Recently in English we have been reading the book, “Divided City” by Theresa Breslin. We have been looking at different topics like Sectarianism, Asylum Seekers and Glasgow. We chose the Old Firm to study and blog about.
The Old Firm is two football clubs, Celtic and Rangers. But when Celtic and Rangers meet it’s not just about football, it’s about politics , religion and different social attitudes. Their first meeting was May 28 1888 when Celtic beat Rangers 5-2.
In the history of the Old Firm there has been lots of violence, injuries and even deaths. In 1995 Mark Scott, who was wearing a Celtic t-shirt, was stabbed walking past a pub full of Rangers fans. Five years later his friends set up an organisation “Nil By Mouth” which campaigns against sectarianism. Both clubs have made an effort to stop sectarianism. And now sectarianism is not as bad as it used to be.
As much as all the chaos surrounding the Old Firm rivalry, fans have been really supportive and matches draw massive crowds. The all time attendance record between the sides was when Hampden Park held an astonishing 132,870 for the Scottish Cup Finals in 1969. Also Celtic and Rangers together hold 97 League titles, 69 Scottish Cups and 41 League Cups. Rangers’ top scorer was Robert Hamilton and Celtic’s was Jimmy McGrory who nettled 27. Celtic’s biggest win over Rangers came in the 1957 League Cup Final when Celtic beat Rangers 7-1.The original support of Rangers was predominantly Protestants. Whilst Celtic have association with Ireland and therefore a majority of supporters were of Catholic backround. It was tied up in religion. Even though the rivalry is on the football pitch and the some Rangers fans don’t get on with some Celtic fans, religion was a factor in the rivalries’ history with Catholics and Protestants divided by their team.
Before we had started on this topic of the Old Firm I had only really looked at the Celtic side of things because most of my family, or all of them are Celtic supporters. I have learned about the Rangers side and I didn’t realise there was so much religion involved in the Old Firm history and it’ll be great to learn more about Celtic and Rangers.
Rangers fans vs Celtic Fans.com, http://www.rangersfansvcelticfans.com/oldfirm.html, Accessed 09.09.14
Rangers football club Website, http://www.rangers.co.uk/club/history/old-firm, Accessed 09.09.14,
The Scotsman, http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/20-old-firm-facts-1-2193995 Accessed 09.09.14