The name Maurice Johnston doesn’t sit well with Celtic supporters. Even the mere mention of his name is enough to cause a rise in blood pressure in the overwhelming majority of Celtic supporters, at least ones of a certain age such as myself.
He’s aptly dubbed ‘Judas’ by the Celtic supporters. Named that because of the way he betrayed the supporters for his thirty pieces of silver when he joined Rangers back in 1989.
Not only did he betray the supporters, but the legend that was Billy McNeill, his ex-team mates, his friends and more importantly his family, as his decision would have no doubt caused an unwanted distraction in their life.
But that comes with the territory in the West of Scotland, football here is literally a religion. Everyone here knows that, and Johnston knew better than most. By doing the unthinkable, he put not only himself, but others completely in the firing line.
By signing on the dotted line at Ibrox he effectively signed away his right to a peaceful existence. All in the name of money nothing else. He knew the reaction it would receive not just from the Celtic supporters but also the draconian Rangers supporters. He was either very brave or very stupid, I’m going for the latter.
Being pictured with a Celtic shirt on standing beside Billy McNeill and flirting with a return to Celtic understandably didn’t do him any favours with the Celtic support. Times were tough and the possible return of a hero figure amongst the Celtic support lifted spirits greatly.
But some dithering on the Celtic end of things allowed Graham Souness to swoop in aided with David Murray’s dodgy millions and sign him for Rangers, in doing so becoming their first high profile Roman Catholic signing. It was big, big news, it sent shockwaves throughout the Scottish footballing world.
Mo Johnston claimed to be a Celtic supporter, but no Celtic supporter would have done what he did. Imagine signing for a football club that detested your religion, sung about being up to their knees in your own blood.
There were Rangers supporters on the national news voicing their displeasure at his signing. His new team mates were reported to have shunned him, the infamous kit man treated him like a leper. All because of his religion.
He did it for the money and to be in the spotlight that’s the truth. Let’s be honest if he was chocolate he would’ve eaten himself. He sold his soul to the devil and will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
Something that causes him no end of grief. The fact that he currently resides across the Atlantic tells you that. Does he regret it? I think a wee bit of him does, but what’s done is done. It’s history.
JustAnOrdinaryBhoy – follow on Twitter @ordinarybhoy