In all the euphoria of the last few days and even the last two decades or so, it should not be overlooked that we are lucky enough to be witnessing the most successful period in Celtic’s history. Indeed, historians of the future will record this period, however long it may last, as the time when Celtic Football Club witnessed unprecedented success on the domestic scene. Future generations will be as jealous of us witnessing treble after treble as I am of those who were in Lisbon in 1967 or on the slopes of Celtic Park during Willie Maley’s team’s incredible six in a row triumph.
Sadly, it is often the case that people take everything in their stride and become expectant. They enjoy success of course, but it’s only when it is all over that they look back on the great historic days they lived through. For example, some of my friends followed Celtic through the 60s and 70s. To them it was the norm to be competing in the latter stages of the European Cup. It was only in the 80s and beyond that they reflected on how incredible those times were. They had lived to see the greatest days of Celtic Football Club, dining at the top table of football.
For fans living through the post-millennium years, we have seen our team lift 16 league titles (soon to be 17) in 23 years. We have seen the club record nine league championships in a row, for a second time. We have witnessed Celtic in another European final. We have seen five domestic trebles, with a sixth treble very much on the cards. Ten Scottish Cups (with another cup final awaiting in June) have come our way in this period, 11 League Cups have also entered the trophy room, along with a Quadruple Treble. By the end of this season, Celtic could have won 39 trophies in 23 years.
Tales of Maley’s six in a row side, the all conquering Lisbon Lions season, the first nine in a row, winning the Empire Exhibition and Coronation cups etc. all sounds romantic, exciting and unbelievable to experience. But it should not be forgotten, in 100 years time fans will read about the miracle turn around when Martin O’Neill arrived, or the Deila/Rodgers/Lennon/Postecoglou years with 12 titles in 13 years, a Quadruple Treble and possibly five trebles in seven seasons. Imagine how they will envy us. In our lifetime’s some of our grandchildren will ask us what it was like. There’ll be pictures of the celebrations, street parties and pre-match displays. With a bit of luck, they might even ask us what it was like to break a world record for trebles won or how good the team that broke the record for goals scored in a league season was.
We should appreciate just how special a time this is. It is the most successful period in the club’s history in domestic terms and hopefully the domination is set to continue for a while yet!