Iconic Boro skipper Tony Mowbray finally left the club in November 1991 after over a decade of sterling service.

Shaun Wilson



He returned to Ayresome Park the following pre-season with his new club Celtic to play in his testimonial match.

His side were backed by almost 10,000 visiting fans, many mingling in home areas. The game was a hard fought entertaining affair with Boro looking to impress before their bow in the Premier League.

Paul Wilkinson slotted Boro ahead just before the break after racing free onto a Willie Falconer through ball, but Celtic levelled ten minutes from time through Tommy Coyne.

Included in Celtic’s side were Chris Morris and Derek Whyte, while Andy Payton came on as a second half sub for Boro.

Within a week all three players had swapped colours with Whyte joining in a club record £900,000 deal, while Morris and Whyte were swapped with both players being valued at £600,000.

After moving into management, Mowbray had spells as boss of both his former sides.

The 1992 game wasn’t the first time Celtic had travelled south of the border to Ayresome Park.

They were indeed the first visitors to the brand new ground in September 1903. The game was a precursor to the official opening versus Sunderland the week after.

About 7,000 spectators watched as a Willie White penalty won Boro the game.

Skip forward to 1957 and the footballing world had been caught by the floodlight bug.

Boro took the plunge by awarding a contract to the General Electric Company to erect 4 pylons, each 135 foot high and each containing 36 x 1500 watt lamps. The final cost of installation came to £18,209 2s 6d.

Unfortunately the new pylons didn’t please everyone and a Mr Smith of Kensington Road wrote to the club saying that the floodlights were an eyesore and would considerably lower the value of his property. Boro disagreed and decided to take no action.

A series of friendlies were arranged to mark the occasion, with Sunderland the first visitors. Boro were smarting from a 5-0 drubbing by Celtic’s rivals Hibs, and Bob Dennison’s instructions were to attack, attack, attack!

Celtic opened the scoring through McPhail after 15 minutes but then Brian Clough entered the stage. The young striker scored 4 superb goals, with Lindy Delapenha scoring a penalty and Joe Scott grabbing the other in a 6-1 win.