He took a half day then hit a hat-trick against Celtic
NAME a player who has scored a hat- trick against Celtic at Hampden Park.
There aren’t many. Ally McCoist for Rangers and Joe Harper for Hibs both managed to hit the net three times against the Hoops at the National Stadium.
Another man who achieved the feat is Derek Rylance of Arbroath.
His treble on August 28, 1972 was billed as the Hoops being rocked by a complete unknown in a 3-3 draw.
Forty five years on from his shock hat- trick, Derek admits that he was as surprised as anyone to score three times.
Celebrating scoring wasn’t something he was used to.
He recalled: “If people were expecting a big celebration, they didn’t get it.
“I had no idea what you were supposed to do in these circumstances.
“I was a pretty laid- back character and this was all new to me. It was only my eighth start for Abroath.
“I’d signed at the end of the previous season. We were going for promotion to the First Division, but I was normally on the bench.
“We made it up to the top flight and the season started with the League Cup.
“Our section had Celtic, East Fife and Stirling Albion in it.
“We played the away game against Celtic at Hampden because they were having work done at their ground.
“It was on a Monday night, so I was working from 8 o’clock in the mor ning at a whiskey warehouse in Perth.
“As I recall, I managed to get the afternoon off for the game in Glasgow.”
Arbroath actually scored four times in the match. Celtic made it 1-1 with an own goal from Tom Cargill.
Derek said: “Tam took a swipe at the ball about 35 yards out and sent the ball sailing over Gordon Marshall’s head.
“My first goal came when I side- footed the ball home after Kenny Payne’s shot had been parried by Denis Connaghan.
“We were 3-1 down when I got the second, shouting at Billy Pirie to leave the ball so I could shoot.
“The third came when Eric Sellars crossed and I jumped between Billy McNeill and George Connolly to head into the net.
“It was the perfect hat- trick. The first with my right foot, the second with my left, and finally a header.”
Getting that treble meant Derek was seen by some as a newly-discovered goal machine.
He went on: “I played 10 seasons with Arbroath, but never once as a striker.
“I played in defence, and most of the time I was at left back.
“There were a few occasions when I played in midfield.
“I might have been listed as number eight or nine, but that didn’t mean I was playing up front.
“However, our next match after the Celtic game was Falkirk away – and they put a man marker on me!
“They obviously thought I was the man to stop after hearing about my goals.”
Arbroath enjoyed several successful seasons under manager Albert Henderson.
“He was like a second dad to me,” said Derek, now 65.
“I was always part- time and we didn’t make a fortune, but I just loved playing football.
“There was a real family atmosphere at the club.
“I scored against Celtic again in a 2-2 draw at Gayfield. Jimmy Bone, who scored our first goal, said: ‘ You must enjoy scoring against them’.
“We also had a 3-2 win against Rangers at Ibrox in 1974. The team played really well that day,”
Derek left the Red Lichties in 1981 and was eventually persuaded to return Kinnoull Juniors – the team he was with before turning professional.
■ Derek Rylance as he looked back in 1972.