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



    16:54 on 11 May, 2015


    I believe the board will change there MO this summer. The 4 pt strategy will be:


    1. Nice turnover


    2. Europe if yer lucky


    3. EPL fodder


    4. Wunner whit the Huns are Darin?





    1. The club is run in such a manner that guarantees sustainability, while surviving in a football backwater, run by fools and the trooser rolled up shower.


    2. We play in Europe every year if not mistaken? Mostly getting beat in the Champions League granted, but take the disparity in resources and wages into account.


    3. We are EPL fodder indeed, as we cannot afford the wages of the over-hyped, Murdoch-Sky driven artificial market. Burnley and Hull able to outspend us?


    4. The huns destroyed Scottish football with their corruption and cheating, ably aided and abetted by governing bodies. It would be remiss of the bampots to allow them a second bite at the apple.



    When the zombies make it back into our league, should the Celtic suits delight be obvious at the thought of a resumption of the “Old *irm”. Now that’s another matter entirely.



    Over to you Peter.

  2. Hi Paul67,



    Good article, think Barry Robson was an excellent player for us. Thought we were never the same when he was missing.



    Could have done us a job for a couple more Seasons, as for Scott he did score some crucial goals, that’s got to be more than luck, think we should have got him a few Seasons earlier:-)



    My claim to fame – Vernon Kay’s cousin is married to my cousins’ cousin – Fact.



    Hail Hail

  3. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    could you have just given Gordon J the site without the rhetoric ?

  4. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine



    18:03 on 11 May, 2015






    could you have just given Gordon J the site without the rhetoric ?







    That was humour, not rhetoric.



    I’m guessing you’re not familiar with either concept.



    Stick around though, you might learn something.

  5. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on

    Get Barry back at Celtic as a coach. Loved the guy we just got him to late!!

  6. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on




    it was also an attempt at humour on my part, but I’ll stick around, and I’ll learn……maybe




  7. ernie lynch,



    It’s research for a book … annoyingly I remember being in the school many times back n the early 90s but can’t remember the colours.



    I’m sure there might be a Brigton bhoy or two posts on here …

  8. Gerryfaethebrig on

    san diego bhoy



    18:03 on 11 May, 2015



    Nail on head


    We are where we are and we are what we are

  9. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Evening All



    Celtic Football Club ‏@celticfc 9 mins9 minutes ago


    9′ Boerrigter swings in a free-kick from the left and Mulgrew gets a free header on it but his effort is off target.



    O dear look who are back

  10. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Mundell for Scottish Secretary…..incompetent ….shows the Tory interest in Scotland

  11. sunny calmachie on

    So wee lying Logan received MOM yesterday,


    After being skinned by SA for our goal,


    to me this was a childish reaction to a serious accusation,

  12. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Griffiths knows where the goal is but the Bhoy is a complete numpty hanging out a car window waving a bottle of beer is that the kind of professional action we want to see from hoops players ? I dont think the Bhoy will ever learn there are some things that should not be done in public.How much is Ronny willing to let him get away with ? H.H.

  13. What a night that was, when JVoH scored in the last minute.


    I was in the Directors box (1st and only time) and Roy Keane & Mark McGhee were sitting directly behind me.


    When the big fella scored, most of the box jumped up, I immediately turned round to see their reaction…they had both bolted and missed the goal.


    Fairly sure it was Strachan’s 1st win against the cardigan – brilliant night.

  14. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Celtic Football Club ‏@celticfc 4 mins4 minutes ago


    33′ GOAL FOR CELTIC! Derk Boerrigter smashes the ball beyond Kello from 12 yards to get the Bhoys back in the game.

  15. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Forever the optimist, I think Derk could do a job (if fit)



    Come on Ronny & McGuiness work your magic

  16. twentyfirstofmaynineteenseventynine on

    Joe Filipis Haircut



    I agree that Griffiths has his moments off the park ,but he’s been doing the business recently and I personally dont care if he’s picking up bad press for what amounts to nothing. As long as he keeps on scoring I’ll be happy




  17. Doc 18.39



    Sorry but Paul67 is correct.



    McDonalds shot took a slight deflection which made the ball spin ,leaving the Hun keeper stranded ,.




  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Whem/if Derk gets anywhere near fit, punt him IMO……. but keep his burd…..;)

  19. Gerryfaethebrig on

    16 roads – celtic über alles…



    Stuff the wages being light if I was going home to that there would be no wages as I would stay in the boozer

  20. Jack Charlton celebrated his 80th birthday a few days ago and his finest hour as manager of the ROI had to be on that memorable day when his team of stars took on and defeated a great Italian side boasting names like Baresi, Totti, Baggio etc in the Giants stadium in the 1994 World Cup. Celts Tommy Coyne and Pat Bonnar were part of that historic day also.




  21. "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.”



    Thankyou Mouldy67

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on




    18:58 on 11 May, 2015



    Was Bernie Slaven playing, an Albion Rovers legend

  23. Mhairi Black?



    Not the most articulate MP I have come across.



    Also the youngest one since the mid-1660s.







  24. PF Ayr, Chairbhoy, San Diego Bhoy……lets form a wee Barry Robson Appreciation Society. What a genuinely decent player with a terrific attitude to the game, no wonder the Manky Mob released him. I always wanted him in th starting 11.

  25. hankray



    17:22 on 11 May, 2015…




    I heard that last week and it’s not meant to be looking too good for Stokesy.

  26. I remember going to pittodrie for Scottish cup replay in 1973 on the Smiddy bus, double decker to Aberdeen !!! Wouldn’t dream of doing that now, still we won 1-0. Big Billy to the rescue again.

  27. ….PFayr supports WeeOscar



    18:30 on 11 May, 2015



    Mundell for Scottish Secretary…..incompetent ….shows the Tory interest in Scotland








    Who were you expecting to get the job?

  28. ernie lynch


    19:05 on


    11 May, 2015


    ….PFayr supports WeeOscar



    18:30 on 11 May, 2015



    Mundell for Scottish Secretary…..incompetent ….shows the Tory interest in Scotland






    Who were you expecting to get the job?




    Tian Tian or Yang Guang?

  29. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    Was he not overlooked for the job previously



    I suppose he was the only realistic choice …

  30. ….PFayr supports WeeOscar



    18:30 on 11 May, 2015



    Mundell for Scottish Secretary…..incompetent ….shows the Tory interest in Scotland






    Who were you expecting to get the job?




    He gets a desk with no drawers. Cares not a jot.

  31. Forgot to say that replay was a Wednesday night and had to go to work in Connell’s shipyard next morning, can’t remember what time we got home to Drumchapel.

  32. Gerryfaethebrig on




    19:01 on 11 May, 2015


    Mhairi Black?



    Not the most articulate MP I have come across.



    Also the youngest one since the mid-1660s.




    Mhari would prefer to be the youngest since 1690s