Charlie Christie is wondering when the rollercoaster of emotions will grind to a halt.
The former Caley Thistle manager and midfielder is also Scotland and Celtic star Ryan’s dad and he’s preparing to watch his son compete in the Euro 2020 finals against the Czech Republic, England and Croatia.
Not only was he a player of some class for Inverness, but he’s watched Ryan hit the heights of winning the League Cup for Celtic, perform brilliantly on the European stage for the Hoops and, of course, lift the Scottish Cup for ICT in 2015.
Ryan Christie’s goal in Serbia last November ‘s make-or-break qualifier earned Scotland the shoot-out chance which they famously took to seal the country’s first major tournament entry since the World Cup in France in 1998.
Ryan’s post-match interview was also a winner. He lurched into tears in Serbia as the nation, still struggling with life amid a pandemic, got the sporting shot in the arm.
He spoke with pride about what qualifying meant to everyone.
Charlie said: “We were all settling down after the penalty shoot-out after jumping around the living room like everyone else in Scotland.
“We all realise what a horrible year it had been for society and Ryan’s interview encapsulated what that result meant for the nation.
“Even speaking to him later that night on the phone, when they were doing the conga at the team hotel, for my son to be part of that it was incredible.”
Serbia drama will take some beating
Watching the drama unfold in Serbia took the heights to new levels in the Christie household.
He explained: “That night in Serbia was something else. I’ve had great days in football myself and the day Caley Thistle won the Scottish Cup, the day Ryan signed for Celtic, Ryan scoring the winning goal in the League Cup final against Aberdeen, you just wonder where the journey will end.
“When he scored the goal in Serbia, myself and my wife were in the house and it was fairytale stuff what happened. For a boy from Inverness to score the goal in Scotland’s most important goal for more than 20 years was phenomenal. It will live with us all forever.
“I was in Paris in 1998 and I know what it means to the country for Ryan to play his part in taking us into these finals is brilliant.
“Apart from his goal, I thought Ryan and John McGinn were our two best players in Serbia. David Marshall also got great credit for his shoot-out heroics, but Ryan played a significant role.”