‘Old Firm need to forget the past for the sake of the future’

by Ryan C. Gavan

Being an impartial observer, spending time covering the Old Firm clash at Hampden Park yesterday was an experience in the very least. It was the first time the teams have met since the much publicised game two weeks ago, all eyes were watching. I went wondering whether the fans had taken any notice of the warnings or the Summit on the Old Firm.

Union Jacks and Tricolors are abundant at Old Firm matches. Photo: R Gavan

I was greeted by a very heavy police presence. It looked to me like a the preparation for a riot. Mixing with fans on both sides, I noticed that the sectarian attitude is engrained to Old Firm meetings. Tri-colours on one side, Union Jacks on the other, it goes beyond religion to politics, using that term very loosely. One Rangers fan had a scarf with the words “William of Orange” while a Celtic fan wore a top with “Bobby Sands MP” embroidered in orange and green. Speaking to both sets of fans, they blame the other for the trouble. The real issue here is the culture, the so-called “90-minute bigot.” They go to the game, sing their sectarian songs and go home, not thinking about it until the next meeting. The issue for politicians, police and the Old Firm itself, is how to change years of hatred. Many wonder whether this is even possible.

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Rememberance day protests marr Scotish Football

BY KYLE MCCAIG

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Willie Angus - the first ever territorial soldier to win the Victoria cross and a former Celtic player

Celtic football club and “a very small minority or its supporters” were at the centre of a remembrance day row after the weekends match against Falkirk was overshadowed by protests.

In a weekend of little if any opposition to the remembrance day tributes paid at football grounds across the country, a minutes silence respected almost impeccably by those inside the Falkirk stadium, was ruined by chants and songs of Irish republican protest seemingly from Celtic fans outside the stadium.

After Sky sports, the broadcasters of the match, dubbed out the singing many were shocked to hear of the protests after fans video’s of the offending actions were posted on YOUTUBE.

A Celtic Fc spokesman said this about the furor “As expected the minutes silence was impeccably observed by supporters inside the stadium” they also said they “understand that outside the stadium a very small minority were singing and, whether intentionally or not, disrupted the silence” In further contact with the club, they refused to be drawn further on the incidents and instead consider the matter closed.

Neil Griffiths of the British Legion was incensed about the protests citing a lack of knowledge from the offending fans “like everybody we were horrified by what happened . . . If they knew more about the history of the club and their links to the armed forces they would perhaps have a different view”

Griffiths also referred to former Celtic player Willie Angus ,who was a awarded the Victoria cross and was the first ever Scottish territorial soldier to win the award, as an example of the clubs history to which the fans should be aware.

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