The East is Green – Watering the Grass Verge at Harthill

More from The East is Green…


Before Hearts built their new main stand the capacity was 17,000.  Back in 1972 Hearts sent through 16,000 tickets to Celtic Park for this replay and they were all snapped up, that wasn’t unusual back then. There was some trouble in the 45,000 plus crowd a Hearts mate of mine Dougie narrowly missed being slashed across the face. People seemed more expressive about their feelings back then.

Macari and Dalglish ran the show with Lou getting the only goal of the game.

Dougie (Hearts) had a unique way of describing players. He said on loan goalie from Manchester United Joe Pereira was most unusual, he didn’t have any hands and also somehow the ball could pass clean through his body, very strange (sounds a bit like Barkas).

On another day in the eighties at Tynecastle, a home game for us, the old terracing, big crowd good atmosphere, I always felt more of their fans would turn out for our visits than other games in the hope of beating us, which did happen now and again.

Anyway I think we won, along Gorgie Road to Ryries bar at Haymarket, pubs packed half and half, them and us, but no problem with scarves in pockets. We get talking to three Jambos when they realise we’re Celtic supporters, they’re not too happy when we say we are locals –  that really puts them off.  One of them asks “Do youse actually go to the games?”

Affronted at such a question, “of course we do home and away every week,”…”aye I’ll bet you canny even name the Lisbon Lions”…Todd gave them the Lisbon ref Kurt Tschenscher  and the two linesmen Jacobi and
Eisemann then the whole Inter team from Sarti in goal to Capellini on the left wing.  The three Hearts fans just stood there and Todd goes: ‘’Nae point’n geing ye the Lions now then is there’’.


The guys on the old Craigmillar bus claimed they had the highest ever number for an Edinburgh bus going to a game, ninety-two for a trip down to Burnley in the Anglo Scottish Cup in 1978.

Clearing up after the Burnley v Celtic game 0n 12 September 1978


When I mentioned this to the Leith Bhoys they said that’s a half empty bus, our record is one hundred and eight on a double decker for the 1985 cup final against Dundee United, Provan and McGarvey goals.


This was also the game when on the way home they stopped at the Harthill service station to water the grass verge when someone said what’s going on here? Turning round they could see this guy wearing a sash completely out of his head staggering towards them. He must have been at a “walk” over at Harthill and somehow lost his way and crossed the overhead bridge looking for his bus then slowly coming to his senses on witnessing a sea of Celtic scarves.

When things happen so long ago you’re never sure if you have the details correct but when talking recently on the C&G bus one of the members, Gavin confirmed it saying that he was just a schoolboy at the time and was on the Leith bus that day but he added a part of the story I didn’t know about. ”Aye the guy with the sash”, I hope no one took a liberty with him,” I said. “No, not at all but what did happen was that a bunch of the guys lifted him up and placed him in a large industrial waste bin unharmed and as the bus passed all you could see was his head rising, cartoon style, eyes moving from side to side.”

“Whit a bloody cairry oan”

The East is Green is a self published booklet written by life-long Celtic supporter Brian McAuley, who has also personally designed so many Celtic Supporters Club badges and many of them will be shown on The Celtic Star as we serialise this brilliant little book. Running to just over 100 pages it’s a great insight into supporting Celtic and attending games stretching as far back as the 1950s to the modern day.

As we have done previously with Jerry Woods’ brilliant To Lisbon and Back on a Fiver, we’re happy to put any reader in touch with Brian and he’s post and package you a copy of The East is Green for the very reasonable cost of £5 plus postage. Just drop an email to and we’ll be pleased to make the necessary introductions. More from The East is Green on The Celtic Star over the coming weeks. HH

Help raise funds for Celtic Youth Academy by playing the Celtic Pools Weekly Lottery and you could win up to £25,000. The lottery is £1 per week.

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

Comments are closed.