WHEN speaking to Celtic fans and former players about the Jungle, the memories recounted are overwhelmingly warm. Sometimes – disconcertingly - quite literally.

“I once saw a guy a bit worse for wear relieving himself down the leg of the boy in front of him,” Frank Morris, lifelong Celtic fan, tells me over a pint at Molly Malone’s on Glasgow’s Hope Street as he breaks into a smile.

“What a place.”

What a place indeed. It may be difficult for Celtic supporters of a certain vintage to believe, but today marks the 30th anniversary of ‘The Jungle’s Last Stand’, the final league match ever played in front of a terracing that will forever be a part of club folklore.

Though, in some ways, when comparing the conditions encountered there to the matchday experience these days, it feels very much like a relic of a bygone age.

“It was some place,” says Frank McAvennie, who stood on that same terrace as a fan before becoming the darling of the Jungle as a player. Typically, he scored in the game that marked its demise along with Paul McStay, a 2-0 win over Dundee.

“You couldn’t move in the Jungle, it was great!” he added.

“It was barbaric compared to today. You’d see boys peeing beside you and having a cairy oot! You grew up very quickly. It was interesting to say the least.

READ MORE: What Celtic fringe men showed Ange in defeat to Rangers

“But I loved the Jungle. I grew up in the Jungle. My dad used to take me as a boy into the Celtic end, and as I got into my teens, he used to let me go into the Jungle.

“In those days you could blag your way through, but I had to be back 15 minutes before the end to the Celtic end.

“Tommy Burns used to say to me when I arrived that none of them had ever stood in there.

“Everybody knew my story that I hadn’t played football really until I was 18, 19. I was a proper fan before I was a player, and it made me appreciate the fans more because of that, I think.”

Gordon Marshall also took to the field that night against Dundee. He experienced the feeling of being a hero and a villain in the eyes of the Jungle, not only by dint of the fact that he played in front of it as an opposition and a home player, but also at different points of his Celtic career.

“When you go there and it was your home ground, wow,” Marshall said. “What a noise.

“When you look back at it now, you would see it as old and decrepit, but there was so much history, so many people that used to speak to you about what it was like to be in there.

“Certainly, for a player, the noise was just incredible. It was brilliant. Probably at that point the fans were singing my name, so it was a nice feeling. Latterly, not so much!

“It was absolutely brilliant the first time you heard the Jungle singing your name. That side of it was quality, and if you are a Celtic fan that went there it must hold incredible memories.

“I remember going in there for Pat Bonner’s testimonial and the place was absolutely rammed, and I think they announced the official crowd as about 25,000 or something. There were about 25,000 fans in that section I was standing in alone!

“It was a really lively place. Just to experience the noise that came from it, it was a totally different level from where I had come from.

“It’s a different type of challenge when you go there as an opposition player and you have to face a section like that, and a stadium where 99 percent of the fans are Celtic supporters.

“As a visiting player it was very intimidating. When you are a Celtic player, it is exciting because they are all cheering for you. Well, the team.

“So, I’ve seen both sides of the coin, but the Jungle holds nice memories for me.”

READ MORE: Callum McGregor brands Celtic defeat 'unacceptable'

When it comes to a standout memory for the goalkeeper, there can only be one.

“When they started singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, there was nothing better,” he said.

“We used to travel up to games in the team bus and that would be the music we would have on the stereo, but there was nothing like when you ran out the tunnel and they were all singing it. What a noise and what a scene. You just saw green and white all over the place.

“Being lucky enough to be out on the pitch and see that was something I never take for granted. There are a lot of people who have played football who were never lucky enough to be in a position to enjoy that.

“I feel really quite privileged about that.”

Perhaps even more so than for the action on the pitch, ‘The Jungle’s Last Stand’ is remembered for an infamous fancy dress competition held on the day, with the show stolen by a man in a parrot suit brandishing a banner which read ‘I’m as sick as a parrot’ over the prospect of seats in the Jungle.

“As it turned out, Michael Kelly [the much-criticised Celtic director] was in there dressed like a tiger,” explained another toper in Glasgow city centre.

“It would have been him that got mauled if we knew at the time.”

The parrot, bizarrely, became the club’s mascot. The man in the tiger suit didn’t last much longer. And the Jungle was gone forever.

If the board’s attempts at creating a carnival atmosphere at the end of an abject season fell a little flat (there was also, puzzlingly, a giant inflatable elephant behind one goal) the presence of club greats taking their own bows in front of the Jungle hit the right note, adding to the emotion of the occasion.

“That day kind of felt as if it was the beginning of the end of that old era,” McAvennie said.

“Everyone knew it had to come down. It was great for us as fans, it was great for the team, but it was time.

“They all walked over to the Jungle after the game, the real greats. It was just incredible. It was Jimmy Johnstone, Dixie Deans, Bobby Lennox, John Clark, the gaffer (Billy McNeill)…all these great players just saying cheerio. I remember thinking that we didn’t deserve to be walking by with these boys.

“The Jungle loved wee Jimmy, because he was a winger and he entertained them. I remember saying to Jimmy once that I used to stand in there, and he couldn’t have because he was too wee, he wouldn’t have seen a thing!

“But it was great to just walk round and get your final farewell in front of the Jungle with all these greats.”

As a fan himself though, McAvennie’s abiding memories of the Jungle will surely chime with those supporters who stood there alongside him, and for generations before. The matchday routine, and above all else, the memories of the people who shared in it.

“When I think about the Jungle now, I think about my dad,” he said.

“My uncle would take the car and park up where The Forge is now, and we’d always walk through the graveyard to get to Celtic Park. Then, when I was 14 or so, getting to go into the Jungle for the first time.

“Those are incredible memories. The Jungle may be long gone, but those memories never leave you.”