Cheerio to 10 in a row Day


I remember singing “It’s going to be 10 in a row”, but back then 10 had no significance.  Neither did 9, it was like 8 in a row, another stop along the way.  But when Jock Stein’s team finished their spectacular domination of the Scottish game in 1974 with nine successive titles and four European Cup semi-finals, “Nine in a row” became a phrase with extraordinary substance.

Of course, in years to come, for others, nine in a row became a target to surpass.  In the late eighties Rangers changed the financial parameters of Scottish football for some time, and set their own course towards liquidation, but on the park, they swept all before them in the domestic game.  By summer 1997 they had won their won nine in a row.  McEwan’s lager billboard adverts featured the club with the line, “9 out of 10, could do better”.  And didn’t we know it.

Celtic were in disarray having sacked Tommy Burns and with our three most cherished players, Di Canio, Cadete and van Hooijdonk on their way out the door.  The new managerial appointment “the second worst thing to happen to Hiroshima”, as our mainstream media portrayed him to Celtic fans, arrived only two weeks before the start of the season.

After losing the first league game of the season at Easter Road Celtic lost 1-2 at home to Dunfermline; they were leading at half time.  10 in a row seemed inevitable but this season was the greatest example of why the prevailing currents of football are now always evident on the surface.

Have a read at this from the Independent after that defeat to Dunfermline:

“[The home supporters] cannot be fooled – even as the teams were announced it was clear they are unconvinced by the new signings. The mention of Pierre van Hooijdonk, Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete before a game was enough a year ago to raise the roof in anticipation. On Saturday, Henrik Larsson and Regi Blinker hardly registered in the approval stakes.

“Larsson’s poor touch too often saw him lose possession. The blunt truth is he is not a proven goalscorer and Jock Brown, the general manager, will have to add fire power to the team.”

Don’t be too harsh on the journo who penned this, few dissented, and Jock Brown’s reputation was pretty much set by these incredibly inaccurate reviews. Although, “blunt truth” has never been used with such laxity.

The towns of the west of Scotland can be dangerous places after big football games but not 15 years ago today, when Celtic beat St Johnstone to win the league for the first time in a decade.  Celtic fans of all ages poured onto the streets as the spirit of carnival took hold.

I remember hooped fans sitting on top of a set of traffic lights in Lanarkshire; green, amber, red, then rows of green and white.  I walked around Hamilton town centre that night.  For an evening, every pub was a Celtic pub, with rules about wearing colours suspended, and singing was celebrated.

And sing we did.

At the end of the night I could be found singing “Cheerio to 10 in a row” at a taxi rank outside a nightclub.  The ‘brave’ soul standing in front of me waited until his taxi was moving away before mumbling his offenses out of the window.

Last summer I did an interview with Tony Hamilton for Celtic TV .  When we drilled into what really made an impact on me as a Celtic fan I had no hesitation on placing that game against St Johnstone above Champions League victories, qualifying for a European final or beating Barcelona.  We aspire to move beyond the confines of Scottish football but for 125 years this has been our home.  In all that time, in domestic or European football, there have been, at most, only two more important games.

Enjoy the memories, but don’t play that George O’Boyle leap over in your mind; just in case you imagine him a few inches higher.
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  1. G’day Celts, feels like Friday.


    Work finished and not back until 29th May, bring on the jelly and ice cream!



    Channel 4 F5

  2. I went to the local nightclub in Livingston the night we stopped the ten. All pubs were deserted and the night club was pretty quiet too. All Tims in there. There was around 20 Celtic jerseys hanging in the cloack room and 3 bits of turf behind the kiosk you paid the money at.


    You would think after all those years success the least the deid clubs fans would do would offer a pint and a handshake on a job well done.


    The Nolans was blasting most of the night from the DJ I’m in the mood for dancing was changed to I’m in the mood Wim Jansen.


    Great times!




  3. whitedoghunch on




    I can help you out with what you asked the other night


    I would give you the people who supply my friends place here




    I have a few others but would obviously need the specifics. Get in touch.

  4. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    Memories of a great day in paradise.. Tho my heart missed a beat when I think it was O Boyle? Had a chance for them..



    Loved that Harald scored..




    WHAT a day!

  5. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Vmhan, I saw your post last night about your nephew. The very best of luck to the bhoy. It,s a tough game.





  6. Been a bit of a week so far in my household. Not to worry, pretty sure Sevco will put a smile on my face soon.



    Here we go to 10 in a row!

  7. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    HA must read the article better Paul.. Indeed it was as you say,a George O Boyle chance… Ooooft ..

