Seville 2003: End of a dream: A night frozen in time


The Mirror, 22/05/2003, p6&7

THE only thing missing was the tumbleweed.
Glasgow, second city of the Empire: normal population 612,000, was all but deserted.
The usual morning queues of traffic, office workers, and mass crowds
off the trains had vanished like steam in a diesel age.
Even the city fathers had evacuated from the dear green place as it was
gripped by a medical condition not before seen on these shores, later
diagnosed as Seville fever.
It spread like wild-fire and there was no known cure.
Tower block offices reported a drip, drip loss of staff from last week
as valued employees fell ill.
As afternoon turned to dusk turned to night, some of the ‘missing’
slowly re-appeared, all taking the same medicine.
Their poison, Guinness, Tennents lager or any other alcohol they could
lay their hands on in order to help toast their Uefa Cup final heroes.
Glasgow Celtic FC.
The cause of the biggest mass exodus Scotland has seen since the Highland Clearances. Only this time, they had sombreros, beach balls and some 60,000 pals for company.
But while they hooped it up in sunny Spain, stay-at-home Scots did
their damnedest to enjoy it just as much.
The parties kicked off in the city’s east end at 11am and lasted until
last orders. Some are probably still at it even as the city cleaners
start work.
At the live beamback in Celtic Park – Paradise – there was not a seat
to be had as more than 2,000 revellers filled the hospitality lounges.
Baird’s Bar boss Phil Carvill had the floor covered with sand, his
regulars sporting sombreros in every corner.
Phil said: “The atmosphere has been tremendous since we opened at 11
“And before anyone says it, I know that Seville is nowhere near a
beach, but the sand helps with the sombrero and beach ball image that
this final has.
“We actually have a significant number of Rangers fans who are regulars
and we always have a Rangers pennant on the wall.
“Today we have taken it down because this is Celtic’s day, but Rangers
fans are always welcome, there is never any trouble.
“We were late applying for a late licence and closing time is 11
o’clock but the way things have been, I’d be surprised if anybody could
make it past then.”
Over at Bar 67, the boozer named to commemorate Celtic’s 1967 European
Cup triumph, a worker said: “When we opened at 11 o’clock there were
people waiting to get in. The atmosphere has been brilliant from then
At Celtic Park the Jock Stein and Kerrydale lounges were full, along
with five other suites.
A club insider said: “There is no such thing as a spare seat.”
But it wasn’t just the west having all the fun. Proud Celtic fans in
Edinburgh were determined to party – no matter the result.
As the hours counted down to kick-off The International Bar at
Tollcross – virtually the unofficial headquarters for Hoops fans in the
capital – were preparing for an expected invasion.
Barmaid Winnie Keegan said: “We’ve got a big screen TV plus three other
sets. There will be extra staff on and , of course, we’ve laid in extra
booze because, whatever happens, this isn’t going to be a quiet
“The final is a dream come true for the lads in here.”
At the Celtic Shop in Frederick Street, staff were struggling to meet
the last-minute demand for Seville souvenirs.
But once they shut up shop they were Parkhead bound.
Boss Lynne Watson said: “The company held a ballot to see who would be
going out to Spain.
“For the rest of us the next best thing is going to Celtic Park. We’re
all really excited.”
Strathclyde Police had extra staff out and about for the night, and
some officers were caught having a sneaky peek through pub windows.
Those Rangers fans who wanted to watch their rivals did it from the
sanctuary of their own homes.
The rest simply watched The Bill.


Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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