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Fairytale of Celtic…. Brown & Forrest Forever Present

19 May 2020

Celtic fans celebrated into the early hours of the morning and some will be waking up today with both hangovers and big smiles as the Celtic Fairytale continues. Car horns could be heard in the Belfast evening air, pockets of fans visited Celtic Park and I’m hearing that some fans even celebrated outside Ibrox.

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Houses and gardens throughout the World were turned Green and White as fans observing social distancing celebrated and then took to social media to post pictures and videos. The ballads were belted out as musicians took to Facebook to perform live to celebrate in story and song.

Some fans of a certain vintage can remember when Celtic became the first team in Scotland to do 9IAR when Jock Stein and his Lions kicked off the 9 and were joined along the journey by the Quality Street generation.

Back in the sixties and early seventies during that first run to 9, Celtic fans were in football fan heaven. Names like McNeill, Murdoch, Johnstone, Dalglish and McGrain graced the jersey and were adored from the Jungle and beyond, respected and feared in Europe.

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There were many years of disappointment for those fans before Celtic went on that amazing run, the foundation for success set in Hampden in 1965 when the Scottish Cup was lifted. Those Celtic fans were rewarded with the greatest period in Celtic’s unbroken history.

During the 90’s there were even more barren years but thanks to a fan driven revolt against the old board and a business plan by Fergus McCann, Celtic were able to rebuild both a stadium and a team in time to stop Rangers from doing 10 in a row and introduce us to Henrik Larsson one of the greatest players ever to don the Hoops.

This was the springboard for the success achieved by Martin O’Neill’s domestic success and an unforgettable run to Seville and a Uefa Cup final and the success that has followed.

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Neil Lennon started the run to 9 with players like Wanyama and big Virgil and when he left Celtic after winning 3 titles in a row I don’t think he ever thought that he would be back to steer us to title number 8 and 9 following on from Ronnie Delia and invisibles of Brendan Rodgers.

Many players have played their part French Eddie, Demebele, KT to name but 3 but 2 men who have been here for all 9 titles are Scott Brown and James Forrest. Brown has been an inspirational leader and deserves all the plaudits but Forest also deserves much credit for his performances and his loyalty which sometimes goes unnoticed.

Now that the league has been decided maybe its time we start asking when football resumes will be get the chance to re-engage in the Scottish Cup and the quest for the Quadruple Treble. What a thought!

Andrew Milne 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  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.

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