Over the past year and a half of lockdowns, empty stadiums and closed pubs the mind often wandered to happier times following Celtic. Trips I’ve been on and a promise to never take them for granted ever again. In my mind I created a Celtic Bucket list, some I’ve done and some I’ve yet to do. Here was my Top 10:
10: Do a full year Home and Away
This is tough enough even for the Scottish based Celts but almost a pipedream for those of us living in Ireland. Every league and cup game home and away all season. Tickets, expense, work and family commitments all make it a difficult task and remains to be something most of us can only dream off. Special mention to the Hardcore who include all the European home and aways as well, taking great dedication and money.
9: Trip to Tynecastle
Going by stories from seasoned travellers Tynecastle is the hidden gem with all the atmosphere and hatred of a trip to Ibrox without all the publicity. With reduced allocations it’s a harder one to mark off than it was years ago when we got the full Roseburn Stand which is why it makes the list. It’s also not the sort of stadium you want to be left outside on your own without a ticket as the rest of the Celtic support go inside leaving you ticketless and stranded outside.
8: Testimonial in England
Younger readers might need a Time Travel machine for this one but some of my favourite trips supporting Celtic have been to testimonials in England where we took 10k plus fans on a midweek and out sang the home fans and gave their hero a better send off than they did. Trips to Manchester for Hughes, McClair and Giggs testimonials or Ronnie Moran’s in Liverpool where we broke the stand from jumping so much will live long in the memory.
7: Euro Aways
There’s something special about following the Bhoys on the continent, getting there by planes trains and automobiles and stepping into the unknown. Even trips to Barcelona and Milan can be special but its trips to a club you never heard of prior to the draw and you had to google to find what country or city they were in which are often the best ones. A day or 2 away with your mates in a foreign country drinking cheap beer or taking over the main square with thousands of other bhoys on the same buzz. What’s not to like!
6: Win at Ibrox
While its great to beat the zombies at Celtic Park there’s something even sweeter to take the piss in their own backyard as we put them to the sword. Surprisingly the trip to and from the ground can be uneventful as you barely see a hun but inside definitely makes up for it with plenty of needle as the Free Broomloan laud it over the dead club. Unfortunately the huns couldn’t take having the piss ripped out of them and cried to get the allocations greatly reduced, meaning its a much tougher game to tick off now than it was a few years ago.
5: Winning a Treble
With all the recent success and quadruple trebles it is easy to forget how blessed we have been. Until I was in my early 20’s I hadn’t seen us win one and after that they were a once in a generation thing. 4 in 4 seasons including an Invincible season may never be seen again and will go down in history in the same esteem as the Coronation Cup, Lisbon Lions and Centenary Season.
4: Euro away on a bus
You’re probably getting the idea now that it’s not all about the football. How often have you walked out of a stadium on a euro away and seen fans boarding a bus with a Scottish reg as they embarked on a 2 day journey home and felt a mixture of respect and pity and you headed off for more beers, an hotel room and still return home before them? With The advent of cheap flights they are less common but not gone completely. Some of the trips are the stuff of legend and probably deserve an article all of their own.
3: European Final
For years it was only something our Fathers and uncles told us about, Then 2003 came along and Seville gave us a taste of being back among the European elites once more. The FIFA Fair Play Award says it all about the occasion and was definitely a box ticked for many fans. The result didn’t go our way but that doesn’t distract from what was a once in a lifetime experience for many. With the addition of the new Conference League as well as the Europa league hopefully its something we get to tick off once more in the future.
2: Ten in a Row
There’s no denying its something we’ve dreamed of for years and the less said about it the better. It’ll remain on everyone’s bucket list for the time being but the desire will remain. Hopefully one day..
1: Winning the European Cup
At this moment in time its as far fetched as Ireland winning the World Cup, but for some lucky souls they were there to see history made as we were crowned Kings of Europe. With our support base its not impossible to witness again but will take a major revolution in European football with the money men chased and a more sustainable fan led model in their place. Until then we can but dream and listen in awe to those who were there and can recall the tales.