John…Visiting my brother in law Pat in hospital I heard a voice from the bed opposite. Not recognising the face I very quickly scanned the name above the bed. That illness can do that to you. We quickly chatted, about how he was, his daughter Megan whom I taught, and about Celtic.
Megan still remembered the ‘Seville Day’ I did in class with the P5’s on the day of the Cup Final. The ‘mini topic’ on Glasgow, Porto and Seville was good in itself and related food and drinks of the respective cities went down well. The covert wearing of football tops, (hidden under jackets ) Spain among them, but mostly Hoops, elicited great fun, not least because it was ‘forbidden’ .Turned out to be less so for myself when later given a very stern lecture by bosses, many of whom had been at the game. Worth it though.
Subsequent visits to Pat included football talk with John his take on the Martin O’Neill book he was reading, Clough and, of course, Celtic. The four men in that Ward of Room 4 were all supporters and they continued to watch and discuss games on tv and laptops. John was moved into a room of his own and I continued to visit. On a recent Saturday, he was unwell but still made time to discuss who we thought the best player. I said Murdoch, John said Dalglish. My father, up to visit Pat, gave John a small lapel badge, the teddy bear in the European Cup which brought a smile to his face.
Pat…Pat saw good and bad times following Celtic. He always made time to discuss the Club and, more particularly, the team. He was a member of the Band that played the Lions around the park on their return from Lisbon. He takes up the story…
”When we made the Final, our Band leader went into Celtic Park the week prior to the game, to ask to lead the team in a lap of honour. The Secretary asked him to wait as there was a representative of another Band in with Desmond Whyte. When shown in, the Band Leader stated his case. Mr Whyte said ‘You’ve got the job. The previous fella said IF we win the Cup next week…you said WHEN we win the Cup next week’!
A double decker was duly booked from a firm in Clarkston, Airdrie and, in film of the time, the Band are clearly visible at the head of the team. Heading home, and after discussion of where to go, and bearing in mind the early closing time then, the driver was instructed to stop at the Georgian Hotel in Coatbridge. He was also invited in to join them, which he did.
Three days later, after numerous complaints by disgruntled Clarkston passengers as to the whereabouts of their service to Airdrie, it transpired that the driver had enjoyed himself a little too much and taken to his bed. The bus was still outside the Georgian ”
Separated by seventeen years, and four feet of bed space, Celtic was a common language for two true supporters.
Requiesce in pace…
John Patrick Grogan…31 January 1963 – 29 January 2023
Patrick Boyle… 5 September 1945 – 16 February 2023