So we said goodbye to the noughties on a bit of whimper after a defeat to them at the end of December. Still one defeat, albeit a sore one at the time was never going to define the most trophy laden decade in our history. Fitting that we recorded our eighteenth trophy win on the very last month of the decade at a rain soaked Hampden Park.
It may not have been Hampden in the sun, but it certainly was Hampden full of fun as we did a classic smash and grab, win over the tribute act. Safe to say that our domestic haul of eight consecutive league titles, five Scottish Cups and Five League Cups may take a while to beat. Included in that run are the Trinity of Trebles, eight league titles in a row, the Invincible season, Celtic’s 100th trophy, a record breaking 69 domestic game unbeaten run, four consecutive League Cups in a row (A trophy that haunted the Bhoys for years), and ten domestic trophies in a row. Yet the decade started with the huns end bouncing leaving Celtic Park after they snatched a draw. Kind of puts December’s defeat into perspective doesn’t it.
Many of us are guilty of not enjoying the moment and always just looking forward so it is nice to take time to reflect and look back on a decade of mesmerising memories. A recent poll carried out online on the top ten Celtic games of the decade caused much debate
The games in question were as follows in date order,
(1) Celtic 2-1 Barcelona November 7th 2012
What more can you say about this night, on a personal level my favourite ever night in Paradise, a day after our 125th anniversary. The Fairy-tale that is our club was encapsulated perfectly on this night. While it has just been the most brilliant of decade’s there still can only be 1 winner for game of the decade.
(2) Celtic 3-0 Shakhter Karagandy August 28th 2013
The dramatic comeback as much as the achievement itself of back to back Champions League qualifications is what resonates with most who were present on this night, a classic European night at Paradise. Amazing what you remember on a personal level about games looking back. I was due in for an important work meeting at 8 a.m. the following morning and I remember thinking as the seconds ticked away to what looked to be extra time, we’ll miss the ferry home and I’m going to be screwed getting to work the next morning. Forrest’s late late winner saw every emotion jump out of me. We’d won the match, we’d made the ferry and most importantly Celtic’s name was in the pot for the upcoming Champions League draw.
(3) Celtic 5-1 Rangers (2012) September 10th 2016
The first ever League meeting between the two sides and like our first ever game against the old Rangers (1872) we hit them for five. Paradise was bouncing, the Sun was out and Moussa Dembele ensured a Dembelition in style. Talk about putting down a marker. I will not confess to being brilliant at predictions but I remember telling all who would listen at half time, with the game balanced at 2-1, that the Huns were there for the taking and that we’d hit them for five, a magical game in a truly magical season.
(4) Celtic 3-3 Manchester City September 28th 2016
Pep Guardiola brought his so called stars to Paradise, having won their opening ten fixtures in the league. A raucous atmosphere greeted them as we went toe to toe with the so-called top team in Britain. My Wife had given birth to our little Ghirl Grace just days before this game so I had to sit this one out. As Paradise roared to the tune of “Grace”, holding my little one in my arms, I’d swear I got a bit of dust in my eyes that night.
(5) Rangers (2012) 1-5 Celtic April 29th 2017
This game saw us tear a Rangers team (Both 1872 and 2012 versions) apart in a way I had never seen before. I genuinely believe a four goal trouncing was not doing justice to the day. Just a magical day from start to finish. I previously wrote a piece in this fanzine on that day and what it meant to so many of us that had experienced terrible days at Ibrox. The Broomloan Road end partied like it had rarely partied before. Pure ecstasy!!
(6) Celtic 2-1 Aberdeen Scottish Cup Final May 27th 2017
The last game of season 2016/17 saw the Celts on the verge of history. Rogic’s last minute winner saw scenes of adulation amongst the Celtic Faithful in the stands that you know you will only ever see a small number of times in your life. I grabbed my best Celtic mate whom I have travelled with for years and he just looked at me, tears streaming down his face and laughed. Such scenes were replicated all over the Celtic end. Despite there being so many brilliant domestic moments over the past decade for me this Cup final stands apart, A truly never to be forgotten Celtic Cup final win.
(7) Rangers (2012) 2-3 Celtic March 11th 2018
Yet another magical win at Ibrox, This was the Bhoys fourth successive win here and ultimately this was as they say the straw that broke the camel’s back with the Huns reducing the away allocation for Celtic fans following this win, sick no doubts at the endless parties that were taking place in the “Free Broomloan stand”. French Eddie’s late winner was a dagger into the hearts of a Huns support that thought they may finally get a win at home in this fixture. I watched this game surrounded by the Tynseside Bhoys in the Irish centre in Newcastle, as I was over there for a friends stag. A lively afternoon on Tyneside followed!!
(8) Celtic 5-0 Rangers (2012) April 29th 2018
This win was that bit extra special given we had the opportunity to seal seven in a row that day. A freakish loss to Hibs at Easter Road the week before by the Bhoys set this up as a title decider. For those within the Celtic support who thought they would have a nervy afternoon, going five nil up with forty minutes left to play put to bed that idea. In a very strange way I remember walking out of the ground, while elated, also with a tinge of regret that we did not beat the famous 7-1 score from the League Cup final sixty one years earlier. I know what many of you are thinking and you’re right, we’ve all got a bit greedy given the success we have seen of late.
(9) Celtic 2-1 Hearts Scottish Cup final May 25th 2019
The day the Treble Treble was sealed. The first final Celtic have played on the same date as the Lions lifted the European Cup since 1967 and low and behold we come from a goal down to win it late. Scenes of adulation and joy were mixed with sadness given the recent passing of our greatest ever Captain Billy McNeill and the man who scored our most important ever goal, the winner in the European Cup final Stevie Chalmers. The whole occasion was a fitting tribute to their legacy. A momentous day, the day we secured the Treble Treble.
10 Lazio 1-2 Celtic November 7th 2019
A momentous away win in Rome, backed by over ten thousand Celts who had made the journey. A couple of weeks previous the Bhoys had put Lazio to the sword in a thrilling night in Paradise. A dramatic last second winner by super sub Ntcham saw unbridled joy in the Celtic end. I was sitting at home cursing the fact I wasn’t in Rome. The final game of the list was certainly a game that will be talked about for many years.
So there you have it, the top ten games of the decade according to the online Celtic Faithful. No doubts many will disagree with the games picked and have their own favourites. Isn’t that the joys of being a football fan?
One interesting note is that in a similar list made from 2000-2010, four of the five games picked were European fixtures. Domestic bliss is magical but wouldn’t it be great to see us in the near future making serious waves in Europe again. Ten magical games over an astonishing decade is always something we can look back on with a smile. Now roll on 2020 and Here We Go 9 In A Row!!!
Keep The Faith and God Bless the Celtic.
Ciaran Kenny is a member of Naomh Padraig CSC in Dublin since the early nineties. Ciaran is also a regular to Paradise and beyond since 1995, he is a season ticket holder at Celtic Park since 1999. and a Shareholder and also a member of the Celtic Trust. Ciaran has worked closely with the homeless services in Dublin City working with Don Bosco Care since 2001. Ciaran is also Chairperson of the Irish aftercare network which advocates for better outcomes for young people in care throughout all of Ireland. Ciaran has contributed to Mt90M since 2008.