Belfast Telegraph

John Gregg paid for Glenavon Boxing Day heroics

By Stuart McKinley

The man who scored Glenavon's winner the last time they beat Portadown in a Boxing Day derby has revealed how his big moment resulted in a dressing room telling off – and cost him money.

It was John Gregg's goal that gave the Lurgan Blues a 1-0 victory over the Ports in their festive clash back in 1996 – their last Boxing Day success before Mark Patton ended 17 years of hurt for the Mourneview Park faithful when he scored the goal that gave Gary Hamilton's team a 3-2 win last Thursday.

The derby day joy was rather short lived for Gregg though as just minutes after the final whistle he was hit with a fine following a reprimand from his manager.

"I remember the game very clearly. We were under the cosh because we'd been reduced to 10 men when Sammy Johnston was sent off," said Gregg.

"He'd already been booked and get a second yellow card for diving – when he'd actually been upended in the box.

"It was a hell of a game with a huge crowd and when I picked up the ball I saw the chance to drive forward and hit one from 20 yards.

"I had Glenn Ferguson getting at me because he thought I should have squared the ball to him – he was always the same and just had a hunger for scoring goals.

"In the jubilation after the match I took my shirt off and threw it into the crowd.

"When we got back into the dressing room after the match everyone was happy, but the next minute I was getting a rollocking from the kit man.

"He shouted at me: 'what did you throw your shirt away for? We only have one set of kits you stupid idiot.'

"Nigel Best was the manager then and when he heard about it he joined in the telling off.

"Talk about taking the taste of it. I'd just scored the winner in our Boxing Day derby, the fans were going crazy, the dressing room was on a high and I got fined £20!

"I used to get fined every week at Glenavon though, so it was just a normal day for me really."

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