Janefield Riot 1st May 1985

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By Macaroon 23rd May 2018

Celtic Casuals

Going with our terrace culture section again, we hook up with our friends in the CSC. We wanted to cover a story which has famously been labelled ‘The Janefield Riot’ in 1985. One of the reasons for this is recently when Celtic played Rangers at Parkhead there was a crush near the cemetery before the match which had been named ‘The Janefield Crush’ which appears to be a bit of a whitewash again. This brings us back to 1st of May 1985 after the last old firm game at Celtic park.

Again, we want to talk about the guys that were there on the night.

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Davie Basset Club

One of my most early memorable day’s out with the Celtic Casuals, under the name RCC, was the last Old Firm game of the season at Celtic Park during the 1984/85 season.

 During the match we were positioned at the end of the jungle next to the old Rangers end and right next to the Rangers ICF. It was the days of sportswear and ski hats. The usual chants and songs were going back and forth ‘ICF w*nk w*nk w*nk!’ There were coins getting thrown between the two sets of lads. Then, just as the game started, a bottle of irn bru was thrown towards our end and which smashed in front of a copper who was next to the segregation. You need to recall that the jungle didn’t have that mesh fence at this time. The bottle seemed to stir everyone up and the two mobs were trying to push towards each other.

The Celtic Casuals outnumbered the ICF on this night and this was the days when Rangers fans got the whole end behind the goal, which was around 25,000 tickets.

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Roy Aitken missed an early penalty for Celtic but eventually we go 1-0 up after an hour into the game. Later in the match Rangers have gone down to nine men, when Stuart Munro seems to have a swipe at Mo Johnston.

Rangers then get a penalty with minutes to go and they equalise to make it 1-1. This is a game where we want to go out on a high against Rangers, as we always do, but this was a hard one to take as we hadn’t beaten Rangers at Parkhead in a while and didn’t take advantage of Rangers 9 men; also this result basically hands Aberdeen the League title.

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As we leave the ground and onto Janefield Street, the Celtic supporters, or scarfers as we liked to call them, numbered quite a few thousand, and they almost decided to take the result out on us. It was really a nothing incident, but the fans started chanting at us: ‘Casuals get to f**k’ and ‘Celtic and Casuals don’t go’ . To be fair we had experienced this from our own fans before and this was no different, so we chanted back at them. This, like most other times, would normally just fizzle out, especially with us knowing we were totally outnumbered by thousands, so it wouldn’t be wise to get involved in anything.

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As predicted that’s what happens, it fizzles out and we move onto Janefield Street. At this point around a minute later, a Police horse seems to reverse back and just about knock over a Celtic fan, so there’s then a big roar. Then, for some crazy, bizarre reason the police hit some kind of code red and decide to gallop into the Celtic support with their horses, which, as you can imagine caused mayhem.

A lot of the crowd jumped onto the railing’s outside the flats on Janefield Street which then toppled over with the weight of the crowd. The OB galloped up and down Janefield Street, which if you know, was always a bottlenecked street and you could hardly move there on a match day. Coming out onto this street with a lot of the fans trying to jump to the sides, some could only try and run forward or back. By the end of it all there were plenty of casualties lying both sides of the road. Amazingly nobody was seriously injured night and it might have been even worse. As we approached Holywell Street we had Celtic fans shouting at us, telling us we’re not proper fans and not to come back. A lot of these fans hadn’t even seen what had happened or even how the incident had started.

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After what was claimed to be an inquiry of sorts, no police or anyone connected to the incident was ever brought to justice.

It seemed to us that it was simply more convenient for everyone to blame the Celtic Casuals. Even the Celtic board at the time seemed happy to go along with that. This was known as the famous Janefield Riot. The only ‘riot’ I am aware of that night was caused by police on horseback after a very minor incident.

 Teams

Celtic: Latchford W McStay MacLeod Aitken McGugan Grant Provan McStay Johnston McClair McInally (Colquhoun) Sub: McKechnie

Scorer: McInally 60

Rangers: McCloy Dawson Munro McPherson Johnstone Durrant Russell (Burns) E Ferguson (I Ferguson) McCist Cooper

Scorer: McCoist pen 77

Attendance: 40,079 

One thought on “Janefield Riot 1st May 1985

  1. All I can say is scarfers pissed me off big time there was a few times they started fights and left us too deal with it i remember we fought the icf in the grave yard before and after the game

    Like

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