HE never felt he was walking through the storm, wind or rain. “The people are the sun in Glasgow,” said Momo Sylla who is returning to a hopefully bright Paradise on May 28 to play in the Henrik’s Heroes v Lubo’s Legends match in aid of Celtic FC Foundation.
Momo, who was born in the Ivory Coast, brought up in Paris and played international football for Guinea, is in no doubt about the warmest place on the planet.
“I run several businesses that are based in Africa,” said the 40-year-old. “I travel between Africa and Glasgow. When I’m in Africa I do miss Glasgow. I miss the rain and the cold as it is too hot in Africa. The people are the sun in Glasgow.
“You can travel to all of these sunny places in the world but the people can be unpleasant. Because of the people, Glasgow has the best weather in the world. When I was playing at Celtic I never missed Paris or Africa.”
Momo joined Celtic from St Johnstone in 2001, leaving for Leicester City four years later. He won a league title but has no doubts about the highlight of his time at the club.
“The road to Seville!” he says. “The atmosphere in the run up to the UEFA Cup final was amazing. The camaraderie between the players and the support from the fans is something I will never forget.”
He is delighted to be back on the same pitch as Larsson and Moravcik. He said: “They are both magicians. Their talent was astounding and they were always so professional. It was a pleasure and an honour to be in the dressing room with them. I learned a lot from them, both on and off the park. I have the greatest of respect for them.”
He is also delighted that the Lisbon Lions will be saluted.
“My Clarky!” he said of the former kit manager and hero of 1967. “John Clark was a familiar face at Celtic Park. He is a very nice and genuine guy. It was a pleasure to see him every day at the ground. He accomplished an amazing achievement that most footballers can only dream of.”
He is particularly pleased that the proceeds of the match will go to Celtic FC Foundation and added: “Charity is always important. It is the foundation of Celtic and I think it will always be a huge part of what Celtic stands for.
“It is because of the charity that we are all brought together for these special matches.”
Sponsored by Dafabet and Utilita, Henrik’s Heroes versus Lubo’s Legends will take place at Celtic Park on Sunday, May 28, 2017, with a 2pm KO.
The last remaining 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, we have partnered with Mary’s Meals to create The 67 Kitchens campaign which will see Celtic fans support the building of 67 school kitchens for children in the developing world and send emergency food aid to South Sudan and Syria.
* 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.