Arab spring expected in Paradise

I WAS at Celtic Park earlier this week and I don't think I've ever seen the place look better.

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Davie Hay's first trophy as Celtic manager was a Scottish Cup win against Dundee United in 1985
Davie Hay's first trophy as Celtic manager was a Scottish Cup win against Dundee United in 1985

It will be the perfect venue for tomorrow's Scottish Cup final.

Sure, players would prefer to play a final at the National Stadium. But, they will be playing at the best stadium in the country.

Dundee United should just shade it, though I reckon St Johnstone will make a real game of it.

I have mixed memories of facing United in the Scottish Cup final.

I didn't know it at the time, but the 1974 final was to be my final game as a Celtic player. I was sold to Chelsea that summer.

It was also against United I won my first trophy as Celtic manager, though the 1985 final was a really tense affair if I remember.

I was under real pressure to win, and we went behind to a Stuart Beedie goal.

Some people thought I had lost the plot completely when I took off Paul McStay and Tommy Burns and put on Pierce O'Leary and Brian McClair.

But, Davie Provan scored with a free-kick 15 minutes from time, then Frank McGarvey came up with the winner.

The following year, we won the league title. But, if we had not come back to beat United, who knows if I would still have been in charge.


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