  8. I’d like to dedicate my podium prize to my fellow contestants TBJ and HT who pushed me on to greater glory.



    Got to go, low battery on iPhone, timings everything innit.




  9. whoever posted the Championship winning game in 98, cheers,



    great to watch that much of the game.



    how good was Henriks goal, how good was Phil, what a day.






    Livi bhoy, Melvins it is, lol.


    I had a few nights in there that season as i was working at Mimtec, and travelling with the bus out of the pariffin lamp.



    really weird for me to be in a town where the tims really were the minority, and having to go in search of a place to meet.








    a wee recomendation for a place to host 4 from darn sarf , next midweek in glasgow.


    i thoughs of Michael Caines, then saw its shut ! doh.

  10. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11



    The whole stadium took a deep breath when O’Boyle missed that header.


    It was apt that Henrik scored the first. I didn’t think it would ever get better for him after that! Wrong!


    It was great to see Harald score. He was really unlucky at Celtic and came back to haunt us as they always do.


    It was also great to win it at home. It was nervy but Craig Falconbridge done us a favour the week before. It had to be done at the new Paradise.


    MMy dad started greetin when Harald scored and didn’t stop for around 2 hours. It really did mean that much!



    Great memories.




  11. A great wee summary by Paul there. That oboyle header still makes me shiver to this day.


    How cool was our Harold after he slotted in that goal?

  12. Paul67



    Negotiating London traffic is nerve wracking at the best of times, but driving down through North London to reach Victoria, trying to keep tabs on the score on English radio, who only gave the game an occasional mention was nerve shredding.


    What a relief to reach Victoryia.

  13. Harald brattbakk paid his whole transfer fee off With that one goal for me!


    And the party in all the bars around the merchant city and gallowgate gave me a hangover ang a half …..great day that one

  14. VMHAN,


    thats some workplace you have, i mean how many companies nowadays give you 3 weeks extra holiday for reaching 65.

  15. Acgr



    Cheers, it must be brilliant to get the chance of being paid for what you truly love doing, he’ll make it alright, a good wee Celt innaw.




  16. “Larsson’s poor touch too often saw him lose possession. The blunt truth is he is not a proven goalscore”



    Whatever happened to that bhoy Larsson? I wonder what the journalist who wrote the article thinks of it now.

  17. Saint Stivs



    Used to be Melvilles. Was Zen in 98 and is now club Earth.


    Plenty Tims in Livi. We don’t have a pub though. Two buses pick up at the Lamp now.


    It’s a scheme town. People drink in their scheme bars which are few and far between. Rangers fans dominate the pubs but not many of them go to the games.




  18. I can remember the North Stand shaking under my feet with the fans bouncing in celebration. A wonderful day which will live long in the memory.

  19. The Token Tim on




    I mind doing the huddle that night (like almost every other Celtic supporter the world over) on Windmillhill St in Motherwell outside Tully’s Bar – as it was then – just down from ML1’s finest station.



    Not an ounce of bother and they let us get on with it. As usual there was the 1 eejit in his car who was totting the horn and attempted, vainly, to drive through us, but luckily for him it was us Celtic supporters he was vainly attempting to drive over/through and he received no more than laughs and jibes at his obvious anger, hostility, frustration (clearly a hun/murderwell fan) not to mention ugliness.


    His actions made it all the sweeter.



    What a game, what a night. What History!






  20. whitedoghunch


    12:32 on 9 May, 2013






    I can help you out with what you asked the other night.



    Thanks – will drop Paul67 an email to pass my details to you.



    I am meeting the Spanish in London the week after next.




  21. jungle jam67 on

    to some winning the league is just a matter of turning up


    aberdeen and dundee utd provided the benchmark in scotland


    and europe


    when wim and henrik stopped the 10


    12 hours of gut wrenching pain that day


    and that was only 1iar for the hoops


    changed day now paul67 et al


    every title celtic win is done by sheer hard work


    no favours from mibs or the sfa


    every win sticks in the throats of the hun media


    enjoy the good times ahead bhoys and ghirls


    as we know things can change quickly


    just ask any of yon died clubs fans if you need an example



    hail hail the celts are here




  22. Only 2 more important games intrigues me Paul. I may be missing the obvious but Lisbon and…?





    Every round prior to Lisbon?


    Ajax to qualify for our first CL group?

  23. Went to the game with the Darlington supporters bus.



    One of the older guys on the bus gave his ticket to a Tim who had hitched from Plymouth without a ticket and joined us at Scotch Corner. An amazing gesture from a great bloke.



    The ‘old guy’ phoned me the week before the Seville game distraught that he could not source a ticket for the final for his boy anywhere………..I had a spare…….isn’t Karma beautiful at times.?

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