I read the news today, oh boy

This morning started out early, as it always does on a Saturday, game day or not: Coffee and pre-dawn writing before catching up with the rest of the world as the sun rises here on the Pacific coast. Then there’s deciding what to watch when neither Celtic nor FC St. Pauli are playing on this rare Saturday. Would it be AC Milan-Atalanta? Cheltenham Town-Man City? Or maybe even St. Johnstone-Hibs in the Betfred Cup semifinal?

Then I got an e-mail around 9 from my good friend in Vancouver who goes by the name of Dilligaf on The Celtic Noise forum. Dill told me that our Celtic Noise compatriot Michael Duffy had passed away, according to an e-mail Dill had received from Michael’s sister.

Michael was a regular on The Celtic Noise, a very friendly fatherly figure in his late 60s (I think) with a rock-and-roll past, whose depth of Celtic knowledge was only surpassed by his unequivocal and unrivaled love for the Bhoys in Green. He essentially ran the “night shift” on The Noise — for those of us in North America, most of our visiting hours were our afternoons and evenings when most of Glasgow slept. But not Michael. While he was always ready for a discussion, his real bailiwick was the music threads, where he marshalled some of the best music on the site.

How much he was loved by everyone, and will be missed, is captured here on this thread on The Celtic Noise.

A few weeks ago, Michael did a wonderful thing. Having struck up a trans-Atlantic friendship with Dilligaf (who himself is a Greenock kid by birth), Michael sent a child’s Celtic kit to Dill’s granddaughter as a Christmas gift. It was number 7 — the hallowed Celtic number belonging to the legendary Henrik Larsson — with the granddaughter’s name on the back where Larsson’s would have appeared.

Our own interaction revolved around Celtic, of course, music, and his interest in American politics and history. Often our discussions in the latter involved me “translating” CNN and Fox News, which he watched regularly, into rational bits and bobs, and convincing him (successfully, I hope) that the U.S. was not a nation of wall-to-wall, red-capped bigots. While my heart aches to see him go, it does make me smile a bit knowing that he lived long enough to see the exit of the former president and the inauguration of a new, more sensible one.

While no one was more supportive when you were right, Michael was also quick to correct or “adjust” you when you weren’t. To be honest, I’ve been on that side of him only once, when he defused an argument I was having with someone on The Noise with a post of “Let the People Sing” from YouTube and a stern personal warning to me on the side.

He was right. I stood corrected. Play continued.

Also, while I am gathering more information to write a proper obituary for one so deserving, I would again strongly urge you to visit this thread on The Celtic Noise to see what effect Michael has had on those of us who have been touched by his wisdom, his wit, and his musical tastes online. I would urge you to comment below if you knew him, online or in person. He will definitely be missed.

Michael Duffy, you’ll never walk alone. Requiescat in pace, comrade.

14 thoughts on “I read the news today, oh boy”

  1. Comrade indeed, he was a friend to us all. We have his family to thank for introducing oor Michael to the wonders of communication technology and bhoy, did he make up for lost time!

    Michael was my friend even although I never met the man but he did date my cousin at one time so we were practically related!

    I will pray for him and I will miss him but he’ll always be in my heart.

    God be good to him. HH


  2. It’s quite simple micheal duffy was a great ambassador for the celtic noise he would give his ten bobs worth and then some .but then when it came to needing a wee bit of help maybe get a song up on the noise because you don’t know how because I don’t know how but he did and he just did it and your just not a dick who doesn’t know. It’s the real person who new we are just the same and nothing else.

  3. Hi Larry truly Sad day Feel really Sorry for the Family of Michael Duffy
    Who have lost a Loved one.
    Since I joined the Celtic noise I’ve been lucky to meet some incredible people yourself Shammy, imatim ,Spherical,Kelly And many more
    But MD was the Faither of the Noise
    As Bridie called him.
    I never met Michael really wished I had he was a great man a Giant. Big Heart , fantastic Spirit.
    RIP MD you will be missed but never Forgotten. Jamsam

  4. I’m lucky enough to call Mr Duffy my friend. Although we never met in person I felt like I’d known him all my life. He had a fantastic talent of making everyone feel included. I first started reading his posts on the Celtic blog. Him and a few members of the noise used to patrol the blog putting the lurkers in their place. I never really commented there. I then joined the noise and I must admit I was a bit nervous of posting anything, I hadn’t been on any social media platform beforehand. As soon as I started posting, MD was there giving me likes and making me feel welcome. He was strong in his beliefs and if he disagreed with you he would let you know…but he never let an argument get in the way of friendship. I never had a bad word with him. I will miss his posts on the Celtic Noise. I send all my love and condolences to his family.
    HH Mr Duffy
    Rest in Peace

  5. Thanks for those kind words Larry, Mick was a great character, would love to have met him but alas that`s impossible now,I had a mind to go up too Glasgow for the “ten” celebrations….I know, I know.
    Que sera sera. gonna miss him a lot, patter was great and a gent of the first order.RIP Mick.

