I was high on anaes­thetic last time I lifted cup... I’d rather re­mem­ber nex­tone

TALK­ING CELTIC

Evening Times - - SPORT - By STE­WART FISHER

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

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