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Rangers v Celtic
Around the Academy:

The Glasgow derby is one of the most fiercely contested and controversial matches in the world.

The rivalry that exists between the 'Old Firm' is intense but what separates it from other derbies is race and religion.


In the beginning
Celtic were formed in 1888 in the East End of the city by Glasgow's large immigrant Irish population as a way of raising money for Catholic charities.

Much of the Irish community were crowded into slums and were widely discriminated against due to their foreign status and willingness to take work at low pay.

This was seen to undercut the mainly Protestant native Glaswegians.

Mo Johnston (left) with Graeme Souness
Johnston crossing the divide

With a huge fan base and players taken from the Catholic club in Edinburgh, Hibernian, Celtic soon became a rival to the well-established Rangers football club across the city in Govan.

What's all the fuss about?
Rangers didn't start out as a Protestant-only club and Celtic have fielded non-Catholic players from the earliest days.

Celtic were seen as a Catholic club for Catholics, which led to Rangers, with their mainly Protestant following, adopting a staunch anti-Catholic approach.

Many fans were prejudiced against Celtic's Irish following and the frequent rioting of Celtic's support didn't help their image.

But things were about to change at Rangers.

Graeme Souness took over the hotseat and former Celtic man Mo Johnston became the first high-profile Catholic player to cross the divide.

TV pictures at the time showed outraged Rangers fans burning their season tickets!

Have things improved?
Bringing on the next generation at Celtic Park!
Behind the club 100%
Rangers have since fielded a number of Catholic players and the huge Ibrox support rises to applaud the efforts of all players in blue, regardless of their background.

Some bad feeling though does exist on the terraces. And the same goes for the other side of Glasgow, despite the best efforts of both clubs.

The quality on show
Both clubs dominate Scottish football and have teams littered with international players.

Neither team have too many local players these days, but the crowd are still just as passionate about this match.

Celtic Factfile:
Founded: 1888
Stadium: Celtic Park (60, 506)
Nicknames: The Bhoys, Hoops
Manager: Martin O'Neill

Rangers Factfile:
Founded: 1872
Stadium: Ibrox Park (50,467)
Nicknames: The Gers, Teddy bears
Manager: Alex McLeish





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