The first seismic sporting shock of the new millennium came on 8 February 2000, when Inverness, then in the First Division, turned up at Parkhead and, with Charlie Christie pulling the strings in midfield, beat Celtic 3-1 to knock them out of the Scottish Cup, a result which cost John Barnes his job.
Fast forward 15 years and Charlie’s son, Ryan, was the playmaker as the Highlanders beat Celtic 3-2 at Hampden to reach their first Scottish Cup final, a result which cost Ronny Deila a treble.
Inverness went on to win the trophy for the first time and Deila was so impressed by Christie the younger that he signed him. Now he’s anxious to atone for those crimes against his current employers in the world’s oldest cup competition, starting with tomorrow’s fourth-round tie against Albion Rovers at Airdrie.
“That’s very true; maybe it’s time to repay the favour for Celtic,” said the 21-year-old. “You can’t beat the Scottish Cup, can you?
“It’s an unbelievable competition; I’ve obviously got good memories of it with Inverness and I want to make a few more with Celtic.”
Christie has been a peripheral figure this season, starting just three Premiership fixtures, but he claims to feel very much part of things under Brendan Rodgers.
“The manager is always stressing that every game we go into, it’s about a 21-man squad and not just the 11 who start or the 18 in the matchday squad,” he said.
“From that aspect, it gives everyone a confidence that even if you haven’t played a part that weekend, you’re still in his thoughts. You can then look to the next game and try to work your way in.”
As a result, Christie has never felt the need to knock on the manager’s door and ask about being sent on loan to gain first-team experience.
“I’m absolutely happy to stay here,” he said. “My plan from the start of the season has been to get myself into that starting 11 and, now we’ve had the winter break, that’s in my mind again.
“Games will be coming thick and fast in the next few months so it’s important that players like me are ready and that, if I get put in, I can keep my place.”
Tomorrow’s tie will also result in a house divided, with Christie coming up against his flatmate Calum Ferguson, who plays for Albion Rovers and whose winning goal against Queen of the South earned Rovers their lucrative draw against the champions.
“It will be very strange,” Christie concedes. “Obviously, he wants to win and so do I. We’re both very competitive people and if one of us scores they have to provide a three-course meal for the other one; that’s the bet.
“We play Fifa all the time and it’s always about trying to get the better of the other one.
“I’m not a bad cook but Calum is terrible so, if I score, it might mean a trip out to a restaurant.”