They were the shocking days when Belfast football fans did the shooting as well as the players.
For over 100 years ago the Irish League was a political football in a frighteningly real sense of the word as Protestant and Catholic supporters brought the guns out at several flashpoint games.
There were many, many injuries but the fact that there were no deaths was due as much to providence as anything else.
And besides, the Belfast attacks were overshadowed by the horror of the Bloody Sunday massacre in Dublin's Croke Park where state forces shot dead 14 civilians at a Gaelic football game in November 1920.
But now one of the worst days of violence at a sporting arena north of the border has been re-visited in a podcast on Northern Ireland's troubled past by a local historian, Jason Burke, who chillingly tells how, in September 1912, a match between Belfast Celtic and Linfield had to be abandoned after shots were fired at Celtic Park
It was a game which could hardly have been played in tenser sectarian times with the signing of the Ulster Covenant just two weeks away and the home rule crisis smouldering.
Sixteen thousand passionate fans were at the match and all hell broke loose before half-time with Linfield leading 1-0.
Burke recounts how Celtic fans threw missiles at rival supporters and the visitors responded in kind.
But then, almost unbelievably, the sound of gunfire rang out with a Celtic fan opening up on the Linfield supporters with a revolver, injuring five of them.
Four RUC officers who baton-charged both sets of fans to keep them apart were also hurt. Altogether 60 fans needed hospital treatment for a range of injuries.
Bizarrely, both teams wanted to play the second half but their pleas were rejected by the English referee.
The trouble which continued outside the ground made headlines all around the British Isles and two years later the guns were out again, this time at a junior match between Linfield Rangers and a team called Springfield Amateurs from west Belfast.
One account said that late in the game Springfield scored a goal which 'led to Linfield supporters discharging a volley of shots from revolvers as they invaded the field.'
Amazingly, the game wasn't abandoned and the report said: "The match was completed with Springfield claiming a two-goal victory.
"As the crowd - estimated at 2,000 - left the Grosvenor Road ground there was further violence in surrounding streets."
Six years later, on St Patrick's Day 1920, Belfast Celtic and Glentoran faced each other at Solitude for a replay of an Irish Cup semi-final. An estimated 18,000 supporters from west and east Belfast packed the ground and reports said that political tensions, which had been prevalent in the city, were soon mirrored at the match.
One report said: "The political undertones to the fixture were apparent from early in the game when a crowd of young men in the unreserved stand started singing 'The Soldier's Song' and waving Sinn Féin flags, though they did not interfere with the conduct of the game."
However, that all changed when a Celtic player was sent off for a 'bad tackle' after 80 minutes of the game in which the respective goalkeepers were actually brothers Bertie and John Mehaffey.
Celtic fans invaded the pitch and observers said it appeared that they were planning to attack the ref who was ushered to safety, but Glentoran fans started to throw stones at their rivals on the pitch.
One Celtic fan responded with gunfire causing a stampede to the exits.
Four people, including a policeman, were wounded and another six fans were hurt during rioting. The suspect, who'd been surrounded by dozens of police on the pitch, was then taken away in a van by officers armed with rifles ready to stop any bids to free him or lynch him.
Sporadic violence during matches between Protestant and Catholic clubs continued.
In November 1945, however, it was the players who were warned by police about their behaviour.
The Second World War wasn't long over but observers said there was no chance of peace breaking out at a match between Glentoran and Belfast Celtic.
Reports said that all 22 players on the pitch at Celtic Park were involved in a massive 'fist fight' just before half time and it was so serious that two senior police officers stormed into both dressing rooms to warn the sides about a potential breach of the peace.
After consulting officials from the two clubs it was decided to let the match continue and it ended in a 2-2 draw.
Three years later, however, on Boxing Day 1948 came one of the most shameful days in Irish League history when Linfield and Belfast Celtic met in front of 30,000 fans at Windsor Park.
A Belfast Celtic society website quoted one commentator recalling being at 'the fuming cauldron of Windsor Park, watching 22 men from Linfield and Belfast Celtic being urged on to slaughter by many thousands of biased fans".
After the 1-1 draw. during which there were a series of injuries and sendings-off, Linfield fans invaded the pitch and set upon Celtic centre forward Jimmy Jones who claimed his life was saved by a Ballymena player in the crowd, Sean McCann, who threw himself on top of him.
Celtic later quit the Irish League, never to return.
Decades later the troubles resulted in many more black days that included a murder bid on a player as he trained in Bangor; a loyalist bomb attack aimed at Cliftonville fans and an IRA bomb blast near a Northern Ireland international game at Windsor Park, plus the infamous Night in November game during a World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and the Republic at the Belfast venue.