Date: 19th April 2017 at 6:48pm
Written by:

As he watched the action from Dingwall on Sunday Andy Murdoch felt that his place in the history of Scottish football was under threat.

Back in 1993, the Partick Thistle keeper was involved in the most outrageous decision seen in Scottish football when Les Mottram missed a clear goal for Dundee United. And for good measure as blatant a handball as you’ll ever see.

Sky Sports was in it’s infancy but STV had cameras at the match with the incident still watched regularly on You Tube with over 4.5m views.

Since Sunday Murdoch has been wrestling with the great debate- has Mottram’s mistake been overtaken by Don Robertson’s imagination?

One of the first things that popped into my head was ‘was that the worst refereeing decision that I’ve ever seen’,” the former Celt turned copper admitted. “That was my instant thought then I was back to Mr Motram’s debacle in 1993 again!

At least Les Mottram could say that the configuration of goalposts was changed after his error, the stanchions were done away with after that but Robertson doesn’t have anything like that to hang onto.

There weren’t many cameras at Firhill for that match but it was still ridiculous watching it the next day on Scotsport. I’m still amazed how Mottram missed it and also his assistant, that incident came from a corner so they were both looking in on the corner.

 Go to 1 min 20 seconds for incident

“Michael O’Neill took the corner, John Clark flicked it on at the front post then Paddy Connolly put it in at the back post with Scott Crabbe nearby.

Paddy put it in from a yard out. We had Grant Tierney on the front post, Paul McLaughlin at the back and somehow the ball landed in Martin Clark’s hands. I remember looking at him, they were away celebrating, Martin handed the ball to me, I kicked the ball up the park to take centre again and I just remember seeing big Les Mottram with two hands in the air saying ‘Play on, play on’.

I looked at Davie Irons, he looked at me, Grant Tierney looked at me as well and we just played on. It was so bizarre.”

Murdoch added: “I remember Stewart Hogg the Dundee United sprint coach getting to Mottram at half-time and there weren’t many words that weren’t expletives.

He got to him before Paul Sturrock then Jim McLean was on the scene. How Mottram survived in that tunnel I’ll never know!

The referee room at Firhill is down the stairs close to the away dressing room. I’d loved to have been a fly in the wall in either of those rooms.

I wonder what Les thinks of that day. I’d love to meet him again just to ask the questions- What were you thinking, what was going through your head? After it did you want to say something about it? It was unbelievable.”

Murdoch joined Celtic in 1987 and left for Thistle in 1991 where he spent four seasons before joining the police force.

The highlight of his time without a doubt was coming on as a late substitute for Packy Bonner in Bryan Robson’s testimonial,” he added.

I never knew that my dad (Andy Snr) was coming down but he had travelled on with the Greenock Celtic Supporters Club.

During the warm up I went behind the goal to collect a ball and through the fence I saw my dad’s face among the crowd. I never knew he’d be there but seeing him made the hairs on the back on my neck stand up. The whole experience from start to finish was incredible.

I’ve still got the jersey, Neilly Michan gave it to me and I’ve given the list of the players that were in the hotel in Manchester to The Parlour in New York where it’s up on display.”

CLICK HERE to follow Andy on twitter.