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David Currie

Having been a regular at Celtic Park for the best part of 25 years there are many memories I could share … both good and bad! One of the finest games I have seen, though, was back in in 1988, on Hogmanay. Celtic were playing Hearts on a freezing cold Saturday afternoon, 3pm kick-off (the way it should be). 

The previous season, Billy McNeill had led Celtic to a glorious double in their centenary season but, unfortunately, a lack of close-season investment had meant we were struggling to replicate the success the following year (the more things change…). 

I attended the game with my dad and older brother and was sitting in the main stand, having been lifted over the turnstile. The seats were, quite strangely, a bright orange colour, something which has thankfully been rectified since. 

A dramatic game ended 4-2 with Billy Stark and Mark McGhee, two players who had generally been used as subs the previous season but were instrumental in the success of the club that year, both scoring a brace. 

However, it was Frank McAvennie who stole the show that day, and it was his performance in particular which stuck in my memory. Macca led the line superbly, fighting for everything which came his way. He was utterly inspiring to myself as a young seven-year-old still learning about football. 

The fourth goal epitomised this. A long ball was sent down the left wing and Davie McPherson attempted to usher the ball out for a by kick. McAvennie didn’t allow him the luxury however, and nipped in behind him to steal the ball away before it went over the touchline, sending McPherson tumbling in the process. 

He dinked the ball to the edge of the box where the onrushing Stark volleyed the ball into the corner past Henry Smith, sealing the victory for Celtic. 

Due to the time of the year, there was a great feeling in the air that day and I remember well the walk back to the car, having been buoyed by a great fighting performance. 

Days like that were the grounding in what it meant to be a Celtic fan. Even when things weren’t going great (and they would decline quite dramatically in the coming years) the joy which could be gained from such a performance and enjoying a great day out with family epitomised everything which was special about the club. 

God bless Celtic.

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