April 2007. Rugby Park. It was the greatest celebration I’d ever seen. But it’s not the one people usually remember from that trip to Kilmarnock.
Shunsuke Nakamura, in the last minute of the game, had just struck a free-kick that gave Celtic a 2-1 victory and won the Championship for the second year in a row. The Chadwick Stand erupted as Naka took his green-and-black striped jersey off while running full pelt towards the front row, twirling it as he went before disappearing under a swarm of fans and fellow players. It turned out the Japanese genius wouldn’t be the only one flashing some flesh as the title party got under way.
Naka celebrates with another iconic Celt
When the game finished and the Celtic players started a lap of honour a few fans made it on to the pitch to party with their heroes. It was to be Neil Lennon’s last game for Celtic and most of the fans made a bee-line for the captain. Soon enough we could see one supporter being prized off Lennon by two steward and frog-marched off the pitch, his beer belly clearly visible as his tracksuit top was completely unzipped. As he was being escorted away he responded to cheers from the fans in the Chadwick Stand by doing a kind of comedy jig-come-run that Charlie Chaplin would have been proud of – by no means easy with both hand being held behind your back, but it looked as though balance was no issue as the bevvy was keeping him afloat.
To cheers for him and boos for the stewards, he was ejected out of the ground through a large metal gate in the wall that separates the Chadwick Stand from the East Stand, where a few hundred Kilmarnock fans had been sitting. That looked like the end of that.
But no. As the jubilant Celtic players were taking the acclaim of the Moffat Stand opposite us, our hero re-appeared – well his top-half at least – the top half of his body is on top of the metal gate he’d just been ejected through! He was gesticulating in response to the cheering of his fellow fans when he suddenly disappeared out of sight – because a steward has pulled him off (stop sniggering at the back there!) His green and white scarf was still hanging down from the top of the gate.
Fear not, the show was not over. He appeared yet again – this time scarf in hand, clambering up someone’s wall on the other side of the lane. That looked dangerous, he certainly had too much drink to be sure-footed and then – he jumped off the wall!
My first thought was – he’s dead. Or got a broken leg at least.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here he was again, behind the wall he’d just fallen off. Fist in the air, hairy midriff still exposed. He’s standing on something. No, wait.
He’s bouncing on something.
He’s actually bouncing. What in the name of Christ . . .
U.F.O. spotted in Ayrshire – Unidentified Fenian Object
Our hero had spotted a huge kids trampoline in someone’s back garden and there he was bouncing up and down, saluting his fellow fans, joining in with his own unique rendition of ‘We Are The Champions’ which was being screamed throughout the ground with his scarf above outstretched hands. His bulging beer belly was still out in all its glory. Now you see his bottom-half, now you don’t. It was the most bizarre and funniest thing I’d ever witnessed at a game.
Never mind the new League winners who, by this time were heading towards the main stand and the dressing room champagne, the real party was going on away to our left. By this time the Bouncing Bhoy was off the trampoline and standing on the wall with a clear view of the pitch. His tracksuit was still unzipped – it had to be, because now he seemed to be caressing his nipples like a porn star for the benefit of his adoring fans in the adjacent stand. Thankfully the thought didn’t strike him to do a striptease.
The last I saw of him he was either falling off the wall or coming down of his own accord, it wasn’t entirely clear. Fortunately it turned out he was unharmed as The Huddleboard reported later that day that he was a member of the Milburn bus from the Garngad and had made it home safely. And to internet infamy.
Our intrepid hero was not to be denied his party – no steward or wall was going to stop this Trampolining Tim from celebrating with the rest of us. His party piece was something special – and fortunately it has been kept for posterity, thanks to some particularly shoddy filming of the events on one of the world’s poorest quality mobile phones which somehow brilliantly captures our hero’s ejection and subsequent catapulting to fame in Springburn and beyond – with the celebrating Celtic support providing the soundtrack.
Enjoy it: from 1.30 onwards when he embraces Lennon through to the end you can see the story unfold of one Croppy who simply refused to lie down!
5 years later . . .
It was 2012 and Celtic were back for another Championship party at Rugby Park – this time with Neil Lennon in the manager’s role. From the Chadwick Stand you could see that the trampoline was still there in the garden in front of the same shed – but there was no sign of the Bouncing Bhoy. Hopefully he was there in among the rest of us enjoying the celebrations, bouncing about under his own steam – and without the benefit of any children’s play equipment this time.
Read more Celtic Stories here: https://theshamrockglasgow.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/celtic-stories/