of cronyism and dubious practices.

February 24, 2022 8:04 am

It needs to be an outsider with kudos and a thick skin that investigates that cesspool.
I thought the Channel 4 investigative reporter Thompson would be the one. Sadly not.

February 24, 2022 8:06 am

JP Jenkins dumped TRFC from its trading platform almost immediately the news of this latest share dilution broke.

There was no prospectus, no consultation with existing shareholders who see their stockholding diluted yet further.

This latest share issue simply confirms what we already knew. They’re trading hand to mouth, day to day. They needed £7.5m back in November to survive. They announced that was the amount needed, and stated it would come in the form of director loans.

Approx 3 months later they need to raise £1m more? Given they sold a player for a reported fee of £11m, where has that money gone?
There can only be two places.

Some of it was returned to the directors who have been propping up the company?

Their forecasted operating costs which had them state they needed £7.5 are actually running far higher than they stated.

I’m sure it’s been estimated before that Celtic need £2m per month to keep the lights on. You could safely assume TRFC have similar outgoings.

If they needed £7.5m from directors, £11m income from a transfer, and £1m raised in a new share issue, the total income from the point that November statement was issued is £19.5m.

As is normally the case with that lot, something does not add up.

My opinion would be that the directors did not pony up the £7.5m. They only stated they would provide that funding to alleviate the concerns of being classed as an ongoing concern.

That would mean their actual income has been £12.5m rather than £19.5m.

£12.5m for the 6 months period from Nov to May would cover the £2m per month required until the season end.
One wonders what would have happened had they not sold that player for such a high amount?

The league this year is more important to them than last year. With the automatic qualification to the CL, it’ll ease the pressure considerably.

Ange could really prove to be their biggest nightmare.

February 24, 2022 8:27 am


I understand normal transfer practice is a sale only brings in an initial 40%, the balance coming over another couple of transfer windows.
Everton may well have been generous to secure a squad filler – who knows?
There was also talk of the Gerrard move securing compensation from Villa.
Either way there is something very rotten ongoing.
Celtic win this league then the financial implications over there will be interesting to see!

The Gombeen Man
February 24, 2022 8:28 am

I’ve no idea what the rumoured situation is with
the Sevco ‘Stockbrokers’ or Trading Partners, JP Jenkins.

A visit to the Sevco Investor Information page doesn’t throw much light on the puzzle.

Scroll to the bottom of the page, to the Trading Platform Section, select the link marked “here”.

Readers will find a bit of a dead end. Have JP Jenkins, shut up shop?

Speaking of Hong Kong, Julian Wolhardt is the Sevco Director with a CV linked to a number of investment firms based in China. He joined Sevco about the same time as Edinburgh born, Hong Kong mogul, Barry Scott in 2018…

Wolhardt’s description in the Sevco Investor page is another another Ibrox ‘con’undrum…

“Julian Wolhardt has advised that he and his wife are interested in the shares held by Borita Investments Limited (see above for details of that Company’s shareholding) and East Harvest Limited, which holds 7,498.525 shares.”

Julian has told us that he and his missus are interested in buying shares??

Mr Wolhardt’s then given a seat on the Board?

Something’s wrong here? Douglas Park doesn’t do free lunches.

What kind of a nonsense is this?

Me and my other half are interested in buying a heap of shares in loads of companies. Does that mean I’m invited onto the Board?

Let’s hope Mr & Mrs Wolhardt read the independent investment advice prior to the last Sevco public share issue…”buying shares in Rangers should be seen as a gift.”

Will hard-pressed Sevco shareholders be reduced to trying to their offload shares from suitcases ‘roon the back of The Louden?’

One possibility is Tifosy. They’re the Trader founded by Gianluca Vialli and Fausto Zanetton.

Tifosy act as Nominees for 17.6m of the beleaguered Sevco shares and numerous bewildered shareholders.

Indeed, one might claim that the constant barrage of propaganda from Ibrox and their media partners about Administration as opposed to Liquidation has misled the public.

Several of the current senior figures at Sevco helped lead Rangers into the mire of Liquidation.

They didn’t successfully negotiate the Administration process.

Potential investors are being wilfully misled.

A mis-sell, aided and abetted by parties who know better.

The most reliable indicator of future behaviour is previous behaviour.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the next round of Ibrox litigation involved swindled investors who were misled by the media and financial correspondents? Maybe even by Sevco Directors?

I certainly wouldn’t advise the use of the term Administration as opposed to Liquidation in relation to Rangers.

