The Poet’s Corner: Brendan, Pirates & Politics

They say seeing is believing.

But seeing it still made it hard to believe that it had happened, and why it had happened. We, of single-digit IQs, are still processing what went on in those 48 hours after our record-breaking 8th treble.  The man that brought us the goal scorers of that day, Kyogo, Abada and Jota, left for the bright lights of the big city that is London town and the English Premier League.

“Please don’t put your life in the hands of a rock and roll band, who throw it all away” is the words of Don’t Look Back in Anger. Noel G at his most prophetic best. Ian Brown said on stage at Hampden Park, when The Stone Roses played their last gig: “Don’t be sad it’s ending, be glad that it happened.” Two shamanic figures of the Celtic Da’s generation giving us words to live by.

We have to be glad Angelos Postecoglou happened. His two seasons were fun fun fun and now the Daddy has taken the T-Bird away. We have to be glad Brendan Rodgers happened the first time around. No matter if we think he threw the ten away.


As Rodgers was led out into the Kerrydale Suite by Peter Lawwell and Michael Nicholson there was still a surreal nature for me. Up until that point, it had all seemed like an internet wind-up, where some kid in a bedroom had just photoshopped loads of “Welcome back Brendan” graphics.

But there he was, back. The Real Slim Shady returns with his polished presentations and a great coaching record. Promising to be around for three seasons unless he gets ‘emptied’. The more cynical in us will say “or, unless Saudi money comes along that makes Motherwell away seem less appealing”.  Let’s face it, most things make Motherwell away seem less appealing.

There is no argument that he was the outstanding candidate on the list. There is no argument that once he showed an interest Celtic were quite right to throw the kitchen sink at him. There is no argument that we really don’t know what went on the last time around but the FACT that a phone call was made shows that there is no bad blood between what we were told were scorned parties. There is no argument that we won’t get fooled again and that the honeymoon is still cancelled and that we need to see results right away.

No pressure then.


As I was ignoring the Rodgers presser, huffing into a pint, being shown on a big screen in a local pub, I was waiting on a bus to take us to watch Dunfermline v St Pauli. After years of meeting St Pauli fans on away euro trips, it was time to return the favour and Dunfermline on a Friday night was really more appealing than Motherwell away.

St Pauli has a fanbase with the politics that appeals to a lot of Celtic fans. A lot of Celtic fans wish we were run like St Pauli and not a Manchester United lite. I’m one of them but know in my heart of hearts that we are too big for that now.  The fact I’m dreaming of the day we become everyone’s favourite underdog in a European League is testament to my change of heart or my hypocritical nature or the fact that I have given up the fight to make Celtic what I believe it should be. All three are equal chambers of my heart.

I have a thing against football tourism that becomes football hipsterism and I sometimes see the St Pauli logo as an easy go-to for ‘lefty wokie types’ (as I had to describe St Pauli to a Daily Mail reader at my work) who are just moral crusaders on social media with no real skin in any game and how that devalues the true support of the club you are claiming to support.

As I saw coach loads of fans in Celtic strips flooding Dunfermline, I was apprehensive about what this evening was going to bring. The first boozer we went into was full of guys in St Pauli colours, from all corners of the UK so I began to think I was overthinking everything, which I have a habit of doing.

The Glasgow St Pauli lads put on a great display before kick-off and the Boys in Brown got a great reception from the large travelling support. The early 7pm kick-off meant that there were more than a few latecomers and the atmosphere soon dipped despite the best efforts of the German St Pauli fans down the front of the stand.

A few choruses of “If you hate Hamburg” went down well as did “If you hate Rangers” but there was a persistent few who tried to sing songs that you hear at Celtic Park and at numerous away grounds. I was overthinking again.

One, why would you want to sing Celtic songs at a St Pauli game? Are you trying to just make St Pauli an extension of Celtic and have no real interest in them as a club whatsoever?

And, two, how would I feel if a group of ‘tourist’ fans – because that’s what we all were, us who were there with our CSCs and not official St Pauli UK supporters clubs – came to a Celtic game and started to sing their teams songs?

This wasn’t the atmosphere I wanted to watch St Pauli in and when it was suggested we leave the game early to walk back into the town I was quite glad. It was during the course of the proceeding hours that I realized that what I wanted from my football club was right in front of me with the guys from my CSC and maybe looking for it elsewhere was always going to leave me feeling empty.

Or maybe I should just go and watch St Pauli in Germany.

Kevin Graham



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