Hook up a football fan to a polygraph test and ask them if they kicked a ball around their local park with youthful exuberance while scoring hypothetical last-minute winners or recreating iconic moments.

Further yet, once they’ve said yes, ask them if they did so with an internal commentary monologue accompanying their every move, perhaps even a prolonged and audible one as they skelped the ball past the goalkeeper and between the jumpers.

If they say rarely, the likelihood is their results will start to resemble the Himalayan mountain range. Assuming the character of our hero and scoring a winning goal was a staple of our childhoods.

Maybe you’re still nostalgically and wonderfully guilty of old habits dying hard on the hallowed turf of the Camp Nou or Hampden Park at five-a-side and even in the digital age, as kids spend less time outside and more time holding Xbox and Playstation controls, there is the modern-day equivalent with kids providing their own muttered commentary as they play FIFA career modes.

I’ve witnessed it first hand with my younger brother, who grew up in the 2010s, consistently narrating the action as he attempted to lead Northampton Town, Sunderland or whatever project club he’d chosen, to Champions League glory.

Jock Stein’s famous “football is nothing without fans” is one of the most accurate assertions in the history of the sport. The same hammer-blow adjective can’t be used to explain the importance of football commentary but broadcasters, by splashing the perfect amount of colour on the game’s canvas, can etch their voices into folklore alongside the players in the thick of the action with their tone, words and timing forming the parts of a one-man orchestra and the soundtrack to spine-tingling footage.

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Ask a Manchester United fan what Andy Cole’s injury-time winner against Juventus in the 1998/99 Champions League semi-final prompted Clive Tyldsley to exclaim and they’ll tell you, “full speed ahead, Barcelona!”

Begin to play Peter Martin’s Radio Clyde commentary for Scotland’s winning goal in Paris 13 years ago and a Tartan Army member could tell you the goal before he’s finished saying “McFadden, drags it down...”

Ask any football fan in the UK what Martin Tyler told us we’d never see anything like again, and it’s a straightforward answer.

Ask a Celtic supporter whose first Old Firm goal was “typically, a beauty” and, well, you know…

True, it’s a matter of opinion for what kind of commentary one enjoys and if a moment is immortalised or ruined by its accompanying voice, but there are some that have stood the test of time and are unanimously recognised as the perfect score to a Celtic score.

“They’re queuing up here, it’s another one for Paul Lambert!” – Ian Crocker, Celtic 6-2 Rangers, 2000.

Over the last two decades, Ian Crocker’s voice has become synonymous with Scottish football, but in 2000 the responsibility for talking us through games had only just fallen on his shoulders. Celtic were in a period of transition in August that year, just a few months after Rangers had just coasted to the SPL title and Martin O’Neill had been appointed as Head Coach to turn the club’s fortunes around, which he ultimately would by leading Celtic to their first domestic treble since 1969 and winning the league with the cigars out.

The tone for the season was set on August 27 when Rangers came to Celtic Park for the first derby of the campaign. The sun was still rising on a new dawn at Celtic and one win in the previous nine games against Rangers, along with the landslide title win in Govan from the previous season, meant the clouds over the east end hadn’t dispersed yet, despite the optimism for the new era. It would take nine months for the season to climax with a Scottish Cup Final win and a 3-0 victory at Ibrox, but on that sun-kissed day at Celtic Park it took only 11 minutes for Ian Crocker to reach his zenith in the commentary box.

Chris Sutton “turned in” the opener from a tight angle after Larsson’s shot trundled into his path and they were “seeking a second” only seven minutes later when Lubo Moravcik sent in a corner from the left. It got “better and better for O’Neill and Celtic” when Petrov bulleted his back-post header back across goal and into the bottom corner to give the Hoops a two-goal cushion early in the game, but it would improve further just as supporters were settling back down. Moravcik deceived Ferguson on the left-hand by-line before rolling the ball back to the edge of the box, prompting Crocker’s voice to slowly ascend with, “they’re queueing up here”, before stunningly exclaiming, “It’s another one for Paul Lambert! Three for Celtic, and in Paradise, this is the stuff that Celtic dreams are made of!” Celtic went on to complete what is known as the “Demolition Derby” with Crocker’s declaration of “That. Is. Sensational!” after Henrik Larsson chipped the fourth over Stefan Klos also standing the test of commentary time.