It’s an ongoing misrepresentation of the established facts.

Ask the Creditors of Rangers.

If I was an Ibrox Investor and had been deceived in this way, I’d be asking questions.

No sign either of Rangers, Rangers International in JP Jenkins’ list of Traded Companies…

Past or Present.

The Gombeen Man
February 24, 2022 8:33 am

An Extra Time comment…

I’ve just noticed JP Jenkins’ address from their site…

“3rd Floor, 80 Cheapside, London.”

You couldn’t make it up.

Till later.

February 24, 2022 9:27 am

From a light-hearted Leader to more speculation about the murky world of TRFC finances to news of Russian missiles hitting Kyiv. Please God, not a war! All else pales.

February 24, 2022 9:34 am

Of course it does.

February 24, 2022 9:53 am

Very true. If they got only 40% or thereabouts upfront, it would explain why they’re desperate again. Perhaps the directors did indeed make up the shortfall but have now said enough is enough.

February 24, 2022 10:18 am

Billy Bhoy
A degree of cunning that Baldrick himself would be proud of it.

I view Celtic matches being played whilst I’m abroad working, or on holiday, with both anticipation and trepidation.

I’ve been away whilst we’ve won big games, cup finals etc, but also had a severe dampener applied to my trip when we’ve lost such games.

Worst I can remember was setting off from the hotel in the Canaries in searing heat to find a pub showing one of our games. I’d walked a good distance and was saturated to the extent I’d eventually to flag a taxi down to complete the journey.

We lost and I attempted the return journey on foot. Presumably the alcohol had kicked in and I wasn’t thinking straight.

By the time I got back I was soaked in sweat and jumped straight in the pool.

Best ever was in the Algarve though my wife would disagree. Holiday was a wedding anniversary treat from the kids. Playing Sevco.
I set off and told the wife I’d be back to take her out for dinner. Found a pub. Completely empty. Was about to leave when the barman, a chap called Nelson, who spoke with an Irish accent, asked me what I was looking for. Told him, and he tells me to sit down and he’d find the match for me.

One drink led to a whole lot more. He phoned a girl to come down and look after the bar so we could both sit and enjoy the match and the refreshments. Turned out Nelson was Portuguese but honestly his accent was as Irish as could be

We got hammered, and so did the huns. I staggered back to the hotel around 7pm. Wife was ready to go out. I fell asleep on the bed. She woke me up insisting we were going out.

Ended up back in Nelson’s. No food in the pub. Her anniversary dinner was 2 packets of crisps.
She’s never let me forget it!

February 24, 2022 10:23 am

Twisty, LOL 🙂

February 24, 2022 10:25 am


Would seem the most logical set of circumstances. But what is logical over there?
Where do they stop?
500m shares? The well will eventually run dry.

I post the above as a distraction to the horrific events unfolding in the Ukraine. It is not my intention to crassly ignore the despair that tens of millions in that part of the World must be feeling.

February 24, 2022 10:41 am

I was watching the unfolding events from 4am this morning. It’s an absolute atrocity. I’m very fearful about where this is leading.

Watching yesterday whilst women and children were being evacuated. Heart breaking. Some elderly Ukrainian citizens decided to sit in and hold tight. God only knows how this will end for them.

February 24, 2022 10:45 am

CFC…my intention wasn’t to curtail the conversation on the blog. Just a miserable piece of news as I started browsing this morning!

February 24, 2022 11:19 am

Twisty McCaff

Apologies if I sounded a bit sanctimonious- not my intention- just wanted to respect both your comments.
What is happening there is immediately desperate for the Ukraine and possibly for the rest of Europe. Let’s hope n pray it isn’t.

A thing of beauty
February 24, 2022 11:20 am

The blog is a distraction from the unfolding events in the everyday world. We all know and have our opinions and it’s ok to post those opinions but it shouldn’t mean we can’t talk football. I thank Billy bhoy for his story this morning and for the follow up from others. I look forward to more.
As for the financial shenanigans from sevco. It puts me in mind of the song by Garry’s childhood friend and his band Del Amitri – nothing ever happens.

Saltires en Sevilla
February 24, 2022 11:21 am

Billy Bhoy

Great stuff buddy … above and beyond the call of duty

It’s a pity there are other events in East..all a bit overwhelming tbh

February 24, 2022 11:29 am

CFC | McCaff
I honestly hadn’t thought anything untoward any of the comments or sentiments in both your posts. Absolutely none. HH

February 24, 2022 11:46 am



I agree with A t o b’s view.
Chat our normal nonsense re local footy issues but with our thoughts also on more important worldly concerns.

