25 May, mad McInnes, Leppings Lane Legacy


Derek McInnes faced a difficult challenge.  How do you stop Celtic, who have swept all before them, on their way to a third consecutive domestic treble?  His choice was clear: get in about them, barge, kick and shove whenever close to a green and white jersey.

After Celtic’s opening onslaught came to nothing, this strategy worked for Aberdeen for around 30 minutes.  At that point, the already booked Dominic Ball flew dangerously into Ryan Christie.  The latter took 6 minutes to be stretchered off; the former collected his second yellow.

Aberdeen should have pondered the wisdom of their aggressive tactics, but by now the outcome was no longer in doubt and they went down with studs up and hurling abuse.

Two minutes after play recommenced, James Forrest created space 25 yards from goal before despatching a magnificent left foot shot beyond Joe Lewis into the net.  It was a goal to match the occasion.  From that distance, on his weaker foot, the chances of scoring were remote, but James seems to rise to these Hampden occasions.

Jonny Hayes evaded Mikey Devlin and moved clear through on goal but the Aberdeen central defender pushed Hayes from behind eight yards out, resulting in an inevitable penalty.  Odsonne Edouard made no mistake from the spot.

It went from bad to brutality from Aberdeen when Lewis Ferguson lunged at Tom Rogic’s shin.   Ferguson had both feet off the ground when he came into contact with Tom.  Referee Craig Thomson was five yards away and issued a straight red card.  Tom answered this attack in the best way possible, by scoring from a rebound attempt at the resulting free kick.  He was fortunate not to have been the second Celtic player to leave on a stretcher.

To illustrate the extent of Aberdeen’s demise into indiscipline, Derek McInnes was ordered to the stand, where he joined his already-red carded assistant, Tony Docherty.  His team were dirty and occasionally thuggish.  I do not know if there is a way for a Scottish club to plan to beat Celtic, but there are many better ways to lose.

Had this been Neil Lennon, had this been Neil Lennon’s team, he would be hung out to dry by pontificating critics.  Instead, Celtic rose above the fury.  For once, we did not even have to endure the perennial Hampden flares.

The Scottish Cup Final takes place on 25 May.  Your script is written, Celtic….

As we walked to Hampden yesterday the conversation eventually came round the 1937 Final between Celtic and Aberdeen, which attracted 137,000 attendees, and the crushing at pay gates some of us experienced in the 70s and 80s.

We talked about the 1985 Scottish Cup Final, a pay at the gate game, when police opened the gates, allowing thousands of Celtic fans free entry into the Hampden terraces, then the league clinching game against Dundee in 1988, when Celtic continued to take money at the gate despite crowds breaking over the barrier due to crushing.  There was no such thing as a full house in Scottish football back then.

The FA Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989 saw the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans, crushed into pens with no way to exit.  Police opened the gates to alleviate crushing outside the turnstiles, resulting in hundreds of fans funneling into a tunnel, unaware they were blocking the only exit from the two central Leppings Lane end pens.

After the initial mistake to open the gates, systemic failures exacerbated the death toll.  Lies were told, compliant journalists were co-opted into a conspiracy and it is only now, 30 years later, that criminal proceedings are underway.

Until 1989 football was killing its fans through neglect.  Rangers decided to rebuild their ground after the 1971 Ibrox Disaster, which claimed the lives of 66 fans, but the loss of two lives on the same stairway a decade earlier, or incidents involving multiple injuries in 1967 and 1969, registered little response.  Celtic Park never had incidents like this, but if you were a fan in the pre-Hillsborough era, you will remember moments of mortal fear at one turnstile in particular.

The legacy of those who lost their lives on the Leppings Lane terrace 30 years ago is a safer game for us to enjoy today.

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  1. prestonpans bhoys on

    Oh BSR, if I hadn’t decided to water my plants I could have challenged that podium?

  2. Two High profile games, SEVEN red cards against us, 5 for extreme acts of violence.






    1. Scot Browns antics


    2. Sectarian singing

  3. traditionalist88 on

    There is apparently some rugby thing on at Celtic Park on 25th May, starting at 6.30 or something – maybe should have waited to see if we had any plans that day before renting out our stadium, might be a wee celebration that evening if last year anything to go by! FFS.



    Not to mention what it’ll do to the pitch, thankfully theres a few months for it to recover.




  4. I got the distinct impression McInnes had tutored his “players” in ways of disrupting the flow of the game, ably assisted by M.I.B.


    The keeper was time wasting from the off, the two that got sent off were flying into Celtic from the off. Ferguson rugby tackled Calmac as Jamesie was dispatching the first goal. Considine wasn’t quick enough to get to us and the big lump of wood up front either jumped into Kris or Jozo or threw himself on the deck looking for Thomson to even up the sides.


    All to no avail.




  5. traditionalist88 on

    The strangest thing is how Lewis Ferguson slipped through Sevcos net, maybe they got complacent and just got to the stage where they assumed that every ugly wee clugger, especially one called Ferguson, would gravitate to them.




