“It was my idea (to wear the number 67) because I used to support Celtic back when I was in Kenya and I knew a bit of the history of Celtic like the Lisbon Lions, who won the European Cup in 1967.
“In Kenya they have a huge following in the Kibera slum in Nairobi so I read about the history. It was my dream one day to play in the Champions League and win it, so I wanted to take the jersey 67 to keep reminding me of my goals and I loved the pressure that came with the shirt.”
“I’ll be brutally honest, I had a Rangers shirt aged 17, my mate Geoff in my street was Rangers mad, a staunch Unionist with Terry Butcher his idol. At 17, particularly because of the perceived political allegiances of both clubs – Ireland, USA bombings on the mainland – I naively thought Celtic meant bad, Rangers meant good. There are good and bad in every group, but how naive was I?
“Thankfully, my politics along with my social awakening regarding the foundation of Celtic, it’s history of inclusion rather than division, meant a fascination became an appreciation. I’ll always be an Aston Villa fan, that’s my love, but Celtic in many ways means a helluva lot to me these days.”
“Henrik was simply the greatest I played with and I was lucky enough to play with some greats. He could do everything; score all types of goals, link up. He was such an intelligent player and very unselfish. The ultimate team player. A superstar with no ego!”
“A couple of days after returning from the under-19 World Cup in Mexico, I was at home in Airdrie, the phone rang, my mother said that it was Jock Wallace (my manager at Motherwell), I picked up the receiver and he said, ‘I’ve sold ye, get yer arse over to Fir Park noo’. Half-an-hour later, he told me that he had sold me to Celtic and I had to go, ‘Get to Celtic Park now, McNeill is expecting ye’.”
“I was born to an Irish immigrant mother in Lochee, the Irish quarter of Dundee. My father supported Dundee United (formerly Dundee Hibernian) but my grandfather – an Irish Republican – supported Celtic. The gravitational pull towards Celtic was stronger. Though only half an Irishman, I have always felt more Irish than Scottish.”
“I never heard of any interest from Celtic during my career but would have loved to have followed former team-mates John Hartson, Ian Wright and, from the England set up, Chris Sutton at some stage in my career. I do actually think if social media would have existed when I was playing then I’d have played for Celtic.”
The above quotes offer a tiny insight into my previous work, which has featured on numerous Celtic sites and the More Than 90 Minutes fanzine.
My Ten-in-a-Row feature – where I interviewed ex-footballers and prominent celebrity Celtic fans – proved very popular, as did Fan of the Week, where I interviewed normal fans to give them an opportunity to showcase their love of Celtic.
After a six-month break from my previous Celtic writing to concentrate on other projects, I’m back in the game. The juices were starting to flow again and, to be honest, I missed it. I’ve worked alongside Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham before on A Celtic State of Mind, and, when the opportunity arose to join him on the new ACSOM site, it was a no-brainer.
I know how professional the ACSOM team are, having participated in one of their award-winning podcasts a couple of years ago in Glasgow. I actually only went along to watch the event, but I was thrust on to the stage to assist Kevin Graham with the final guest, Tommy Sheridan. Now, if you know Tommy, he’s a fantastic guest and luckily I didn’t have to do much talking as Tommy is the absolute master at that!
Although, like Celtic, I will still do the odd Ten-in-a-Row in the future, for now I’m going to concentrate on giving my own opinions on all things Celtic. I look forward to capturing more content for ACSOM in the coming season, one which will be monumental for the club, as we embark on another historic nine-in-a-row.