Billy Bhoy
February 24, 2022 12:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

I thought I’d try and brighten up a potentially slow news day what with only the snow, tonight’s big game, Rangers being delisted (again), a potential £11m bill from Mike Ashley and Russia potentially starting World War III competing for attention!

If all of the above wasn’t enough I’ve returned from Portugal just in time to attend the funeral of my Uncle James, my Godfather, who passed away with Covid – the first family member I’ve lost.

James was sitting at home last Tuesday watching TV without – he thought – a care in the world. 48 hours later he was fighting for his life, a fight he lost on Friday.

I’m just putting this out there as there are many who would have us believe that we’re through the worst and slowly getting back to normal. Well, having lost two colleagues recently and now this, I’m not sure I’ll be throwing my mask away for quite some time yet.

I’m not best pleased to hear priests are recommencing the Sign of Peace, Holy Water at entrances, passing round the plate etc.

I’d urge you all to continue to exercise great caution – particularly in crowed places.

Saltires en Sevilla
February 24, 2022 12:54 pm

Billy Bhoy

Sorry for your loss buddy… keep all those happy memories warm.

Completely agree that risks are still high, and we are losing too many too soon.


Cosy Corner Bhoy
February 24, 2022 1:10 pm

Billy Bhoy: Sorry for your loss and will say a prayer on Sunday at St Winin’s where they have been ‘ passing the plate, actually leather bags, for ages! And two collections every Sunday and I’ve yet to hear what the ‘retiral’ collection is unless it’s for the PP’s retiral!

Jobo Baldie
February 24, 2022 1:13 pm

Good afternoon, friends.
A good lead article today and one that I’m sure most of us would contribute to were it not for today’s other distractions. For what it’s worth my own wee tale is from 1986. Had recently ended a long term relationship and was feeling pretty sorry for myself, hardly going out for a couple of months. On 11 April I decided to go to the old Centre One club. There was a dance on but I was ticketless but somehow managed to sneak in. Later on I got chatting and dancing with a lovely girl and asked her out the following night and she agreed. Went back over to my pals with my news and was reminded that we were off to Pittodrie the next day! Went back to the girl and tried to explain my dilemma and suggested we go out on the Sunday instead. “Tell you what”, she said “Phone me on Sunday and I’ll think about it”. Thought I had blown it!
Anyway, Sundays date went ahead, proposed to her a few months later and in August 1988 she became my first and so far only wife. But was only fair to let her know from the start that she shared my “first love” joint spot with Celtic.

Saltires en Sevilla
February 24, 2022 1:16 pm


Absolutely superb!

Bada Bing
February 24, 2022 1:18 pm

Play Bain,Welsh, McCarthy, Jullien, Scales…..

February 24, 2022 1:30 pm

b b 1

Forrest Bitton Dembele etc

February 24, 2022 1:47 pm

The old centre one club
😁 Happy Days.
Always remember in the off season when we weren’t playing on Saturdays we went to the club then down to Memory Lane when the club closed. Everybody tried to get their round in at the club as beer was cheap. Tables were swamped with pints about 10 minutes before closing. 10 minutes later Jean was running round mad trying to get everyone to drink about 4 pints and get out.

PS BillyBhoy I can’t match your story, great stuff. My condolences on your loss. Keep strong. Living in England is a worry with BJ focusing on money rather than health.

PPS not forgetting what is going on in the world. We need to unite and take proper action against Putin. He has run rings round us so far

Bada Bing
February 24, 2022 1:50 pm

Bodo Airport closed, Supporters plane landed in Trondheim, nae chance of getting there

February 24, 2022 2:09 pm

Thanks a million for sharing your lovely tale, it’s true love indeed, team and wife that is.
I’ll remember to avoid Hong Kong cheers.

God Bless Ukraine on this solemn day. Where this goes we don’t know, but freedom and the right to choose must be fought for over and over again.

Hail Hail

Saltires en Sevilla
February 24, 2022 2:11 pm


Bad news on airport – guys missing game and now is there a chance our players delayed getting back?

Edit: now hearing closed due to snow, so altarnative routes out it seems- still rubbish for fans paying big money and missing the game

Andy Pandy 2
February 24, 2022 2:26 pm

Firstly, Billy my condolences for your loss,like you say this thing isn’t going away yet, no matter what BoJo does or says.
And like everyone else, my heart goes out to the citizens of Ukraine, God knows what awaits them.

