Instead of Socks for Christmas

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to buying presents for friends and family.

Thats right, November.

Usually we wait until christmas eve and just do a rush job, and in my case, because of that, I end up getting the same gifts back from people that I only gave them the year before, if they haven’t already taken them back to the shop and changed them for something they actually want or could use.

Thats probably why my kids were the only ones in town who never really got excited at christmas..


So, in order to help you decide, and maybe help out a few guys who have put a lot of work into their work, I’m going to recommend some books, some  books that should be on our own bookshelfs, so that if you do get them sent back, you won’t mind one little bit.

A shameless plug, without a doubt, but four books that you should read.


Before we start, it’s worth noting that each and every one of them is a labour of love. Written by Celtic supporters for Celtic supporters, although one arguably is an important work in the history of Scottish football.

That one, of course, is Tangled Up In Blue, Stephen O’Donnells unique look at the history that defined Rangers, and the reasons why it was liquidated.

You need to read this.

It puts everything we know, and more than a few things we didn’t know, into one readable narrative and will leave the reader wondering how they got away with so much for so long.

For additional information on how they got away with it for so long, add Paul Larkins Anyone but Celtic, which explains the corruption at the SFA and the idea that we perhaps weren;t paranoid enough.

Which, of course, time would prove we weren’t.

Image result for anyone but celtic paul larkin

Larkins book is part of a trilogy, O’Donnell is waiting to see how the current events pan out at Ibrox before maybe embarking on a sequel, but if you read these four books, then you will kick yourself for not asking Peter Lawwell at this weeks AGM why the Resolution 12 issue should be voted down and we should all move on….



Something that combines a little light reading with some more serious food for thought is Celtic Minded 4, edited by Joe Bradley.

Image result for Celtic Minded 4

Reading it was like sitting in a bar talking about all things Celtic with all manner of different people. Some topics were serious, others light hearted, though the one’s that go down best are the ones where someone simply talks about how they became Celtic Minded.

As the title suggests, its the fourth in a series of, oddly enough 4.

Well, so far, anyway, as there is plenty of scope for further editions.


Finally, most who have written, or tried to write about Celtic and it’s history would tell you they struggle to find a topic that hasn’t been covered before.

So, let’s imagine a scenario instead, and do a bit of the dreaming that we all did as kids. But then, if the facts are imagined, the atmosphere cannot be, and in A Very Different Paradise, Tom Campbell, according to thoise who were around at the time, captures mid twentieth century Glasgow perfectly, and if you are willing to suspend belief for a while, you’ll catch a great work of fiction, which is virtually impossible to do when it comes to football..

Image result for A Very different Paradise


As Tom explains…

it’s a novel, and therefore fiction but it was important to give a factual ‘feel’ to the book; so, there are a proliferation of real-life characters throughout:  managers, directors, journalists, players etc. As it was fiction, I felt free to put words into their mouths, actions too.  I would like to feel that these words and actions were true-to-life, if not factual.
Another thing.  Writing a history or a biography forces a writer to stick to the facts and the chronology.  Fiction liberates a writer in a sense.  At times I would sit down  to write having very little idea of what was to come … and almost miraculously the ‘characters’ would take on a life of their own, almost insisting on what they wanted to say and/or do.  One such man was the legendary coach Jimmy Hogan (who, after an obligatory appearance, took over and almost dictated his own participation).
Knowing that it was an unusual book, I put it away in a desk drawer for a number of years but I re-read it in 2017, showed it to some knowledgeable people, and was assured by them that it was guaranteed to become ‘a cult classic’.
Someone once described the Etims diary as a cult classic.
At least, thats what it sounded like he said.
So, print this article off and leave it lying around where someone who buys you a pressie will find it,  and you won’t get socks for christmas, or one of those jumpers you can only wear for the one day without being pointed at on the bus.
You’ll get something you want, and something you’ll enjoy.
And so might some of your pals, for once, if you’re stuck for ideas.
You can get all of these on tax dodging website Amazon, or in a shop that sells books.
But don’t go to Asda, they run their place like a Victorian workhouse.
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No ‘ Commando ‘ themed books?

I haven’t read the sequel to ‘ I survived an IRA mortar attack ‘ by Tota l. bullshit.


