Who knew this Celtic tradition recognised worldwide is relatively recent? Everyone knows of it but how many realise it’s about as old as average squad age?
Many fans were surprised and shocked on Thursday when the club tweeted a happy birthday message to the huddle. 25 years, is that all though?
Well yes it is, just 25 years since the first, initiated famously now by Tony Mowbray as a Celtic player and club captain. Mowbray introduced the huddle to get greater team spirit and cohesiveness between the players. A quick look at that first huddle team below brings back memories.
Over recent years Scott Brown has led the Bhoys on the pitch into the pre match huddle. You can often see finger pointing and emphasis from Broony as he lays down some clearly inspiring points and last instructions to the team. The rousing ritual, usually coming after a chorus of ‘You’ll never walk alone’, gets the players and the crowd even more fired up before kick off. And it’s spun off into a further tradition, usually when Celtic are comfortably ahead in a match of the crowd doing a huddle themselves.
Many fans and Celtic Women FC joined in on twitter to celebrate the huddle anniversary:
The strength of the imagery of the players pre-match huddle is so synonymous with Celtic that we can all have a laugh at a few rangers supporting players at other clubs. Several refusing to participate where they have been introduced by the club they play for. Yes do stand up Ollie McBurnie, you can’t hide that away!
But lastly a thank you to Tony Mowbray for the introduction of this memorable match tradition which will undoubtedly endure for many more years.