PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE
As part of our 100th issue orgy of self-congratulatory narcissism we tracked down our very own oldest lag of a contributor and slipped him into his humane restraints for ten minutes to get his take on the whole business. In a WORLD EXCLUSIVE interview, George of the Jungle (pictured right just after downing a bottle of his favourite tipple, Boston's Triple X Brewed-In-The-Wood Gunga Din Extra Strength Heavy ) explains the meaning of life and advocates 28 bottles of Oberammergau lager as the only afternoon pick-me-up worth considering.
NTV: George, what do you remember about how ntv started?
George Of The Jungle: Sitting in the Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow feeling despondent as the Huns under Souness had won the league and we had lost our last game of the season at home to Falkirk. As the beers flowed, and the despondency faded, the talk turned to what we could do to make the board aware of the support's disenchantment. Most of us had read The Absolute Game and enjoyed it so someone said "why don't we start a Celtic fanzine?" Given that we had all had a few Lucozade shandies by this time this was met with unanimous approval from the assembled throng. Change the World? We only wanted to change Celtic. Changing the World might, at that time, have been the easier option.
NTV: What kind of reception did you get in the early days when you were selling the fanzine at the stadium or in the pubs?
GOTJ: The reception then, as now, was great. The Fans were brilliant, very enthusiastic supporters of the mag even though many complained about Sid Vicious being described as a Hun in the first edition! The craic with the supporters was essential. Without their support and encouragement we would have chucked it long ago.
NTV: After the Centenary season it was a pretty grim period, but at least we could always look on the bright side at times.
GOTJ: Rangers in Europe, Rangers signing Tore Andre Flo... In the early years we used to hand out fivers to pensioners at Christmas to pay for their admission to the game. That in itself shows how prices have increased in the last 15 years. Now we'd have to buy them a season ticket at £400 a skull. Anyway, I was standing in London Road, down from the Main Stand, handing out brown envelopes with a Christmas greeting and a fiver inside to those people I thought were pensioners. I handed one over to one guy who took offence at being called a pensioner so he handed the envelope back. One of his mates told him what it was about and the look on his face was worth a lot more than a fiver. Alternatively the red cards at Celtic Park when Scott Nisbet got sent off. It was good of Nisbet to oblige us by going for first use of the Imperial Leather.
NTV: Pick out something from the fanzine you thought was particularly funny/ hard-hitting/effective
GOTJ: Funny - Obviously they Embarrassed The Hoops springs to mind. The look a like with Mo Johnston and the picture of a two headed snake also sticks in the memory, as does the photo of the Rangers players, who were charged along with McAvennie, standing in Govan jail. Difficult to single out a specific hard hitting article but the continual exposure of the old board for the incompetents they were must have helped undermine them. Effective; that's easy. Getting the bust of Jock Stein made. It's nice that the bust of the Great Man is now in the boardroom.
NTV: If you had to single out one person to haul before the People's Court to answer for their actions over the last fifteen years who would it be?
GOTJ: This is a tie where all the members of the Old Board are equally guilty of crimes against our Football Club. As the stadium and results show we are far better off without these self-styled, "Greatest living Celtic Fans." Not only did they make an arse of themselves they brought disgrace and embarrassment to our club. Unforgivable.
NTV: We've all come a long way in the last 15 years. What have we won...
GOTJ: Apart from friends on our European travels we've won three Championships (four if you include this season); four Scottish Cups (five if you include this season) and three League Cups. Didn't we also beat Liverpool in the early 90's in the final of the Dubai Cup?! Most importantly we have won our Pride back
NTV: ... and what have we lost?
GOTJ: The old board, and good riddance to them. The threat of ten in a row and Good Riddance to that also.
NTV: Apart from having to be called George of the North Stand is there anything else you miss about the Jungle?
GOTJ: The atmosphere may have been better in the Jungle, especially at big games, but I'll take the comfort of the all-seated stadium every day. I miss the smell of the Jamaican Woodbines wafting round that part of the Jungle we used to stand in, up the back at the 18 yard line at the Rangers end. Respect!
NTV: Finally, what do you think of Pravda these days?
GOTJ: Still nowhere near as funny or entertaining as Not The View! It's better than it use to be but is that saying much? Still, it always upsets the Hun neighbours when I drop it through their letter box!
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