GROWING up in Dunblane in the 80s was a quiet affair, especially as there weren’t too many bhoys my age going to the games. However, I was lucky my brother and father were always trying to make it to as many games as possible and all I ever wanted to do was be like them.
As we left Ibrox 8 weeks earlier I said to my brother in youthful optimism 8 games we can still win the league. He answered, win 8 out of 8 and pray Hearts get nervous.
Now at the time Dad drove us to game in a Datsun Sunny, the Sunny was famous for two things. One was the sticker in the window that read “The yanks have Regan, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Stevie Wonder. We have Thatcher, no cash, no hope no bloody wonder” our neighbour George Robertson recited it at the Labour Party Conference my dad was bursting with pride. The other infamous reason the car was known for was its ability to run great until as a family we were going on holiday or to a big game.
All week we planned our trip to Paisley, excitement built all week. I was convinced we would hammer St Mirren and Dundee would beat Hearts because Hearts were basically rubbish. I was 11/12 at the time and hadn’t endured the 90s by this point. Saturday morning came Dad went to take the Auld Dear to work and true to form said Datsun wasn’t so sunny!!! Quick phonecall to Uncle and his BMW arrived to save the day, not only were we going we were going in style and a sunroof !!!!
AS we approached Love Street there was an air of hope, an air of optimism but a realisation that it was not just down to us. We stood near the flood light towards the covered area that was packed opposite the main stand. As the game kicked off we find a lad with a radio and dad gets chatting to him for updates.
It is 4 nil at half time to the Celts, a roar went up amongst the Celtic fans just on half time Dad asked the lad what the score was, his reply? ”4 nil have you no been watching!!!” Dad tried to explain he meant at Dens Park when the half time whistle went and we heard it was nil nil. Next thing our names are read out over the tannoy, mum had got away from work and decided to send a good luck message to us all!
Then our moment came, ex-Rangers goalie standing holding the ball a bank of green and white behind him spontaneously explode with delight. His face a picture of dejection as chaos ensued around him, my brother grabs me at the final whistle we are on the pitch dancing and singing. Bodies flying around in utter mayhem. Much later as we left the stadium we met the rest of the lads from the Roy Milne CSC who we would travel with more and more as we grew older, Jock the now chairmen is on the top of a lamppost with Tony Smith no health and safety here!!!! The look of unbelievable joy on everyones face was a joy to behold.
As we headed home along the M8 we encountered a fair number of Rangers fans in cars and buses, that’s when the sun roof came into its own. They were distraught they had scraped into a European place and couldn’t celebrate due to Albert Kidd. Me and my brother were out the roof waving scarfs and shouting and singing and it remained that way until we got home.
A few days later it was the Glasgow cup final, normally not a big event however that night Ibrox was packed. We celebrated winning that league back at the place my brother doubted me with one big banner in the enclosure simply reading “God Bless Albert Kidd!”
Since then I have seen us win championships on the last day and lose them but this one remains one of my top three, a roller coaster season that ended on the most surprising high. We lost that Glasgow Cup Final, the world’s most expensive gardener got a hat-trick I believe. Can’t say I remember much of the game we partied for 90 mins and more, until recently I hadn’t seen the Broomloan Rock quite so much so glad it’s a regular thing now….
Blair McMillan /Dunblane / Roy Milne Posse CSC
I’ll never forget in the shed with my cousin Michael Miller huddled around his radio, after a couple of false alarms we knew it was for real when he scored the first and once we calmed down we then heard the second one on the little blue tranny. An amzing afternoon for an eleven year old kid and onto the park at the final whistle.
Champions for the first time in 4 years and Davie Hay with all his team deserved it.
A wee story including something concerning Rangers fans that may put a smile on Tommy’s face.
Back in ’86 watching football was a very different experience. No direct debits and very few season tickets – you turned up and payed at the turnstile. Sometimes the unwaged one.
So me and my mucker Cusack took ourselves on a short trip along to Love Street, surely to see Celtic secure second place in the league. But then again hope is in a Celtic fan’s DNA. Now the game must have been all ticket as we could only get pricey seats in the main stand.
Others can tell of the game itself. I’d rather have been in with the Tic fans but my 5 star view of the celebrations is imprinted in my memory. Now my buddy was a bit eccentric and the proud owner of a 60s open top spitfire. When we stopped at a red light on Paisley High Street there were 30 odd Rangers fans at the bus stop. ‘Watch this’ he said and turned on Queen’s We are the Champions, turning the speakers to 11.
My outstanding memory is going to the pub after playing football in the afternoon to find out we had done our bit, but it was 0-0 at Dens.
The barman had the radio on in the back, going back and forward updating us, remember this was before modern technology when ceefax was always 5 minutes behind.
When he come through telling us Dundee had scored we all thought he was winding us up, until he confirmed, saying “I swear on the blessed sacrament!”
That was enough for us and the party started, continued when the supporters bus came back, including someone who had Tommy Burns shirt, including huge grass stain.
ALSO READ Albert Kidd bumped my head! My radio memories of Love Street and Dens Park 1986 by Patrick Dunlop from Ballymena…
TELL US YOUR stories from Love Street, Paisley from May 1986? If you were at the game, what was it like? If you weren’t there how did you find out we had won the league. Simply email your memories of the day to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll compile the replies into a feature and post on the site.
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