  6. prestonpans bhoys on

    If you want a good laugh go and read Dave King’s letter to their fans begging for ST renewals, they’ll fall for it, the goons

  7. Prestonpans Bhoy 12.29pm



    Think the Sevs are “protesting” no finance option available next season so full payment up front :-)



    As for McInnes what does he think of his “red army” of fans when they sing the same song to Seethin Gerrard ? And can I ask when the term orange was categorised as sectarian ? Typical Hun logic …. deflect deflect deflect

  8. The media obsession with Celtic fans singing songs (that for me, have nothing to do with Celtic and I sincerely wish would be eradicated from our songbook, it came across very clearly on the TV) is amazing since they seem to have been completely deaf at every single SEVCO game since their inception where the Billy Boys gets laldy every week at every ground.



    Wrong as it was to call out Derek McInnes, singing about being up to your knees in fenian blood is somehow acceptable to our beloved SMSM, shower or reprobates.



    Grace came across as a very powerful Celtic anthem, wonderful stuff.



    Ball was booked for about his fourth foul as Craig Thompson indicated yet McCoist was saying it wasn’t a booking, nonsense. Ferguson must have committed at least ten fouls on his own that were given, plus the body check on CalMac as he tried to run into the box just before wee James’s stunner!



    Comparisons to the clash of heads between Boyata and Mackay-Stephen are ludicrous, they both went for the same long ball, Boyata headed forwards and Mackay-Stephen tried to head the ball backwards, accidental clash, nothing in it, no foul. Ball clearly nutted Christie after the ball was away, totally different scenario.



    If we turn up for the final, we’ll win, Hearts even at their best are no match for us at our best, I have faith in this group of players when it comes to these one off crunch games. The Rebel Treble is well within our grasp if we play to our abilities.



    McInnes is a greetin’ faced Hun, the sight of Alex McLeish and Craig Brown, both torn faced watching the Celtic was wonderful to see.



    Keep it going for Sunday lads.

  9. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Re: above comments – safety is far better than was, certainly.



    However, Hampden yesterday showed that an ill-designed and poorly maintained – albeit relatively modern – stadium still has the capacity to contribute to dangerous scenes.



    Me and Wee BGFC were to enter via turnstiles 40-49 – the queues were 100’s deep, and crushing, was significant.



    Importantly, 3 of the 10 turnstiles were closed – I assume there would be some calculation of crowd-density versus required number of turnstyles – if so, that wasn’t being complied with.



    At the same time, some 10 metres to the left were turnstyles 50-59 which had no queue whatsoever – fans walking up with a choice of empty turnstyles to go through. Saw a small group of chaps who tried to get in through these gates (50-59) having abandonned the queue we were in, but were grabbed by stewards and turned away back to the 100’s waiting to get in through 40-49.



    Hopeless organisation – just glad that all of the Celtic fans took this in good cheer, and maintained calmness.






  10. Yesterday was brilliant, full marks to everyone.


    Talking of big crowds, I remember the European Cup semi at Humpden, ’69 I recall and after queuing from 5am to get tickets, we got to the ground and I’m certain there must have been 140000 people there.


    We were 1-0 up from the first leg in Leeds , Big George and all that. Anway wee Bremner scored , but Murdy and Yogi got us to the final. Ahhh , great memories indeed.





  11. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    PS – I thought the referee had a good game – couple of small issues he missed – where possible he let play go on because Celtic were in posession. Got the big decisions spot-on. Never gave the big diving lump of wid who played up-front for Aberdeen anything despite best efforts to con fouls out of us – actually took him aside and told him to cut out the diving.



    I don’t believe the first booking on Ball was as a result of totting-up previous fouls – the ref was actually indicating that the trip had prevented Johnny running into the space in behind the left back area – effectively prevented him running in on goal.






  12. Ernie 12.58pm



    Exactly … got a feeling Mr McInnes might have sang an unfortunate song or two in his past … probably sang a few myself, will be listening to SSB later funnily enough they stuck up for Del Boy as they went off air yesterday saying these “songs” should be highlighted , the silence on the real songs of hatred (which do not annoy me in the slightest, shows the peeple up for what they are) and no mention of the unsavoury chants directed to Broony or child abuse which actually do annoy me … maybe that’s the Huns type of “banter”

  13. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Dave King has sent out an appeal for Season Ticket renewals. A wee snippet:


    “Rangers has always been a leader on and off the pitch. Apart from the aim of amassing titles and trophies, being part of Rangers as a fan, player, manager or director means we conduct ourselves in a specific manner. Our club often comes under unfair attack and we are relentless in working hard behind the scenes, and up front when necessary, to make sure we are given the respect our club and our massive support deserves. But we will not engage in unseemly debates through the media.”



    No laughing at the back…..

  14. Celtic fans should hold themselves to a higher standard than the Orcs.



    The chant was embarrassing and those who joined in should know better. There’s plenty for Celtic to crow about without reference to them.



    Derek McInnes has admitted he shouldn’t have reacted. His reaction doesn’t justify the chant.

