Newcastle cult hero Temuri Ketsbaia opens up about his infamous 'celebration' - and he's still not happy


If you get a booking for 'excessive celebration' these days, what colour would have befallen Temuri Ketsbaia back in 1998?


It recent years, Newcastle United fans have got rather used to wild-eyed fits of rage within the walls of St James’ Park.

Years of insufficient performances from the boardroom to the dugout the pitch hardly lend itself to a happy atmosphere after all.

Yet, Temuri Ketsbaia took that inner rage to a whole new level in 1998. His last minute winner against Bolton Wanderers was dramatic enough but, 18 years on, no-one remembers the goal. His celebration made sure of that.

Forget Eric Cantona’s chest-puffed smugness or Lomano Lua Lua’s vision-blurring backflips, the sight of a shirtless Georgian kicking and mutilating the St James’ advertising hoardings remains arguably the most infamous celebration in Premier League history. If you can call slamming a studded size nine through an Adidas logo a celebration that is.


It doesn’t make the sight any less disturbing then, when you find out Ketsbaia had his manager’s face imprinted vividly in his mind during his fit of skin-baring fury. Fortunately for Kenny Dalglish, Newcastle’s then manager (below), the 48-year-old appears to have mellowed somewhat in the intervening years.

Kenny Dalglish Newcastle

“It was a very bad time for me, I deserved to be playing more,” Ketsbaia told the Daily Mail.

“Now I had this opportunity to express myself, and I did. But it is not something I like. I am upset that people remember me because of this. That is a great shame, I did so much more for the club.

“I have never watched it back and never will do. I am not proud.”


It’s still there on YouTube if you ever change your mind Temuri.

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