Celtic Santa Claus unmasked as Still Game actor looks back on fan boos and trophy day appearance

Santa delivering the Premiership trophy at Celtic Park was a peak cinch moment
Santa delivering the Premiership trophy at Celtic Park was a peak cinch moment -Credit:SNS Group

Santa Claus admits Celtic fans are off the naughty list after playing a starring role in the Hoops' title party.

Father Christmas returned to Parkhead on Saturday to deliver the Premiership trophy, six months after being mercilessly BOOED by supporters. The green-and-white faithful weren't exactly in a festive spirit back on December 16 after watching Brendan Rodgers' side lose 2-0 to Hearts. Kris Kringle attempted to spread the Christmas cheer by making a half-time appearance that afternoon but was bizarrely jeered as punters vented their frustrations at what had just unfolded minutes before.

Thankfully, the home crowd were in a celebratory mood on Saturday when the big man emerged from the tunnel to place the Premiership trophy on the podium for Callum McGregor to hold aloft. The man in the suit, Andrew Bryden, confessed it was a moment that would live with him forever as 60,000 jubilant fans cheered him onto the park.

Actor Andrew - a familiar face on Scottish TV over the years, featuring in Still Game and Taggart - told Ayrshire Post: "I hadn't realised at the time just how big a deal the original reaction would be. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I take the role of the big man in the red suit very seriously. Father Christmas is someone who should always be respected. So at the time of the booing, I was a bit perplexed.

"But it soon became clear that the fans were venting their frustration at the performance that day. They pay their money and that is their right. It was a shame that it happened but I'm so glad we were able to put that right on Saturday."

Andrew, from Ayr, has conducted the half-time draw at Parkhead in the role of Santa for 10 years. He added: "When I got the call asking me to present the trophy, I was stunned but knew it would be a special moment. It was a very closely guarded secret and I arrived during the game to get changed in the manager's office. The look on his face and that of the captain when I walked out was incredible.

"I couldn't hold back the emotion when the fans reacted as they did - you could see it in my face. I wasn't expecting it at all. Celtic are a hugely charitable club and I can't thank them enough for that gesture on Saturday, it was the perfect ending to the story."