Glasgow Derby’s Down Memory Lane

The Glasgow Derby may have changed over the years to the extent that one of the original clubs no longer participates in the fixture and we have a scenario where away fans are no longer guaranteed tickets for the game.

However, regardless of which version of Rangers took part in the fixture, we can all remember our first experiences of seeing the game in the flesh.  The emotions of the day, the joy or heartache brought about the result, and the feeling that this game meant more than others.

On Thursday’s A Celtic State of Mind Bulletin, Paul John Dykes and JP Mason reminisced over their first Glasgow Derby’s and the impact they had on them.

Collins and Payton Seal Rare Glasgow Derby Win

JP was first to take a stroll down memory lane with his Glasgow Derby ‘debut’ coming 30 years ago on 21st March 1993, in the infamous fixture where Rangers kicked-off while Celtic were still celebrating a goal.

“It was 2-1” JP told us “Andy Payton and John Collins were the scorers and Mark Hateley for Rangers.  It absolutely changed my life in terms of my enthusiasm for Celtic, it changed gears at that point. To see us beat them was incredible at that age and it really changed my passion for the club.”

While fans of a younger generation may have become accustomed to watching Celtic triumph in the Glasgow Derby, JP reminds us this was not always the case back in the early 90s.

“Beating them at that point was a huge deal.  I don’t think there was many victories at Celtic Park and if we ever did beat them they always seem to be the dead rubbers when the league was already wrapped up (for Rangers).   On the whole they were kind of hollow victories where you maybe thought that it was laying down a bit of a marker for the following season.  In reality, you knew that wasn’t the case.”

New Year 1992: Same Old Story

While JP got off to a winning start at his first Glasgow Derby, the same cannot be said for Paul who took in his first Glasgow Derby the previous season.

“I remember being in the jungle that day, it was the New Year Day game in 1992; this is five years after I started going to the games and I was finally allowed to go to a game against Rangers.”

“I could feel straight away that there was a different edge to this game, it was palpable.” Paul noted, describing the scene in the old Jungle. “We were all packed into the Jungle and you could see the steam rising from the body heat, there was the smell of drink in the terrace.  It was palpable that the atmosphere was different”

Despite a goal from Tony Mowbray, Celtic lost on Paul’s first Glasgow Derby experience 3-1.

“We were looking over when Rangers took the lead at the sight of their fans just going absolutely bananas.  I was thinking to myself it was almost like watching a pot of fisherman’s worms all moving at the same time. It was just too much for my eyes to take in, it was horrendous.”

“The feeling of elation when Tony Mowbray equalised though was unbelievable.  Even though we didn’t win, I knew there was something that wee bit different about that fixture.”

St. Lubo’s Day #1 and a Thrashing for the Ages

Listening to Paul and JP reminisce got me thinking of my first Glasgow Derby experience in the flesh, and not to boast, I think mine trumps both JP and Paul’s.

The first Glasgow Derby I was allowed to go to was Dr. Jo’s 5-1 mauling of Rangers on the first St. Lubo’s day in November 1998.

I remember going to that game with very little belief that we would win and fearing the worst. We’d lost to St. Johnstone the week before and I expected another defeat.  So, while I was full of nervous excitement for the game, there was also a large element of doom in there too.

The first thing that hit me was the wall of noise from the first minute of the game; it was incredible.

The feeling when Lubo swept his first goal home was one of pure joy and by the time Mark Burchill made it 5-1 it was a feeling of the best kind of euphoric disbelief.

Unfortunately for Dr. Jo that game was about as good as it got under his guidance and it took us until Martin O’Neill’s appointment to start gaining the upper hand in the fixture once again.  Since then, we haven’t looked back.


Let us know what your first experience at a Glasgow Derby was like.

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