Walking down London Road, the lights shone brightly on a cold damp night

Throngs of people, jostling, talking,laughing, as they made their way to the shrine

Children carried high on fathers shoulders as the locals shout

”Watch yer car Mister”

Queues outside the stadium, inevitably long

The clicking of the turnstiles, loud, as adults pay and those young enough are lifted over

Climbing those steps the lights shone brighter

The smell of wintergreen, hung strong in the air

On the terracing, a man walks past

”Get yer macaroon bars and yer chewing gum”  he shouts

If you’re lucky he may also have a Mars

The Bhoys are warming up as the Jungle chant their names, not just one or two, the whole team

The Television commentator is singled out in the gantry above

”Archie, Archie, get to fuck” is the cry

Humour is flowing as you hear another can being cracked open, not just tea in those days

The smell of urine is strong as another piss tumbles down the steps, nae need for toilets

With the warm up finished, the teams make their entrance

The roar is deafening, the man beside me lights up another as the Celts kick off

The Bhoys go close early on, the crowd sways

I end up moving around 20 feet with the crowd, what a feeling

Our No.7 drifts past a challenge to be crudely brought down

”Aitken’s gonna get ye”, chant the fans

Sure enough within 5 minutes Big Roy is booked, job done

The first half soon draws to a close

Neither goalie having really been tested

The regulars start their half time walk

From one terracing to another

To watch from the end The Bhoys are shooting into

The macaroon man is gone, his supplies exhausted, he may yet return

”Celtic, Celtic”  is the roar as the second half commences

Doyle, socks at his ankles, hugs the Jungle touchline

”C’mon Johnny, beat that Bastard” shouts a Jungle Jim

Johnny smiles and blesses himself, he is one of our own

Tommy is running the middle, his flame red hair, instantly recognisable

McGarvey, tirelessly working the channels, waiting for a break

It will soon arrive

Danny, Murdo, Tommy, GOAL

Franks diving header leaving their keeper helpless

The Rubber Man celebrates like there’s no tomorrow

It turns out to be the only goal of the night

The stadium soon empties as the fans trudge home, wet but happy

No doubt awaiting their next trip to PARADISE


 Ralphy Bhoy @25051967Lisbon



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