Bobo The Birthday Bhoy

Happy 45th birthday to the man mountain Bobo Balde.

Bobo was a cult figure with the Celtic support due to his incredible strength, size and immense aggression. “Bobo’s gonna get ye!” was the familiar cry – the biggest laxative known to strikers.

He signed for Celtic from Toulouse in July 2001. The reported fee was £900K, but that was later wiped when the French club entered financial difficulties.

Balde repaid Celtic by winning the player of the year award in 2003. Aside from that personal award, he won 3 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups and 5 League titles.

Perhaps his finest performance came in the 2004 UEFA Cup against Barcelona. That night, Bobo was terrific. He won every tackle, faced up Motta, who punched him, and dominated the defence. It was largely thanks to him that Celtic came away with a 1-0 win, ultimately advancing in the Nou Camp with a 0-0 draw. Balde was suspended for that match, but enjoyed the evening celebrating with supporters.

Bobo also scored a couple of goals against the dark side…

Many happy returns big man!

Liam Kelly

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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