BACK TO THE FUTURE

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 January, 1998, 12:00am

OWEN Archdeacon will run out at Parkhead tomorrow for the first time since quitting Celtic eight years ago.


And the Morton winger prepares for the third-round Scottish Cup clash he admits: 'It will be tough seeing them go out!' Archdeacon has been a Celtic fan all his life and even being bombed out in 1989 hasn't altered his loyalties.


Even his kids Owen, 13, and eight-year-old Mark have followed in his footsteps as die-hard Celts.


But Archdeacon reckons nothing would please him more than returning to his old stomping ground for one final fling.


'I've not had the chance to go back since leaving,' Owen said. 'Being someone who used to play for Celtic doesn't make it any easier to get tickets.


'But although it's been a while since I've even been to the club I'll always be associated with Celtic. It doesn't matter who I am playing for ? most people still know me as the ex-Celtic player. But it's something I've always been quite happy with. Playing for Celtic just once stays with you for the rest of your life.


'I can't wait to go back. The more I think about it the more I reckon it will be a great occasion for everyone. The atmosphere is going to be tremendous and no one needs to be motivated to play at Parkhead.


'We have to go there and play to our capabilities. We're up against better players but that puts our game to the test.


'In my days at Parkhead I was a youngster whereas at Cappielow I am one of the older heads. But hopefully the kids here will learn from me the way I did from the likes of Davie Provan and Frank McGarvey.' Archdeacon can't wait for his two Bhoys to see him run out at Parkhead.


The 31-year-old has been filling their heads with Celtic stories ever since they've been old enough to listen.


But he now fears his tales of past glories in the Hoops might work against him.


'I might be lucky to get a cheer coming out of the tunnel from them,' said the Cappielow winger. 'I asked the eldest recently who he would be supporting on Saturday and he told me tactfully that it would depend where he was sitting.


'Although the boys have lived more of their lives in England they were brought up as Celtic fans.


'Like me they always looked out for the Celtic results on a Saturday down south. And since they were old enough I have told them about my days at Parkhead.


'When the draw was made my whole family immediately said they were going to the game.' Archdeacon picked up two league championship medals with Celtic back in the 80s including the unforgettable campaign when the Parkhead men pipped Hearts for the title on the last day.


The Morton star was only 18 at the time and as they beat St Mirren to steal the title Archdeacon recalls running around Love Street in tears.


'The day we beat St Mirren 5-0 in Paisley to win the title will live with me for the rest of my life,' he said.


'It was an unbelievable day. I was only a teenager at the time and Davie Proven had just chucked it ? leaving me as the only wide player at the club.


'Manager at the time Davie Hay had thrown me in that season and I had played about 24 games on the trot before that match.


'We put a great run up until the end of the season, pushing Hearts all the way, and it came to a head at Love Street.


'I'll never forget that match because the atmosphere was unbelievable ? it couldn't have been more dramatic.


'When the roar went up that Dundee had scored against Hearts the tears were virtually running down my face. It was just so overwhelming and an amazing feeling.' Archdeacon left Celtic in 1989 to join Barnsley before a successful stint with Carlisle which saw him play at Wembley in the English divisional play-offs.


The winger turned full back admits he got tired travelling thousands of miles a week from his home in Erskine, just outside Glasgow, to Carlisle.


So he jumped at the chance to join Morton two months ago after a call from boss Billy Stark.


'The travelling was getting a bit much,' he added. 'I was leaving the house at 7.30 in the morning and not returning home until 7.00 in the evening.'