The most important victory in my Celtic supporting life


The script was written for George O’Boyle.  Henrik gave Celtic the lead in the opening minutes but this was a team on its knees.  If we thought that early goal would lead to an easy afternoon we were wrong.  St Johnstone were our match all over the field.

O’Boyle met a near inch-perfect cross from the right with Jonathan Gould stranded, but the St Johnstone striker could not get high enough (pun intended) and Rangers’ best chance to win 10-in-a-row was gone.

Like the entire decade of the 90s, the game was torture. With Rangers winning at Tannadice we needed a win to ‘stop the 10’, but more was at stake than that.  If we had let this one slip through out hands, needing only three points from our final two games, it is difficult to conceive how we would have recovered.

In truth, it is hard to imagine how we got close to the title.  The 11th hour appointment of Wim Jansen produced a stuttering start to the campaign: a defeat at Hibs before an embarrassing capitulation at home to Dunfermline.  Meanwhile, Rangers new prolific striker, Marco Negri, was breaking records.

With two weeks of the season left, we drew 0-0 at home to soon-to-be-relegated Hibernian. This was not a fantastic Celtic team, but they were made of strong stuff and would not be denied.

With around 15 minutes left against St Johnstone, the world’s most magnificent misfit, Harald Brattbakk did what he did best – got between defence and goalkeeper – to sweep the ball home.  Grown men cried.  This title was celebrated like none will ever be celebrated again.

The subsequent 20 years have seen many great successes.  We have had Seville, The Beating of Barca (twice) and many Champions League triumphs, but that game against St Johnstone is without doubt the most important victory in my Celtic supporting life.  Nothing in my entire relationship with the club comes close to that 90 minutes.

During the previous decade Celtic fans were effectively foreigners in our own land.  Our streets were filled with celebratory blue jerseys; men had died blonde hair, aping (pun intended) Rangers players.  They laughed at us, often with good reason.

We all have our memories of that night’s celebrations, but my most vivid memory is driving through the towns and villages of Lanarkshire.  Green and white hooped fans were everywhere, some even waving flags sitting on top of traffic lights.  The streets were ours again and we’re not giving them back.

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  1. Paul



    I witnessed the first 9 in a row, Lisbon and many other triumphs. That Saturday afternoon is right up with them.



    10 in a row to them would have been unbearable. It never happened and it never will in my lifetime.



    We should manage it within a few seasons and it will destroy them!





  2. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    I walked in to the Canton Express at 3 in the morning to find the place in uproar.



    After a while the little Chinese gentleman behind the counter finally got the place to calm down only for the guy he employed to collect the plates to bellow ‘Hail, Hail…’ and the whole place was in uproar again with everyone on the tables and chairs.



    What a day. What a night.

  3. Gould Boyd Rieper Stubbs Annoni McNamara Burley Lambert O’Donnell Donnelly Larsson Weighorst Brattbakk Blinker


    The 14 who stopped the 10

  4. Delaneys Dunky on




    Partick was the most green and white I have ever seen it that night 20 years ago today.


    Wonderful day.

  5. I am almost certainly in a minority but, at present at any rate, ten in a row doesn`t mean very much to me.


    Some stats feel less important than other.Are we, for instance, the first team in Scotland to win seven in a row twice?



  6. “We all have our memories of that night’s celebrations, but my most vivid memory is driving through the towns and villages of Lanarkshire”



    Indeed, Paul. My abiding memory is my pal Wee Stevie and me driving back to Coatbridge to find an awesome street party in progress that had stopped the traffic.



    We dumped the car and ended up in (ironically?) The Royal where a full on rip-roaring celebration went on into the night. I awoke the next day on the floor of my auntie’s front room. I don’t know what happened to Stevie. He was eventually found I think….. :-))

  7. A repost as I am interested in any opinions on the likelihood of this happening:



    Motherwell winning the Cup and Sevco finishing 4th in the League would save the MSSM the embarrassment of explaining why Sevco were not playing in Europe. No ?




  8. For that goal alone, HB was worth every penny we paid for him. Can still play it in my mind, and it still makes me smile. I can hear myself shouting over and over “first time” to Jackie Mac to cross it into HB.



    Beautiful moment and the weather was just champion!

  9. Good afternoon good ghuys


    if memory serves me right I was at the game with my auld Da.


    Then afterwards I went up the road to the Garngad to a lovely wee street party. :)



    what a day



    D :)

  10. I don’t normally watch sevco games but watched last night in hope Aberdeen would horse them(well at least beat them).


    That was one of the most brutal games I have ever seen.


    Aberdeen seemed to think game was won and sat back in second half.


    In first half sevco seemed more interested in kicking players than the ball.


    How they kept 11 players on pitch only Steven McLean knows.

  11. David 66


    I was born and spent the first four years of my life in the Garngad.



  12. Greatest regret of my footballing life was giving away my ticket for that game. I had good reason at the time but as the years go by the reason seems less and less good and stands as a lesson to me to grab opportunities when they come along because they don’t repeat themselves!



    Every time I see the goals or read about that day I kick myself!

  13. playfusbal4dguilders on

    “The streets were ours again and we’re not giving them back.” – beautiful.




  14. File under Deja Vu



    It seems the SFA have finally got the message on UEFA Licence applications from TRFC.






    Back in 2011/12 after the 2011 application was granted without proper scrutiny (and only the exit to Malmo and Maribor stopped UEFA having a closer look ) the SFA had a much closer look at the 2012 application and were asking for proof of wee tax case appeal and annual accounts just before Rangers went into liquidation. A lesson the SFA learned from then and perhaps now echoing over the 7 years since.