Once upon a time, long, long ago…..



lofty saiz recomends it aint half hot mum




I remember the C.L. play off tie against Shakhter Karagandy. We were 2-0 down after the away game in Astana. We had recently lost big Vic. Hooper and Kelvin Wilson, the recently joined Virgil Van Dyke had been dropped after the first calamitous game. Back in Paradise for the second leg there was a lot of pressure and the players seemed nervy. But a Kris Commons long range goal before the break was followed by a Samaras goal and then an exquisite last minute goal by James Forrest which put us through to the Champions League proper. Needless to say… Read more »

Should add “Downfall” by Phil Mac G to that list. Read Tangled up in Blue first then Downfall. Tangled up in blue shows how a Sporting club was manipulated and corrupted by what can only be described as the dark Side of Scottish Protestant Civil Society and how for the best part of a century their Bigotry and outright Criminality helped to shape the Religious Divide in the West of Scotland. Meanwhile, the Sporting Governing Bodies overlooked and in some cases assisted in the actions that ultimateley shaped the rotten corpse of Scottish Football. I use “Corpse” delberately here since… Read more »


Ralph, I have read a couple of these excellent tomes, so have some spare room in my bed socks. How about that compendium of Diaries that were suggested way back before Celtic Park had a roof :). What a read that would be. Everything from fantasy football, through fake news and intriguing facts to extraordinary personal opinions – oh wait. that’s the Conservative manifesto 🙂 Personally, I would leave out the comments given there is enough drivel on the web without cutting down precious trees to accommodate them. Besides, some – no names, no pack-drill – would end up in… Read more »


See, we have culture instead of “ kulture”.
All the “CelticMinded” books are well written, thought provoking and insightful.
If I could do a Kent Brockman and add my two cents worth…
Celtic 1945 to 1970 (Tom Campbell) is essential and, for its pure joy “Football in Sun and Shadow” by Eduardo Galeano.
More of this I say, hang those who talk of less.



Just testing. Having finally cracked this new set up, or so I thought, I posted a comment earlier. It seemed to appear though I only spent a moment having a re-read. Now it seems to have gone, gone, gone!

I’m going back to mechanical 🙂





Aye, that happens tae me as well – must be ma age!


Only saying this to check all is in good order, Monti, – Pish it is but that is no excuse for flushing it away. It looks like there is an ageist agenda developing on here now, which is not fair. I think R.St. Parsley will agree with me, we lose enough at our age without our pish being rejected too. Oh for the days it was silently collected doon oor trooser legs and willingly distributed on here to the great benefit and satisfaction of the many avid readers. It provided a warm sensation for both receiver and giver. So, I’ve… Read more »


Young whippersnapper disnae know whit it’s like, PB. Wait until he’s sent for a prostate exam – that’ll wipe the smile aff his face!


That’s happened to me twice Pensionerbhoy – thought I was going senile


a wee message for peter dont let they res 12 bhoys doon on wednesday you know it makes sense


wee cheat nobody and expect oor ain tae make sure naebody cheats us COYBIG


New Years resolution 12


Book for big Frazer Catch 22
Book for prince Andrew and posthumously to Epstein. Oor wullies
Book for Peter Lawwell. A Christmas tale (Scrooge)
Book for KT
Emery behind the lines


Commando survival guide

By C.Saiz


Chapter 1 Day 1

I survived an IRA mortar attack:
Forward by Pinocchio.


Blackpool hawk down.
(Take with a pinch CS)




The Donkey has landed


Where were you based in Holkand during WWII?



Battle of Eyore kes drift8


Btw it’s easy to get doctored wartime photographs & imitation medals online.


Fear Dúr Dúr


Fear Dúr Dúr

sfa unfit for purpose

Big Dave is Walking away , or falling or being pushed , but is planning a SHARE ISSUE ( fcuking hilarious) to get back what he is due !
This shite ship is going down fast , but they will have to stay open long enough for dave to cash in.
Will miss that squinty fcukwit.


the glib and shameless wan didnae jump he wis shoved imo why start bubblin if he jumped heh heh


the cauld shooder must stey he he


whose the new chairman ae the casket of assets please bring back charlie green if only fur his christmas messages heh heh heh


I really must go
But Davie it’s cold outside
The answer is no
Davie it’s cold outside
These four years have seen the fans well-rinsed
We’ll still buy shares, we’re thick as mince
I’ve got to say no, no, no sir
Does that mean liquidation is closer?
At least I can pretend that I tried
You promised us a Champions’ League side
I really can’t stay
Davie you’ve sold out
You’re worse than that wee shite Whyte.

sfa unfit for purpose

The wee snippet with king talkin to sky sports , he says ‘ the klub is ready , I went to the board meeting yesterday and said to them the days of running losses and me making all the descisions based on whether they were gonna write a cheque or not cant continue, we are beyond that. lets do one big fund raise , square everything off and then say guys you are now on your own. Come then give us your budget and go and run the business like any other club does frankly. We just couldn’t do that… Read more »


Pished huns dreaming by an open fire
(Empties scattered round their toes)
Of the Sash being sung by a choir
And debts paid off with nothing owed
Everybody knows that bevvy and deludemol
Help to make the season bright
Tiny huns with their eyes all aglow
Will get their orange taps tonight
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of world class signings on his sleigh
And every stupid hun stays up to try
To see those pigs Dave King told them would fly
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
For huns from 1 to 92
Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry thickness to you.



Thanks. Hope the missus is doing well.


You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at