Scott Brown challenge echoes through the years


The moment Scott Brown threw himself into a challenge on the edge of his own penalty area, laser-like in precision, to dispossess Barry Robson, brought the memories flooding back.  Barry was regarded by many as a journeyman when he signed for Celtic alongside Georgios Samaras in January 2008.  A month later he scored against Barcelona in the Champions League knock out stage and was well on the way to convincing the Celtic support of his ability.

At the time, Scott Brown’s fortunes were different.  He’d arrived the previous summer, a £4m buy from Hibs, but had yet to acclimatise to the central midfield role at Celtic.  In the spring of 2008, Celtic were well behind in the title race, and playing poorly.  Robson was on the bench with Brown given midfield responsibility.

The script for that season was written by a gifted hand.  As the season reached a climax, Scott was suspended for three games, punishment for a rash of misjudged tackles throughout the season.  Gordon Strachan turned to Barry, who was made for the moment.

Seven years ago Barry Robson could tackle, in fact, he could foul, without being noticed.  He brought determination and menace to a team which was questioned in the CQN comments section for an apparent lack of leadership.

Two of our last five league games that season were at Celtic Park against Rangers.  Rangers had a games in hand but the effective gap was 10 points, Celtic needed five wins, and even then their chances of winning the league were regarded as remote.  Towels were thrown everywhere.

The first, a midweek game, memorably started with Barry Robson putting a thumping challenge into Christian Dailly in the opening minutes.  The tone was set, Celtic were there to fight for everything.  Rangers thought they had the point they needed, their manager offering high-fives in the technical area as they cleared the ball late into added time.

I still can’t quite believe what happened next.  In the 95th minute Gary Caldwell threw a long ball into the Rangers box, which was won in the air by Scott McDonald, the smallest player on the field.  McDonald headed across the face of goal for Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink to head into the net.  Celtic survived to fight another day.

11 days later Celtic Park saw an equally dramatic game.  Scott McDonald (scorer of incredibly important goals) put Celtic ahead but the season looked to be in tatters as Rangers struck back with two goals direct from corner kicks.

1-2 down in a must-win game it was an uphill struggle, but McDonald struck again two minutes from the break to level the game with the assistance of a deflection.  The second half was a tense affair, so much was invested in one game of football, but one man was made for the moment.

McDonald broke free inside the box and was hauled down by Broadfoot.  Barry Robson stepped forward to take the penalty, it was the defining moment of his career.  If you’re in Celtic Park early enough before kick-off these days you can still hear the echo of the roar that went up when his penalty hit the net.  His celebration was unforgettable.

It’s remarkable that Barry is still performing at this level so many years after his peak but yesterday’s decisive challenge by Scott Brown demonstrated the enormous leaps our captain has made since becoming a Celtic player.  We need players with that fight and craft.

Many of us are still telling stories of the 1985 Scottish Cup Final. A goal down, Celtic roared back to beat Dundee United with a Frank McGarvey diving header. Frank’s offering the jersey he wore that day for auction to raise funds for Maryhill Foodbank. It’s a genuinely unique piece of Celtic history, for a very worthy cause. Check it out here.

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  1. Margaret McGill on

    tom mclaughlin



    16:52 on 11 May, 2015



    Peter Kay’s brother.


    Bit of a comedian.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig on




    16:43 on 11 May, 2015


    I think the Ekeren game was the first time I heard us singing “always look on the bright side of life” not my favourite ditty but seemed appropriate at the time loved their players coming out for a lap of honour to the Celtic fans, a few of those Belgian lads looked a bit bewildered

  3. bournesouprecipe on

    Tom McLaughlin



    Signed by Jock Stein from Hearts played full back



    WithoutGoogling CSC

  4. HamiltonTim



    Then there was wage inflation to consider.



    The quality that say £20m bought in 2001/02 was a lot less than it bought in 2005/06 so any wage bill comparison has to factor that in.



    When Mowbray left under a cloud Jeanette Findlay suggested to Celtic that they embark on a series of Roadshows to try and win the disenchanted support back.



    In typical Celtic fashion the club ran with it and at the first one in the Kerrydale Suite PL said that “Jan 2009” would be written on his grave headstone.



