My working day consists of the following:


6.30 Rise and shine and listen to the sports headlines on radio. 

8.00 Arrive at work and have a peek at the football headlines in the papers.

12.00 Lunch. Have a look online at any developments regarding Celtic.

17.00 Depart from work and listen to the football on the way home on radio.

18.30 After dinner check teletext and watch football news on local TV.

20.00 Put boy to bed and go online on the usual Celtic sites.

That sort of behaviour is bordering on obsessive but is likely to be indicative of every single one of us. Like it or not, Celtic is a huge part of my life and there’s nothing I can do to change that.

Possibly the hardest thing about the Utrecht result was when junior rose at 6.15 AM and asked me the result. After trying to explain the intricacies of the aggregate rule I blurted out ‘4-0’ and even at that tender age he knew the magnitude of that score line. The look of disappointment in his face was killing me. Happily enough he recovered when Mister Tumble came on CBBC but it is more difficult for we adults to comprehend and I recalled myself of a similar age when my Dad relayed the news to me, on one spring morning, that Celtic had gone out on penalties to Inter Milan…in the European Cup Semi Final. Or of the cold winter’s morning in Advent when he gleefully informed me that we beat Rangers 3-1 at Hampden in the pouring rain and Harry Hood had fired in a glorious hat trick and of how the entire drenched Celtic end had burst into a splendid spontaneous rendition of Gene Kelly’s Singing In The Rain.

Possibly the worst thing after a bad result (and make no mistake Utrecht was an absolute catastrophe) is the fitful night’s sleep you get. You are very restless during the night and no matter what you dream about the first thing that springs into your mind when you gain consciousness in the cold light of day is that result and the feeling that follows….’aaaaw naaaaw !’

However no matter what happens I’ll be watching at Fir Park on Sunday and I’ll be there at the next home game with junior, cheering on the Bhoys, no matter what. Because Celtic, whether I like it or not, has me in it’s hold and remains having me in it’s hold even after all these years.

 An affliction is perhaps an apt description but remember the old saying; don’t mock the afflicted.

I will leave you with this parting note. How well, do you reckon, did the Celtic players sleep on Thursday night?