Football

Graeme Souness Explains Mad Story Behind Famous Flag Planting In Turkey

Graeme Souness Explains Mad Story Behind Famous Flag Planting In Turkey

Graeme Souness was a bit of a madman in his playing days. He was certainly what you could describe as 'no nonsense' midfielder and he didn't take any prisoners on the pitch.

He took the same approach into management, with varying success at a number of different clubs. One of his most famous moments came during his time in Turkey.

Souness was in charge of Galatasaray when they would play arch rivals Fenerbahce in a cup final away from home. They would win the game, when the Scot would go on to plant a Galatasaray flag on the pitch after the match. Pandemonium ensured.

Speaking on Virgin Media Sport this evening, he revealed his motivation for planting the flag. It is a mad story.

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It wasn't the cleverest thing I've done. It was in the response to one of the directors going back nine months before who had questioned what Galatasaray were doing signing me. He referred to me as a cripple because I had open heart surgery.

We won the cup in their stadium, there were big flags handed over by the supporters. It was my turn to wave it, gave it a couple of waves and looked to hand it back. There was nobody there, they had all gone back to the halfway line.

I've got the flag, jogging back to the halfway to get the cup. I looked up to the stands and saw this director in the director's box, so looking down I thought 'I'll show you who's a cripple'.

Once I planted it, I thought it was a good idea until I got it into the ground. I turned around and their supporters weren't too happy and were trying to get onto the pitch.

I found a bit of pace from somewhere and managed to get underneath the police shields and into the tunnel...

I'm sitting in the dressing room and I'm thinking that when the president comes down I'm getting my air ticket back home tomorrow morning.

I've never kissed as many moustachioed men in my life! All the directors had tears in their eyes and it went down really well.

What a story.

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Gary Connaughton

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