    As I recall (but time does dim things) the line was that PL and GS thought there was enough in the tank to win the 2009 title. Ie shared responsibility but folk think what they want to think and disregard the rest.



    Personally I never understood why GS did not stick to the LC winning line up without JVH who played like a plank of wood on his reinstatement.



    The one thing that has become clear is to have a management succession strategy that ties in with the the overall football development strategy.



    The latest appointment suggests a better alignment than before.

  5. DBBIA,



    I have been out since about 10 o’clock this morning and so have just noticed your question about Bitton. I was only reacting to what someone had posted earlier. Here’s hoping it is made up rubbish.

  6. I always thought “Always look on the bright side…” had it’s debut in the Xamax return leg?

  7. South Of Tunis on




    I was at that game..A thumping goal.It did not change my opinion.

  8. whitedoghunch on



    Ekeren was my first trip away in Europe with Celtic


    and my last by bus


    might even have been the last time I was on a bus horrible things

  9. Gerryfaethebrig on

    margaret mcgill



    16:54 on 11 May, 2015



    Have you stole Peter Lawells PMR (performance management review)

  10. Jeremy Aladiere?!



    Ha, that’s nuthin’!



    Some of us saw Wayne Biggins in the flesh!







  11. "mouldy67" supporting the fearless Oscar Knox on

    Hello team, would be looking for your help to spread the word about campaign;



    “The 8th May 2015 will mark the first anniversary of our friend’s child, Oscar James Knox, gaining his Angel wings. To celebrate Oscar’s short but memorable life, we’ve organised a 223 mile bike ride over three days.



    We’re using this opportunity to help another young child who desperately needs support: and fast. Eileidh Paterson needs £100K by June in order to receive specialised DFMO cancer treatment in the USA. That treatment is not currently available in the UK.



    On Saturday 16th May 2015, the cyclists will leave Forres, Eileidh’s home town, bound for Inverness. There, they will take in the SPFL match between Caley Thistle and Dundee United, raising awareness of neuroblastoma, and in particular Eileidh’s plight, before setting off south to Glasgow, and Celtic Park, home of Wee Oscar’s favourite team.



    We have set up this team page to raise awareness and much needed funds. Our team have a common goal to raise money for the Neuroblastoma Childrens Cancer Alliance (NCCA UK). The team are Steve Taylor, Kevan Lawler, Iain McGovern, Robert Campbell and Paul Muldoon.



    We are football fans of different teams with a common goal: to make a difference for Eileidh in wee Oscar’s name.



    We would like to ask for your help by donating to Eileidh’s campaign.









    Text EPAT50 £1-10 to 70070



    The Highland Cycle Team.”



    Thanks 67 Mouldy67

  12. 85 Cup final.


    I was 16 and caught by my Dad drunk for the first time.


    Mate carted me home, dumped me at the door and chapped it. Then promptly bolted.


    Stern lecture the next morning with a warning about under age bevvying.


    Threatened with a games ban if a repetition.


    You guessed it first game at Tynecastle next season… Blootered.


    Remember John Colquhoun ( having just left us) scoring but can’t remember ours.


    Didn’t realise at the time that chewing gum doesn’t take away the smell of a gallon of lager !!




  13. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    Came up from London for both of those games, missed our goals in each of them. Maybe I was the jinx ? Having said that Ive seen us do them at their own patch too many times to remember.




  14. Remember Jimmy Johnstone being replaced inexplicably by Bobby Craig in the 1963 Scottish Cup final against Rangers.He was like somebodys Da out playing with the boys.

  15. Gerryfaethebrig on

    margaret mcgill



    17:07 on 11 May, 2015








    Can you let me know if he is a


    Not met




    Or Exceed


    Cheers in advance

  16. 1963-05-15: Rangers 3-0 Celtic, Scottish Cup Final Replay



    Celtic inexplicably dropped wingers Johnstone and Brogan from the team who drew on Saturday in the first match. In later weeks it would be discovered that chairman Robert Kelly had interfered with team selection and this led to massive unrest amongst the supporters as they realised that manager Jimmy McGrory was now no more than a figure head. When the team was announced on the Tuesday night there was a degree of surprise about the forward line and when the team that lined up on Wednesday night only Divers was in the place he was said to be at inside left. The mystery of Bobby Craig at outside right is argued to this day.



