I was high on anaesthetic last time I lifted cup... I’d rather remember nextone
AS A boyhood Celtic supporter, lifting the Scottish Cup at Hampden to complete an invincible treble must be one of the best feelings in the world.
The only problem was that Kieran Tierney wasn’t able to feel anything much.
If the 20-year-old was high as a kite the last time he lifted silverware at the national stadium, that probably had more to do with the anaesthetic he was loaded with in hospital after being rushed off the pitch during the first half of last May’s showpiece against Aberdeen for emergency dental work after being on the receiving end of a swinging elbow from Aberdeen’s Jayden Stockley.
So much drama unfolded from that point on that Tierney would be forgiven for feeling if he was hallucinating.
He was in the back of a taxi when he learned of Tom Rogic’s thrilling last-minute winner, then staged a last-gasp dash through the car park to take part in the celebrations.
But let’s just say Tierney would prefer to be rather less woozy if he is able to climb those steps again in next Sunday’s Betfred Cup semifinal against his hometown team Motherwell.
In fact, it will make for a change just to be in one piece after a major final, as the club’s celebrations of their 2016 Betfred Cup win came at a time when the full back was rehabilitating from ankle and shoulder operations.
“I honestly couldn’t honestly feel much,” recalled Tierney of last season’s Scottish Cup drama. “I’d j ust had an operation which meant an anaesthetic.
“But I’ve watched the moment when I lift the cup a few times and it’s brilliant.
“It felt like a fairy tale for me getting up the stairs in time to do that.
“I literally just got back into the stadium, looked up and there were only a couple of people still waiting to lift the trophy.
“So I just ran up the stairs. Everything happens for a reason in life. For me to get back there on ti me was j ust brilliant.
“I’d been running through the car park in my boots so I got a bit of abuse from Aberdeen fans. But I was just so happy. I’d heard on the radio that we’d scored in the last minute so I was f ull of emotion.”
Just perhaps fate is working in Tierney’s favour again. This time, the fates pit him against Motherwell, the team whose Fir Park ground he still lives a stone’s throw away from. He has lived in the area since leaving the Isle of Man at a young age and has plenty of old schoolfriends in the area – even if most of them “are Celtic fans!”
WHAT’S more, the match may even fall upon the occasion of his 100th appearance for the Celtic first team – although in all likelihood his importance to the team means that will almost certainly come against Ross County in Dingwall this Saturday.
“It won’t be strange playing against Motherwell – even though it’s my hometown team,” he said.
“I’ve played against them plenty of times now through the youth levels and into the first-team. It’s another game.
“I’m friends with Chris Cadden – I went to high school with him and I speak with him quite a lot,” he added.
“So I know all the Motherwell fans and players are up for this in a big way. It’s a cup final so they’re bound to be. It’s a great achievement for them to get there but they’ll now be looking to win it.
“They’re a very good team. They’ve shown that this season through many of the results they’ve got. They’ll be a very hard team to beat.”
MEANWHILE, ahead of today’s Annual General Meeting at Celtic Park, chief executive Peter Lawwell has announced that the Celtic FC Foundation were pledging £2m towards Dementia Care projects, specifically partnering with Alzheimer Scotland for two major initiatives.
This will include a reminiscence project as well as a two-year initiative providing regular contact for those living with dementia, entitled ‘Lions Lunch Breaks’ and ‘Dementia Befrienders’ respectively.
In May, the club celebrated the 50th anniversary of Jock Stein’s side becoming the first non-Latin team to win the European Cup, with captain Billy McNeill recently announcing he is suffering from the condition.
“We wanted to do something s special to mark this very spec cial year and we think what we have done is a fitting legacy to the Lions and all their achievements,” said Lawwell.
“It also shows the importance of Celtic’s social dimension, something which will always be fundamental to everything we do.
“I would like to thank our supporters and all others who assisted and worked with the club on this campaign – now the work begins on making a positive difference to the lives of so many people in need, through the delivery of these excellent projects.
“Once again, I would also like to offer a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to the Lisbon Lions who have worked tirelessly and have been magnificent ambassadors for our great club for more than 50 years.”
I’d been running through the car park in my boots so I got a bit of abuse!
Celtic defender Kieran Tierney celebrates lifting the Scottish Cup after being rushed back to Hampden