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. Tallybhoy



    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.







    Apparently not. But I don’t recall the details.



    I had been hoping for some fun from this bunch of weirdos (I did see someone describe them as looking like a cast of characters from Royston Vasey) but then I remembered this.






    Obviously the party hierarchy had some misgivings about their candidates’ ability to appear in public.

  2. Good evening friends.



    Loved today’s lead article. Great comparison and great memories.

  3. Cannae wait for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech in the (big) Hoose in Westminster.




  4. ….PFayr supports WeeOscar



    19:07 on 11 May, 2015



    If anyone else had got the job the nats would have been moaning about anti Scottish racism.

  5. Gerryfaethebrig on

    jobo baldie



    19:12 on 11 May, 2015



    Jobo if you don’t mind me asking who was the Last Man Standing ?

  6. 16 roads - Celtic über alles... on

    Jimbo67 – There’s no way is that thing 20 mate.



    Apparently she hates Celtic supporters anyway.Thank heaven for small mercies.



    Imagine that?



    The cheek of it!







  7. Gerryfaethebrig…………Bernie Slaven, not a bad goalador in his day was not part of that Irish squad.

  8. 16 Roads



    Cheers. I hope she is a better MP than her tweets about Celtic suggest she might be.





  9. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Derk watch finished



    Celtic Football Club ‏@celticfc 5s5 seconds ago


    66′ Calum Waters replaces Derk Boerrigter for the Bhoys.

  10. Sipsini…………He may end up getting community service and a hefty fine like Dermot Connolly the GAA star who was involved in a similar case. Will Ronny give him time off?

  11. sunny calmachie on

    Did we win the league last week?


    Did we beat our nearest rivals yesterday?


    Did we win a double?


    Maybe I just came out of the shower in a episode of Dallas,


    I’m away for a walk with my trusty companion,



    Happy Celticing…

  12. glendalystonsils on

    I was expecting the Scottish secretary to be a highly principled, hardworking idealist with the interests of the average Scot close to his heart.


    Oh, and with the tooth fairy as his p. a.

  13. jmccormick



    19:11 on 11 May, 2015


    Some charming Bernard Manning type banter on here tonight.




    Aye, pretty disgusting really.



    Maybe it’s open season cos she once said something bad about Celtic. Apparently she’s a Catholic tho so that might bring some of these Sid the Sexist types back onside.

  14. Gerryfaethebrig –



    as you might have noticed CRC usually releases the weekly results and I take care of the fixtures. Announcement of winner is imminent ;-)

  15. glendalystonsils



    19:28 on 11 May, 2015



    I was expecting the Scottish secretary to be a highly principled, hardworking idealist with the interests of the average Scot close to his heart.


    Oh, and with the tooth fairy as his p. a.








    I reckon he’ll be one of those ones who didn’t mind so much about the economic side of Thatcherism.

  16. chavez…



    According to my daughters boyfriend, Mharri Black was at his school a couple of above him… At Lourdes. HH

  17. Gerryfaethebrig on

    jobo baldie



    19:36 on 11 May, 2015






    Wasn’t sure in case I had missed it

  18. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Chavez and jmccormick


    Quite agree. I find some of the points quite disappointing ( and shallow).


    The daughter of the guy who sits in front of me in 106 is friendly with Mhairi Black. She made her anti-Celtic comment some years ago and, understandably, is fed up having a throwaway remark/tweet brought up so often. She is a genuine supporter of Partick Thistle so the Hun implications are inaccurate. Regardless, comments from the , I assume, Brad Pitt lookalikes on here create a low opinion of those who have made them. Think about how a young woman, even a strong one, will feel if she hears of those comments and there is a fair chance she will. Bad form.




  19. What is the Stars on

    I don’t know anything about mhairi black but I think we should always rise above petty name calling etc. Criticise her policies views and so but leave the personal jibes in the schoolyard.


    Jack Charlton, Ireland Italy 1990. Bernie Slaven was not involved but Tommy Coyne played his socks off that day

  20. Sipsini – yip. I thought we’d left patter like that behind years ago…apparently not. It’ll be a tough gig for Mhairi Black – Westminster is draining at the best of times but to do it at that age? It’ll be huge stress for her but I hope she does well.

  21. What is the Stars on

    Well gerryfaethebtig how are you today. You were getting a bit upset last night about Earl Haig

  22. Gerryfaethebrig on

    jungle jim hot smoked



    19:46 on 11 May, 2015



    So her anti-Celtic comment was a while ago so that makes it ok ?


    Rhetorical post no need for a reply

  23. Gerryfaethebrig on

    what is the stars



    19:54 on 11 May, 2015



    Everything cool with me, nearly got upset about Mhari Black, what chance have I got



  24. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Excerpt from Mhairi Black interview:



    “I’ve had a Twitter account since I was 14: is every daft thing I ever said as a teenager now to be dragged out? As for Celtic, I don’t hate Celtic, I don’t hate anyone. Apart from my dad, me and my brother, my entire family are Celtic supporters. Yet some people have been using that Tweet to portray me as being bigoted.



    “I’ve been told that Labour canvassers have been chapping on doors telling folk that I am anti-Catholic. Well, I AM Catholic. It just highlights to me how low some people are prepared to go.”



    So in the current, slightly flustered political tradition, has she also been frantically deleting Twitter posts from her history – something her constituency opponent has been accused of?



    “Oh God, aye! I tweeted daft stuff when I was 16, 17. But I never thought people would either have the time or the energy to trawl through somebody who has had a Twitter account since they were 14. It is ridiculous.”



    Don’t expect the Daily Rag to point this out! Agendas, agendas.

  25. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on




    “So her anti-Celtic comment was a while ago so that makes it ok ?”




    It certainly makes a difference.




  26. Whilst we are at it, the South Wales Bus advertising? No matter the sex of the object, who thought that a good idea? Love to have been in at the signing off of that one, not asking for any retribution just an explanation.

  27. Gerryfaethebrig on




    19:33 on 11 May, 2015



    At what point does her religion come into this ?


    Just curious why you pointed out she was a Catholic or even what school she went too, anyway far too much exposure for Miss Black who is pretty insignificant to me

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