Published on Saturday 10th March, 2012 by Celtic Trust
When I read the piece about the Thunder sellers being harassed my blood boiled.
Then I thought, nothing changes, everything‘s the same.
I saw my first game at Celtic Park in 1951, my father and me used to walk from
It was around this time I developed my healthy mistrust of any one, with one or two exceptions, wearing the Sillitoe Tartan bunnet.
In the Garngad in those pre T.V. days our Friday and Saturday night entertainment when we weren’t chapping doors and running away and generally making,”a bliddy nuisance so ye ur” of ourselves was provided by the inebriated Garangardians (don’t know if that’s right, better stick to Tims),being huckled by at least two of H.M.’s finest from outside of one of the numerous hostelries which occupied a relatively small stretch of Garngad Road. Before anyone comments, “ye should’ve been in yer bed”, let me remind you that closing time in those halcyon days of tar melting summers was 21:30 !! (ask your Granda). We were out at that time because the Wee Roch was closed Saturday and Sunday in common with all schools so we were allowed up later than on a school night.
Anyway we’d watch the Tim being dragged struggling to the red police box at the corner of the Road and the street that housed the Steamie.
Now this is where my mistrust of the polis was seeded. I,we, could see that although bevvied , the culprit had narry a mark on his coupon. When the Black Maria turned up, to a chorus of boos the drunk one would be marched out and into the van without any of his previous resistance. Safe to assume his resistance had been beaten out of him. If the cuts and bruises on his face were evidence of anything, it was that the polis didnae give him a coffee to sober up in the box. On the Monday evening we’d hear that on appearing before the sheriff, the said sheriff would enquire about the marks on the defendant's face, to be told by the police witness, “he fell down the stairs your honour”. Now then, this was years before the Doctor and his Tardis, which is the size at of Barrowland behind those doors. We were unaware the police boxes in the Garngad had stairs in them!!
Later in the sixties the seeds planted in my childhood took root. I remember the policemen walking round the running track, Then when there was a bit of bother in the crowd, they’d rush headlong through the supporters. God help anyone who was slow to make room for he’d be likely to be dragged away. They didn’t care so long as they got a body. They had the Souness attitude, “if you cannae get the baw, get a body” Their ball being the real perpetrators of the disturbance. I saw this on numerous occasions.
There have been many other incidents that have soured me towards the Boys in Blue. I’ve been victim of their bully boy ways.
You’ll remember Viduka played for us. We played the Hs at Celtic Park one evening and Viduka ran through and scored a “goal”. So we thought, but the linesman had his flag up, so no goal. Nothing unusual in that us getting a goal disallowed until reading in The Daily Ranger (I used to buy it, not now) that the said linesman had been cheered to the rafters when checking on his shift at Govan Police Station. Yes he was one of them.
There must be no let up in the likes of Celtic Trust publicising their strong arm tactics, they thrive on secrecy.
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