    1. Interesting point you make, tic: Before being trapped here in this age of Covid, I had planned to visit Glasgow and take in a game or two (or more), and visiting some of the Celtic Noise folks was on the top of my list of things to do. And of course that list pretty much started with Michael. He will definitely be missed.

  6. I dont think there is anything more I could add or say about Michael that has not already been said.
    I am one of the unfortunates never to have met Michael but I can imagine the type gentleman he was,I think in the 18 months I have been on the noise I have only saw him write a few angry pieces,but also in all the time I knew him I never saw swear word in his posts.
    The Noise will not be a lesser place now Michael is not with us because I think Michael would want us to carry on as if he were still here,and if at anytime Bhoys and Ghirls you think somebody is looking over your shoulder there is every possibility it could very well be The Celticnoise,s one and only …
    Michael Duffy..God Bless Michael..

  7. This is such a sad loss. I never had the fortune to meet Michael in person but I sm honoured to have shared his company for the last couple of years on the Noise.

    We shared so many of the same passions: from music, humour, politics but mostly our beloved Celtic. He was a very welcoming person who had a wonderful nature. I must have been one of the few regulars that never needed a wee reprimand from Faither (I must be a right sook/teacher’s pet) but he was always willing to offer an olive branch to anyone that he had had a disagreement with.

    I can’t believe our pal has gone. He will be sorely missed by everyone. But of course our thoughts and best wishes go to his family and friends.

    Rest in peace, my friend. I was a real pleasure and privilege to get to know you. Here’s hoping they have unlimited Stella on tap in heaven. Hail hail.

  8. Larry I ask one thing, when you do write your book and no doubt include a fans page, then the name of Michael Duffy features prominently.
    Well written article Larry.

  9. It’s been a tough day for all the Noise Bhoys & Ghirls
    Michael was the sage of the Noise and even though we never met, we are honoured to have called him friend
    Thoughts are with Michael’s family, and extended family tonight
    Rest in Peace Michael, You Will Never Walk Alone

  10. A fine tribute Larry, I’m sure Michael would have had the ‘riddy’ at that. The Celtic Noise may seem like one of so many forums from the outside looking in yet it is a lot different. There is an unwritten rule of respect and MD was one who epitomised that. It is also a Celtic family within the Celtic family and Michael Duffy was the head of that family. Many are feeling a sense of loss for someone many never met physically yet feel they knew well, as such there is a genuine void left behind. There are many such people on the Noise and naturally someone will step into the space left behind but they won’t replace Michael as he is irreplaceable. His loss will be keenly felt for some time to come but we should celebrate him more than mourn him. In a world where there are so many out for themselves Michael Duffy was one of the genuine Good Souls. Rest in Peace Michael, and have a word with the big man and see if you can sway that 12 man Celtic team. We could do with it right now.

    As I turn to you and I say,
    Thank goodness for the good souls,
    That make life better,
    As I turn to you and I say,
    If it wasn’t for the good souls,
    Life would not matter.

  11. To me Michael was so much more than father Jack and stella.He had so many beautiful qualities empathy compassion kindness love laughter music.
    To me Michael was about Injustice wrongdoing and about everyone having a voice and being heard .
    Tiananmen square he’d be the guy in front of the tank with the white hanky or if animals were being tortured and killed he’d be the guy stopping the poachers and hunters or if a child didn’t have anything to wear or eat he’d be the first to help that family out.
    Michael called it how he’d see it and I think in today’s world where people are scared to offend or to call things out is such a brilliant quality to have regardless whether you liked it or not but you respected it completely.
    So to me Michael lives on and certainly his spirit is still here and he lives on through us because of all those qualities he possesses by helping charities and the plight of people of injustice or people’s rights or that family or lady or man or child that have nothing but Michael giving them a bit of hope that they are not alone and that he’s going to help you the best he can .
    Or that little bit of kindness giving a child there first Celtic kit.
    So Michael has given us so much that we can to do to pass it onto the world and do our bit.
    Michael has just left but he’s onto his next journey and he’s just arrived to have a wee blether with the lions and Mr Stein.

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