The strangest Cup Final Weekend is upon us, no fans at Hampden, no buzz around Glasgow City, No Celtic AM, no pints in the Brazen or after party in McChuills. What ever you’re cup final ritual is it can’t happen this time due to Covid19.
With the vaccine kicked off we now have hope of returning next season to cheer on the bhoys and get back to all those match day rituals we all took for granted and Why not? Who would have ever thought we would live through a World pandemic of lockdowns, tiers and virtual reality.
I chatted to Eddie Toner earlier in the week on the Celtic Soul Podcast and it was nice to hear his Celtic Journey from Ball Bhoy at Celtic Park to going out on Monday to buy his Cup Final outfit. A ritual he does before every Scottish Cup Final, something green for the big day is a kind of romantic thing a new shirt for the big day. Eddie attended the 1969 final for the first time and he has not missed a final that Celtic have taken to the field in since. So that is a lot of Cup Final Outfits.
Like so many Eddie will be watching from home, he told me he will have his cup final outfit on, the tunes playing pre-match and he will pour himself and those in the house a drink or two in a season he says he is hating because of not being able to meet up with his family on matchdays including his 83 year old Mam who is also missing the match day experience and ritual.
For me it will also be strange, no airport pint, no weekend craic and no late night pints and chats with my mates in the Artto. This cup final for me will be watched on a reserved table for 6 in a restaurant the max allowed for this Cup Final get together a far cry from the thousands of fellow Celtic fans I normally get to spend Cup Final with. You can’t beat hugging a complete stranger when the ball hits the back of the net.
One positive is that the table of 6 will consist of some of my oldest mates who I enjoyed the highs and lows with that comes with following the famous Celtic FC. So what ever your doing for this Cup Final, Enjoy the build up, Enjoy a drink of your favourite tipple and hopefully we will all enjoy seeing History being made!
No doubt about it if Scott Brown goes up to lift the Scottish Cup we’ll be there if only in Sprirt but throughout the World Celtic fans will be be dreaming of these scenes before kick off and will be kicking and heading every ball, shouting at the players who can’t hear you but that don’t matter it’s part of the emotions that stir when we watch anyone wearing the famous hoops and the four leaf clover upon the chest. So if you’re in New Zealand or Newry, Glasgow or Galway, Boston or the Bronx. Or where ever you are watching Enjoy it because Cup Finals are special and this could be the most special of all.
Andrew Milne started More than 90 Minutes in 2001. He has written for numerous publications and online about Celtic. He is a former newspaper columnist with the Daily Ireland and the man behind celticfanzine.com. He is host of the Celtic Soul Podcast & 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
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