"The word came from Maynooth, ‘support the Nazis’, the men of cloth had failed yet again, when the bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghire, as they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain".... It’s getting chilly out there folks, my doggies are sprawled across the floor in front of the heaters and I’ve a pot a tea brewing and only warmth in my hearth. Apologies that I missed the last match day, but duty called and I found myself in the top tier of the Camp Nou, Barcelona, and sampling Spanish hospitality, paella, and local wine with team blackout, the brothers Vaughan. I was hugely impressed with the north of Espana, the hard working and friendly locals, with their warmth and convivial banter, who were aware of the common bond between the two giants of club football camaraderie. The hoops let no one down that night, we played like lions and everyone stood up to be counted. The fans only immense, travelled in droves, and cheered on The Bhoys for hours, both inside and outside the stadium. Following Celtic is special, its in your heart, it cant be bought or sold, swapped for someone younger or traded for a different model. it stays with you, and you pass it on, embrace it and you just well feel it in your bones.
Lenny has the troops playing well and some of the passing in Barcelona and the movement off the ball made me smile inside. The fight and hunger is back, previous regimes in my eyes didn’t get it. Lenny is a Celtic man, he had the steel in his eyes as a player and fire in his belly. He understood what it was to represent not just a team, but the people, a cause, and a flame that never goes out. The last two performances in Europe have possibly been the best I can remember since ever, and I mean even including the MON years and the ginger ninja. Parkhead is special, yesterday marks the 125th anniversary of a special club that means so much to so many. Today wont change that or break anyone’s spirit, it will simply confirm why Celtic is what Celtic is. Almost half of today’s starting eleven will have been snapped up on free transfers or for less than a million quid. The moneybags clubs of Engerland can keep their over paid, diving, prima donna impresarios. Hard work, guts, and sweat wins out in my eyes. I’ll be watching like you, playing every ball and chasing every Spanish shadow. It could be a long 90 minutes, but going to the big dance beats being a wallflower every night. I'll be teary eyed when “Walk On” comes on today, hold hands, tell your loved ones you mean it, and always look twice when you cross the road…that’s the green cross code. Enjoy the game that brings us together folks and this match day goes out to Frank Ryan and LA QUINTA BRIGADA.
Vaughan is originally from Dublin, Ireland and came to America to play college soccer at Central Connecticut State University. Vaughan graduated with a degree in Journalism, but now can be found most days at Vaughan's Public House in Hartford, CT.