Like all the best people, I was born at home. We all were. To this day, no one knows what the fuck our dear Mater was thinking about.
I was born on a Saturday.
As well as a midwife, a nurse, two huge gas bottles, (sent round the previous day by taxicab), a father pacing in the lobby smoking Kensitas corked-tipped, was the doctor. Not any old doctor, but Dr. John Fitzsimmons, the Celtic doctor!
Immediately I was smacked into life (something I’ve never come to terms with), he fucked off out the house to Parkhead with the injunction to my father that he, (Pop) would be to blame if Celtic lost that day.
They won, beating Heart of Midlothian 2:1.
The rest is history.
From such a start I was bound, body and soul, to the Celtic Football and Athletic Coy Ltd. 1888. Well not really, but you catch my drift?
Of the Lions, I have met in various circumstances, Bobby Lennox, Bertie Auld, John Fallon, Tommy Gemmell, Tommy Craig, Billy McNeill, Bobby Murdoch (great player).
I never met Jimmy Johnstone. There must be nearly 20 years between these photos.
A couple of years ago I was in a pub in Perth and a game had just finished on the TV and the camera was scanning the crowd picking out celebrities and so on. It stopped on Jimmy Johnstone, and a quiet, sort of reverential applause broke out in the pub. It’s not a Celtic pub or anything.
When cameras pick these people out, I’ve seen a cheer, or the odd shout (good or bad) or whatever, but I’ve never seen that particular reaction.
It’s very difficult to describe the way Celtic supporters feel about Jimmy Johnstone.
And it’s more than that, it’s a Glasgow thing.
Update: Looking at his pictures again there, I've just had something approaching a wee greet.