European dreams unchanged by yesterday // The Poet’s Corner by Kevin Graham

I watched Celtic win the league on Calvia Beach, Majorca.

European dreams. Jesus, it’s hot. Champions League. Pint of Estrella. Scottish Cup. (My thoughts in that order).

These Geordies are getting uppity with their blood money was also in my thoughts. Zebras everywhere in Magaluf ‘disco’ pubs; there are no morals when winning games, it seems.

I enjoyed the moment and I enjoyed the silence away from the needed narrative of multimedia companies.

All I ever wanted and all I ever needed was here by my side. Words are very unnecessary; they can only bring harm, especially when spoken by a forked tongue.  That’s the thing about narrative, it’s subjective. Your rule of thumb should be what benefit does the narrative being spun do for the spinner?

Eyes on the product as the prize is already gone.

It’s the morning of the Glasgow Derby.

I haven’t thought about it all week. The only domestic games that have come into my head in the previous 6 days are ‘Trophy Day’ and the cup final.  How many messages did your Tim-friendly WhatsApp groups have on Saturday? Was it as many as the last three Glasgow derbies? Of course it wasn’t.

It was the least important of the games and those were the facts of the matter. If, like me, you are a family man, you are planning days out for Trophy Day and cup final day. Saving up the points.

Cutting the grass.

Cleaning out the hut.

Creosoting the fence.

Cleaning the car.

Walking the dog.

After the game, win, lose or draw.

It would be different if there were 7500 gloating Tims in the Free Broomloan. This would have been a must-have ticket, but, because we are dealing with a sad pathetic football club who have killed the derby, there aren’t.

Here are the facts. There were just three things that rendered this game nothing more than a box-ticking exercise:

  • Us being magic;
  • Rangers not being magic;
  • No away fans.

Reap what you sow. This is not your perfect day. We didn’t spend it with you.

“Sore loser,” I hear them scream from the darkest cupboards and from under heavy rocks. Yeah, watching your team being owned and completely battered by a TikTok wannabe and a team of jobbing no-marks is not fun. Watching your team performing like Dunfermline on the final day in 2003 is not fun.

But I’ve been here before. Our only other defeat this season was one where we made Curtis Main look like the two Ronaldos. We have messed the bed before, we will mess the bed again, and it may be one day when there is more emotion attached.

I wasn’t nervous at any point in this derby. No raging emotions like the other three games in the last month or so, because they meant something. I can tell you now I will be a nervous wreck on cup final day.

If you want a lifetime of devotion, you’ve got to second that emotion.

Of course, I wanted to win. I want Celtic to win every game we play. But, sometimes, some mean more than others and defeats are easier to accept in some games.

I have been on the end of false hope before. Meaningless dreams.


In 1995, Rangers travelled to Hampden as champions, and we were attending more in defiance than anything. Proving the love of our football club is not just solely based on success and trophies and bigotry.  Only thirty-one thousand attend this game, on the day Rangers announced they had signed Paul Gascoigne.

Read the papers from that time. The vibe this was a meaningless game for Rangers. Their fans gloated and cheered the Celtic team, they cheered as we scored. They were twenty-one points in front, won their seventh title in a row, and had just signed Paul Gascoigne, this game was meaningless to them.

I enjoyed it though. We scored three goals. I met Frank Bruno in his baby pink British Knights shellsuit. I had a great night. We had dreams and songs to sing,  we laughed and we had hope.

There have been plenty of meaningless games in my lifetime post-split. More meaningless than meaningful, and you are either counting them down to the last day or to the cup final.  They are end-of-season kickabouts when you are dreaming of holidays, don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Meaningless games exist. We have another three left.

Up the Champions.

My European dreams are unchanged from yesterday – it’s all up for grabs.

Kevin Graham

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