Eddy Grady with A Celtic State of Mind – Reflections of Seville: 17 years on

Celtic qualifying for the UEFA Cup final created a scramble not only for match tickets but also flights and hotels because everyone wanted to descend on Seville to say, “I was there!” After all Celtic had not qualified for a European final in 33 years.

Up until that point, we as fans were relying on our older generation to share their amazing experiences of Lisbon in 1967 or commiserating on their time in Milan in 1970.

17 years to the very day, I still pinch myself and appreciate how much being at the final in the stadium meant to me. One of those goosebump moments in life. Very special albeit, we were minutes away from penalty kicks had Bobo Balde not got sent off.

As a memorabilia collector, I still have my original match ticket, boarding passes, hotel room key card, postcards etc… however, I preferred to obtain items where mass production is not of the same scale. In the collecting circles, the word ‘rare’ becomes part of the core vocabulary.

Therefore, this article is to give an insight as to what items I have accumulated through my own exploration or via collector pals, online auctions, or contacts.

Listen to JAMES CANT with A Celtic State of Mind here:

Let’s now focus on what items I have chosen for today’s article!

Welcome Package:

This type of item is typically for hospitality guests and dignitaries alike. Here we have a lovely glossy wallet which contains the Itinerary Card and an UEFA Honorary Lounge Pass. From a collectability point of view, this is very rare.

Pre-Match Dinner Menu and Finalist Hospitality Pass:

The Dinner Menu was issued for the UEFA Honorary Lounge and kindly given to me by a fellow collector as a gift about a week after returning from Seville. I have still to see another menu become available on the open market.

The Finalist Hospitality Pass is much more sacred to me as my friendship with Lisbon Lion, Jim Craig has allowed me to obtain special items owned by the legend himself. This indeed was his for the final.

Press Pass and Media / Press / TV Match Ticket:

Like the Hospitality Pass, both the Press Pass and Match Ticket were kindly given to me by Jim. In fact, on the back of the ticket is written ‘Jim’. I recall a padded envelope arriving on the Monday after coming back from Seville, with all three items in it. Lovely items indeed!

Press Photograph (Henrik Larsson) and Official Final Postcard:

These are great items. The photograph is showing Henrik in his famous goal celebration after scoring the second equaliser. This was issued by SNS Media Group. The Postcard, on the other hand, was glued into a page in the match programme and Henrik kindly signed this for me. Who knows, I may get the photo signed one day, fingers crossed!

Official Match Scarf:

The scarf is one of my favourite items and was purchased when I was in the Seville city centre. It is my favourite scarf and still has the official UEFA hologram sticker on it. The old saying of being in the right place at the right time was indeed fitting where this was concerned. In the photos, you can clearly see both Celtic and Porto crests and reference to the final with date. This is one of those rare items to remain in mint unused condition.

In summary…

This added to another date in our club’s rich history, which will never be forgotten. So much so that Celtic were awarded by UEFA, the recognition of having the best supporters during the tournament. Looking at these memories of time gone by still puts a smile on my face and here’s hoping you have enjoyed what has been shared today from a collectors’ perspective.

Fingers crossed we will see another final sometime soon!

Eddy Grady

Watch A Celtic State of Mind at the Stevie Chalmers Auction here:

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