Ibrox Ghost Game v 50k at Celtic Park on a Tuesday Afternoon | OneFootball

Ibrox Ghost Game v 50k at Celtic Park on a Tuesday Afternoon

Logo: The Celtic Star

The Celtic Star

The folks running Celtic were worried ahead of breaking the news to the Celtic support that the Europa League Group stages match at Celtic Park initially scheduled for tomorrow night would have to be brought forward to the Tuesday afternoon with a 3.30pm kick-off.

My mobile phone rang around tea-time just as the dinner was being put on the table and it was a senior member of staff at the club calling to give a briefing on the decision that had been taken and to stress that Celtic had argued long and hard but all alternative suggestions had been rejected by either UEFA or Police Scotland and due to the unique set of circumstances entirely beyond the club’s control the match would have to be played on Tuesday 19 October with a 3.30pm kick-off.

To be fair to the club they amended the usual three match package for season ticket holders so that they could buy two and if they couldn’t make the Ferencvaros early kick-off game then they didn’t have to pay. Plenty though will have simply bought their 3 match tickets – hoping to arrange the time off.

That’s the situation that young Lubo98 of this Parish was in yesterday, there was still a chance he’d be able to get away from work in Edinburgh in time to make the game if things went his way, they didn’t and he was thereafter relying on text message updates from yours truly which read like this…WHAT A GOAL! GREAT PASS FROM JOTA, WHAT A FINISH FROM KYOGO!!! and PENALTY TO CELTC!!…CALMAC TAKING IT…SAVED!!!…2-0 WORST GOAL EVER BY TURNBULL, BUT WHO CARES? Not sure it’s worth the £26 but probably better than the usual anti-Celtic biased ‘lucky to get 3 points’ stuff from the BBC.

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Older fans will remember the Ghost Game at Ibrox. It was in May 1979 and Rangers had already won the League Cup and were in the Scottish Cup Final against Hibs, which they won in the replay after a goalless draw. They had two league games remaining and were big favourites to win the league and of course a Treble was on.

The didn’t have to leave Glasgow either, they a Monday night trip to play Celtic at Parkhead (21 May) and then on the Wednesday night (23 May), a home game against Partick Thistle. These games were being crushed in to the calendar as there had been a severe winter with loads of postponements.

Had they got a draw against Celtic all they’d have needed was to beat Thistle at Ibrox and the Premier League title was theirs. And with time running out at Celtic Park the scores were level and Celtic had played much of the second half with only ten men. There was a huge Rangers support in the old stadium and they were sensing a title win but there was more drama – a Colin Jackson OG then that strike from Murdo MacLeod and that meant Celtic were Champions (the highlights were meant to have been on TV that night but were never shown).

: Fans of Celtic show their support prior to the UEFA Europa League group G match between Celtic FC and Ferencvarosi TC at Celtic Park on October 19, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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A few days later Ibrox, instead of cramming 44,000 supporters in for a title party had instead just a few thousand there (Rothmans list the attendance as being 2500, Daily Record said it was 2000) in what became known as the Ghost Game.

That’s the exact scenario Celtic feared for yesterday, just a few thousand supporters making it along to the game with the rest missing out due to work or education commitments. They certainly never expected a crowd of over 50,000 as yet again the Celtic support stood by the club and provided unbelievable backing.

Ferencvaros were able to leave Celtic Park last August with a victory but with 50,000 supporters driving Celtic on yesterday that was never looking likely. It ended 2-0, it should have been five. Maybe sometime soon the Celtic Board will start to appreciate the wonderful backing that they are given from the Celtic support.

There was no Ghost Game going to take place at Paradise.

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The Ghost Game at Ibrox….

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