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Marie Cooney

May 3, 1986. I’ll never forget it. it was about hope, love and belonging … and most especially it was about family. 

I was 16-years-old, out with friends most of the time, but not that day. The last league game of the season and Celtic were trailing Hearts by three points and several goals. There was a chance we could win the league. I had to be with people who understood what that meant. 

I headed home on the bus, leaving my friends to whatever people who didn’t have football did on a Saturday afternoon. I had to be home. 

We couldn’t get to the game so we sat listening to the radio – all the scenarios sorted out. Celtic had to win, Hearts had to lose and Celtic had to make up a four-goal difference. 

Celtic were at away to St Mirren. Hearts were away to Dundee. Archie MacPherson talked us through the action; Celtic playing some beautiful football – McClair, Johnstone and McStay all scoring and Celtic 4-0 up at half time. Not enough. 

Still 0-0 at Dens Park … and then ‘Oh Drama!’. We rushed over, turned the radio up.- ‘High drama at Dens! Albert Kidd scores!’ Total silence and then … bedlam! We’d found ourselves a new hero. 

Celitc won 5-0 that day, but it wasn’t until Dundee’s Albert Kidd scored a second that we knew we’d won. 

We danced, whooped and tore around the house, into the garden and out onto the street; my two older brothers and younger sister, my mum, dad and our border collie – all of us – singing and dancing together; green-and-white scarves flying.

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