I’m sitting here writing this on the train on route to Paris as I start my journey home from another away days in Europe with Celtic. There were more than a few Celtic fans crashed out in the train station this morning after kipping there overnight before travelling home nursing hangovers but everyone seemed happy with a point on the road. This was the day when we drew away.
On the pitch last night the team performed very well and could have won the game if it wasn’t for some dodgy decisions from the 3 blind mice officiating the game. The effort that was put in on the pitch was very much appreciated in the stands when the final whistle sounded. First Lenny came onto the pitch to salute the fans with a pumped fist in the air. Then it was the players turn as they applauded the Celtic traveling support to a chorus of “We Love You Celtic We Do”
Going in at half time 1-0 down, the players could have dropped the heads but came out for the second half and stuck the chest out and delivered. When that penalty equaliser hit the back of the net it felt like I jumped six foot high. How can a small ball hitting the back of the net bring so much joy to so many both in the stadium and watching around the World in different time zones?
The craic travelling over on Wednesday was brilliant especially in the bar cart on the train from Paris to Rennes. I had the pleasure of sharing drinks and exchanging stories with fans from Dublin, Cork and Glasgow before champagne corks were popped during the singsong as we arrived into Rennes train station.
Match day was spent basking in the Sun drinking cool cider with the St. Margaret’s Bhoys in the impressive city square outside McConnell’s Bar, I also bumped into some old friends from the midlands and Brian McAvoy all the way from Australia and fair play to all those who travelled on buses. I think I’m getting too long in the tooth for those overnight party buses.
The walk to the ground was brilliant with the locals out filming it all on their smart phones.
The people of Rennes were welcoming and both sets of fans mixed in the bars around the stadium before and after the match. It makes you wonder why the Scottish Police spotters or football unit or what ever they call themselves can justify the expense to the tax payers for these free midweek breaks. The stood watching us in the square before enjoying the game pitch side.
When I got back to the hotel last night I checked out the after match interviews with goal scorer Ryan Christie and Neil Lennon both were happy with the result but not the referee. I think they expressed how we all felt.
Happy Friday folks enjoy the weekend and lets get the 3 points secured on Sunday when Kilmarnock come to Paradise. You can read the full Away Days feature in issue 106 (November Edition)
Andrew started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic. One of his essays featured in Celtic Minded 2 and he is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of Celtic AM pre-match events at Malone’s in Glasgow on match days and follows Celtic Home & Away. He is a season ticket holder for Celtic FC and the Republic of Ireland. He is also P.R.O. of St. Margaret’s CSC, a member of the Celtic Trust and the Celtic Graves Association.