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THEY SHAMED THE HOOPS : GORDON MARSHALL

Date: 6th February 2013 at 10:55 am
Written by: | Comments (22)

 

A look at some of ’s least distinguished players begins with Gordon Marshall who was at the heart of some of ’s most awful moments.

When I was nine years old, I cried at everything. When my da gubbed me at Pinball Dreams on the Amiga, I bubbled. When the ‘Batvan’ drove away as I ran down the street to get a 10p mixture, I was inconsolable. When the BBC announced they would not show The Turtles again, I was on suicide watch.

 

Imagine what I was like when we lost the 1994 League Cup final to Raith Rovers.

 

Almost 18 years on – I still cannot forgive Gordon Marshall for his role in my tearfest that day.

 

With Celtic leading 2-1 with four minutes to go at Ibrox, there seemed to be no trouble as Jason Dair cut in from the right and hit a tame speculative shot towards goal which most goalkeepers would have gathered with ease. However, Gordon Marshall made a meal of this poor effort on goal and palmed the ball onto the head of Gordon Dalziel, who nodded home to equalise and gleefully celebrated in front of our fans in the Broomloan stand. I believe this is when I first swore at a football game.

 

While Marshall was not wholly responsible for our failure that day, his error went a long way towards the pain of the Coca Cola Cup loss to Raith. If it was a one off or he wasn’t prone to howlers, it would be forgot about, but a Marshallism was a common occurrence watching Celtic in the mid 90′s.

 

From Hamburg to Hibs, Marshall was capable of making the the least troublesome effort look like an unstoppable rocket. Whether he was being nutmegged from 20 yards at Rugby Park or hauling down a young Lee McCulloch at Celtic Park with the game on a knife-edge, one thing can be said for the deservedly maligned keeper – he was consistent with his gaffes !

 

Goalkeepers make mistakes – that’s a given. Even Johnny Thompson probably made the odd clanger against Vale Of Leven allowing Ernest McSporran the Third a tap in. That said – they also win you games and I cannot ever recall a match in which Marshall did us a turn and won us a game.

 

Concentration was also a poor point for Marshall. In derby games against Rangers, Goram would normally be the busier goalkeeper on the pitch. He would keep his team in the match with save after save leaving Celtic fans reeling and Tommy Burns exasperated, and then be celebrating a success at the end of the game due to a lapse from the hairdresser. Yes – he was qualified in this profession ! Some days I wondered why he was spending his working days on a pitch with Iain Ferguson when he should have been cutting hair in Bath Street with Taylor Ferguson. Anyway, for an example of Marshall’s dozing off attributes, see : September 1995. Gascoigne loops in a cross, El Gordo is all over the place and McCoist is at the back post to send Rangers into the next round of the cup. He had nothing to do for the previous 75 minutes. Textbook.

 

Thankfully, he lost his place halfway through the 1996/1997 season to a promising Stewart Kerr. Sadly, this didn’t stop Rangers achieving nine in a row as Kerr was involved in three of the four defeats to them in the league that season. But at least the guy in front of me at the stadium wasn’t putting in complaints about floods of tears at his feet anymore.

 

Ultimately the buck stopped with the late Thomas Burns, who probably would have been better off cashing in on him in the summer of 1995 as we left Hampden and prepared to return back to Celtic Park. Sadly, it was symptomatic of the main problem under TB – Invest in attack and neglect the defence. It was a bad day when an overcooked pie at the kiosk at the stadium seemed to be a more solid option in goals than Marshall.

 

The first thing Wim Jansen did at Celtic was sort this position out. Johnny Gould wasn’t going to ever get into a World XI, but he was a better option than Gordon Marshall. When Chic Charnley rattled a 25 yarder past the keeper in August 1997, this would be the last time he would pick a ball out of the net wearing a Celtic jersey. Cheerio and thanks for the clangers G !

 

Unfortunately this would not be the last we would have to put up with him. He would then delve into the murkier waters of Ayrshire to turn out for Kilmarnock before retiring with Motherwell, both whom he represented against the Hoops in last day title deciders in 2003 and 2005.

 

In 2005, he had the game of his life as he denied Craig Bellamy, Stillian Petrov and John Hartson with fine saves in a second half which went onto go down in infamy for all supporters of the club. We threw the league away that day. He, in fairness, did a very good job winning three points for his team. Our own fault. No excuses.

 

I thought long and hard about the name of this article. I felt ‘’ was a bit much. The guy frustrated, angered and upset me but did it really warrant the word ‘shamed’. I was trying to justify it. Then I remembered his antics in May 2003 at Rugby Park.

 

Celtic, having played 120 painstaking minutes in Seville, took to Kilmarnock four days later to contest for the title on the last day of the 2002/2003 season. Winning a high pressure game in these conditions is hard enough, but the antics from Jim Jeffries side that day go down as one of the most disgusting we’ve ever been up against, with their timewasting and cynical fouling. Refusing to give the ball back and actually being instructed to blooter the ball out the stadium and into the back of the stands by their manager was ridiculous and one of the worst culprits for this sickening approach to the game was our former keeper with a personal mission to give me a stomach ulcer. 20 seconds a goalkick, numerous instances of holding onto the ball for longer than six seconds, making a scene and expressing unparalleled joy when Thommo missed his penalty that day and not to mention his delight at full time in playing his part in ensuring Celtic weren’t Champions at the end of the day.

