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so farewell then...

barry
robson

Barry Robson had only two years with us and was part of a team that managed to throw away a league for the want of two goals. But he will always be remembered as the heart and engine room of the team that came back from the dead to win the league in 2008.

Safe to say that Barry Robson didn’t exactly have impeccable Celtic credentials. His family in Inverurie are, apparently, serious blue noses and in 1995 he signed for Rangers as well.

But things didn’t go well at Ibrox and after two years he left for ICT.

Again things went badly, so much so that they sent him on loan to Forfar. Apparently the turning point for him was that game ICT played at Celtic Park in the cup. Robson was playing for Forfar that night and realised he was going nowhere fast.

He turned his career around and was signed for Dundee United in 2003, from which point he became a stalwart. He was actually their joint top scorer when we signed him on the last day of the January transfer window 2008.

Up to this point in his career it is unlikely that Robson had managed to get through 90 minutes against Celtic without getting his name taken. Put simply, he was well up for it when he played against the Hoops.

Yet his signing was greeted not with any hostility from the support. Instead, everyone realised that this was exactly what we needed to beef up the midfield and his opening statement was superb. He was brought on at Pittodrie and scored with his first touch of the ball, a free kick from the edge of the box.

But if you want to talk about making a positive impact you need look no further than the game against Rangers that took place at Celtic Park on April 16th 2008; within 60 seconds Barry Robson had flattened Christian Dailly and had the entire Rangers team fuming at the referee.

This wasn’t what this game was about, didn’t the ref know that?

Yes, the Rangers team has a free reign to plough through their opponents waved on encouragingly by Rev. McCurry, but like all good bullies they don’t like it much when the tables are turned. Hartley and Robson laid out markers that night.

With 20 minutes to go and the game tied at 1-1 WGS decided he had to go for broke and put on Samaras for Robson. The crowd booed, not because Samaras was coming on, but because Robson had played excellently. That said, Gordon strachan’s gamble paid off with a last gasp goal.

The next game was even better for Robson. Again he and Hartley ruled the midfield, but when we got a penalty at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go it was Robson who stepped up and drilled the ball in to give us the 3-2 win. On CQN Paul67 wrote that Robson took the penalty as though his entire career had been building to that moment.

It must have been strange, but great, for him to win the league back at the same Tannadice where he had spent so many years and had so many friends.

Last season he was in and out of the team, mainly through fitness issues. His absence through injury was often overlooked but to me was a major part in our failure to win the league.

Whatever criticisms could be made of Robson - and he certainly is incredibly one footed (what does he do at training? Does even thinking about his right foot not come in to it?) - are for me offset by the attitude he brings to the team. A team that contains Barry Robson doesn’t lose because of a lack of heart.

Maybe we should buy him back.