St Patrick’s Day 1991
One St Patrick’s Day I particularly remember was in 1991, when Celtic met Rangers at Parkhead in the quarter-final stage of the Scottish Cup.
The rather basic Celtic Park of the time was full to the brim, everyone keen to witness the fifth clash of the two sides during that season. In the three league matches up to that point, one had been drawn and Rangers had won the other two; Rangers had also beaten their major rivals in the League Cup final, so this Scottish Cup tie was an important moment for everyone connected with Celtic and the players would have been well aware of the pressures on them.
The Celtic side on the day was Pat Bonner, Dariusz Wdowcyk, Anton Rogan, Peter Grant, Paul Elliott, Derek Whyte, Joe Miller, Paul McStay, Tommy Coyne, Gerry Creaney, John Collins.
It was Passion Sunday and my goodness, there was plenty of passion on the pitch. Celtic got off to a perfect start, with a goal from Gerry Creaney in the 6th minute and another from a deflected strike by Dariusz Wdowczyk in 37 minutes.
In the 35th minute, the Hoops had lost Peter Grant to two yellow cards for, as one paper called it ‘over-exuberance, while three Rangers players were sent packing, Terry Hurlock (44), Mark Walters (79) and Mark Hateley (82). The same paper suggested that these three had been sent off for ‘physical delinquency’.
It was a wonderful day to be a Celtic fan, particularly those fortunate enough to be at Parkhead on the afternoon. No wonder it became known as the ‘St Patrick’s Day Massacre’. And, just to prove it was not a fluke, the same set of players beat Rangers again the following Sunday – Palm Sunday – this time by 3-0, in a league match, with Anton Rogan, Joe Miller and Tommy Coyne the scorers.