 

For me, Gordon Marshall shamed the Hoops and should never be remembered fondly by our support.

 

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22 thoughts on “THEY SHAMED THE HOOPS : GORDON MARSHALL

  • Arthur Trubshaw
    1 year ago

    His Rugby Park display confirmed him as a disgrace. No problems with him trying to win the game for his team but time wasting at 2 and 3 goals down was shameful to his supporters and profession. May he rot in goalkeeping hell.

    Reply
  • Tweet_Afton
    1 year ago

    He was a cretin. Douglas was another one. Two people who should never have been within an asses roar of Parkhead.

    Reply
  • Jhimmy T jnr.
    1 year ago

    Agree!!

    Reply
  • bhoys 'r us
    1 year ago

    Well said, that man. Re. the Kilmarnock game. If my memory serves me correct (don’t bet on it), with only a minute or so left in the game and Celtic leading by four(?) goals, he even went up the field to try and score from a Killie corner kick.

    Reply
  • Smnfdss
    1 year ago

    I’d say fans like you and your ilk shame the hoops more than any Gordon Marshall, Wayne Biggins or Owen Archdeacon.

    Reply
    • block_102
      1 year ago

      lol.

      Reply
  • eastside
    1 year ago

    To be fair I wouldn’t say he “shamed” us!

    Reply
  • Paul
    1 year ago

    Totally agree, gave away some stupid penalties in his time and lost some poor poor goals. In fact the only good games I can remember him playing are the 2 league decider mentioned in your post. Is ‘Shamed’ to harsh, no you’ve actually let him off lightly.

    Reply
    • jimbo
      1 year ago

      can’t believe I’m reading about one of our players from the past “shaming the hoops” Have a bit of feeling for him and his family. Your post is not Celtic class.

      Reply
      • Shugg
        1 year ago

        No, the problem was he wasn’t Celtic class

        Reply
  • Stevie g
    1 year ago

    I was at the kilmarnock game and Gordon Marshall will live long in the memory for his time wasting. It was painful to watch I dont mind an honest pro doing his job,but he was deliberate in not giving the ball back and his name will be ever etched in infamy for the way he behaved that day..

    Reply
  • MaestroMcStay
    1 year ago

    Never liked him. When he came off the pitch at halftime when we were 2-0 down to PSG in ’95 (surprise, surprise, one of the goals was a Marshall blunder) he squirted his water bottle in my Da’s face as he walked down the tunnel. My Da had shouted something like “Marshall, that was f****ng sh*te”. Hardly the worst abuse ever uttered in a football stadium. One of those guys who should never have been near a Celtic Jersey. Firstly because he was crap but more importantly because he was an arsehole.

    Reply
  • Jim mcq
    1 year ago

    Have a look thru the Celtic goalkeeper history books. There are only 3 who have a better goals per games ratio (after 100 games) and all 3 were in winning teams. Marshall had the worst Celtic team in front of him since before the 50s. Give him a break. It’s only cos he was assoc with the Huns that you don’t like him.

    Reply
    • block_102
      1 year ago

      It’s nothing to do with who he used to play for. He ballsed up for us in big big games. All the time. You’re letting revisionism get the better of you.

      Reply
  • Anto Owens
    1 year ago

    agree wholeheartedly with the article especially the last part. I will NEVER forget that day at kilmarnock in 2003 and as you say, for me the most galling part of all were the antics of gordon marshall, i still maintain you will be very hard pressed to see a goalkeeper celebrating so joyously at the final whistle when he has just lost 4 nil at home on the final day of the season. Never to be forgiven or indeed forgotten

    Reply
  • Kevin D
    1 year ago

    This is really petty and vindictive and brings shame on the Cetlc supporters.

    Reply
  • edward
    1 year ago

    Have you ever heard of Frank Haffey.Check him out

    Reply
  • schoosh71
    1 year ago

    FFS, OTT or what? If my memory serves me right the thought of Celtic spending any decent money on goalkeepers or defenders for that matter was non existent. It was the ‘Celtic Way’, while the other lot where bringing in England internationals. Because of finance and the biscuit tin mentality Celtic always had players who the fans didn’t consider to be ‘Celtic Class’. I wish i was lucky enough to have pulled on the Hoops, whether you thought i shamed the jersey or not.

    Reply
  • alfredo
    1 year ago

    See if you’re going to slag off Celts who tried their honest best, at least give the guy your name blockhead, so he can meet you one day, you can all then be big men. Fuckn cocks.

    Reply
    • block_102
      1 year ago

      “Blockhead” – Peach!!

      Reply
  • Steveo
    1 year ago

    Agree with you completely he was a total embarrasment & I played as goalkeeper but cud never defend him as a celtic goalie!!

    Reply
  • baxterboy
    1 year ago

    aww…there i was thinkin you were a dude an’ all this time yerr just a greetin faced wee lassie
    lol

    Reply

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