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Now that we're used to hob nobbing at some of the most sophisticated European football venues, like the San Siro and the Nou Camp, it will soon be time to book flights for the South of France as we head off to the Cannes Film Festival next year to take in Ken Loach's latest project.
Apparently Loach is collaborating with Iranian and Italian directors on an arthouse movie called Tickets, starring Martin Compston, William Ruane and Gary Maitland. The trio play Celtic fans on their way to Rome where the Hoops are about to play Roma in a Champions League match. Loach directs the third and final segment in which the Celtic fans, who have acquired black market tickets for the match, get talking to an Albanian refugee in a fake Manchester United top.
In a sneak preview, according to Brian Pendregh in the Scotland on Sunday, 'The boys' adventures include petty theft and a tangle with local police, but at the heart of their section of the movie is a tough choice which forces them to consider whether football really is the most important thing in the world (depends who the opposition are - opinionated Ed). The portrayal of Celtic fans abroad is generally sympathetic. The trio are high-spirited and occasionally wild youngsters who are on the trip of a lifetime. They help an overweight, elderly widow off the train with her heavy luggage. And they share their cigarettes and sandwiches with the Albanian refugee, even though the food was stolen in the first place. But the drama in Loach's section of the movie begins when the conductor arrives and one of the Celtic fans cannot find his train ticket. They believe the Albanian refugee has stolen it, but reporting that to the authorities means his family will never be reunited. If they do not report the theft they will miss the match. Without divulging the exact decision they make, there are flashes of green and white hoops between thousands of Italian commuters and a blood-curdling scream of: 'Come on yi Celts!'
Actually, following recent correspondence from my loyal readers (Sid and Doris Bonkers) about Celtic references in the movies your humble scribe did actually send a screenplay to Ken Loach. Without giving too much away (the idea might yet be taken up by some other director out there) the plot revolves around a feckless schoolboy with little to look forward to in his life (I'm hoping they'll consider wee Chris Burke for the leading role) who trains a kestrel. Having proved to himself he can do it, he then trains hundreds of them. He gets them to fly over Ibrox like a squadron of Lancasters and simultaneously do the toilet as the assembled crowd beneath are about to launch into a chorus of Rule Britannia (thought that bit might appeal to Ken).
The theme song has been specially written and goes to the tune of 'If I had the Wings of a Swallow'. Watch this space.
We hear there is no truth in the rumour that there are several Hollywood directors expressing an interest in using the entire Rangers support in remakes of such B-movie classics such as Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Knuckle Dragging Sash Wearing Goat Shagging Zombies From Neptune.
Thai me kangeroo down sport
And wouldn't Ken, naturally inclined to stand up for the rights of the downtrodden, be so proud of this wee chap from Thailand. My Thai is a wee bit on the rusty side, but I believe the caption says something like, 'Muslim Student caught trying to break into military police barracks in Thailand proving that Celtic fans are always fighting fascists... even if he is wearing a hooky replica top.'
Alternatively, it could, of course, be a rare sighting of Bobby Petta.
things can only get petta
Speaking of our mercurial wizard of the wing, wasn't it touching to see his estranged wife doing a Tammy Wynette a few months ago as they were going through a tricky separation. No sooner had the News of the Screws gone to print with a front page splash containing allegations that their marriage broke down 'after ex-Ipswich star Bobby became hooked on internet sex sites and... spent up to 18 hours a day trawling for porn' (phew, no wonder he didn't have the energy to beat any fullbacks) than the ex-Mrs. Petta appeared in a very tasteful double page spread in the same paper claiming that, 'It's hell being a footballer's wife in Glasgow.'
I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. Underneath a couple of 'glamour shots' (very tastefully done) she comes across in the article as a woman of real depth, not at all one to be taken in by appearances or designer labels. For proof, we need only consider her harrowing experiences on nights out with the wee man: 'Bobby and I were in our favourite city centre pub where a woman in Versace kept staring at us all evening'.
As if that wasn't bad enough, on another occasion, 'I heard a voice saying 'There's that cow Petta'. The next thing I knew a vodka and coke was poured down the back of my Dolce and Gabbana dress.'
But the worst must have been the night, 'this blond came up to Bobby covered from head to toe in Prada.' The punch line of that one was that she called our Bobby a 'prick' then poured a drink over Mrs. P.
We can only wish the pair of them the best of luck now that Bobby's Armani is on a decidedly shaky nail.
Toodloo The Noo
THE EARWIG (suit by Oxfam, shirt by Man at Paddy's Market, hair by big Tommy at the Barber's, false teeth by Wallies R Us...)
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