The Derry Pele was the star guest at the Stornoway Saltire Celtic Supporters Club recently, as the green carpet was rolled out for the enigmatic and ferociously talented, Paddy McCourt.
A cult legend at Celtic Park and adored from the stands by the Hoops faithful for his audacious and jaw-dropping ability with the ball at his feet, Paddy drew a capacity crowd to the Stornoway Sea Angling Club for his visit, which also helped raise money for the Bethesda Hospice in Stornoway at the same time.
One of the stand out questions put to Paddy by M.C. Mr Tom MacIver somewhat tongue in cheek was: “Did you ever score ordinary goals playing for Celtic?”
If Paddy’s modesty in reply wasn’t enough to endear him to the island’s supporters, then the response to his Celtic hero being Henrik Larsson certainly did the trick.
All in all the evening was a huge success, not least due to the generosity of the crowd that responded so very well to the auction.
The local ‘Bhoys’ eagerly bid for hospitality packages to Celtic Park and the seemingly magical boots of Ryan Christie that have seen the Highland Bhoy become a mainstay of the starting eleven this season.
The next charity event that contributed to the Bethesda donation was our winter Sleep Out at Back FC ground.
The ‘sleepers’ really got lucky as the sub-zero temperatures of the previous week moved away and the outdoor sleep was done in the relative comfort of six or seven degrees.
Anyone that has been part of a sleep out will undoubtedly reflect on those that for one reason or another end up homeless and without a safe, comfortable place to sleep.
A situation that those that govern our parliaments need to do more work on and perhaps something we as a society need to be more aware of.
Celtic FC was founded around the ideals of Brother Walfrid to address some of the problems of the poverty stricken east end of Glasgow.
In short it all started with an eye on local charity. That tradition continues with many supporters groups, and Stornoway Saltire is happy to support the wonderful work of local charity Bethesda Hospice in their Autumn/Winter charity campaign.
Thanks to all who contributed to these events and also to all who either donated to the club’s November Food Bank collection and box packing with Eilean Siar Food Bank volunteers who do a fantastic job in the community.
Thanks also to Back FC for permission to use the ground for the Sleep Out and of course to the Stornoway Sea Angling as ongoing club hosts.