Belfast Telegraph

Linfield fans snap up tickets for Celtic clash

By Christine Carrigan

They are the hottest tickets in town - and this was the scene as excited Linfield fans got ready for next week's clash with Celtic.

Hundreds queued yesterday afternoon to snap up tickets for the eagerly-anticipated Champions League qualifier.

The first leg takes place at Windsor Park next Friday, July 14. Given the timing of the game, the tie was moved from July 11 and Celtic turned down its ticket allocation over security fears.

Waiting patiently for more than two hours at the front of the queue was Ronnie Thompson (70) from the Shankill Road.

The super-confident Blues fan said: "I'm feeling great, we are playing Celtic and I think that we are going to beat them.Why would we play it if we thought we didn't have a chance? I will be bringing my grandaughter Kirstin along, it is a load of nonsense that there will be trouble. That's just people scaremongering."

Father and son Matthew and Luis Moore will be attending the match together.

Matthew said: "I'm looking forward to it. I think we have a good chance at winning the first leg here at home, with all of the supporters behind them. The away tie might be harder. It is all about getting together as a community and enjoying the game."

Jack Briggs (63) was in good spirits as he waited in line. He plans to bring his son and three grandchildren."I've waited 50 years for this game, since Linfield was very nearly in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1967, and they got beaten by one goal," he said.

Season ticket holder Ian Perry (53), who is from Carrickfergus, said it was another landmark match for Linfield. "In the history of our wee club, we have faced Belfast Celtic, Donegal Celtic and now we are going to face Glasgow Celtic," he added. "I cannot wait, just look at the crowd for the tickets. Even if we don't win the two legs, nothing will take away from it."

Phil and Sarah Doyle, also from Carrick, were pleased when they secured their tickets. Phil said: "I can't wait for it. I am going to the away game as well, booked the plane and hotel. I hope I get a match ticket now.

"Nil- all here would be a fantastic result, keeping the tie open for going to Scotland."

Among the youngest fans was Bailey Anderson (14) from north Belfast, who will be going to the game with his friends.

He said: "I'm hoping that if we get Celtic fans over, then it will be a good atmosphere."

The second leg takes place at Celtic Park on July 19.

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