Celtic’s 10IAR busting title party delayed at Dunfermline

Celtic could have ended 10 years of hurt at Dunfermline on this day in 1998, but fate would leave us with an agonising wait…

26 years ago today the Celtic supporters headed to East End Park in Dunfermline in high spirits. The sun was splitting the skies and it was a day we could finally end an agonising 10- year wait to be crowned champions of Scotland.

Rangers of course slipped up the day before, losing in injury time to Kilmarnock at Ibrox ironically courtesy of Rangers supporting referee Bobby Tait and his generous allocation of added on time. That last gasp Ally Mitchell goal meant that Celtic could finally clinch the league in one of the most nerve wracking campaigns ever endured by any Celtic supporter.

I remember that day well. I was attending a communion with the priest even quipping that he was rushing through the rituals so he could go home and cheer on the Hoops. It’s funny certain things you can remember clearly as if it was yesterday.

Then come kick off time thousands of hopeful supporters rammed into East End Park. Many thousands more were at Celtic Park to watch a beam back of the game, while many hundreds of thousands more tuned in from elsewhere around the globe in anticipation of witnessing a historic moment in the history of Celtic football club.

We were only 90 minutes away from ending a decade of hurt, and many, many months of painful anxiety. We were within touching distance of pure joy and relief. It started nervously at you’d expect but after Simon Donnelly gave us the lead in the 35th minute, we relaxed a little and we dared to dream.

That crucial second goal was needed to ease the anxiety of the supporters, but despite our best efforts that all important goal eluded us.

Then the unthinkable happened with just seven minutes remaining and a guy by the name of Craig Faulconbridge equalised for the home side sending a dagger through the heart of every single Celtic supporter.

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Several minutes later the full time whistle went and our title dream was shattered, it was in the palm of our hands, but now it was gone, for another week at least.

The destiny of the title was of course still in our own hands, but we now had to wait an excruciating, nerve wracking six more days to have the chance to live that dream. Six more days of uncertainty and mental torture awaited. It’s a pleasure to be a Celtic supporter, but they don’t half put you through the emotional wringer.

In the end it was worth the wait as we of course got the job done at Paradise. Fate saw to that, and I suppose it was the most fitting finish, but it didn’t seem like that back on that sunny Sunday afternoon on Sunday 3rd May 1998.

We’ll have some more memories of this game against Dunfermline on The Celtic Star today and if you want to share your own recollections of that afternoon and what you were feeling, we’d love to hear from you. Post in the comments section below or if you prefer email our editor  – editor@thecelticstar.co.uk  – and we’ll publish later today.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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