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Stubbs on stopping the ten

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Alan Stubbs has revealed that there was no hidden meaning behind the famous phrase ‘smell the glove’.

On a brilliant May day back in 1998 Celtic stopped Rangers (IL) from clinching a tenth successive title on a day of high drama.

After the win over St Johnstone Wim Jansen’s squad emerged to lift the trophy with t-shirts bearing the phrase.

Pre-internet there was a lot of head shaking about the phrase with a number of theories put forward.

One of the more far fetched involved a Rangers goalkeeper visiting the Celtic dressing room at Ibrox and showing a pair of soiled gloves to the beaten side.

None of the players involved have broken rank about the phrase with Stubbs adding to the mystery when he spoke to Simon Ferry.

There was a lot of talk that season because for some reason we came up with this thing called ‘smell the glove’ and everybody wanted to know what it was. It meant nothing but everyone got obsessed by it.

We would all mention sometimes in the press conferences “we’ve got the thing smell the glove” and everybody was intrigued by it. We just kept it going all year.

At the end of the season the biggest reason we stopped ten-in-a-row was, obviously you need to get results but it was the team spirit.  You can’t underestimated how important team spirit is.

There was a togetherness and a bond with the players that we felt we could go into any game and win anything.

There were times in the season where Rangers would be ahead and then we would peg them back and it was like that all the way to the end. Then we managed to come out on top.

The biggest thing was relief at the end – you were mentally drained. You could imagine the expectation and the pressure on the players going out.

It wasn’t a record that we wanted – the team that couldn’t stop ten-in-a-row. We felt like it was something we couldn’t live with.

Luckily enough we managed to stop Rangers from doing it.

It wasn’t nice at times playing that season because of the pressure but at the end of it the satisfaction was enormous.”

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