Selecta, the Juke-Box Of Golden Sporting Memories.
Memories are the certainties of the past that cannot be changed.
Like a 60’s Jukebox, you put in your coin, a lever arm swings out and catches your chosen memory disc and places it on the turnstile, the memory plays its song.
The future is undefined, will it be excitement or does disappointment sit on the side-lines waiting to pounce? No-one knows, it is an unknown.
He stretches to put out his bedside light, as he does so, he catches a glimpse of the large print hanging on the bedroom wall, it is Henrik, The King Of Kings. The jukebox’s lever arm swings out and catches his memory disc placing it on the turnstile taking him back to August 2000.
The previous year Henrik’s lower leg swung loose from the top part, his Tibia and Fibula both broken, we feared the worst, would he ever recover? His aspirations dashed along with the aspirations of the big spending Barnes and Dalgleish. That was then, this is now….
Celtic 6-2 Rangers, Sunday 27th August 2000. Who would ever forget that game? As Henrik’s poise, balance and courage came to the fore, his limitless talent exposed the cracks in the opposition defence rendering it defunct. Parkheid exploded when the sweet stroke of a Moravcik corner swung in from the LHS and Sutton swept the ball into the net. And there’s more….
Gould sent a long ball Sutton bound, he knocked it to Henrik 40 yards from goal, he touched the ball through Konterman’s narrowed legs, not a nutcracker, just a cracker, leaving him like a floundering fish, somehow, Henke angled his body and chipped the ball over a bewildered looking Stephan Klos.
Genius – Long Live The King.
NB: In the Selecta memory, there is only three Celtic players who struck the ball on its sweet-spot. Lubo – DiCanio – and of course the irreplaceable Mr. Big Shot – Tommy Gemmell.
The arm of the memory disc swung, that memory was put back into the rack as sleep escaped right out the window. Wide awake, he glanced to the bottom of the bed and his eyes picked out in the darkness an ancient chest of drawers positioned, standing-up, on the top was his selection of picture frames. The biggest picture was of his beloved, as a young dark-haired beauty, in all her wedding finery, the hair might have changed colour from black to white, but the beauty of her inner core remains exactly the same, he chuckled as he was reminded that it was just days after their 51st. wedding anniversary. A picture frame of two well over 6ft. sons, standing tall like two Sitka Spruce trees reminding him of their hard work ethic, honesty and energy. Sons to be proud off.
Two mischievous grandsons, smiling happily for the camera, the cheeky chappies.
A tall lovely granddaughter with bright sparkling intelligent eyes, pointing towards a future of unlimited possibilities.
In the top drawer of the chest sits a match day ticket, a small reminder of his journey to Turin. Memories of the Celtic support singing and dancing in the town centre, of one supporter swimming around the fountain, on the pavement mimicking “The Man From Atlantis” or Govanhill? or was he ‘Billy The Fish’? The Italian police marching us all up to the old stadium ‘The Stadio Delle Alpi’.
The police stopped all the traffic as the Celtic procession marched on, belting out all the Celtic songs in joyful anticipation. What an experience, what a very happy memory.
Juve went 2-0 up after the brilliant Trezeguet scored twice, Stan The Man Petrov hammered home a free kick, Henke equalized from the penalty spot as the plastic bottles rained down from the angry home support, (clearly some of the bottles contained diluted Irn Bru). Only for Amoruso who came on as a substitute for Del Piero to win a penalty on the 87th minute. It was only when we returned home that we found out that Amoruso had dived to win the penalty.
The arm of the Selecta Juke Box swung angrily back into the storage rack, but revenge was sweet when we returned to Celtic park and we won the home tie 4-3. A memory to savour.
Right up there with some of the best Celtic European performances we had ever witnessed.
Two drawers down in the chest lies his prized Celtic hooped Sevilla top and green woollen hooped scarf, all neatly washed and pressed, evoking another memory of a cup final. A day of mixed emotions, both joy and heartache under the blazing Spanish sun. The three of us joined by our Glasgow chums as we supped beer after beer in the cafes and listened to the D.R. sound bus belting out songs cheered on by the Celtic support. We sat in the stadium with wet towel protection cheering on the team, another “We Wiz Robbed” a game of theatrics from Mourinho’s Porto, a team though who would prove their footballing prowess in next years C.L. Whatever the end result, it whetted our appetite for even more Celtic European competition. An image emblazoned on my mind of one Celtic supporter lying on a mini roundabout completely blootered as we travelled back to the airport. He looked kind of Leggy and was wearing a Saltire.
Above the chest of drawers hangs his most prized of his Celtic memories his ‘Golden Discs’, Henrik apart, it is the last thing that he sees before he turns off his bedside light and the very first memory that he sees in the morning, his “Lisbon Lion” Celtic memorabilia. Collected over the years, his “Sounds Of The Sixties” – Golden Records. A selected group of trinkets and treasured memories including ….
Big Jocks Autograph Display, he had always wanted his authentic autograph.
An authentic Lisboa programme signed by nearly all of the Lisbon Lions years later at the 25th Anniversary dinner, what a night. (Well 25 years to be exact).
A selection of programmes that reminded him of their journey towards Lisbon.
Black and white pictures of the victorious manager and players parading around Parkhead on the back of a coal lorry, what a joyous day of celebration that was. A large crowd of Celtic supporters cheering them around, as the old stands stood witness to a once in a lifetime achievement. Happy Days? An understatement if ever there was one.
Various signed pictures of our Lion hearted players far too many to mention.
Somehow a Celtic plastic duck swam around among those wonderful memories, its significance lost over time. Quack.
Of course there is more, much more, but they must remain private, sometimes its just better to hold somethings back, to let the reader fill in their own memories.
Before anyone asks, no, he wasn’t at Lisbon, to understand that, one must look back at the times and remember how money was in such short supply, his ‘Tattie Howkin’ story a small reminder of it, any spare monies must go to the family, family must always come first.
Perhaps it was because it was not possible for him to go to Lisbon, that it makes his Celtic Lisbon Lions memories and memorabilia all the more significant to him.
Content, sleep overtakes those many Celtic memories and allows him to dream, as he dons his Celtic top and greets his favourite players, after all that is what dreams are all about zzzzzz.
Memories are the past, we look forward to creating more new memories.
Yours forever in Celtic,