‘Kieran Tierney knows what it’s like to be a Celtic fan and idolise your heroes,’ Kirsty is our Fan of the Week

Next up for our very popular Fan Of The Week on the Celtic Star is Kirsty.

Kirsty is from Erskine in Renfrewshire, a stone’s throw away from where Ronny Deila used to stay, not that she used to stalk him or drive by his house, or anything like that!

She is a lifelong Celtic supporter and is a Season Ticket holder in the Lower North Stand. She loves going to see Celtic with her dad and two of her brothers. Kirsty is a mum to two amazing boys! She’s also delighted that her eldest boy “Ben” is now equally as obsessed with Celtic and that she has the pleasure of sharing the joy with him too. Kirsty’s youngest is only three but she’s confident that he’ll follow in his big brother’s footsteps!!

Enjoy Kirtsy’s #FanOfTheWeek

You can follow Kirsty on Twitter @kizmok

As ever our Celtic Star reporter Scotty Alcroft ask the questions.

What’s your first memory of Celtic?

Really difficult to pin-point my very first memory of Celtic. For as long as I can remember, Celtic has always been such a big part of my life. Thinking back, I have early memories of taping Celtic games on the video and re-winding and re-watching with my brothers. We would watch the same game over and over again. So much so, that we memorised the commentary. I can still hear the voices of Archie Macpherson and Gerry McNee in my head!

When I think back to this time, I can clearly remember Billy McNeill being the manager and Paul McStay being my ultimate hero. I had a poster of Paul on my bedroom wall and also remember making a Paul McStay folder. There were Panini stickers and photograph cuttings from newspapers and Celtic Views on the front. I thought it was special that Paul was number 8 when I was 8 years old. At the time I really believed it meant something and that I was his biggest fan. I’ve always had an obsessive element to my personality, haha.

What was the first game you went to?

I remember my first game being just after Dariusz Dziekanowski, or big Jackie, signed for the Hoops. The game was against Motherwell and ended in a 1-1 draw. My brothers and I were so excited and had begged my dad to let us go into the Jungle. At that time he said we were too young so we sat in the family section.

Before the game, my dad took us to Heraghty’s bar in Shawlands, I distinctly remember that they didn’t have a female toilet at the time and I found this very strange. I was actually back in Heraghty’s after the semi final last week and found out that it was the second last bar in Glasgow to get a female toilet. A bit of Glasgow toilet trivia for you there!

I don’t remember much about the actual game but can remember a lot of the team, it was probably my first proper memory of a Celtic team and names I’ll never forget. Pat Bonner, Paul McStay, Tommy Burns, Chris Morris, Joe Miller, Peter Grant, Roy Aitken to name but a few. And of course Big Billy was the manager!

It wasn’t until a few years later that we had our first Jungle experience. By that time, Celtic had fitted benches, also known as ‘deckchairs in the jungle’. I still remember it being pretty mental, even with the added furniture!

Who are your top 3 favourite Celtic players and why?

For me, a true Celtic great is not only skillful on the park but also has a true passion for the club and what it stands for. Some players come to Celtic and develop that passion over time but my top 3 were born into Celtic and lived the dream, playing for their boyhood heroes.

My number one is of course Paul McStay, the Maestro and a true Celtic legend. I love the fact that Paul spent his entire career with Celtic, starting off at Celtic Boys Club, quickly making his way into the first team and then all the way to team captain. He was a naturally talented player who always worked hard but remained very modest and humble. Paul had amazing vision and awareness, could win the ball well and had some fantastic assists and goals in his time. I randomly met his son Chris at Hampden last week and was annoyed with myself afterwards for not asking for a selfie, haha.

Next, it has to be Tommy Burns. A legend who will always be held in very high regard by fans, players and anyone who knew him. Tommy was a real character with amazing passion and fight. A down to earth guy who loved his family, faith and football. Again, starting at Celtic Boys Club, moving onto captain, coach and manager of the team. Tommy was a vital part of the double winning centenary team, and you know that it meant so much to him both personally and professionally to be part of such an amazing moment in Celtic’s history.

Finally my modern day hero, Kieran Tierney. Signing when he was 7 and making the first team at 18, it’s hard to imagine the current Celtic team without him. KT knows what it’s like to be a Celtic fan and idolise your heroes so always makes time to sign autographs and pose for pictures. As a player, he is the epitome of fitness, hard work and dedication. An amazing defender who puts every last effort into winning the ball. KT is a real all rounder, defensively flawless while great on the attack with a few beltin’ goals under his belt. Not a week goes by without media talk of him moving but I definitely think he’ll be here for at least 10 in a row. He’s an exceptional young player with the world at his feet but at the moment I think he’s more than happy playing for the club he’s always supported. I think it will be a good while before we see him leave.

Best game you’ve ever seen involving Celtic in your time?

I think it has to be the 6-2 annihilation of Rangers at Celtic Park. Martin O’Neill had just arrived at the club and things were on the up for Celtic. This game was a marker for how the rest of the season was to go. Although we stopped the 10, Rangers had still dominated Scottish football for over a decade, and at the time we didn’t know they had cheated to do so. It was a beautiful sunny day at Celtic Park and the fans were absolutely buzzing. I think we all had a great feeling that good times were ahead. Early on, Celtic banged in 3 goals from Sutton, Petrov and Lambert. Celtic were on fire and Rangers were falling apart. Then came that famous chip from Henrik Larsson to make it 4. Larsson scored again and The Magnificent 7 blared out around the stadium. Chris Sutton then fired in another to make it 6! The very little that Rangers did that day, isn’t even worth mentioning.

