Our league season got underway on Saturday with a 5.15 kick-off time that induced widespread jet-lag style disorientation among the fans with a similar state of confusion on the pitch to begin with as the hairy-arsed Highlanders scored after two minutes.
The Staggies had clear intentions of pooping the party. 0:0 would probably have been plenty enough poop for them so they must have been cock-a-hoop with the extra poop plopped on the pile and they proceeded to pack the goalpost protecting positions with plenty of passion. Pity their persistence proved pointless as Anthony Stokes the Parkhead predator poked a pair past the packed palisade of the porridge-munchers.
Today’s match report is brought to you by the Sesame Street CSC and the letter P.
There were a few epithets beginning with the letter P being hurled in the direction of referee Willie Collum on Saturday. Collum’s eccentric interpretation of what constitutes a foul and his irritating habit of performing the pantomime act of calling over a miscreant in dark blue to theatrically gesture to the areas of the pitch where he has already committed assaults before administering nothing more than a final warning in the form of a stern wagging of the finger like Jo Frost at a pre-school borstal were bad enough, but this was compounded by his first honest mistake of the season (Anyone give me a price on it being his last?). His refusal to award a penalty when Stokes was Aussie-ruled to the deck when clean through on the County ‘keeper can perhaps be explained by offering the excuse that he clearly saw the incident from an unobstructed distance of a few yards. Had his back been turned and had it been Kirk Broadfoot… stonewaller.
Which brings us to the main topic of this post.
This season we’ll be running a feature in the mag taking a teary-eyed nostalgic look back at some of the Great Honest Mistakes of Our Time. In issue 219 we’ll recall one of the less infamous ones, although it’s one the like of which I have never seen before or since. It has almost been airbrushed out of history to the extent that when trying to find evidence to substantiate what happened I was beginning to think that either I had dreamed it after eating a toasted cheese sandwich before going to bed or I had been over-exposed to passively inhaling the smoke from some of the jazz fags used in the Jungle to calm the nerves of the more excitable spectators in that part of the stadium during Glasgow derbies.
March 1993 it was. Celtic beat a then still alive Rangers by 2-1. An uncharacteristically polished performance by a Liam Brady team that was floundering miles behind in the championship. John Collins scored a terrific goal in the 37th minute – a shot from distance that flew past the despairing Goram – that sent three quarters of the ground into a frenzy of joy. Collins and most of his team mates ran towards the Jungle to share the love.
Amidst the celebrations it gradually dawned on us that the game had kicked off again and play was raging towards the Celtic goal. Referee Douglas Hope from Erskine had allowed Mark Hateley and company to restart the match with more than half of the Celtic team still whooping and hollering and performing victory dances in front of the fans. Collins wasn’t even on the field at the time.
With two or three Celtic players haring back to catch up, Trevor Steven was put clean through on goal but Pat Bonner saved. We can only imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t.
Despite a media blackout in the press and on the STV highlights show, the following Wednesday’s View had a picture of the aftermath of Collins’ goal on the front page. Much to my relief my sanity was almost restored when I found it on the Celtic Wiki.
To say I’ve never seen anything like it is actually a lie. We used to do it all the time in the school playground. Mind you, we never had a referee. More accurately, I’ve never seen anything like it before or since while watching proper organised professional football.
Full article in NTV 219. Nominations for future inclusions in Great Honest Mistakes of Our Time are now being taken.
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