“Rome: Conquered!” – Rory Hamilton, Lazio 1-2 Celtic, 2019

Defeat to CFR Cluj in the Champions League third qualifying round left Celtic supporters with a weaker appetite for European football in the Europa League but a simple play-off round victory against Sweden’s AIK put Celtic’s name in the bowl for the group stage. A draw in Rennes and a 2-0 win against Cluj, who fell at the CL play-off hurdle, saw Celtic set off at a good pace in the group before a double-header against Lazio. Christopher Julien’s superb header sealed a 2-1 win at home before the following fixture in the eternal city, the name of which was felicitous given Celtic’s winless run in Italy. AC Milan, Fiorentina, Inter and Juventus and Udinese had all kept Celtic at arm’s length and Lazio, whose lead was cancelled out by James Forrest’s first-half equaliser, looked like they’d do the same.

Rory Hamilton became BT Sport’s caller of Scottish teams in Europe in 2017, a season after Derek Rae departed to work for ESPN. After describing Odsonne Edouard’s winner against RB Leipzig in 2018 and the subsequent defeat to Valencia in the round of 32, Hamilton continued to hold the mic the following season, accompanied by the partisan Chris Sutton, and was in the Stadio Olympico when Celtic sought to reach the 10-point mark in the group on matchday four.

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With the game entering the fifth, and final, minute of stoppage time and the visitors more than content with taking a point from the game, Lazio substitute Valon Berisha played an inexplicably tired pass straight to Edouard midway through his own half, rightly recognised by Hamilton as “terrible” before proffering “can it get even better for Celtic?” as the Frenchman broke towards Lazio’s 18-yard box. The three yellow shirts outnumbered the two sky blue ones retreating towards their goal and Edouard played it perfectly into the path of his countryman Olivier Ntcham who, truth be told, nearly ruined the opportunity with a loose first touch. Fortunately, his second was a perfectly-weighted dink over the onrushing Thomas Strakoshka, “to win the game”.

Again, it depends on your favourite flavour of commentary for whether or not you enjoy Chris Sutton’s, Gary Neville-esque, howl as the ball caused the net to ripple and the ensuing “wow, wow, wow!” as Hamilton gathered himself for the perfect moment. In total contrast to Crocker flying away with the moment when Lambert’s third hit the net against Rangers, all he needed was two words, in staccato, to sum up the enormity of Celtic’s win. Two words will live on in the memories of any Celtic fan who watched the game or has contributed to the highlights’ one million YouTube hits. “Rome: Conquered!” That was all that was needed.

“Lambert, Ohh! What a way to settle it!” – Martin Tyler, Celtic 2-0 Rangers, 1998

The morning of January 2, 1998. Rangers are on track for their 10th league title in a row and are about to first-foot Celtic in the millennium’s penultimate year. Four points clear and having beaten, and drawn, with Celtic already that season, the wind was in the Ibrox side’s sails, a win would stretch their lead to seven points and Celtic would wilt in the heat of battle. The Hoops’ loss to St Johnstone in the final game of 1997, immediately preceding the derby, was hardly ideal preparation either. It was Rangers’ game to lose, but the pressure was on Celtic.

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With 5 minutes to play the home side were 1-0 up thanks to Craig Burley’s nice finish midway through the second half and the tension was palpable as the game entered its embers. Celtic were desperate to not only keep Rangers out but also hammer the final nail in the coffin. Darren Jackson’s acrobatic volley from the edge of the box was kept out by Goram’s flying save, but the pressure wasn’t over and Celtic put their foot down even harder in the next phase of play. Larsson’s cross was headed half clear before a shin-rolled clearance trundled towards the feet of Paul Lambert. Around five seconds earlier, Sky Sports’ Martin Tyler had predicted, “a second one will surely settle it for Celtic…” before silently watching a brief, tired game of pinball develop on the edge of Rangers’ penalty area.

Lambert steadied himself, took two steps forward and put his right foot through the ball at a pace that would cause a speed camera to flash. The ball, with a fading curve and still rising, thundered off Goram’s left post and into the back of the net. The audio aesthetics of the goal alone can’t be understated, with the ricochet off the upright one of those universal football fetishes and the ensuing explosion of joy in the stands a moment in time.

But Martin Tyler’s role for those viewing at home is equally important and is spine-tingling more than 20 years later. It began as Lambert’s shot flew towards goal: “That’s Lambert… ohhh! What a way to settle it!” The crowd’s noise then did the talking for a few seconds before he continued with “no chance for Goram, no chance now for Rangers!”

