Ryan Christie lives up to father's name as Inverness knock out Celtic
Ryan Christie sat and watched from the Celtic Park stands as a five-year-old when his father inspired Inverness to one of the Scottish Cup's greatest shocks.
The tables were turned on Sunday as Christie junior produced an impressive midfield display as Caley Thistle knocked Celtic out of the tournament for the third time in 15 years.
So the 20-year-old joked that he had lived up to his father's name after reaching the club's first Scottish Cup final with a 3-2 extra-time win at Hampden.
Ryan's father, Charlie Christie, made more than 300 appearances for the club before managing the Caley Jags and now heads up their youth academy.
So the playmaker perhaps knew better than any other member of John Hughes' squad just what victory meant to the club after they set up a May 30 final against Scottish Championship side Falkirk.
When asked whether he was present the first time Inverness beat Celtic, Ryan Christie said: "I was just there. I can't really remember much about it. But this lives up to that, if not betters it.
"I gave my dad a big hug after full-time. Plenty of people will have to say I have lived up to his name now.
"He is delighted, not just for me, but the way everybody played and all the fans that came down were terrific.
"We have made them proud to be from Inverness. Hopefully they will be back down for the final and we can do the same.
"People forget how small a club we are. To come this far, and we have the chance to go all the way, is an incredible feat for a club our size. Hopefully it can push us on to achieve more things like this.
"It's unbelievable for everyone involved with the club. We have made dreams come true.
"Celtic were going for the treble and to overcome them the way we did was brilliant.
"We had the strategy of making sure we were still in the game. Going to extra-time, the work-rate of the boys was incredible."
Christie's father was man of the match when Inverness stunned John Barnes' team and the midfielder was a strong contender for the prize on Sunday, making a huge impact, especially after Craig Gordon's red card early in the second half.
"I really enjoy playing on big stages like that," the Scotland Under-21 international said. "I love the atmosphere, I thought it was brilliant.
"I was cramping towards the end of extra-time but the way we set up and the work we had done through the week, we made it perfectly clear how we wanted to play and we did that down to a tee.
"We said we were going to come at them. We had nothing to lose. We wanted to make sure Celtic were in a game and the tactics were superb."
The fallout from the game centred on the incident at 1-0 for Celtic when Caley Thistle defender Josh Meekings escaped punishment for keeping a goal-bound Leigh Griffiths header out with his hand.
But Christie said: "I hope it doesn't overshadow what the boys have achieved. To get to the final, you are going to need some luck along the way and maybe that was our luck.
"But I think we thoroughly deserved it, just with the way we worked and the way we passed the ball, especially in extra-time."
Belfast Telegraph Digital