Worst game you’ve ever seen involving Celtic in your time?

When I read this question, the first game that came to mind was the Coca Cola Cup Final against Raith Rovers at Ibrox. Raith Rovers were by far the underdogs but put up a very good fight. Raith scored first early on and Andy Walker equalised not long after. After a game that seemed to last forever, Charlie Nicholas scored in the 84th minute to make it 2-1. At that point, we were sure the cup was ours. The fans were going crazy, singing and celebrating, only to be brought back down to earth when Raith equalised minutes later. The game went to extra time but we still couldn’t score. After that, came any fan’s most dreaded end to a cup final, a penalty shoot out. All 5 players took their penalties and scored. It then went to sudden death and Raith scored their first. Up stepped Celtic captain Paul McStay, it was unthinkable that he wouldn’t score. However, the unthinkable then happened. I was absolutely sick to my stomach. Not only had my team lost on penalties, but my childhood hero was the one to have his penalty saved.

I think this is the first time I remember being at a game and leaving with those horrible, sinking feelings of shock, disbelief and devastating disappointment. I was absolutely gutted at how things ended that day and can remember going home that night, dreading having to go into school the next day.

Pick your best ever Celtic X1 from what you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.

A very tough question but here goes….
Artur Boruc
Kieran Tierney
Virgil Van Dijk
Bobo Balde
Paul McStay
Tommy Burns
Scott Brown
Lubo Moravcik
Shunsuke Nakamura
Pierre Van Hoijdonk
Henrik Larsson

Give us a funny or surreal moment from your time supporting the Hoops.

It has to be the day we stopped the 10. The whole day was surreal and one of my best memories supporting Celtic.

It started off late morning when I was at street party in the Garngad. There were hundreds of people there, celebrations in full swing before the game had even been played. We knew we still had a job to do but there was a strong feeling that our day had come! All up Royston Road was a sea of green and white. Celtic songs blaring, drinks were flowing and the atmosphere was one of nervous excitement.

It was back in the days when fans had both eyes on the game in front of them and one ear listening to the scores on the radio. At that time, it was often so tight that every game really, really mattered.

On the day in question, Rangers were playing Dundee United at Tannadice, and they had to win. However, they also relied on us losing. We played St Johnstone at home and were off to a good start when Henrik scored just a few minutes in. It was a nerve wracking game until Harald Brattbakk made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute.

When the second goal went in the fans were going absolutely mental. There was cheering and singing until the final whistle, which seemed to take forever to come. When it finally did, the scenes were unreal and something I’ll never forget. Our seats are not too far from the pitch but when the whistle blew we ran right to the front. After the players had paraded with the trophy, fans started to spill onto the pitch, I can clearly remember thinking “I don’t care what happens to me here, I need to do this”. I ran on and a steward grabbed me, I’m not the strongest person or the fastest runner but somehow the adrenalin got me away from him and I made it quite far up the pitch. There were hundreds of fans there and we were moved off fairly quickly but those few minutes were unbelievable. The rest of the day and night are a bit blurry but it’s fair to say that it was a big celebration.

Give us your assessment on how this season has gone so far?

We are currently dominating Scottish football, albeit the games haven’t always been the most entertaining. There has been a lack of consistency in how we’ve played and I would definitely have liked to have seen more attacking football. However, we are 2 games away from a record breaking double treble so there’s lots to celebrate there. We’ve also had a lot of injuries, we have a strong squad but it has been difficult for the team to really get into the swing of things at times, with so many changes being made from game to game.

As Celtic fans, we have high standards and expectations and can sometimes be victims of our own success. Last year was truly amazing so it was going to be difficult to match up to that. We’ve played so much better away than at home and I’m confident we will still make it a season to remember, with a record breaking finish.

If you could choose 3 players from our History to play in today’s side, who would they be and why?

Jimmy McGrory for his goalscoring ability, Billy McNeill for his courage and leadership, and Jimmy Johnstone for his flair and skill.

Finally, explain to us what Celtic means to you?

For me, Celtic is about family. I’ve been brought up in a Celtic crazy family and from a young age have always been obsessed with the team, players and club. Going to games and watching them on TV has always been something we did together, and it still is to this day. I’m really lucky that I now have 2 amazing sons and have the pleasure of taking my eldest Ben, to Celtic Park and sharing our love of Celtic together.

Supporting Celtic is also about having continued faith, through good times and bad. Recently we have only seen good times but growing up in the 90s I remember clearly, the pain of another club’s domination. We kept the faith and now it’s our time, Glasgow is green and white and long may it continue!

Scotty says…..

Kirsty that was a brilliant read. Yourself and your families enthusiasm for Celtic is there for all to see. We must be around a similar age as I distinctly remember thinking Paul McStay (my hero also) was only wearing number 8 because I was 8 too haha. That penalty miss against Raith Rovers was definitely a low moment for a lot of us. Made worse with the Maestro missing that penalty.

Big Pierre and Henrik!! What a strikeforce that would’ve been too. Naka and Pierre over the free kicks as well? Some Celtic X1 that one. Thanks very much for taking part Kirsty and hopefully I’ll bump into you at Paradise soon for a game. HH

Interview by Scotty Alcroft for The Celtic Star



@Scotty10IAR on Twitter

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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