The biggest derby in the world… The Old Firm is back this weekend and is the first of the season. With Steven Gerrard about to experience his first taste of this famous fixture and with Celtic seemingly ‘below par’. Are the Gers about to pick up their first win at Celtic Park in almost 8 years? With this being Old Firm week we have selected our ‘Top 5 Old Firm Bad Boys’.
The hard hitting Geordie signed for Celtic in 2000 from Aston Villa for a fee of £2.75 million and was one of Martin O’Neill’s first signings. Thompson spent 7 years at the parkhead club, winning 8 trophies. He certainly enjoyed the old firm encounters, scoring a total of 7 goals against the blue side of Glasgow. It is fair to say he will not be forgotten in these fixtures. Being sent off 3 times at Ibrox and also the tasty midfield battles between himself, and his Rangers counterparts of Fernando Ricksen and Barry Ferguson.
The once pacey forward man is one of only five men to play for both Rangers and Celtic. Miller will be better remembered by the supporters of the ‘Teddy Bears’, scoring an impressive 10 goals in 20 games for the Ibrox club against their bitter rivals. Kenny enjoyed 9 years at Rangers spread across 3 different spells, winning 7 major honors and played a vital part in the rebuilding process at Rangers after the clubs financial woes.
‘The Holy Goalie’. Probably one of the most controversial players in recent times to have played in the Old Firm derby. Boruc spent 5 years at the Parkhead making 221 appearances and winning 6 major honors. The Polish stopper was incredibly good at winding up the Rangers support. Every game at Ibrox he would turn and face the Rangers faithful and bless himself which sent the Gers fans into rage on the terraces! Another memorable moment which comes to mind was when he decided not to shake any of the Rangers players hands after a defeat at Ibrox, this almost resulted in a riot on the pitch with big Davy Weir completely loosing it with Boruc. The ‘Holy Goalie’ will always be welcomed back to the East End of Glasgow however, I am not so certain about him being safe in Govan!
The Kesh native, another one of the Northern Irish men to sample the Old Firm derby. The big striker joined Rangers from Burnley in 2008 and enjoyed 4 successful years at Ibrox winning 6 major honors. Laff was always involved in controversy in the meetings between the two clubs and was not bad at winding the celts up while he was also with Hearts with that famous salute to the Celtic fans when he scores against them. The Northern Ireland international has recently rejoined rangers for his second spell with the club and has hit the ground running with a brace on his first start at the weekend. Kyle is keen to put things right with the loyal Rangers fans after leaving on bad terms following the financial meltdown in 2012. Could he be the man to fire Rangers to victory on Sunday?
There is no doubt that the local Lurgan man bleeds green and white. The current Hibs boss spent 7 years at Celtic park as player, making 300 appearances and winning 11 major honors. Lenny later went on to manage Celtic where he win a further 6 major honors. Lennon was a real tough guy on the park and had many unforgettable battles with the likes of Barry Ferguson, Alex Rae and Fernando Ricksen. The hot headed midfielder thrived off the Old Firm battle and was never shy of controversy. A moment that will always stick out in the memory of Old Firm fans was that night at Parkhead. At the full time whistle with the camera on Lennon and Ally McCoist as the pair approached, a brawl erupted. Lenny will always be idolised at one side of Glasgow and despised in the other.