Thursday, March 25, 2010

Once upon a time...

And so an era ends at Celtic.

I'll tell you a little story.

Some years ago now. Maybe 2004 or perhaps 2005. Anyway, I was a young and bright eyed student (not that young, not that bright eyed but, come on, this is my story).

So, showing the initiative of the fearless investigative journalist that I was never going to be, I arranged to interview the high flying young manager of a not insignificant SPL team.

We spoke. I asked my questions fearlessly. He, after arriving late, gave them the somewhat boring answers that they deserved. True to form he spiced up the mundane with much talk of his philosophy, of looking into the eyes of young players, of football as it should be played.

When our interview had finished we took a brief tour of the bowels of the stadium. Through the tunnel we went. Suddenly we stood, shoulder to shoulder, in the very centre circle of that famous old ground.
"Ever been on the pitch before, Tim?"
Brought up, not dragged up, I smiled serenely and fought the urge to say 'Tom, not Tim, definitely Tom.'
"Actually, yes, I have been on the pitch before. I was a mascot once, got out here, quick warm up with the players, called the coin toss, trotted off. All the usual."

"Great, brilliant experience for a young kid that. What was the score?"

"Ah, well, that's the rub. Great experience. Lucky mascot and all that. Unless you lose 4-0 to St Mirren. Then it's a bit rubbish."

"[Inaudible: sounded very like 'rucking fell'] I'll tell you something, if that ever happens on my watch, Tim, I'll walk. You've got my word on that."
Funny how things turn out.