Standing On The Shoulders of Giants
‘The Butterfly effect’. How many Celtic books have you read which starts off with a quick lecture in physics? Ok, that will be none then. This book, a celebration of all that is great about our club demonstrates that when the fledgling Celtic Butterfly flapped its wings no one could have predicted the effect it would have on millions around the world. The book itself is quite remarkable, charting the history of Celtic, players and supporters from its beginning through to the present day.
So what was it with this particular book that makes me describe it as ‘remarkable’ ? Is it tales of guys like Daniel Doyle who made his debut against Cowlairs in may 1988 or Willie Loney ‘the obliterator’ who joined Celtic in 1900 to name but two? Is it the stories of Celts abroad like our good mate Seamus Cummings,a guy born and raised in Philadelphia who is a diehard Celtic fan? Well it’s partly that.
What makes Standing On The Shoulders of Giants remarkable is the author’s sheer hard work, research and the human touch he has added to producing one of the finest Celtic books I have read, and I read a quite a few. For example in the chapter about Seamus we read an in depth account of why his family ended up in the US in the wake of An Gorta Mór and what Celtic mean to his extended family. Also it must be said the the Celtic fans from around the world who the author has interviewed have been very generous in telling their story.
Some of the subject matter of the book really grabbed me. When I started reading the book I never expected to read a chapter dedicated to one of Coatbridge’s finest, Billy Davidson. Who’s he ? You may ask. Well he was a guy who played the Accordion as part of the band that marched in front of the lorry which paraded the Lisbon Lions around the Celtic park track. Once again just like others in the book we get an insight into the life and family history of an ordinary Celtic fan. The book is littered with these fantastic insights. For me that’s what makes it remarkable, the human touch.
The book is lengthier than most I have read, stretching to 460 pages. However it is engaging from page one on wards. Personally I can see me reading it over and over again and referencing it for many years. I found it very heart warming and uplifting. I also find it amazing that this is the authors first stab at writing any book never mind one on Celtic FC. There are a multitude of good Celtic books out there but this is certainly in my all time top 5.