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Born on this day in 1966 in Belfast is Anthony Gerard Patrick Rogan, commonly known as Anton.

Hailing from the West Belfast area of Lenadoon, Anton learned his football trade as a youth at St Oliver Plunkett FC, while also playing Gaelic football for St Paul’s, and joined the big time with Distillery. Despite suffering two leg breaks, his career progressed and he achieved his boyhood dream of playing for Celtic when he signed on May 9th 1986, aged just 19. His debut came the following January, when Hamilton Academicals were beaten 8-3. Usually a left back, he also played on the left side of central defence, and his 128 League games included those that helped the Bhoys take the League and Cup double in their centenary year of 1988. During his Celtic days he won his first caps for Northern Ireland, but the fact that he played for Celtic meant that he faced sectarian abuse and chants from so-called fans when he played. When Neil Lennon faced similar problems, Anton commented that he silenced the "boo boys" with his first tackle against Poland - "my first tackle put a poor Polish lad a mile high". He only managed one international goal, but it went in at the wrong end as he opened the scoring for Spain in a World Cup Qualifier in December 1988.

There was another Cup win with Celtic in 1989, and a third final in 1990. However, this one, against Aberdeen, ended 0-0 after extra time (Anton having obviously done his defensive duties well) and went to penalties. After nine shots each, the score was 8 apiece, and up stepped Anton – who missed, leaving Aberdeen’s Brian Irvine the chance to win the cup with his kick, which he did. There weren’t many goals, but his most celebrated was the opener in a 3-0 win over Rangers in 1991.

After five years at Celtic new boss Liam Brady decided that Anton was surplus to requirements and, much to the player’s disappointment, accepted an offer of £350,000 from Denis Smith. Anton joined other recent arrivals John Byrne and loanee Peter Beagrie as Smith looked to bolster our squad in the push for promotion. He quickly became a popular player, using his strength, pace, and ability in the air to dominate opponents. According to his contemporaries, he was a proper character off the field, and he featured in all eight of our FA Cup ties as we reached the final. A calf injury to John Kay robbed Anton of his usual full-back marra, with Gary Owers filling in – but we all know what the score was in that game. Even so, Anton, and the rest of the Sunderland team, were erroneously presented with winners’ medals, and held onto them for about twenty minutes until the mistake was rectified. Not long before that final, he’d scored his only Sunderland goal –a bit of a screamer, and the fourth in a 2-2 draw at Brighton, just after the half hour.

Anton was back in the side the following season, but a broken leg in that 5-2 defeat at Peterborough (remember the song about the ref, to the tune of Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen? Ask yer dad) meant that was his 57th and last Sunderland game. In the summer, we accepted £250,000 from Oxford, where he spent the next two seasons, playing 58 League games before invoking his personal two-year rule and moving to Millwall, where his old Celtic team-mate Mick McCarthy was in charge. Another two years and 36 league games brought eight goals – a decent return for a defender – before he switched to Blackpool. After only two games, he suffered an injury that ended his season, and on recovery he stayed for another season before retiring.

After football he settled in Oxfordshire to run a taxi company in Woodstock, and regularly appeared in charity matches and testimonials like a good ex-pro.

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