Sandman’s Definitive Ratings – Champions v Bealdermort’s Minions



– Me.

ROXIE – 7/10 – And so it goes. And so Joe goes. Out a winner with a clean sheet, a venerated Skelper of a keeper with another winner’s trinket to cap his illustrious career. Faced 11 Zombie corners today – about 10 more than usual – and dealt with every one of them, some in spectacular style as he connected with every punch. Even survived a covert Hobbit molestation attempt which resulted in VAR calling in David Attenborough for confirmation of fantasy creatures’ mating rituals before correctly cancelling it out. A stoical, influential presence on-field when we needed just that type of figure to help coax the bhoys through a tough shift. And once it was all over – really all over for Joe – he was met with medals and silverware and the adulation of millions. What a way to call it a day. Ghod speed the big ghuy.


GREGGS THE BAKER – 6/10 – Overly-elaborate early on, infuriatingly so. But ultimately that caution and hesitance to progress was a miasma clinging about the entirety of our performance. As the game wore on, Greggs didn’t wear down – his appetite for conflict drove him despite being charged with the Zombies’ most threatening entities and taking a yellow for what was a fine tackle. A battler, and a winner, he is.

WAYNE GRETZKY – 7.5/10 MOTM – Solid isn’t the word. Did you witness his recovery tackle around about the seven Guinness moment? (That’s somewhere between 85-90 minutes, you flaming lightweights…) This Mooseman wasn’t for cackling under any sort of Zombie pressure; prior, he’d been probably our closest to scoring after a surge into their box and deflected shot. When we needed dig, we got it. And cover, and drive. Most of all, he was in there scrapping in the midfield too at the death when others’ legs had gone, and epitomised the mentality required to win the day when the ball isn’t breaking for you and it looks like the fates are conspiring against you. Gee-whiz, what a great outing at the soccer, as he might comment…

OF JUSTICE – 5.5/10 – Nnnngh, Liam. Jeez, one of those will-he, won’t-he afternoons when he made some alarming choices and teetered on the brink of calamity. Kind of balanced that with fine recovery interventions and calculated distribution, but not quite the comfort blanket the Hooped masses require in the midst of such strife.

GET CARTER – 7/10 – A bear to defy the bears. Uncompromising as ever when faced with the fermenting hordes of darkness. Prepared to header the ball at three inches off the turf and managed somehow to break Dessers’ leg with his majestic right buttock. Stepped forward when he could, sprayed passes, no fault for the malfunctioning mess ahead of him. When the job needed done, CCV was one of the few carrying the load. “Unlucky Rangers, you reprobate Zombies!” he yelled down the tunnel at the end, as caught on mic.*

*Probably didn’t.

CALMAC – 6.5/10 – The sledging skipper gets in their thick heids again. Marked for treatement, his positional nous at least made sure we kept some sort of hold on the middle as his compadres wilted away. He was, as ever, in space and available, but lacking cohesion around him with which to set tempo and cultivate any meaningful forays intop their backline. A mhan alone in the midfield, who played a captain’s role despite handicapped by a card never replicated for the vermin assaulting him continually.

THE BUILDER – 5/10 – Mhan down #1. Goddamn, the bhoy of the moment fluffs his lines in the glamour game. One of those days for Matty, who from the opening minutes appeared just off the pace and seeking his touch; which he failed to find in any really meaningful context for the afternoon. A game of nearly but nope, seemingly every time he got on the ball.

HAKUNA HATATE – 3.5/10 – Mhan down #2. Reo, Reo – dreadful participation that amazed only for the length of time he managed to evade substitution. If Matty was having problems finding his touch, Reo was having problems finding the pitch, never mind the ball. Must have only managed one decent link-up with the otehr midfielders; rest of his time was a frustrating, aimless exercise in running up cul-de-sacs or the wrong way down one-way streets. The blind getaway driver we didn’t need to complete the heist…

JAMESY – 6/10 – Oh Hampden in the sun, here comes Jamesy…And the thing was, he looked up for it; Well, doesn’t he always? But service to Jamesy was limited, thanks to the aforementioned midfield funk. However, there he was on the ball every time we managed to shuffle it his way, hustling inside at speed – looking dangerous as a docile snake lurking in an empty pint glass, awaiting an unsuspecting glass collector at the end of the night; just like Once Upon A Time In Prestwick. Allegedly. That’s imaginary Prestwick, from a Tarantino movie, in Australia, fyi lurking legal hawks…

LORD KATSUMOTO – 6/10 – For Daizen, read Jamesy, minus the wandering snake. From the opening moments, Daizen had Tavpen (*disappointed*) on ice, Bambi-ing around, eyes like saucers, terrified of the Divine Wind rushing past him. But… We never utilised the Daizeminem threat anywhere near as often as we should have. All down to that misfiring mid. I trust Daizen will sort it, now that he seems to have become part of the backroom team, going by posed photos at the Celtic End after the presentation…

KILLER MUSHROOM – 4/10 – The Zombie assassin dropped his kyoketsu-shoge sometime early in the contest. With the blade went his overall sharpness and a mystifingly heavy touch plagued his game until his number
was up. One of many bemusing absentees from the glittering champions’ firmament.



