FOR many Celtic supporters the 4-2 game on this day 21 May back in 1979 was extra-special. This was probably the biggest high since Lisbon for the Celtic fans and for the younger supporters who were too young to remember Lisbon it stood alone as the greatest ever night!
We might not all agree with that but let’s put that to one side and agree it was an extra special Monday night in Paradise.
For ONE Celtic supporter it was even more special than for the rest of us lucky enough to have been there that night. I was 14 and was buzzing the next day – it was incredible!
Someone else who was there and had a birds eye view of proceedings from the inside was former Celtic young professional player Bernie Godzik.
Bernie, writing for The Celtic Star, gives us a remarkable insight into the celebrations inside Celtic Park the night Ten Men Won the League and even better he tells a wonderful story of what happened after the game to one very lucky older Celtic supporter.
After Lisbon this would have been his most memorable night supporting the Hoops. Bernie explains on The Celtic Star tonight…
1979 Celtic 4 Rangers 2 fly on the wall…
I would like to share a true story regarding the aftermath of the famous ‘Ten Men who Won the League’ 4-2 victory over Rangers which took place on a Monday evening in May 1979.
As a young 19 year old, I was living my dream.
Being employed as a full time pro by Celtic didn’t get any better for me.
Although not making the break through to the first team…(John Doyle, then David Provan) in front of me! I still cherish my memories.
Let me set the scene.
We have just witnessed an unbelievable 4-2 victory over Rangers finishing the game with ten men.
The players not involved in the game viewed the game from the players section of the main stand accessed by internal stairway from the home dressing room. It is down that stairway we all trooped into the dressing room to congratulate the lads.
There was a euphoria that night around the place that I hadn’t experienced before.
After the dust has settled, the trophy room had been set up for the players and dignitaries with drinks and food to celebrate.
It was a who’s who of Celtic royalty and famous celebrities all letting their hair down. We’re talking Lisbon lions, Paddy Crerand, if I remember correctly, Sean Connery and your Archie Macphersons and the like.
Jim Casey, Peter Mackie and I were close friends and we’re together in amongst it when Neily Mochan, who had a few drinks asks Peter to move his car (purple Marina) into the school carpark, as it would be staying there overnight.
I accompanied Peter through the front door where an old fellow was standing asking players to sign his match programme.
After moving Neily’s car, we encountered the old man again as we made our way back to the festivities.
This man, probably in his late sixties was at the door long after all the fans had cleared the area, long gabardine coat, belted in the middle….bunnet….a local life long Celtic fan.
As we open the door to enter, Mr Farrell (Celtic Director) was on the way out.
The old fellow asks Me Farrell to sign his programme ,(which he did) Mr Farrell asks the guy his name and asks him to come in and have a drink. ‘Oh no, I couldn’t possibly’ said the auld Yin.
Mr Farrell signals to Peter and I ‘get him out the cold, and get him a drink”
Taking an arm each we usher the reluctant man through the front door on route to the trophy room.
‘Are ye sure it will be alright’? asks the auld Yin.
The room is buzzing, everyone is mingling and having a few drinks (apart from us young pro’s….not allowed).
Bobby Lennox is with Jimmy Johnstone and quickly approaches the man and introduces himself, gets him a wee half and proceeds to give home a tour of the trophy room.
I can still see the look on the auld Yin’s face. Billy McNeil, John Clark, Danny McGrain…All chewing the fat with this Celtic fan. It was no big deal for this man’s heroes sharing a chat and a drink.
I can only imagine what the auld Yin made of it. I often wonder how he felt the next day, explaining to his family and friends at what took place the night before at Celtic Park.
Would they believe him? It happened, and I was a fly on the wall to witness it.
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