SCOTTISH CUP-SEMI-FINALS RANGERS V. CELTIC
ROWDYISM AT PARKHEAD
“The Referee had had occasion to penalise and speak to Quinn before, chiefly for his attentions to the Rangers’ goalkeeper, and as the end was drawing nigh he ordered him to the pavilion…That was too much for some hot-headed and irresponsible youths with Celtic sympathies, and they scaled the spiked pailings and invaded the field of play…the infection spread and soon there would be two hundred mischief-makers on the pitch. Most of the unruly members were mere lads, and matters would not have been at all serious if some of them had not attacked and struck at Mr Robertson, the Referee, their purpose obviously being to show their resentment towards that official for putting the Celtic player off the field…It was a most unfortunate occurrence, and, whatever action is taken by the Scottish Football Association, it may be taken for granted that the tie will be awarded to the Rangers, for when the disturbance took place, they had their opponents well beaten”
Celtic – Adams; McLeod and Orr; Young, Lonie and Hay; Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers and Hamilton.
The Scotsman March 27th, 1905
It is interesting to note the language used in this excerpt from The Scotsman newspaper in 1905.
Had this happened today, would it have been described in the same terms by the Scottish media? Or would we be treated to a different style of report, one which serves a different purpose and promotes a different agenda?
Would ‘ROWDYISM’ have been used to describe what happened; or would a term with greater sensationalist impact have been preferred? Or was ‘ROWDYISM’ a 1905 equivalent to today’s sensationalist newspaper terms?
It is also interesting to note the following description: ‘hot-headed and irresponsible youths with Celtic sympathies’ were responsible for spreading an ‘infection’ as they entered the field of play. Perhaps the sensationalism was present then, just as much as it is today.
Perhaps, hidden behind the far more ordinary and much politer terms of the day were the signs of an early unconscious bias in the media that has continued through to 2012.
The motive of the ‘unruly members’ was to express their resentment at the referee’s handling of the Celtic player in this game. Again, very little has changed.
And finally, the report subtly reveals the early 20th century relationship between the SFA and the Scottish Media. It stops short of advising the Scottish Football Association to award the tie to the Rangers, but puts it forward as a decision that ‘may be taken for granted’…
(Interestingly, no mention of sectarianism…)