WHEN Didier Agathe checked into Paradise 17 years ago, it was start of a lifelong love affair between him and the Celtic supporters, and he can’t wait to play in front of them again at the end in the hotly-anticipated charity match in aid of Celtic FC Foundation.
The former Hoops favourite will be part of the Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends fixture on Sunday, May 28 (KO: 2pm), as some favourite names of the past go head-to-head for a worthy cause.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” said the 41-year-old. “It will be great to see all the players again and to have the chance to play in a game at Celtic Park is always something special. It will very special for me.
“The link between us and the supporters will never die because love never dies. The relationship between us and the Celtic fans will be there forever. It’s why Celtic is a very special club.
“You can play for Celtic for one season or two seasons but the love between the players and the supporters will always stay. We will get something back from the fans and they will receive something from us as well.
“You can’t describe the feelings of those European nights and hearing the fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, it’s just something very special, so to play at Celtic Park again one more time is going to be a privilege for us. I would like to thank everyone who has organised the game and all the supporters who are coming along to the match.”
Agathe had the pleasure to play alongside both Henrik Larsson and Lubo Moravcik, two of the most naturally gifted players ever to grace Paradise.
“They were special players, not just in terms of technical or athletic qualities, we are talking about instinctive players who can do something special all the time,” he explained. “How many important goals did Henrik score with either his left foot or right foot? He was very special.
“When you have these players you can change the game at any time. It’s not something you can learn, you either have it or you don’t.”
Agathe has started building up his fitness for his Celtic Park return – but don’t expect him to show the same blistering pace of his playing days.
“You will see me run in slow motion!” he joked. “I will try my best and hopefully my body will be ready for it. I’m working on a bit just now and running on the beach every day but I need to be careful as I’m getting sore so I need to walk a bit of the way!
“I’m looking forward to the game and it’s a privilege to be part of any Celtic game, especially this one, when you have the chance to do something like this for a good cause and play in front of so many people. Anything you can do for peace and a good cause is a good thing.”
Henrik’s Heroes versus Lubo’s Legends will take place at Celtic Park on Sunday, May 28, 2017, with a 2pm KO.
Tickets are on general sale, on a first come first served basis – maximum of 10 per person – priced at £12 for adults and £6 for concessions*.
Tickets are available to purchase online at www.celticfc.net, by calling 0871 226 1888** or by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office. Rail Seating does not apply to this match.
Premium tickets (£30) and corporate packages (£135) are also available by calling 0871 226 1888** (Option 4) or emailing [email protected]
Net proceeds of the game will be devoted to Celtic FC Foundation, a charity aiming to uphold and promote the founding principles of our football club. The four priorities are to improve health, promote equality, encourage learning and tackle poverty and the Foundation have a strong track record of delivering successful community-based projects.
Some of the funds will be used to extend existing projects such as the award-winning ‘Ability Counts’ – a project aimed at children and young people who live with Down’s Syndrome or Autism. We will also assist with Community Care for Dementia through a series of initiatives. Finally, in partnership with Mary’s Meals, we will build 67 Kitchens in third world countries where famine and extreme poverty are claiming lives prematurely every single day.
* Concessions 65+/Under 16s.
** Calls cost 13p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge. Booking fees apply online and via our sales line.