13 Sep, 2008 Joe McBride
It may well come as no surprise to many who know me to find out that my first boyhood hero was not a rock and roller as such but a quite brilliant Celtic and Scotland football player.
His name is Joe Mc Bride, and I can never forget the impact to this day that he made on me throughout those first few months as a seven year old kid in the first throes of obsession with those men that wore the green and white.
My father and uncles etc, all of whom regularly attended all the fixtures had of course enlightened me of this special force that played in attack, therefore even at the earliest age I knew all about Joe and how especially ‘deadly’ he was given – the slightest chance of a strike on goal.
In fact I am sure that in the beginning I thought that McBride’s actual name was – JOE BURSTTHENET! And understandably so, since it seemed that every single Saturday evening when dad returned from the match, he would sit at the table and utter the same phrase week after week. Inevitably then that phrase was “And then out of nowhere, Joe burst the net!!!” How I loved the forcefulness of that phrase and how I loved Joe then as I do now albeit from a distance, for being the compulsive and dramatic scorer that he most certainly was.
Not only were the walls of my cubbyhole bedroom plastered with photos of Joe, but I also recall asking Mrs Kelly, our teacher, if it was okay to pray for Joe Mc Bride and the entire Celtic team. ‘Of course it is!’ she replied, “I do as well” she then added with a smile. And so I did, and sometimes still do, being the occasional lapsed atheist that I am. Then again they say that old habits die-hard.
This week in Glasgow they are having a special benefit evening for Joe, and despite all intention it will not be possible for me to make it on the night. The frantic last minute work needed to complete the work on the album in the end has prevented me from being able to attend.
My dad will be there though representing me and for sure he will tell me when I see him, just how great an evening it was and how much of an honour it was to sit at the table with the truly great Joe Mc Bride!