9th Dec 14
By Dean Hickey
Dear Milano’s, Ultras, Boglins and Glory Hunters who only started #FeelingMilan after we became tabloid sensations,
Many great teams have built long term success over a solid defence. Our Italian namesakes AC Milan, who had greats like Paolo Maldini and Nesta pulling off clean sheet after clean sheet, something many a Milano has failed to do after a night in Downtown (or was that just me that once?). Our Milan is no different with several solid collectives of defenders, including the subject of todays “Hickey’s Heroes”, Willie Pettigrew.
Willie, the father of 5s powerhouse and 11s disaster Simon “Saz” Pettigrew was a stalwart in the pubescent days of Milan, starting our first few games at left back. In the transition to a real football team Willie was an obvious choice due to his love of utterly snapping folk and a left peg like former Celtic starlet Ryan Conroy. Willie also brought a wealth of experience to the young squad at 49 years of age, with years of footballing success under his belt (he has particularly fond memories of an EKYC U-14s cup run in 1976).
In his relatively small number of appearances Willie Pee performed a quality job. Brave tackles, great in the air, composed on the ball and an engine more impressive than half of younger guys in the team. From the moment he showed up at the Jock Stein for our first game, wearing a pair of white running trainers we savoured every minute of football we could get out of this veteran enjoying a very sunny Indian Summer. Willie Pee offered a wealth of experience not only in football but also in fashion (see photo attached), something his Arctic Monkey t shirt wearing, James Arthur lookalike son has yet failed to emulate.
His greatest performance came during an office charity game, an office he just so happened to be one of the head honcho’s of. During the match he could be found having what can only be described as an off the ball booting match with one of his employees. Career suicide for his off the ball nemesis surely. Willie really set the tone of this ‘charity’ match boldly heading off the line in numerous occasions. Despite this heroic display from the left back this would sadly be his last game in the Red and Black of Milan. Some say it was the fact that every game he played in ended in defeat, while some say that the approaching 50th Birthday prompted the decision. Willie is still heavily involved in the beautiful game and can frequently be found standing on his seat at Celtic Park giving some unsuspecting away fan the double handed wanker sign.
Willie Pettigrew: 4 games, 0 goals, 1 Son that will never live up to his father’s playing career.
~ Hickey 4 (Vice-Captain, Centre Half, Bambi on Ice Impersonator)