Lifelong Celtic fans, my husband and I took a journey out to Celtic Park with our daughters, aged 13 and 11. It was their first visit to ‘Paradise’, and we booked a stadium tour and dine package.
Our first stop was the Celtic superstore where we bought lots of Celtic goodies – the girls loved the shop, and we bought caps, shorts, t-shirts, and water bottles to take to school to show their friends. The shop is full of fantastic Celtic merchandise and staff were friendly and helpful.
We were welcomed at the entrance before heading to the Sports Bar and given a lanyard each. We loved the bar but didn’t get the chance to enjoy any refreshments as we’d spent so long in the superstore, we didn’t have time before our tour began! We’ll be back for another visit as staff were welcoming and the food looked great!
We were met by tour guide, Lorraine, who welcomed us all with a warm smile and our first stop on the tour was the board room. Lorraine was previously a head mistress and was great with the children who were on the tour. She made them feel very special. A family of Athletico Bilbao fans were also on the tour and we were very impressed with Lorraine’s Spanish – she made them feel very welcome. Her knowledge on the club and the scores and fixtures of the past games was incredible.
Lorraine told us all about the history of how the club was founded by Brother Walfrid who moved to Scotland from Ireland in the 1870s and founded the team in 1888 as a means to raise funds for the poor and deprived in the east end of Glasgow. We loved hearing that the 15-man squad of Lisbon Lions all lived within 10 miles of Celtic Park – apart from Bobby Lennox who lived 30 miles away in Saltcoats and Tommy Gemmell who lived 11 miles away in Motherwell. This would never happen in this day and age.
The board room was impressive, even more impressive was the trophy cabinet which housed all of the trophies won by the club over the years which you are allowed to photograph. It was great to see all of the silverware the club has collected.
Next, we headed to the home dressing room. On the way, we were shown a painting by artist Gerard Burns of the Lisbon Lions walking onto the pitch and Lorraine told the fantastic story of the boots worn in the final. Adidas wanted to sponsor the players’ football boots, but the team weren’t willing to take off their trusty boots in a final, so they painted the three stripes on the side! We all loved this bit of trivia!
In the dressing room we got the chance to sit where the players sit, under their strips and there were lots of opportunities for photos. Then Lorraine asked all the kids in the group if they’d like to do a huddle – the kids all took part and loved it.
Next, we headed pitch side, down the tunnel to the echoes of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” a very emotional moment. The gasps from our daughters when they saw the sheer size of the ground were amazing – they couldn’t believe the size of the stadium and when we told them there were over 60,000 seats for fans they gasped again!
They got their photos taken in the home dug out and we got to sit on the stand and look out onto the pitch. We walked back through the tunnel to the Champions League theme tune which was brilliant!
After the tour we were shown to the No7 Restaurant where we had a warm welcome from the staff and enjoyed a delicious three course meal overlooking the pitch. The menu choices were excellent – there is something for everyone. Food was of a high standard and made with quality produce. The desserts were out of this world – we loved every bite!
Our youngest got to meet Celtic mascot, Hoopy the Hound – this really made her day.
We had a brilliant day out at Celtic Park. The tour was fantastic, and it was great to hear about the history of the club and see the dressing rooms. Going down the tunnel was a big highlight for our family. Having the meal in the No 7 restaurant next to the pitch with photos of Henrik and Jinky looking down on us was the icing on the cake – food was delicious, and the service was excellent.
My eldest was so impressed she is doing an English project called Great Scots and has decided to do Jinky Johnstone – a truly great Scot!
We will be recommending the tour to our friends and family. It’s a great day out for any Celtic fan!
Book your tour and dine package here: Celtic Park Tour and Dine (celticfc.com)