On a lighter note, 1984, Rapid Vienna Old Trafford for me. I was at Uni in Bournemouth at the time. Got a call from my dad, he had a hotel in Southport at the time, to say he’d managed to get some tickets for the game. Booked the train for Tuesday, went to the game on Wednesday night, 6am train the next day. Both journey’s took over 8 hours. Joy. But, I did have the last laugh of sorts. I’ve supported Everton since I moved to England in 79. I probably celebrated a little more loudly when they beat Rapid in the final. in fact I know I did as I’m still occasionally reminded of it by a few of the people I was with that night!!!

February 24, 2022 2:26 pm

Sorry for your loss Billybhoy

February 24, 2022 2:48 pm

Billy Bhoy, RIP your uncle James.

February 24, 2022 3:31 pm

Billy Bhoy

Thanks for sharing those memories. I too will be saying a wee prayer for your uncle James. May he rest in peace.

I remember that flag Day in 1988 vividly. I also remember thinking WTF is that, as the flag was being raised. Traditionally, any flags that we won previously, had a green St Andrew’s cross on a white background. That particular flag raised in 1988, had a white cross on a green background. Obviously, I have always been delighted with any league win, but as a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to all things Celtic, this change has never sat right with me. It gets worse…during the New Balance years, our league flag became an American style pennant. Hell’s Bells.


Thanks for posting that link to the *Rangers website. I had a good chuckle at it’s contents. As Prestonpans bhoys posted last night, the Huns will have to find a new stockbroker, before they can trade any more shares. Perhaps there is a company in East Belfast just waiting for a call. Incidentally, the trading address for the stockbrokers, looks distinctly like an accomodation address, purchased by dodgy companies that specialise in off-shore shenanigans and other fraudulent activities. Surely our friends at Ibrox are too honest to deal with dodgy companies?

I hope and pray that the situation in Ukraine can be settled peacefully.

Hail Hail.

big packy
February 24, 2022 3:42 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, billybhoy what magua said, may your uncle RIP,

A thing of beauty
February 24, 2022 4:03 pm

Billy bhoy,
Condolences on the passing of your uncle.

February 24, 2022 4:23 pm

Sorry for your loss.
Agree with the pandemic , opening up too soon.I will be surprised if there are no cases from the Truckers protest in Ottawa.

Billy Bhoy
February 24, 2022 4:25 pm


Thank you all for the kind comments and prayers.
I’ll be able to take in the first 30mins of tonight’s game before heading to Mass at Lennoxtown for the arrival of the coffin.

I’ve just worked out that, according to the number of hun shares posted by above by CFC (432,328,634), they have released more than ONE share for every second of their almost 10 year existence.

In fact, by the date of their 10th birthday, on 29/7/22 (315,360,000) that will STILL be the case!

Bada Bing
February 24, 2022 4:32 pm

Celtic team v Bodø/Glimt: Hart, Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Scales, Bitton, O’Riley, Rogic, Forrest, Maeda, Giakoumakis.

Subs: Bain, Oluwayemi, Jullien, Taylor, McCarthy, Abada, Jota, Carter-Vickers, Hatate, McGregor, Juranovic.

February 24, 2022 4:47 pm

Billy Bhoy
Sorry for your loss 🙏

February 24, 2022 4:47 pm

As an auld Granda having just said bye to a 7 year old grandaughter heading to school I am sitting here at the kitchen deflated at what is happening in the Ukraine.
This world needs more woman in the leading roles as Heads of State. History is repeating itself ,another little Hitler, Napoleon trying to take advantage of a weaker Nation and the Worlds distaste for war. The granddaughter is off to be in school with friends unaware of what is taking place. How many innocent little girls in the Ukraine will be locked up at home unable to attend school with their friends because of this little prick?
Just yesterday she was telling me the teacher starts off the day by speaking about what’s in the news. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that classroom today
The game is coming up but I have a sickening feeling since the invasion and the game is secondary to what is happening

February 24, 2022 4:49 pm

The pitch we play on tonight is an 8 year old plastic pitch so fingers crossed 🤞 no injuries at full time

February 24, 2022 4:57 pm


A wonderful post. Cannot disagree with your thoughts on the developing conflict.

I see that six normal first team starters are on the bench tonight. Good. Sunday’s game is far more important.

Hail Hail.

Saltires en Sevilla
February 24, 2022 5:12 pm

Magua – saving those 6 for ET impact and qualific….

Nah, you are spot on buddy …It’s for Sunday

On the other hand … 😅

February 24, 2022 5:27 pm