We all remember Bobo Balde. A big hulk of a man, took no prisoners and was not scared of a tackle. I remember I met him once in a nightclub in Glasgow. Now you think he’s huge on television when watching players jump out his way, I felt like like the smallest man in the place stood next to Balde. He was a mountain.
Ex Celtic midfielder, Stan Petrov, tells of a dressing room bust up between him and Balde after a 3-1 defeat to Hibernian where two mistakes by the big defender cost the Hoops 3 points and effectively the title.
Speaking in the Oddschecker Studs Up podcast, transcribed by the Daily Record, Petrov recalls the fear he had when Balde came bounding towards him, “We were leading the game then Bobo made two mistakes for the goals. I said, ‘Bobo, we’ve told you, play it safe, get the ball out the pitch, it’s a big game for us.’ Bobo was just looking at us, he wasn’t saying anything.
“So the game finished, I go back in first. I don’t like to lose, I respect it but I’m a bad loser. I’m boiling, burning inside out.
“Bobo is walking in, and I’m going through him. I’m like, ‘Bobo, I’ve told you, it’s embarrassing, you should know better, we’ve been in this situation.’ He goes, ‘Stan, shut up.’
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“Neil Lennon walks in. He goes, ‘For f*** sake, Bobo.’ That was it.
“He just stood up and I can see he’s going for me. Jim Hendry, who is a fitness guy, he wanted to stop Bobo, John Robertson, they tried to stop him. He just threw them over the massage beds.
“Chris Sutton, he always says he tried to protect me, he didn’t.
“Alan Thompson tried to protect me, he opened the side of his locker to stop him but Bobo just pushed him inside his locker.
“Now I’m the last person.
“He grabbed me by the throat, lifted me up. I could see, ‘I’m dying here’. And all of a sudden, he just realised and he dropped me. Everyone in the dressing room was silent and he went with his kit inside the sauna.”
Petrov did say all was forgotten about the next day at training and two sorted their difference, but at least this story proves one thing. If he wants to, “Bobo is gonnae get ye!”
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