Every football fan should be concerned by the events in Amsterdam earlier this month.
Every Celtic fan should be thinking about what they can do to support the Bhoys who have been the victims of heavy handed policing in Dam Square in the hours before our Champions League game against Ajax.
When Padraig Mullen & Andy Vance were remanded in custody two weeks ago it was a disappointing day for them and especially their families but also for football fans everywhere – there was no need to keep the two Bhoys locked up in a foreign jail. The case for their release is overwhelming, it is a disgrace that the two young men are still over there.
As someone who has been lucky enough to travel abroad and watch our team on many occasions over the years I am acutely aware that it could quite as easily have been me who was caught up in the police provoked madness in Dam Square, I was in the square earlier in the day and was making my way to the stadium when it all kicked off.
Every morning since I first seen the footage on YouTube I have woken and thanked the Lord that it wasn’t me who was stuck in a foreign jail having taking a beating and unable to make much contact with family. But for us Celtic fans thanking the Lord just isn’t enough! We have a social responsibility to look after and support each other.
I have decided to auction off my Lisbon Lions jersey to raise money for the campaign to free Padraig and Andy. I had intended to use it for another worthy Celtic cause but having seen the footage on YouTube and spoke with one of the Bhoys families I feel that this is the most worthy cause. It’s not just about getting these two Bhoys freed, it’s about justice, it’s about treating football fans in the same manner as the rest of society. These Bhoys are football fans not criminals.
The jersey I am auctioning is signed by all the surviving members of the Lisbon squad – John Fallon, Jim Craig, Tommy Gemmell, John Clark, Billy McNeill, Bertie Auld, Charlie Gallacher, John Hughes, Willie Wallace, Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox who liked the jersey so much that he signed it twice! (see attached photo).
We don’t stop supporting our team at the final whistle, we support them all the time.
We don’t stop supporting our fellow fans once we arrive safely home, we support them until they come home safely.
I will keep the auction open until 21.00 on Friday.
Every Celtic fan needs to play their part – if you can’t afford to bid for the jersey then make sure you get along next week to the Aberdeen game and put the price of a pint in the bucket to show your support.