30 Day Challenges… Day 29
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that these list things suck if have a life and can’t do them for days on end. This has become a chore. Fortunately, a chore that’s nearly done.
“A Player From Your Childhood”
This is one of those “who was your first hero” questions, and my answer to this varies because there were three players that all signed for Celtic around the same time that I loved. I’m just a wee bit too young to properly remember Celtic’s centenary year, and I vaguely remember Joe Miller scoring the winner in the Scottish Cup final of 1989. So it’s three players that signed just after that.
First, there was Paul Elliott. I remember him being a big, solid defender who once scored a goal against Rangers in a final we didn’t win by ducking down and heading the ball into the net. I had to look up which game this was, but it turned out to be the League Cup final in the 1989/90 season, and we did indeed lose 2-1 with Elliott scoring the goal for Celtic. I also remember absolutely hating Dean Saunders for his tackle which ended Paul Elliott’s career just after he left Celtic. I know it was his fault, Paul knows it was his fault, but a bloody civil court action ruled it wasn’t. Seriously, I hate Dean Saunders for this one tackle. It might be an irrational hatred, but aren’t they all?
The other two players were the Polish players that signed for Celtic in 1989 – Dariusz Wdowczyk and Dariusz Dziekanowski. Due to my own Polish background, there’s a good chance that these two played a major part in ensuring I became the Celtic supporter I am today. They drew me to Celtic when my dad was still in his “the board suck, they should never have sold Dalglish” mood (yes, that was a whole 12 years before this) and they both played the first time I was taken to a football match – playing for Poland against Scotland.
There’s an odd quirk here. I never liked Anton Rogan, at least not until his recent Lostbhoys interview. The irrational reason for this – he missed Celtic’s last penalty in the Scottish Cup final in 1990 against Aberdeen. What I completely forgot until recently was… Wdowczyk missed a penalty earlier in the shoot-out! He got away with it because the Aberdeen player who followed him also missed, which eventually lead to Rogan’s penalty.
But really, despite these two, it was Dziekanowski that was probably the hero for me. His great performance against Partizan Belgrade where he tried (and ultimately failed) to score more goals than the Celtic sieve defence could concede – he got four of the five as Celtic won 5-4 which just wasn’t enough on the night. Sadly, the money went to his head and he pretty much faded away. He left to go to Bristol Rovers after a couple of years and was never really heard from again. I still remember being gutted when he left though.
They may not have been good times for Celtic, but they’re where I started, and even in the bad times you have your favourite players.