    The significance of a challenge from UEFA is that whilst they can still approve a licence they can do so with conditions, which if not met to UEFA’s timescale can lead to as much as a three year ban







    Dave King’s policy of running up debt to get CL money to pay it off, is exactly the same as that of Sir David Murray and it is a true House of Cards policy because for any club doing it, one failure and the house collapses as happened in 2011/12.



    This refusal without further scrutiny is a key moment for Scottish football and puts DK firmly in his place. The message is “if you want a licence adopt sustainable financial policies in the spirit of UEFA FFP”.



    See http://www.uefa.com/community/news/newsid=2064391.html for more on FFP and what is allowable.

  15. I spent all of the 90’s being tortured in London by marauding orcs that I came across and in particular one who was a mate, a proper Ayrshire variety.



    I had no defence after a while and of course him being an Orc every so often his mask would slip and I saw really clearly the difference between our support and theirs.Good guy except he couldn’t hide it what he was when they beat us!



    I saw him over that weekend and me being me I deliberately didn’t mention the football until he cracked and said “well ur ye no gonna say sumfin”



    I just smiled and said ” what about mate” ???



    “the fitbaw, the effing fitbaw ya fenian basturt” eyes bulgin’ veins a poppin’



    “awe that ” says I, aye great news but I don’t need to rub your nose it to celebrate my teams victory”



    He was crushed I saw it in his eyes, couldn’t comprehend what was happening, I left London the following year and he was the last guy I went out with, he took me for a posh grub up and said his cheerios.



    After a while he stopped messaging me on FB as folk do. I snooped to see that after liquidation he was suddenly not the orange Ayrshire orc any more but transformed into a Gunner cos of his kids etc.



    Now I haven’t received one message from this guy since we started on the seven, not one and the other day after Gerrard was announced he wrote to me:



    ” The Rangers are coming”



    I just wrote back



    “which ones”



    When Tom Boyd drives on with the ball you see in that moment not only what a great Celt he was but also that nothing was going to stop us that day, it was too important to our whole community.



    Aye deffo up there with my great Celtic days:))




  16. As it happened I was driving to London that Saturday and of course the farther south I went the fainter became the signal from Radio Scotland until it faded completely.



    By the time I got to London I was dependent on snippets from whatever radio station I could tune into and had to decide from the tone of any comment because the result was never mentioned if we had been successful.



    Nerve wracking but so so good to hear the end of a blue GOD.





    Many treated the stopping of the ten as proof of a God,one who knew which set of fans believed.



    And believe we did,because to do otherwise was to fall victim to despair.



    And worse.



    Most of us celebrated it like there was no tomorrow,the same as we used to do to when winning was a tad more frequent.



    Me,I was simply relieved. I couldn’t celebrate. I didn’t have it in me to celebrate. I was exhausted by it all.



    And that’s the truth

  18. Auldheid


    The sfa should never have forwarded the application, they know fine well it doesn’t meet the criteria for granting one, I will wager now that the sfa will cook the books for them so they get approved for one.


    The corruption continues unabated.



  19. ‘Thanks for the memories’, Paul.



    Back then, as you’ll recall, it was still permissible to smoke in the concourses beneath the stands.



    As I made my way to my seat, just before kick off, giving nervous nods to those I recognised in the gloom, I vividly remember the atmosphere along those concourses being utterly stifling: a mixed sense of hope and dread permeated the smoky air; finger nails were being bitten to the quick and the nervous jokers amongst us were being totally ignored.



    It was, as you hint, a life-defining moment for tens of thousands of us.



    And we knew it.



    Perhaps the closest analogy I can think of to describe the atmosphere in Celtic Park around 3 o’clock on that sunny afternoon is the dreadful anticipation one has when waiting, fretfully in a hospital corridor for some desperate news of a gravely ill loved one …

  20. A stand should be called after Fergus.


    Thanks Fergus, for sacking Wim & Murdo after securing our first league flag in ten years, in favor of the retention of the odious Jock Brown.


    Thanks also Fergus, for sneaking out the side door after the final whistle, unable to congratulate, Wim, Murdo or the players, the same side door that you asked Tommy Burns(RIP) to sneak out of after you sacked him, the same side door that you sneaked out of as you left the club, carrying all those guilty secrets with you.


    Blessed are the Old Firm, ain’t that right, Fergus ?




    Blessed are those “real” Celtic supporters who booed you off the pitch on flag day, those supporters should always be given preference as opposed to the, Celtic View brainwashed rewriters of history, any day of the week.


    Troll-diers are we CSC


    Woof! Woof!



  21. Did we stop 10 in a row? I remember seeing game and celebrating with a couple of watery eyes, but I’ve lost that night. I think I celebrated too much.




  22. Hot Smoked I am an interloper married a girl from here 30 years ago and after a few flats in Dennistoun, we bought a house in the old Convent up the hill.


    Played football with guys from here years ago and now I consider myself an adopted son.



    D :)

  23. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Henrik’s goal that day , is still the loudest roar i have heard at CP

  24. STARRY PLOUGH on 9TH MAY 2018 12:51 PM



    Does that make him a battologist?





  25. Terje Vigen on

    THE EXILED TIM @ 12:59 PM and AULDHEID @ 12:48 PM



    I’d be surprised if SFA have forwarded anything to UEFA. They are not due to send the list of successful applicants until 31st May. More likely that any appeal is being heard by the SFA appellate tribunal.



    The key dates in the process include:



    5 – 25 May 2018 – Appellate Tribunal meets to consider any licence applicant appeals


    31 May 2018 – Scottish FA to provide UEFA with its list of licensing decisions

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