18 February 1967, was a normal mid-winter Saturday, which little did I know would make such a massive impression on my life, giving me joy and pleasure, excitement, as well as the occasional heartache, however it would be quite a few years before I fully understood how the heartache could impact on my life.
As an 8 year old, living in Easterhouse, in Glasgow’s East End, I would spend every weekend with my paternal grandparents, who were caretakers in an office block in tbe city centre, and on Saturday afternoons, after lunch, my grandfather and I would head out, on some adventure or other.
Hamilton, Lanark or Ayr races were favourite destinations for us, or some lower division football ground, Boghead Dumbarton, Cathkin Park or Kilbowie in Clydebank. My grandfather had a problem with his hip and had difficulty walking, and detested crowded places, hence less well attended football matches.
That particular Saturday, he and I walked down Hope St. to Argyle St. And boarded a 64 bus heading to Auchenshuggle, a place I’d never heard of before.
After about 20 minutes we alighted the bus and I was handed a football programme for CELTIC v ELGIN CITY, SCOTTISH CUP 5TH ROUND TIE, with a photograph of John Hughes on the cover. Final Score 7-0, but it wasn’t as straight forward as the scoreline suggested.
So that was my introduction to my beloved CELTIC FC.
A few weeks later, my father and maternal grandfather took me to the Scottish Cup Final, a 2-0 victory over Aberdeen, and only 3 or 4 weeks after that my team won the European cup in Lisbon. As an 8 year old my local team were European Champions, and had won every. tournament they had entered that season.
I was in my mid teens before Celtic would lose a League title, would regularly advance to the latter stages of the European Cup, although on occasion, did lose the odd domestic trophy (League Cup / Scottish Cup). In March/April 1967, my grandfather had an operation on his hip in Killearn hospital, where Joe McBride was undergoing surgery on his fractured leg and was a patient on the same ward, where I was lucky enough to meet him.
So that’s how my 55 year love affair with Celtic began, and through the good and bad times, I have loved all of it. GOING FOR MY 56…
BillCowie1958 – Well-known member on Celtic Noise
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