Alan Thompson: Rangers fans lap up Celtic hero's Helicopter Sunday tears
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Alan Thompson: Rangers fans lap up Celtic hero's Helicopter Sunday tears

For Rangers fans Helicopter Sunday remains one of the best days of their entire footballing lives – but for ex-Celtic star Alan Thompson it remains a continuous source of misery.

The outspoken former Parkhead winger played at Fir Park on that fateful day in May 2005 as Celtic spurned a host of chances and conceded two late goals to Motherwell to lose 2-1 and force the Helicopter to change direction.

In Edinburgh, Rangers had beaten Hibs 1-0 and news quickly filtered in of Scott MacDonald’s two late goals against the hapless Hoops on the final day of the season.

Rangers would win the title on the final day in a remarkable twist of fate that is the stuff of legend and had bluenoses rejoicing whilst Celtic hearts were broken.

Now, Thompson has been reflecting on that fateful day and fans will be very glad to hear that it still hurts like hell.

The ex-Celtic winger also took aim at future Celtic forward Scott MacDonald and the Motherwell team for their celebrations on the day.

“The last game of the season we played Motherwell at Fir Park with Rangers playing Hibs away at Easter Road. I’ll never forget it as long as I live,” said Thompson in an excerpt from his new book A Geordie Bhoy, serialised in the Scottish Sun.

“All we had to do was win the game that day and we’d be crowned champions again.

Alan Thompson describes Helicopter Sunday as “utter devastation”

“Chris Sutton scored, we were in a great position and we missed some great chances to put that game to bed.

“The league was coming back to Celtic Park until the 88th minute when self-confessed Celtic fanatic Scott McDonald scored, then bagged another in the 90th minute to hand Rangers the title.

“It was utter devastation. I’ve had lows in football but this was something from out of this world. I’d never seen or felt anything like it.

Alan Thompson also missed a penalty for Celtic during final day heartbreak in 2003 as Rangers inflicted an earlier Helicopter Sunday on the Parkhead legend. (Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images)

“I can understand ex-Rangers man Terry Butcher going nuts as the Motherwell boss, but McDonald celebrated like he’d just won the league.

“He went crazy with joy when thousands of Celtic supporters were on the floor in tears.

“The way Motherwell celebrated was an absolute disgrace. There was no respect. It was like they won that title.

“Back at Easter Road, Marvin Andrews said God was behind us losing the league in the last two minutes of the season.

“I don’t know what God was playing at if that was true. It was a stake through the heart to all of us on that pitch at Fir Park.

What a day for the famous Glasgow Rangers as Alan Thompson had his heart broken on Helicopter Sunday. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

“I’m still broken-hearted about it, and it brings a bad feeling to my stomach.

“Now, 16 years on, I still can’t describe the feeling. If we thought losing in Seville and losing the league on the last day in 2003 were bad, this was tenfold.

“Martin O’Neill said after the game, ‘Listen lads, the Cup final next week is going to be my last game’.

“There were just no words about how I was feeling that day.”

That feels so good and Rangers supporters everywhere have been quick to lap up the tears of Alan Thompson as they reminisce about Helicopter Sunday:

Helicopter Sunday is a day of legend amongst Rangers fans and we’ve got to say thanks to Alan Thompson for reiterating just how painful the entire thing was to Celtic supporters.

Let’s hope we can continue to pile on the agony this season with a victory over Hibs at Easter Road sure to go some way to killing rival momentum.

It’ll be a tough game in Edinburgh and here’s how we’re tipping the Ibrox side to line up against the Hibees.

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