Derek Riordan scores goal in run-out for St Bernard’s AFC

Derek Riordan scored close to 100 goals for Hibs. Picture; Craig Williamson

Derek Riordan scored close to 100 goals for Hibs. Picture; Craig Williamson

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IT was a classic Derek Riordan screamer – the ball caught and controlled on the edge of the box and then blasted into the top right-hand corner with unstoppable force.

But this was no Edinburgh derby or international clash.

Derek Riordan celebrates after netting East Fife's late winner.

Derek Riordan celebrates after netting East Fife's late winner.

Instead, the 33-year-old Hibs hero was making a shock appearance in the city’s amateur football set-up.

Riordan, one of the most prolific goalscorers in modern Scottish football history, turned out for St Bernard’s AFC on Thursday evening against Salvesen in Muirhouse.

And despite a controversial career that has had more than its fair share of ups and downs, the former Celtic and Scotland forward proved he’s still got it.

A fan video posted online shows him scoring a memorable goal in the first half, cushioning the ball with his right foot before firing it into the top corner.

Salvesen manager Ryan Harding described it as a “typical Riordan” strike – and admitted the Pilton-born star was a league above everyone else on the pitch.

Speaking to the Evening News, he said: “[St Bernard’s] are all his mates. His mates are all from that area, so that’s the reason he was playing. The manager is one of his best mates.

“I know what he can do at a professional level, so at amateur level he can cause some amount of damage. I just said to the lads, ‘You’ll never get to play against somebody like Riordan again’.

“He was talking to the lads and coaching them as well which was good. It was good coaching experience from his point of view.

“He scored a great goal – typical Riordan goal, top right-hand corner. At the end of the day, he’s between clubs.

“He was just having a wee run about, keeping his legs moving.”

Mr Harding, himself a semi-professional footballer for Civil Service Strollers, had previously played with Riordan when he was signed to Hibs as a schoolboy.

He admitted the seasoned striker was “on second gear” as he played against the amateur side on Thursday, in a match that ended 3-1 to St Bernard’s.

Well-known for his antics off the pitch as well as his natural talent on it, Riordan has often been a controversial

figure in Scottish football.

At Hibs he developed a reputation for his deadly finishing and genuine love for the club, but his career stalled in later years amid a series of unflattering headlines.

In 2008, while at Celtic, he was banned from every nightclub in Edinburgh.

St Bernard’s declined to comment on their star player, insisting they didn’t want to make a big fuss.

But it is not thought Riordan’s appearance with the club on Thursday will become a regular fixture.

Click here to see Riordan’s excellent strike - it starts at 42 seconds in.

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