Winners of our ‘Celts In Seville’ ticket competition

ImageThe winners of our competition to see the play ‘The Celts in Seville’ at The Pavilion on Wednesday 9th April are Nick Saxton, Owen Reynolds and Jamie Kempton


The question posed was:  Which game, home or away, was the best attended from the first round tie at home to FK Suduva to the final v Porto in Seville (inclusive)?

The answer was the semi-final at home to Boavista (60,000).  The next two highest attendances were also home ties, against Liverpool (59,756) and Blackburn (59,553).  The final at the Estadio Olimpico was seen by 52,297. 


Thank you to all those who took part in the competition. 


Read our review of the play here:

Read our interview with the play’s writer and director, Tony Roper, here:


There’s still time to see the play before the run ends: 



Issue 1 of the Celtic Retro fanzine The Shamrock fanzine on sale now:


FIRHILL FOR THRILLS! Say Hello to 3-in-a-row . . .

ImageChampagne for the Champions!




“Stokesy, Stokesy, Stokesy, puts it past the goalie!”  One up



Liam Henderson scores his first goal for Celtic!   Two up



Great strike from Johansen – 3 up!




Stokesy slams in another – 4 up!




Top scorer Kris Commons nutmegs the keeper – high 5!




Cue pitch invasion – Love Street ’86 all over again!




Fans celebrate from the Short Strand Bar . . .




to the Parlour Bar in New York! 




Lenny and the backroom bhoys get in on the party




The players get the flags and t-shirts out






Bubbly for the Bhoys



The Thumb gets some photo-bombing in




Broony pops his cork!




Selfie-satisfaction for the Champions





ONLY 7 TO GO . . .











Win tickets to see ‘The Celts In Seville’ at the Glasgow Pavilion!


The Pavilion Theatre have kindly made 3 pairs of tickets for the show on Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 7.30pm available to readers of The Shamrock


To win a pair of tickets simply answer this question about the run to Seville in season 2002-3:  Which game, home or away, was the best attended from the first round tie at home to FK Suduva to the final v Porto in Seville (inclusive)? 


Send your answer on an email to with your name, address and contact telephone number. 

Closing date for the competition is this Friday, 28th March 2014 at 6.00pm. 

Winners will be drawn from the tri-coloured tammy containing all the correct entries.  Good luck! 


Read our review of the play here:

Read our interview with the play’s writer and director, Tony Roper, here:




Issue 1 of the Celtic Retro fanzine The Shamrock fanzine on sale now:


Competition Winner: ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’

ImageThe winner of the competition to win a copy of Frank Rafters’ book ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’ was Celtic supporter Jernej Blaznik from Slovenia (Jerjej is pictured above with his signed copy of the book). 


Read our review of the book here:


The book can be bought direct from the Maley Bhoys site and also in the official Celtic Superstores at Celtic Park and in Argyle Street, Glasgow.  Visit the Maley Bhoys website to purchase a copy here:



The Shamrock fanzine – Issue 1

ImageAs we start work on Issue 2 of The Shamrock, remaining stocks of our debut magazine are starting to run low as word spreads.  We’re delighted at the positive reaction and hope to produce an even better follow-up.  Your thoughts on what you liked best and didn’t like at all would be most welcome:

From the feedback we’ve had the features on the first Celtic brake clubs, the visit to Cliftonville in 1984, Cinema Paradiso and the contrasting fortunes of Paul McStay (blessed) and Tony Cascarino (sorrowful) were the most appreciated along with the design of the mag itself.


The Shamrock, Issue 1 - On Sale Now, only £3


To order your copy of The Shamrock click here:

Interview with Tony Roper – Writer & Director of ‘The Celts In Seville’


Actor, Writer, Director and Celtic supporter TONY ROPER kindly took time out of his busy schedule as ‘The Celts In Seville’ starts its second run at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow to talk about the play, his inspiration for writing it and why a little piece of his heart will forever be in Andalucia . . .


ImageTony Roper – an Anderston Bhoy at heart



How soon after Seville did you first think – I could make a play out of this? 

The play was produced in 2008. So the maths tell you that I let the notion nestle in what passes for my brain for four years and set about getting it produced in the fifth year. I keep hearing about mythical people who had the same idea but I nicked in and  stole it from them. Four years is a long time to nick in



How long did the writing stage take? 

Can’t remember exactly. A couple of month probably. With a few trial drafts before settling on a producible play that would stand a chance of people willing to spend their hard earned dosh to recoup the very sizeable outlay that’s needed to fund a production of that size.



Are the McMahon family based on a particular family you know or different individuals? 

Different individuals. I always base any characters in my plays on real people. It helps the actors get a realistic grip on their portrayal. 



Image Tony’s dream come true – he finally gets to meet Paul the Tim in Turn



What was your favourite memory from the play’s first run back in 2008?

The very last night. The surge of belonging to the Celtic diaspora that merged the cast and the audience was almost overwhelming. Every member of the cast said they had never had an experience to match it on a stage. I’ve said it before that the theatre almost levitated and I don’t believe that to be an overstatement.



