I did not take my usual seat at Celtic Park in the Main Stand on Saturday. There were no buses, planes or airport pints. Instead my pre-match was a swim in the Spanish sea and a cup of coffee in the sun before getting a taxi to Paddy’s Point home of the Paddy’s Point CSC.
It was standing room only as holiday makers wearing the famous green and white hoops joined the supporters club members who have made this part of the Costa their home. Before the game in Glasgow flyers were circulated by one of Celtic’s Ultra Groups, the Green Brigade/ North Curve.
Link to video at end of article to Barry from One Celtic Fans View video about the full statement. Barry is a regular at Paddy’s on match day and had been a Celtic Youtuber for many years.
Celtic as expected controlled most of the ball in the first half but headed back to the dressing room at half time with little to show for all the domination.
The mood remained confident among the Celtic fans gathered inside and outside the pub at half time. I had a quick look on social media during the break and viewed a mixed bag of comments regarding our first half performance.
Supporters Club t-shirts were on sale at half time which make nice gifts for like minded mates. Former Celtic player Andy Lynch who lives close by pops in and out to watch games and Alan Thompson has become a regular when visiting this part of the Spanish coast.
The second half was much better with 3 goals to celebrate which had me off my high stool and celebrating. David Turnbull opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a VAR check to make sure the Celtic player was in the box when he was taken down by Ryan Howley.
Kyogo doubled Celtic’s lead when he headed home from 12 yards after a great ball into him from Callum McGregor. He then turned from poacher to supplier when he cut the ball back to Matt O’Reilly to secure a comfortable victory for the bhoys.
At full time money was collected for the supporters club trip to Madrid for the Atletico game. You could hear the members chatting about train times, hotels and what part of the city they were staying in. They invited me to travel up with them but I have alternative arrangements made but I hope to meet up with them for a few beers pre or post match.
Nothing beats being at a Celtic game in the flesh home or away but pubs and supporters clubs around the globe are so important to bring Celtic fans together for a match day experience.
I have no doubt it will be another busy night at Paddy’s when I return on Tuesday to watch Celtic take on Feyenoord.
Andrew Milne is Editor of More than 90 Minutes and host of the Celtic Soul Podcast