Graeme Souness explains why he planted Galatasaray flag in Fenerbahce’s pitch

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Graeme Souness is responsible for one of the craziest moments in the history of football - and that’s no exaggeration.

Everyone knows the relationship between Turkish giants Galatasaray and Fenerbahce is hostile - to put it mildly - and nobody in their right mind would have done what Souness did back in 1996.

The former midfielder, who was a talented and successful footballer in his pomp, famously planted a Galatasaray flag in the centre circle of Fenerbahce’s pitch - an action that almost sparked a riot.


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Souness remains a cult hero in the eyes of the Galatasaray supporters, but the man himself admitted on Monday that it wasn’t a particularly smart decision.

However, he revealed in detail what prompted him to do what he did during his appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football this week.

Video: Souness explains why he did it

“When I went there one of their vice-presidents had asked in the papers ‘what are Galatasaray doing by signing a cripple?’” Souness explained.

“He was talking about me because about 18 months earlier I had open-heart surgery. We won the cup, in their stadium, and the big flag is handed over from our supporters. All our players had the chance to wave it.

“They handed it to me, I handed it to another player and went down to the halfway line to get the cup.

“I went back up towards the halfway line, looking up at emptying stands and unbelievably I saw this guy's face in the director’s box.

“I thought ‘I’ll show you who's a cripple’ and it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. When I planted it and turned around... I quickly realised there were a number of supporters trying to get on to the pitch.

“I managed to get out of there relatively scot-free. Relatively.”

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Souness is happy working as a pundit

Galatasaray fans will be delighted that Souness opted against saying he regretted the incident, while it’s fair to say that Fenerbahce won’t be inviting him to the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium any time soon.

Souness’ spell with Galatasaray ended weeks later and he returned to England, where he took the reins at Southampton.

He then had spells with Torino, Benfica, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

Since leaving St James’ Park in 2006, Souness has been working as a pundit and he revealed on MNF that he has no desire to return to management.

Is this the craziest moment in football history? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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