Bobby Petta, the Dutch winger, had a miserable first season with Celtic. Signed from Ipswich Town in July 1999, he managed only 17 games and 1 single goal (v Ayr United). The fans were far from impressed.
When Martin O’Neill took over as Manager in the summer of 2000 it sparked a rejuvenation in Petta’s form and fortunes. His skills were there for all to see, especially in a fantastic away performace against Ajax in Amsterdam where Celtic ran out 3-1 winners with Bobby – an ex-Feyenoord player – even getting on the score sheet.
The misgivings that the fans had about Bobby Petta were blown away in the 6-2 victory over Rangers on 28th August 2000. He assisted in three of the goals but it was the tormenting of his countryman, new Rangers’ defender Fernando Ricksen, that remains seared in the memory: time and again Petta turned him one way and then the other over and over again, leaving mad-eyed Ricksen more sweaty and flustered than a Rangers fan appearing on Mastermind.
Bobby’s humiliation of Ricksen was complete after only 23 minutes when the defender was hooked by boss Dick Advocaat – with Celtic already three goals up.
This remarkable turnaround in fortunes merited a tribute all of his its own, in true Glaswegian style to boot:
There’s only one Bobby Petta,
He was shite – but now he’s better
We sent him to Mass,
And now he’s pure world class –
Walking in a Petta Wonderland
A group of Celtic fans giving the song pre-match laldy on a recent visit to Amsterdam . . .
Celtic 6 Rangers 2. ‘Bobby Petta with an early surge . . .’
More Celtic songs, chants and general Timfoolery can be found here.