My Old Man, Jimmy and Glasgow Celtic.

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My Old Man, Jimmy and Glasgow Celtic.

Postby franton » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:07 am

My Old Man, Jimmy and Glasgow Celtic.

My Old Man, Dad, Jimmy, has perhaps, I reckon, been to and seen more Celtic football matches than anybody else currently on the planet! He should I suppose be in the Guinness Book of Records. He must be one of the greatest Celts ever! So far, I haven't met anyone who could claim to have seen more Celtic games than he has! He started going to matches with my Grandad, when he was three years old. That would be around 1930, eighty five years ago! He still holds a Season Ticket today, aged eighty eight and has followed Celtic to three European Finals.

Felix, my grandfather, Jimmy's Dad, had a brother, "Uncle Jim", who was a friend of Willie Maley. Willie afforded Uncle Jim a complimentary season ticket for the stand at Parkhead, back in the days when Maley would have been the manager. Eventually my Dad would take me along with Felix to the games. I couldn't have been any more than three myself, when I started going!

My Dad remembers watching Jimmy McGrory as a player, before he was ever the Celtic manager and he also watched Charlie Tully "score" those two corners, one after the other, from right in front of him, in the crowd at Brockville Park, Falkirk . He saw Charlie chase Sammy Cox off of the park at Ibrox to cries of derision from the Celtic Supporters, seeking retribution after having been blatently kicked by him. He was there and watched matches in the Empire Exhibition and the Coronation Cup. He saw the 7 - 1 Hampden League Cup Final against Rangers and took me to Hampden, where as two of a record European Cup match of 136 505 people, we watched Celtic dismiss Leeds United from the European Cup in the 1970 semi-final. I was also with him at Ibrox Park with him on that ill-fated day in January 1971, when sixty-six Rangers fans lost their lives and many more were injured on the Ibrox terracing near the end of the match, in what is to this day, known as the Ibrox Disaster.

When I was in School, Jimmy always had a twelve seater van. He would take me along, with our Celtic-minded friends, to all the domestic matches; both home and away. For years we went each week, back in the days before live televised football matches. As a Celtic Pools Agent, Jimmy got tickets for all the games. Games at Aberdeen were special, as my Dad had friends up there and he and my Uncles would stay over, singing the night away with Celtic songs to accompaniment on the organ by the Aberdonians. He took our family our holidays, usually to Donegal, in the van and we were often treated to a rendition of "Oh Donegal, The Pride Of All", as we drove along. Celtic was for us, like many other folks, a way of life.

Dads finest hour, like that of many Celtic fans of course, would have been in Lisbon 1967. He went there along with his best friend, Willie Doyle. My uncle Jimmy, who would have been there also, missed out because my aunt was having a baby! At the final whistle, my Dad suggested to Willie, they made their way up to where the Cup was going to be presented to Big Billy, the Celtic Captain. When Billy finally made it up to that parapet, exhausted, my Dad was standing just down below him. There was a guy who was waving an Inter flag, defiantly and Willie was trying to get him to put it down. Then my Dad was able to get a picture of Billy holding the European Cup aloft. And just as Billy was lowering the Cup, My Dad shouted up to him

" Give Us A Picture, Billy."

Billy then held the Cup up for him and shouted back to him, something like "Hows That."

That is quite a story to tell and my Dad has the pictures to prove that it is true!

So, as I say, there aren't many Celtic fans around who are as dedicated to Celtic in their lifetime as my Dad is. He didn't play for Celtic (as it happens) and he hasn't written books or articles about Celtic; nor eulogised with eloquence about them in the public domain. But he is a Celtic Fan par excellence and I would like to put it on record because as such, I do not think he has a rival. This is my Tribute to him. You can see the pictures for yourself, below.

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