  15. they new yesterday that they couldn’t beat us by playing football so they reverted to the strong arm tactics and we never took the bait, they set their stall out right from the kick off when SB received the ball from OE and other than passing sideways or backwards he drove forward and was hacked twice in their attempt to stop him.


    onwards and upwards.

  16. A very satisfying and not nerve shredding performance on the day against an Aberdeen side trying to offset loss of key footballers with stuff of the agricultural variety.



    Not surprising they were manure.



    We have some really good players and it looks like NL has decide to leave the loanees on the bench as they are unlikely to be around next season.



    Hope Weah, who got game time , is able to be retained.



    Good to see Hayes playing well , proving once more fans are not the best judges or are too quick to judge.


    Sorry to see Ryan Christie stretchered off, his determination to win the high ball led to his injury. We need that kind of bravery but less of how it was met.



    On a general theme though: has our domestic game as result of Celtic dominance resulted in each game we play in becoming a boxing match?



    When your nearest opponents in last month end up with 9 players as a result of violence against us, how is that countered?



    Ordering offs reduce the spectacle and refs can get it wrong trying to make it a match, as Thomson did yesterday almost at the cost of a serious injury to Rogic.



    Should Celtic be asking questions about the indiscipline that is on the rise or is it just part of the nature of Scottish football at this time?

  17. Huns leading our Academy Bhoys one nil, with 20 minutes to go. If they hold on, I suppose it will put an extra star on their shirt.

  18. The Battered Bunnet 1.34pm



    Cheers, I didn’t realise it was a “religious prejudice” everyday a school day…. although I will try and remember this during the marching season :-)



    Hope “dirty religious prejudice bams” will suffice from now on … again am not saying the fans should be singing this song but sometimes, just sometimes, the offended are far too easily offended

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    As an aside to the above, studies show that the majority of victims of religious prejudice under S74 of the Act (above) are public-facing or public sector workers going about their work. Police, NHS staff, bus drivers, shop workers, and so on. You can lob in footballers and football managers to the public-facing cohort.

  20. Hurting Shortbread – police investigating sectarian singing – good luck with that plod!


    No footage of the game just a lengthy clip about curling – oh how they hate it when we win!

  21. Deflection is the only game in town.



    Buttock clenchingly embarrassing Celtic chants are muted, rare and sometimes even shouted down, unfortunately, it is there, and ripe for going the route of original Rainjurz..



    Recent Sundays have required beaten opponents and SMSM to aid the dark art of defection, masking the pain and suffering endured by Scotland from Glasgow to Aberdeen, as Celtic make football history every other week. The singing with the exception of the copy catted ‘Cheer up Tommy Burns sad fenian b█….. ‘ was particularly unblotted and even worth the admission money alone, even if there had been no game.



    The irony of a Celtic fan singing a sectarian song should not be lost on anyone right minded.

  22. quadrophenian on



    ‘Should Celtic be asking questions about the indiscipline that is on the rise or is it just part of the nature of Scottish football at this time?’


    The indiscipline is just a consequence of total inability to match Celtic in any creative footballing sense. The sheep – shorn (see wot I did there) of the creativity of GM-S, McGinn and, sigh, even RB Logan – had no squad depth replacement of flair or ingenuity. So, brawn-to-outmuscle-brio too commonly becomes the default.


    It’s weird, cos I dont see lower EPL teams only adopt such strong-arm shite, when playing the top teams: No, they still try to play football, maybe as a result of having better – calmer, professional – coaches/managers.


    HH for the treble treble.

  23. Alasdair MacLean on

    Meanwhile, a young player is still suffering in hospital.


    Any updates on young Ryan Christie’s condition would be appreciated.


    Worried for the boy.


    All the rest is just noise – to use a Neil Lennon phrase.

  24. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    THE BATTERED BUNNET – is singing a song – ostensibly in support of a republican organisation – considered sectarian? I know there was the case discussed on here a few weeks ago in which Prof Tom Devine gave evidence – resulted in the Sherrif dismissing a case that had been brought against fans.






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  26. glendalystonsils on

    It might be an idea to add the ‘cheer up’ song to the banned list . Then we can be sure it will never again be heard , just like the Billy boys and famine song.



    ………oh , wait…….

  27. The Battered Bunnet on




    I’ve written screed upon screed on the difference between a criminal offence and personal offence. The issue was the central flaw in the OBAF Act, for example.



    Giving personal offence is entirely lawful, and with a little imagination and humour, can be a splendid past time in the right circumstances.



    I thought the original Hibees song was rather comical, a great wee well known tune, fun rhyming lyrics, and absolutely no question of being unlawful in imploring the sad Jambo Craig Levein to cheer up. That is also rips his (Levein’s) knitting is all the more encouraging.



    Regrettably, the translation to [insert manager of choice] and [insert religion of choice] lacks both humour and imagination, and is indictable as a religious prejudice.



    Hey ho.

  28. Bugger, Huns score again on 90 minutes, if it finishes 2 nil it will put the Huns top of table, level on points with a 2 goal scoring advantage. A one nil would have left us level on points & goals but we would be ahead on more goals scored.


    2 games left we need to win them both & score a few goals.

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