By Liam Docherty
In these difficult times I would like to share with you a truly uplifting story from within Celtic Park to lift your spirits. Behind the goal at the Lisbon Lions stand lies section 115 occupied by a remarkable charity organisation-the Kano Foundation. Having been a season book holder since 2002 I have often seen the banner draped over the top tier of the North Stand but have never fully appreciated the work undertaken by this amazing group-that was until the 15th of December last year. The game was Celtic vs Hibernian, a very cold and wintry Sunday afternoon and I was on my way to Celtic Park with 30 school kids aged between 7 and 11. A few months earlier in my role as a Primary School Teacher I had applied for two Celtic home tickets for a pupil at my school only to be told I could have up 100 free tickets for any upcoming home Celtic game. After several emails back and forth we were booked in for the Hibs game and simply had to arrange a bus.
Upon arrival at 1.30 we were greeted by several members of the Foundation who provided all kids with a green and white goody bag. Within these bags were several snacks, drinks and a very good quality Celtic Kano scarf. Whilst waiting out in the cold to go into the stadium our spirits were kept warm by one of the more vocal Kano volunteers who whilst handing out black Kano hats began several renditions of the famous end to end Celtic, C’mon You Bhoys In Green, Glasgow’s Green and White Chant. This chanting continued on the walk round to the stadium and during the game itself.
Whilst inside the ground all pupils were given food token vouchers to spend at the kiosk and had access to gaming consoles and other forms of entertainment. As you will also know the pupils were treated to a solid 2-0 win for the Hoops on their way to making it nine league titles in a row.
To date since the season 2010/11 this wonderful charity has welcomed over 10,000 children for free into Celtic Park to watch the Hoops in action. Such actions are well and truly keeping the spirit of Brother Walfrid alive in the 21st century. “A football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed”.