Rab Douglas – blameless or hopeless? 

Neither. I am not in the camp that lays the blame on big Rab. Having spoken to almost all of the team neither are they. He had more than a few great saves throughout the campaign, Hartson missed sitters, even  Henky missed a penalty. ‘Let he without sin cast the first stone’ as they say.



The final whistle blows at the end of extra time on 21st May 2003 – explain your emotions at that immediate moment? 

Along with all the other Celtic fans I stood and applauded a team that had given a thousand per cent. In the play there is that moment when the dream inexplicably turns on us and we are the runners up. Every night, with no cajoling from the cast the audience replicate that night in 2003 and stand up and applaud, not the production but the Celtic team and their effort. Which is very gratifying as that sense of pride in being a Celtic fan who could embrace the lows as well as the highs with pride and dignity was what inspired me to write the piece in the first place.




The Jimmy McGrory song used in the play – how did you come to know it? 

This was a song my father’s generation sang at parties in the house. McGrory was the Larsson of his day and was the player who my old man measured all others against. He signed the majority of the Lisbon Lions and if you speak to any of them they will all say the same thing. An absolute gent of a man and a giant of a player. I voted for him as the greatest ever Celt.



If Derlei’s shot in the 115th minute had been stopped on the line and the game had gone to penalties . . .

a)      Would Grandad Devlin have survived the tension? If we’d won either way he would have lived or died a happy man

b)      Would you have survived? Yep and there would have been a very different end to The Celts in Seville.

c)       Who would have won the shoot-out?  I think Rab Douglas would have won that contest as it did not involve diving around as if he had been shot, unlike the heid-case in the opposing goal.


Image The cast at the Pavilion – many of the actors from the 2005 run are back again



Are there any other episodes in Celtic history that you think would merit a play or even a film?    And could you be tempted to write the script . . .

 Yep. But I’ll keep them to myself. That way I can nick in and steal them from some genius in a pub. 



How long before you think Celtic will be back in a European final? 

 I’ll never see that day. Money is Mammon in today’s competition and until that changes we’ll never see eleven guys from Glasgow do what Jock Stein’s lads did. That was when the competition was pure and not sullied. I count myself very lucky to have seen it.



From the many years you’ve been watching Celtic, how does Henrik Larsson rate among the strikers seen? 

He could still hold down a first team place. He wasn’t just a striker. He was an all round consummate professional who could play anywhere. Celtic have been blessed with terrific strikers throughout the years, McBride, Lennox, McGrory, McClair, Dalglish, the list is endless. I think that Henky would fit in their company very nicely.


 ImageTony in his own Theatre of Dreams – Paradise


What was your Seville story? 

After the game we wandered around for hours as there were no taxis and we had no idea where the hotel we were in was. It was about fifteen miles away on the motorway but we had no idea in which direction. A couple from Seville stopped us about three in the morning and asked if we wanted a lift. We showed them the hotel card and they took us back, with no question of payment. Of course we did give them an amount but that was not part of their offer. I always thought that the fans must have made a great impression to spark that sort of kindness in a foreign land.



When will your play about Rangers in Manchester be ready – and how many extras will you be needing for the riot scenes?!?

Thankfully that task will never fall to me. If enough succulent lamb can be conjured up I’m sure there will be some willing members of the press ready to turn fact into fiction.


Image Tony in his famed role of Jamesie Cotter enjoying a cocktail with Rab at the well-known Rangers pub ‘The Loupen Tavern’


Did you ever find out what is the Portuguese translation for “dirty, cheating, diving bassas”? 

Yep. FC Porto.


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Read The Shamrock’s review of the play here:


‘The Celts In Seville’ runs until 12th April 2014 at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow. 

Box Office: 0141 332 1846

Book online at




John Glass was one of Celtic’s leading founding members, along with Brother Walfrid and Dr John Conway. Glass was the most influential Celt behind the scenes through the club’s first two decades and this portrait, which remains on display at the modern Celtic Park today, was commissioned by the club in honour of the work John Glass did in its name.

The painting used to hang in the Celtic manager’s office, as confirmed by Willie Maley writing in 1915: “Of the great and good men whom I was privileged to join with in that famous first year, I would give pride of place to John Glass, whose photo hangs above me as I write, and it seems but yesterday since I heard him invite me to throw in my lot with the Celts. A man of whom Celtic will be ever proud.

To have any idea of the work John could, and did, do for the club he loved, one had to live with him to realise it. For years he thought of nothing but Celtic. He was at it from morning till night. If a fellow had to be persuaded he was coming to the best team in Scotland Glass could do that in a jiffy, whilst many a fellow’s fortune was made right away once he had listened to the voice of the charmer in the person of the burly Celt. For nineteen years we had in John Glass the most faithful clubman any club ever had, and one who never grumbled at any job as long as it was for the club.” (Weekly Record and Mail, 1915)