Graeme Souness has rolled back the years to recreate his iconic moment when manager of Galatasaray almost 30 years ago.
The Scot was present for his former club's final home game of the Turkish Super Lig season on Sunday as they were crowned champions for a record 23rd time and their first since 2018/19. Galatasaray made sure they kicked off the party atmosphere by overcoming fierce rivals and runners-up Fenerbahce 3-0 at Nef Stadyumu, before the celebrations got in full swing.
While the stage was being set up for Galatasaray's trophy lift, Souness took to the field armed with a huge flag bearing the club's colours as he waved it high while the fans inside the stadium watched on. At one point he accidentally caught a steward in the face with it.
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The scenes were reminiscent of the remarkable moment Souness stormed onto Fenerbahce's pitch with an identical flag after the second leg of the 1996 Turkish Cup final at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium and planted it straight in the centre circle. Galatasaray had beaten their rivals under Souness' management courtesy of a Dean Saunders goal in extra time.
Needless to say, Souness' fearless actions didn't go down particularly well with Fenerbahce, almost sparking a riot as the furious home fans expressed their disapproval. Souness recalled the incident years later on Sky Sports and explained his moment of madness.
"One of [Fenerbahce's] vice-presidents had said 'what are Galatasaray doing signing a cripple?', he was referring to the open-heart surgery I had. We win the trophy (nine months later) and after the game, all of our players ran down to one end where our supporters were and that great big flag was handed over. All the players took turns to wave it and then it's my turn, I give it a few waves and then turned to hand it to someone.
"They [the players] had all run off to the halfway line, so I am now jogging back up to the halfway line with this flag and I look into the emptying stands and I can see this guy's face who called me a cripple. As a sort of, 'I'll show you who's a cripple' I ran off to the centre of the pitch, got the flag in and turned round and I realised, all the supporters now climbing over the fence and I'm thinking 'maybe this wasn't such a good idea."
That is probably quite the understatement, considering Souness then had to be escorted from the field by police.
"I get underneath the perspex shields of the police and I am in the tunnel saying to myself 'cor, got away with that one'," Souness continued. "And just as I thought that I got clumped round the side of the head by a supporter who had got into the tunnel."
He added: "It's one of those things you wished you hadn't done but at the time seemed like a good idea."
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