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Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the infamous Old Firm Riot which followed an extra time win for Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final against city rivals Rangers. Taking alcohol into grounds was banned after a shameful day for Scottish football. Large groups of rival fans taking turns to 'charge' each other in violent scenes which ended only after mounted police eventually imposed order.

In today's Scotsman Tom English looks back on the momentous day and highlights the role played by Archie Macpherson, the match commentator who provided a highly colourful running commentry on the mayhen unfolding before his eyes.

If Chief Inspector Iain McKie could have heard the commentary on that May day at Hampden 30 years ago he might well have left his position on the pitch, left the rampaging Old Firm supporters, left the cans and the bottles and the bricks, left the worst outbreak of hooliganism in Scotland in 70 years, and marched straight up to where Archie Macpherson was sitting, microphone in hand, and throttled him live on air.

Archie was in his tower, talking to the nation. He was looking down at the scenes that would soon be replayed all across the world and was talking about Apocalypse Now, talking about Passchendaele and how the mindless thuggery in the minutes that followed the 1980 Scottish Cup was the footballing equivalent of war. "They're spilling right on to the pitch," Archie was saying. "And where are the police? For heaven's sake, where are the police!"

Read Tom English's article here:

You can also watch two videos from the day – the first containing Archie Macpherson's sensational after-match commentary, the other has Match of the Day highlights in the evening (some football included).

i was at that game, boy, that was a day an a half i can tell ye. it was just like the matt mcginn song, screwtaps are bouncing aff ma heid, as it goes, that was the last gers game i went to, as i moved down to london no long after.
I thought that alcohol had long been banned from matches. I remember going to an old firm match where people were searched before going past the turnstiles and this was definitely between 1964 and 1966 when I went into the Air Force. I was with a mate from the Saltmarket who took in a big bag full of oranges ... injected to fit to burst with vodka or whisky.
(That's why I remember it so well.)
There's another story of me in the boards somewhere at an old firm match where John Greg put it away at the last minute to make it 1:0 for the Gers (I was stood at the Celtic end, Parkheed, with my caflik mates) but I won't go into that again tongue.gif biggrin.gif
I know Danny McLardy who played for Rangers in the mid sixties. He told that he remembers one game where he was playing opposite his cousin who played for Celtic.
I remember the day clearly.I was just out of the Police college and wandering about on my beat.It was a lovely day and to be honest I was wishing I was somewhere else,maybe having a beer or listening to some music when I was shook out of my reverie by the crackling of my radio.
"Where are you" answer,"OK dont move you will be picked up"Five minutes late a Ford Transit police carrier,blue lights flashing appearred and I was unceremoniously pushed up the back."Whats happening?""There is a riot at Hampden"And so there we were,15 officers answering a call for emergency help.The appeal didnt stop as we approached the city centre."All available personnel proceed to Hampden"The excitement in the vehicle was amazing,reaching fever pitch as we drove into Renfield Street.Down into Union Street and Jamaica Street then out of the blue,"Sufficient officers at the scene.Others en route stand down and report position"So there it was,we nearly got to the park,we were nearly part of history,instead of which we were told to patrol the city centre for the next few hours and then I was returned to my own beat.It was the subject of many a tall tale for many a long day.I could only add,"I was nearly there."
Jim D
I was at the game. I thought nothing of the crowd trouble at the time. It seemed to be a wee skirmish and nothing to write home about. I did not have the advantage of tv cameras - i was too busy singing and dancing! lol

When we were travelling home, a supporters bus was stopped at a set of traffic lights. A young gers fan made a stupid gesture at one of the buses and a group of them got off and gave the boy a real going over! Totally out of order. It was not a nice place to be.
It continued into the evening. I was on a bus heading into town with my girlfriend when I guy was running for the bus. He was being chased. As the guy got on the bus, I had to shout abuse at the driver who appeared to be waiting for the possible assailant to get on the bus.
It was not a nice night, everywhere you went you were watching your back.

If ever there was an advert for NOT allowing alcohol at football games then this was it! We should not allow it to happen again. I don't care if it was 30 years ago.
Like many decent people, i enjoyed a wee carry-oot on the terracing during a game but I would happily sacrifice it for safety and peace of mind!
wiz at the geme an like jim d iwies enjoyed my wee swally at a geme never made me feel like doin the opposition . if i member right the gers troops spilt oot ontae the pitch an battle commenced thought tae my sel whit a carry on as the celt brigade joined them on the park .

me an ma mates finished wir cerry oot an shot the craw we wis a mixed bunch an thought what a bluddy shower o morons fightin ower a geme o kickbaw .

we done a wee pub crawl later on an went hame .

later on we thought the media had jazzed the whole proceedins up somewhat ,but hi folks it sells papers .

only in the greatest wee country in the world. huh.gif rolleyes.gif
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