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