When The Noise Came Back


Did I tell you about the best goal I ever scored? I scored a couple of good ones, but this was the best yin I ever scored. Against Barcelona of Spain.

You didnae Granda! You didnae score against Barcelona!

Aye I did. It was when they had the boy Messi playing for them. What a player he was!

Who’s Messi?

Och, ye never heard of Leo Messi? I cannae believe that! Ye on the wind-up?

No Granda, I’m no! Wus he good?

Aye, he was the best. I couldnae get near him at the end, I wanted to get his shirt aff him. Only ended up wi a sock like, but it was still his. Maybe I’ll show youse one day.

Don’t be silly Granda! A smelly sock!

Ah, you’ll be showing it tae your grandkids one day sure enough. He was the best player in the world. Playing for the best team in the world. And we beat em. 2-1. We battered em.

Was this before Celtic joined Rangers?

Oh aye, before then, back when there were still two teams in Glasgae. Do you know what they used to call us both back the day?

The Old Firm?

Aye! So they do tell yous something in school!

Yep. The other day we were learning about religion and…

Ye stopping Granda telling his story or whit? It’s the best wan I got!


Barcelona were the best team ever. They had the boy Messi, you’ve heard of him. They had the wee man Xavi. Iniesta. Two of the greats. Legends they were. The atmosphere was buzzing, never felt anything like it in my life.

Not even when I was born?

That was special, but imagine 60,000 of youse being born all at once. Imagine that! I was eighteen and I came aff the bench. We were a goal up. Ten minutes left. Messi had a free-kick…

Did he score Granda?

He missed! Big Fraser saved it and leathered it up the park. Before I knew it, I had the ball, everyone screaming. So I ran at the goal, and it got louder and louder…

Then whit?!

Then it got quiet…

No it didnae!?

Aye, it did. Couldnae hear a thing. It lasted for ages. I can still see it noo. But it was only a second. Mind plays tricks like that. So it was me and the big keeper, and I can still remember everything in my head…

Like what?

I was thinking of this. This, here, now. Telling people like you that I did that one day, that I scored a winning goal against Barcelona. I knew that if I missed it, that’s me forgotten, could regret it the rest of my life.

But you scored!

Aye I did! That’s when the noise came back.

Then whit?

Messi scored one at the end, but it didnae matter. People would only talk about young Tony Watt.

That’s you!

Indeed it is, young lady! Or it was. That game’s a long time ago now mind.

What happened afters?

We ended up in the Europa League, and we couldnae cope with fixture congestion. But naebody remembers that.

That’s sad Granda.

No really. I never had to buy a drink again. The fans still sing my name. What more you wanting?

You’ve still got your smelly sock.

Aye. I’ve still got it. Anyway, that’s Granda’s famous story. Let’s get you off to bed.

Can you tell me about the time you scored the winner in the World Cup final for Scotland?

Naw, Christ hen, I’m bored of that! Now go brush your teeth.


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