THE top table at my wedding was called the Antoine Semenyo table.

That is why nobody was more delighted than yours truly to see Celtic liked with Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo last midweek.

Celtic scouted the player as they ran the rule over livewire Antoine Semenyo against Reading last week.

The 22-year-old who has recently been converted to the role of striker scored the opener during a 2-1 win for the Ashton Gate club.

He has netted five times and contributed six assists this season and was named the Championship player of the month for January.

It is a small wonder that Antoine Semenyo has earned admiring glances from a host of English Premier League sides and was the subject of interest from Nottingham Forest during the January transfer window.

He has 18 months left on his current deal with the option to extend by a further season.

And it's fair to say Semenyo's life will always be intertwined with my own.

He is part of the very fabric of my wedding story.

If you don't know the tale allow me to enlighten you all.

I married my fiancee and sweetheart Caroline in a Scottish castle and it was all down to Semenyo.


READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou explains Celtic 'look at everywhere' transfer policy as he pinpoints market 'ingenuity'

Well, he scored a golden goal whilst playing on loan for Newport County in October 2018.

Antoine Semenyo was just 18 when he blasted a 98th-minute winner for Newport against Stevenage at Rodney Parade.

It was his first-ever league goal and it netted yours truly a whopping £11,123 on a football coupon for a stake of just £2.

Ironically Caroline and I has scoped the wedding venue out the day before but the cost was coming in at a massive five-figure sum.

The dream wedding at the stunning Crossbasket Castle in Lanarkshire lay in tatters.

The nuptials were in danger of being strangled at birth... or so I thought.

That Saturday, I performed my weekly ritual of heading to my local bookies and putting on my football coupon.

I shouted to Caroline: "William Hill owes me!"

I could not have been uttered any more prophetic words if I tried.

On a Saturday evening, I checked my accumulator as the full-time whistles were being sounded up and down the country.

Newport County was drawing with Stevenage.

I needed a Newport goal.

I needed a miracle.

The game seemed to go on and on.

94...95...96...97...98 minutes and still no final whistle.

Then up stepped Antoine Semenyo.

He duly produced his moment of magic by drilling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net. It really was the sweetest goal of my life.

Cue utter bedlam in my house as I was on my hands and knees scrambling around having already scrunched up the coupon. It ain't over until it's over.

I punched the air, cartwheeled around the living room, kissed the betting slip.

I then uttered these words to Caroline: "You can book that dream wedding now".

Somehow though that wasn't enough to satisfy me.

I did what anyone would want to do in those circumstances, especially if they are a football writer.

I wanted to meet and thank him personally. It was the right thing to do.

So on a freezing night in November 2018, I dragged Caroline down to Wales and she drove all the way as we attended a midweek league game against Northampton.

The necessary arrangements were made by the Newport County press office and they could not have been any more helpful.

They were taken with the story - who wouldn't be?

Caroline and I decided to surprise Semenyo by presenting him with a souvenir bottle of Jack Daniels.

On the bottle was inscribed a simple message: "To Antoine, a memorable goal made a dream a reality, Caroline & Tony."

The young man, then just 18, was extremely touched by the gesture.

I hope he kept the bottle.

We learned on our visit that both Manchester United and Chelsea were keeping tabs on the precocious talent back then.

They probably still are.

You can now add Celtic to that list.

Sadly and much to our regret, he couldn't make it north of the border for our wedding as he was too busy strutting his stuff for Bristol City as Caroline and I tied the knot at the aforementioned Crossbasket Castle on Saturday, December 14, 2019.

Celtic Way:

We honoured him by naming the top table after him on our big day.

Again it was the right thing to do.

Antoine Semenyo's goal sparked wedding bells.

He gave us both 11,123 reasons to be cheerful and it's a moment that we will always cherish.

If he does sign for Celtic then amazingly our paths will cross again. I'll maybe see you in Paradise someday sir.

That really would be football's version of kismet, wouldn't it?

Antoine Semenyo may not be a household name just yet but he will always be a household name to me and my wife.

Thank you Antoine. You made a dream a reality.