Mo was hated by sup­port­ers on both sides. . .play­ing in an Old Firm game with no shin­guards? That’s how tough he was

The Herald - Sport - - PART III: MO JO ON CLOUD NINE IN ‘89 -

and with the sec­ond he smashed in a low shot that beat the div­ing Pat Bon­ner at his right-hand post. With 88 min­utes gone, there was lit­tle doubt on ei­ther side that this would prove a telling in­ter­ven­tion.

“The thing that al­ways sticks in my mind is that he played the last 20 min­utes of that game with his socks at his an­kles,” said Cameron. “Play­ing in an Old Firm game with no shin­guards? That showed how tough he was. That goal was an in­cred­i­ble mo­ment for Mo, a real turn­ing point.”

Some play­ers, for what­ever rea­son, mark a goal against a for­mer club with a muted cel­e­bra­tion. That idea clearly never crossed John­ston’s mind. Sim­i­larly, if there had been any Rangers sup­port­ers de­ter­mined not to ac­knowl­edge any­thing achieved by this one-time Celtic for­ward than there was lit­tle ev­i­dence of it. Scan the footage of John­ston har­ing to­wards the Co­p­land stand and all he en­coun­ters is a sea of ut­ter delir­ium. Ev­i­dence of any­one sit­ting, arms-crossed in a staunch, Pres­by­te­rian show of de­fi­ance, is no­table only by its ab­sence. John­ston had fi­nally won them all over and in the best way pos­si­ble. The goal not only punc­tured Celtic’s re­sis­tance but also had the ef­fect of lifting Rangers to the top of the Scot­tish Premier League, above Aberdeen on goal dif­fer­ence. They would still be there come the end of the sea­son, win­ning their sec­ond of what would go on to be­come nine suc­ces­sive cham­pi­onships.

John­ston was booked for leav­ing the field of play dur­ing his cel­e­bra­tion but did not seem un­duly per­turbed by it. “Given the stick that I’ve taken it was good to score against them,” he said, “es­pe­cially in front of the Rangers fans. After that I think they ac­cepted me.”

SWEET RE­VENGE: John­ston was bar­raged by Celtic fans, but his strike sealed the win over his old club.

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