SAINT BERNARDO – 7/10 – When The Handsome is playing ugly, and the good ghuys’ fortitude is waning, wherefore art thou, saviour? Step forward Saint Bernardo, the Evil Twin of the O’Reilly cloning experiment, a festive Skelper wandered away from good form, seeking a little redemption in the eyes of the faithful. He twisted, he turned, he rode the scythe and strode like Burns, socks at the ankles, right down their throat; the first surge of its like all day and then he SKELPED; and the swerve wrote his name into a little bit of dazzling Celtic folklore. Yes, sign him. Pay the bucks. Right when it mattered, up he stepped in the finest of Celtic attacking traditions, one thought in his boots; ‘screw ’em!’

TAKINTE – 5/10 – On for time enough but absent, another starved of service and overwhelmed by the tempestuous nature of proceedings.

DUNCAN IDAHO – 7/10 – Conceived on the Falls Road in a lightning storm, birthed in the fields of Athenry bathed by the rays of a rising sun, enter a wandering skelper, recovered from a basket floating in the reeds of the East Anglian swamps, destined to destroy the forces of darkness and smite their fragile minds. With a last-gasp toe-poke. As it was written. Sign him, too. It’s not even a question anymore.

THE SHNAKE – 7/10 – It was the best of times, and the worst of times…A Dickensian dirge of a display from the possessed possession horror tactic of the Rodgers’ regime. The game-plan was there to see – keep-ball above all; okay, fine if there’s a surprise dynamic plug-in to rip up the Zombies when they’re in a comfort zone, but all we got was more toil and an invitation to trouble. Yet, a solid experienced manager does have the redemptive back-up of the subs bench to utilise in times of turmoil and here was his chance to show some class sadly lacking on-field; they hooked their liveliest, replaced with their thickest, he hooked out disappointments but replaced them with game-changing match-winners. So when Bealdermort played his hand, Roy didn’t back down, he doubled down. And won the day as much as any player. Funny old game…

MIBBERY – 6/10 – Eh, that’s a penalty… Well it has been, TO Rangers; AGAINST CELTIC – the story ALL SEASON.Arm out, hand out, ball diverted. Jesus wept. And lo, they escaped blatant Zombie handball #242 and were kept in the game. But… Only until parity, as – I’m still partially concussed by it – JOHN BEATON saw the blatant push on Joe. JOHN BEATON, ya hear? Bellshill Tavern shut down. Reality was questioned on a quantum level. And Little Nick, mind blown, went completely nuts, played fifty minutes injury time and booked the entire crowd.

OVERALL – 6/10 – Surprised to see so many of The Walking Dead extras swarming the slopes of Hampdump dressed as Smurfs, but it’s a bank holiday weekend so what else to do but roll up the weed, roll out the buckie and stagger with the shuffling, gurning herd of insanitary vagabonds up to Mount Florida to hurl abuse at the living, and their own serial losers that dement them so. And weren’t they cute, the wee Onion Beans, or whatever they call themselves, rampaging through the Trongate beforehand like Blue Meanies being herded out of Pepperland, raging to the strains of ‘Yellow Submarine.’

This was Lisbon Lions Day, remember. 25/5/67. Invincible. Infallible. Conquerors of Europe. If only the current Bhoys had remembered that…Of all the season’s derby displays, this was the worst. Couldn’t find each other, never mind any sort of tempo. Even David Blunkett’s dug was sat next to me shaking it’s head, snarling, “Nothin’ I can do fur these. Man, this is Colin Nish…”

Somehow, despite us making the Zombies look like world-beaters, notching up nearly a dozen corners (another moral victory) we held it together long enough – scrapped it out the way big Tyson Fury should have – and came off the ropes late, swinging big with two of our season’s nouveau Skelpers to stage the epic blockbuster finale where the good ghuys triumph in show-stopping style. Boom! Down they went. Boom! Up you went; roof, sky, jhoy unbound. Schadenfreude Saturday came late but come it did, right Jamesy? Just like they always do, nods the sage Prestwick Pele.

And here we remain as the pyro smog receeds, two trophies in hand. The undefeated, embattled, but victorious CHAMPIONS. The Bhoys got it done. Just like in ’77. (Andy) Lynched them then, and we lynched them more cruelly today. What a jhoyful end to a tempestuous season. For you. No peace for the truly wicked; I’ll be incoming with a definitive review. Which will be soon… And definitive. Right, you happy animals? Sayonara.

Go Away Now


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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


  1. Andy Franks on

    Brilliant as always Sandman – always look forward to your take on the game

  2. Obi wons a tim on

    Of all the celtic content I enjoy reading yours is my fav , very rarely do I disagree with your marking and your humour is spot on