Unfortunately, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant Celtic FC Foundation were unable to hold the annual Sleep Out events in Glasgow and London. However, that hasn’t stopped supporters getting behind our Christmas Appeal, as fans stayed up, rather than sleep out this year. With fundraising still ongoing, the participants have raised a magnificent £7K to date.
Our six-hour Stay Up for the Champions broadcast began at 11.45pm on Friday night and ran right through to 5.45am this morning (Saturday).
Host for the night, our very own Gerry McCulloch, kicked us off with an overview of the night ahead before introducing a video piece, highlighting the impact made by Celtic FC Foundation’s Football for Good Fund since March and our aims through the Christmas Appeal phase.
Fans were then treated to a rare glimpse of an empty Celtic Park at night, as Celtic Tour Guide and member of the Foundation Supporters’ Committee, Davie McLaughlin, took us on the first instalment of a twilight virtual stadium tour. Davie began his tour in the Celtic Boardroom and provided some fascinating input on the many famous trophies accumulated throughout the years.
Next up, there were some messages from a few special guests, as Celtic captain Scott Brown, Christopher Jullien and Mohamed Elyounoussi each passed on their thanks to all of our participants and wished them well in their challenge to stay up for the night.
It was then time for the first interactive part of the night, as viewers had the chance to choose between extended highlights of two classic Celtic matches. The options available were Celtic versus St. Johnstone in 1998 – a 2-0 win for the Hoops which famously clinched the League title to stop Rangers winning 10-in-a-row – or Celtic versus Rangers in 1999, when the Bhoys demolished their derby rivals 5-1 at Celtic Park.
And the overwhelming majority of supporters opted for the 1999 Glasgow derby match.
Following the highlights, Gerry was then joined by Celtic legend and former captain, Tom Boyd for a wonderful interactive Q&A. Tom shared some tremendous memories and stories from the derby game before answering lots of questions from those taking part. Tom even decided to stay and keep Gerry company for the remainder of the event.
We are extremely grateful to Tom – and also to event host Gerry – for generously giving up their time and for their continued support of the Foundation.
Over the course of the night, we also heard from three organisations who have previously benefited from Christmas Appeal donations.
Billy Reid of the Invisibles and Julie Duncan of Help the Homeless both spoke of how donations in the past have helped each of their organisations to provide much needed essentials to those living on Glasgow’s streets, while Angela Devine, of Glasgow Women’s Aid, told us just how vital the funds have been to so many of the women and children they support.
Part One of the ‘Our Nine, Our Time’ DVD then took us beyond the half-way mark in the night, as we relived some of the special moments from our 9-in-a-row campaign, with the 2019/20 end of season review.
This was followed by a special festive message from Celtic FC Foundation’s Supporters’ Committee, who had put their own twist on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, giving a fantastic insight into the work of the Foundation and the invaluable backing provided by the group.
With almost four hours down, there was a timely quiz for viewers to play along with at home to get the brain cells going. Participants enjoyed three entertaining rounds on Celtic, General Knowledge and Christmas and Tom Boyd showed off his impressive quiz knowledge.
Once again, there was an opportunity for viewers to vote for the next football instalment – they were asked to choose between two famous UEFA Champions League at Celtic Park.
The first option was the 2-1 victory against AC Milan in 2007 and the second was the 2-1 triumph over Barcelona back in 2012 and after a very tight vote, Barcelona was the match of choice.
As we closed in on the final quarter of the event, Tour Guide, Davie McLaughlin provided more wonderful insight during the remainder of our twilight virtual tour, before Part Two of the ‘Our Nine, Our Time’ DVD, saw us head for the home straight.
And to see us out, what better way to finish off our challenge than with a brilliant rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Celtic FC Foundation would like to thank each and every one of our supporters who ‘Stayed Up for the Champions’ with us and everyone who has got behind their efforts.
And there’s still time to show your support by making a donation HERE
Proceeds raised will be devoted to our Christmas Appeal, with a particular focus on organisations supporting those facing homelessness or living in refuge.
Through the Appeal, we want to help hundreds of local families, giving them the kind of Christmas most of us take for granted. With lots of food on the table and gifts for the kids. Making sure Santa pays a visit on Christmas Eve, despite COVID-19.
We also want to support pensioners on our doorstep, by lending a hand at a difficult time of year. Local charities need our help too. We can make a massive difference to the lives of children, the homeless, refugees and those who are in need, facing a range of other challenges.
Further details on the Christmas Appeal phase of the Football for Good Fund and how you can get involved, can be found HERE
The generosity and compassion of the Celtic Family is truly unique and unrivalled and we thank you for your magnificent support.