The anticipation of the moment that was about to unfold is absolutely magnificent. Tyler teed it up with his first line and smashed it 300 yards down the middle with his second. The authenticity of his cry at the quality of the goal makes it audible chocolate. You can’t watch this goal just once.

“Parkhead responds as only Parkhead can, to a wonderful free-kick from Shunsuke Nakamura, unstoppable!” – Clive Tyldsley, Celtic 2-1 Manchester United, 2007

Autumn 2006 and the fifth game of Celtic’s Champions League campaign. Home wins over Benfica and Copenhagen had Celtic sitting in a promising position in Group F and a win against Manchester United on the penultimate matchday would see them reach the last-16.

Celtic Park under the lights held a different aura for opponents 15 years ago compared to now. Juventus and Barcelona had recently been sent packing and AC Milan would soon follow. On November 21st it was Manchester United’s turn.

A cagey affair unfolded and it looked like Celtic might have to visit Copenhagen on the final matchday needing a result, quite a scary prospect given the Hoops’ travel sickness in Europe. Tension is growing, a draw at home to United is a great result but it could easily disappear in the blink of an eye. You know what it’s like watching Celtic in Europe, your cuticles are begging for mercy. With less than 10 minutes remaining though, Shunsuke Nakamura took everyone’s worries away.

Arguably the best free-kick ever scored at the stadium, the voice over it belongs to the great Clive Tyldesley.

“It’s Nakamura, it’s another brilliant free-kick!”

The next six seconds are crucial for the moment. Tyldesley says nothing. The camera shakes as Nakamura grabs the Celtic badge on his jersey, skipping in-front of the north stand. An incredibly quiet and composed person was Naka, but you get the feeling at that point even he couldn’t believe what he’d just done. The explosive roar of the home support, a phenomenon not exclusive to Celtic but emphasised on occasions like this, is given room to breathe.

Enter Tyldesley: “A moment of magic gives Celtic the lead. Parkhead responds as only Parkhead can, to a wonderful free-kick by Shunsuke Nakamura. Unstoppable!”

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For budding commentators, it’s impossible to watch a game he’s broadcasting and not learn something new. For many of us in our early to mid-adulthood, he was the voice of European football as we grew up. A master of his trade, he didn’t see Nakamura’s as his moment, he knew it was Celtic’s and held the wheel expertly. Parkhead responds as only Parkhead can.

“His first Old Firm goal, and typically, it’s a beauty!” – Ian Crocker, Celtic 2-1 Rangers, 2008.

Naturally, iconic commentaries happen in the biggest moments of the biggest games and as Sky Sports have been broadcasting Scottish football for the last couple of decades, it’s only logical Ian Crocker features twice on the list. His “That. Is. Sensational!” response to Henrik Larsson’s dink over Stefan Klos in the Demolition Derby is well-remembered and could easily have joined this conga, but as Lambert’s preceding goal made the cut, we’ll round-off the list with another Crocker cracker.

At kick-off against Rangers on April 15th 2008, Celtic were four points behind Rangers and had only six games to play. As unwelcome a scenario as that is for Celtic supporters, matters were made worse as Rangers still had eight games of the season to play. The knife was in Celtic and they wanted to twist it, defeat for the home side at Parkhead would end any slim title hopes.

Celtic hadn’t scored against Rangers in two previous games that season and Shunsuke Nakamura, in his third season in the east end, was yet to score a derby goal. In the 20th minute, he collected a Gary Caldwell pass 35-yards from the Rangers goal and with his next touch put an end to both those trends.

Midway through a monologue about Celtic’s desperate need for three points while the ball was being casually stroked around midfield, Crocker suddenly springs into life.

“Nakamuraaaa! His first Old Firm goal, and typically, it’s a beauty!”

The backing track of the Celtic support in utter raptures helps but it was typical from the Japanese midfielder and called perfectly by Crocker. His amazement at the goal is genuine and his rising tone as the ball flies past Alan McGregor an intrinsic reaction. The line that followed wasn’t planned and stands the test of time.

The game went on to become one of the most iconic derbies of the century so far and although Jan Venegoor of Hesselink’s last-minute winner kick-started Celtic’s title charge, it’s probably remembered more for Nakamura’s opener. Go on, ask your mate whose first Old Firm goal was typically a beauty. They won’t let you down.