Scott Brown, what a man. The Celtic captain is back in the spotlight yet again following his sending off for inciting wild scenes at Rugby Park.
Broony’s stoppage time winner against Kilmarnock was a moment of pure class as he latched onto Dedryck Boyata’s knockdown to intentionally cannon a superb volley off the face of the hapless Alex Bruce. His shot swerved into the corner to maintain Celtic’s 100 per cent league record without concession in 2019, ensuring the Bhoys moved eight points clear of Rangers at the top of the table. But all that’s irrelevant.
Escaped a red card earlier in the match ✅
Picked up a booking ✅
Scored an injury-time winner ✅
Picked up a second yellow card for his celebration ✅
— GiveMeSport Football (@GMS__Football) February 17, 2019
Once the ball hit the back of the net, Brown sprinted into the loving embrace of a Celtic fan in the away end, sparking a pitch invasion which ended with Brown responding to receiving his second yellow card and subsequent marching orders from the referee with a thumbs up. Inspirational.
This reminder of the man’s class made us all misty-eyed, so we decided to recount some other great Scott Brown moments.
Rejecting Reading because f*ck relegation battles
Long before Brown was gallivanting in the Hoops, he was an upstart at Hibernian for whom he made his debut at 17. We all have to start somewhere.
He quickly came to prominence as one of the most talented young players in the Scottish game having helped Hibs win their first trophy in 16 years when they won the League Cup in 2007. Having been linked with a number of clubs, Brown eventually joined Celtic for what was a record fee exchanged between two Scottish teams.
However, Hibs had also agreed terms with Reading, but Brown’s response to that prospective move was: “If I had chosen Reading I would probably be fighting a relegation battle next season and then maybe disappearing into the Championship.
“In two years’ time people would have been saying, ‘Remember that lad Scott Brown — whatever happened to him?'”
This jibe irritated then Reading assistant manager Kevin Dillon who called the comments “outrageous”. Reading ended up getting relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2007/08 season and have reappeared in the top flight just once more since, so Brown might have had a point, Kev.
THAT celebration v El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf had endeared himself to Celtic fans as early as 2003 when he infamously spat at a supporter during a UEFA Cup tie, so when he joined Rangers on loan in January 2011, many thought “that muppet is just trolling at this stage”.
His first Rangers start came the following month in a thunderous Old Firm Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox (which ended 2-2) with the main man Scott Brown scoring a sensational equaliser. Picking up the ball just outside the area, the Bhoys skipper shifted it onto his left foot and bent a sumptuous strike beyond Gers ‘keeper Allan McGregor to level the score.
If you thought the strike was quality, well, the celebration was even better. Brown immediately sought out Diouf and stood before him with arms outstretched while staring straight into the Senegalese striker’s soul.
It is an image which has become iconic for good reason. Post-match, a reporter said to Brown: “you had quite a battle with El Hadji Diouf”. The midfielder’s response was packed with scorn: “Ha, sure did”.
Brown would later refer to the yellow card received for this celebration as the best of his life. Class!
Booting Neymar in the back (definitely the back, not the arm)
Barcelona travelled to Parkhead in October 2013 for this Champions League clash without the mercurial Lionel Messi, so all eyes were on Neymar to see if he could step up — and he didn’t disappoint.
The Brazilian was so electrifying on the night that an irate Brown eventually lashed out, tripping Neymar while he was on the attack and booting the literal backside off him when he hit the deck.
It was a disgraceful, unprovoked assault on an innocent, perfectly honest, world-class talent. Thankfully, the referee saw it for what it was and dismissed that horrible thug Brown. Some say Neymar hasn’t been the same since.
Celtic went on to lose 1-0. That’s what we call justice.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 23, 2017
Pedro Caixinha challenges Scott Brown to elbow him
Celtic outclassed Rangers in this particular Old Firm derby at Ibrox in September 2017, but something which particularly annoyed Pedro Caixinha was what he perceived to be a creative use of elbows by Scott Brown.
The Celtic captain and Gers frontman Alfredo Morelos had clashed in the first-half and Rangers’ Portuguese manager took umbrage with what he saw. Caixinha decided to let Brown know exactly what he thought at half-time and had to be restrained from following Brown down the tunnel.
When asked about the incident post-match, Caixinha told anybody who’d listen that if he was on the pitch, Brown wouldn’t dare put an elbow in his face.
As it happened, the elbows at dawn confrontation between the two would never come to pass as Caixinha was sacked a month later following a 1-1 draw with bottom of the table Kilmarnock. He had been at the club for 229 days, making him the shortest serving manager in Rangers’ history.
His major achievements in that time were not getting elbowed by Scott Brown and getting Rangers eliminated from the Europa League by FC Progrès Niederkorn – a team from Luxembourg who had never previously won a game in European competition and had lost to Shamrock Rovers in a Europa League qualifying round, two years before.