The first Old Firm of the season kicks off on Sunday and many consider the gap between the two sides to be as close as it has been for almost a decade. It’s always a tasty affair when the sides meet, but just how mental could it be? Here’s some of the Old Firm’s maddest moments to whet your appetite…
Celtic 2-0 Rangers – 1991
St Patrick’s day is a glorious opportunity for a mad one, although that’s normally referring to a night out, not an Old Firm. To be fair, with just the four red cards in this one, it wasn’t even that mad…
The first red card was very disappointing, as Peter Grant was sent off for closing down a free kick too early. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not even worth mentioning. The other three, all in Rangers’ favour (well, not really in their favour but you know what I mean), were all worth discussing as the boys in blue chased a variety of assault charges with neck punches, tackles – that were borderline attempted murder – and various off the ball incidents. They’re the type of head’s gone moments we like to see.
Celtic 2-0 Rangers – 1998
This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. After being goaded by the majority of the Parkhead attendance for most of the game, Paul Gascoigne – who is one of the best characters, and players to ever play the game in Scotland – decided to pretend to play the flute. Erm…
It probably wasn’t his best idea, seeing as how that’s a touchy subject at the best of times, and further evidence of this came in the form of a £40,000 fine, bomb scares and several death threats. Only Gazza, eh?
Celtic 1-0 Rangers – 2011
Another classic from the Old Firm school of anger management issues, and it took just 34 minutes for Rangers’ Steven Whittaker to get the first red card as he sent Emilio Izaguirre into orbit with a late challenge. This caused El Hadji Diouf, arguably the word’s least calm man, to start trying to square go Neil Lennon. Enjoyable.
Madjid Bougherra received the second red card for another belter of a tackle in the 94th minute and, with the coaching staff not wanting the players to have all the fun, Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon had some, erm, words. Over on the other side of the pitch, Diouf finally got the red card he’d been waiting for after the final whistle too. Not exactly a quiet day at the office.
Celtic 2-1 Rangers – 2019
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and after Rangers’ small holiday down to the foot of the SPFL, the rivalry has had time to have a break and come back madder than ever. We’ll not count the first season’s games, as Rangers were shite and Joey Barton let himself down with a complete lack of drama (or footballing ability), but in 2018/19 they were back to their best.
Ryan Kent wrote himself into the history books at Ibrox as he lamped Scott Brown during their 2-1 defeat. With Andy Halliday and Alfredo Morelos (shock) both seeing red, Kent clearly thought “F*ck it” and went for glory. A fine contribution to the occasion from the young man.
With the list missing many occasions such as the 1980 Scottish Cup final, Mo Johnstone signing for Rangers, the 1987 “shame game” or Hugh Dallas’ bad day at the office in 1990, it’s clear to see there’s been a lot of madness over the last 140 years of Glasgow derbies. Scott Brown remains in the mix and Andy Halliday loves a good Old Firm, so plenty of drama awaits viewers this weekend.