I’ve mentioned previously my relationships with and between girls, football, and my beloved Celtic FC. Today, the two of us delved a little deeper into that world. Celtic have had a turbulent season to say the least, but it has been completely over-shadowed by the financial troubles at Rangers FC, their Old Firm rivals.
However, Celtic managed to secure the league on April 7th, with a 6-0 victory over Kilmarnock. That game, though, was an away game, and the league trophy was due to be presented on the last home game of the season – against Hearts. Whilst watching the highlights of that Kilmarnock game on the Sunday night, Carley asked me on a whim “Do you want to go to the last game and see them get the trophy?” Naturally, I jumped at the chance. We quickly bought our tickets, getting a third for my brother, and then had to sit and wait for game day to arrive.
That day was today (May 13th) and I had such a great day. My brother arrived back from Virginia last Wednesday (May 9th) and he came down to Edinburgh from our parents’ house last night, as we had an early start today. Last night was a good giggle – we even took Michael to our favourite post-work pub, Clark’s, to meet Colin – our favourite bar man. I talk about Michael quite a lot, and he seemed quite happy to finally put a face to the name.
As I said, we had a pretty early start today, but the three of us managed to bundle ourselves out of bed and down to the train station. Michael was obviously still jet-lagged, though, and needed a wee sleep(!)
The game was great – Gary Hooper scored all five goals, all of them superb, and all of the players played really well. It’s as good a performance as I’ve seen all season. Because the league had been wrapped up a month prior, it would have been easy for the team to go on the back foot and get sloppy – it was good to see them keep going for the final day of the league. The atmosphere in the ground was amazing. The whole place was literally bouncing at some points. We were singing, cheering, doing the Huddle – it was honestly great. It’s been a good 8 years since I’ve been at Parkhead – it was wonderful to be back, and I think Carley will definitely attest to the fact it was a fantastic first trip to Paradise.
The trophy presentation after the game was fantastic – there were fireworks and everything! And, I know I’m a big sap, but I definitely had some feelings when some of the lads came out with their kids – the wee Celtic strips were adorable. It was also a really nice touch when Neil Lennon (the manager) took the trophy across to the far corner where the Green Brigade are in the stadium. They are a bit “extreme” shall we say (I’ll not go into the religious/political controversies), but they are a key part of bringing the noise to Celtic Park, and Lennon wanted to acknowledge their devotion to the club.
All in all, a great game and a great day – and there’s no other people I’d have picked to have spent it with.
Hail hail. S xStacey brother, Carley, celtic fc, celtic park, family, football, glasgow, Stacey