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Andrew Reilly

Cup finals and derby wins come naturally to mind when looking back at your footballing life, but there are some days that have so many strange moments that they can’t help but spring to mind. 

Celtic were away to Falkirk at Brockville, which even by then had seen better days, and you never knew what to expect. You took for granted that the supporters bus would turn up but, on this day, something happened and we were stranded just before 2pm. 

The trip to Falkirk wasn’t that far from the south side of Glasgow but when the bus failed to arrive and the traffic heading towards Ibrox started to pick up, it wasn’t a great time to be standing on Paisley Road West with full colours showing.

Our bus convenor showed an amazing piece of invention by flagging down one of the independent buses that used to shuttle between Paisley and Glasgow city centre and explained our predicament to the driver. The Howdens No.1 was on its way to Falkirk!

Tony Mowbray was sent off and, with Falkirk scoring the penalty, we were 1-0 down and a man down before half an hour. Amazingly, Celtic waltzed up the park and got a penalty of their own which Shuggie Wdowcyzk scored. We didn’t get many penalties in those days so that was a shock in itself!

Gerry Crainey scored at the start of the second half but, in a ten-minute spell, our defence imploded. We shipped three goals to trail 4-2 with 20 minutes to go. However, grabbing a quick goal after Falkirk’s fourth was the turning point as Andy Payton bundled home. 

We were soon level when Crainey struck again and you sensed we could complete the comeback. The Celtic crowd roared the team forward but it was 4-4 until injury time when we won a free-kick at the edge of the box.

I said to my dad that it would go straight in, so I was gutted when John Collins fired his free-kick into the wall…well, I would have been apart from the fact that the rebound fell straight to Collins and he fired it into the net with near enough the last kick of the game.

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