    This was arguably Rangers’ finest side in their history and in midfield Baxter and McMillan were exceptional and ran the game although they did not have a failure in their side.


    Haffey, who had been Celtic’s hero in the first game, was poor for two of the Rangers goals and whilst McNeill and McNamee fought manfully to the end the forwards were dismal and were ridiculed as ‘The five sorrowful mysteries’.


    After Rangers third goal in 71 minutes it was damage limitation and thousands of Celtic fans left the ground at that point in disgust at both the team selection and performance.


    This was undoubtedly one of the darkest hours in Celtic’s history.

  17. Auldheid



    I’m not sure what happened that season but as usual I think responsibility should be shared to some extent.

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Barry Robson… Far from the most gifted player



    However.. A player I’d have in my team every game.. A model professional, a grafter , a hard player.. With not a little talent



    And .. A decent man

  19. Speculation on the blog yesterday about Anthony Stokes name missing from the teamsheet.


    Buying a loaf of bread in my local shop here in Dublin I spotted a headline on a newspaper that Stokesy is in his home town for a court hearing. Probably explains everything.

  20. Gerryfaethrebrig



    Yes, it was a great night and the Ekeren supporters were great too. I think they joined in singing ” Always look on the bright side …”.



    I clearly remember the goal: a cross from the right nodded down by Tommy Coyne to Mikey Galloway who finished in some style. The cross was from Brian … – can’t recall his name, later played in Germany, for Wolsburg I think.

  21. Thanks for the memories Paul. JVH’s goal ended up being a two day sick call at work.



    After yesterday’s game we put any notions of Aberdeen providing a credible threat to our title aspirations.



    I expect us to be ever further ahead next season, with Ronny brining in new talent and having a season’s experience under his belt.



    Yesterday the team were told to soak up the pressure and hit on the break.



    It almost seemed to me that Ronny was using the game as a run out for European games. How often in Europe have we been undone in a similar manner that the sheep were yesterday?



    Interesting times ahead with Mr. RD.

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on




    17:25 on 11 May, 2015



    Brian O’Neill, we had to play all the Scottish players due to the 3-foreigner rule, only time I have managed an away trip, didn’t even make Seville due to the bird I was nicking about with, still annoys me to this day, thankfully she got binned should never let a wummin influence my love for Celtic !

  23. Auldheid



    You stated Jeanette Findlay suggested to PL that he take on the roadshow.



    Having been at each of the meetings preceding the road shows I believe that decision, which I wasn’t aware had been suggested by JF, killed off the passion and determination of the group of fans involved at that time to change the direction of the club.



    If Jeanette did suggest the road show it in my opinion was a major mistake.



    The supporters who attended the initial meetings really had a passion for change and a will to make it happen. The road shows turned into happy clapping hyperbole.



    Real pile of pish to be honest and the end, for a couple of years, of any organised momentum against the PLC. Who knows. Without the road shows the current momentum of fan involvement could have begun a couple of years sooner.



    Poor decision by JF if true.



    MWD said AYE

  24. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    79 caps



    It was Brian O’Neil and he did indeed go on to play for Wolfsburg, as well as scoring a memorable goal at the bighoose




  25. At the partick th u-20s v the huns tonight in Stirling and the Huns have got supports with serious weight issues, there xxxxxL tops must do a roaring trade :-) hh

  26. twentyfirstofmay1979



    Yes, he had a decent career. Did we perhaps release him too soon?

  27. MWD/Auldheid



    If I remember correctly JF only suggested a roadshow to help convince PL that the support wanted Neil Lennon as manager, I don’t think any other issues were on the table.

  28. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    I think so, he’s one that supporters will argue the toss about I think. Personally think he’d have been a really good player for us in a better Celtic side, we weren’t at our best back then




  29. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon



    16:09 on 11 May, 2015



    Bit of an odd question – but CQNers can usually answer anything.



    What colours was the school tie for the former John Street Secondary in Bridgeton?



    Note – there is no prize!








    Is there a prize for guessing why anyone would want to know such a thing?



    You could always try asking on this site if you don’t get the answer here.




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