AMERICAN crooner and legendary “Rat Pack”-er, Dean Martin, had a 1955 “Number 1” hit with a hackneyed little sing-along ditty entitled, “Memories are Made of This”. It was a schmaltzy, saccharin ballad that typified so much of the mainstream output of the time, before emerging skiffle and rock’n’roll blew a raging hurricane through stuffy old Tin Pan Alley and changed the music world forever.
For us Celtic supporters, happy memories are firmly centred on and inextricably linked to our Grand Old Team and its achievements. We attempted to summarise that Celtic-centric way of life in a chorus from our in-house club anthem, “The Exiles’ Dream” :
Weaned on great stories
of Quinn and McGrory
and Tully, the trickster supreme.
Thrill after thrill
on the road to Seville
as we marched with O’Neill and a dream.
Legends like Maley,
Dan Doyle, Jim Delaney,
bold Patsy, the Lions and Stein.
Larsson was “King of Kings” –
aye … but wee Jinky’s
the “Greatest Celt” there’s ever been!
This blog was motivated by (and named for) what is arguably the greatest gift ever bestowed on the Celtic diaspora, captured for posterity in the iconic image of big Billy summoning his last ounce of strength, after what must have been one of the most physically and emotionally draining ninety minutes ever experienced by a Celtic captain, to hoist the “Big Cup” aloft on the ramparts of the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon on 25th May 1967. Forty-six years on, the memory is undimmed, especially for those of a certain generation, of which I am privileged to be one.
My “twilight” dream is that my children’s generation will one day be blessed with its own first-hand experience of the unfathomable ecstasy of that balmy May evening in Western Iberia – ideally while I am still around to share it with them!