MY FIRST OLD FIRM DERBY
My name is Thomas. I’m 28 years old and have been an avid follower of Glasgow Rangers since the age of 5. I have many great memories regarding my club, but some of the fondest involve the Old Firm Derby.
As you know, Rangers vs Celtic is arguably the biggest derby in the world. It certainly is for me!
The Old Firm’s shared hatred stems from some very dark religious and social divides. And nothing gets the heart racing like being in the stadium and seeing it unfold in front of you.
Let me take you back to 20th August 2005, the day of my first derby.
I remember waking up extremely nervous but every bit as excited. Rangers came into this game as Champions of Scotland. But Celtic had a new manager with new ideas and players.
My dad, his friend and I met up in Glasgow City centre – where the real atmosphere always starts. You proceed to board the city subway, which in around 12 minutes puts you directly outside Ibrox stadium.
During those 12 minutes the singing drowns out any thoughts you may have inside your head, and your body is covered head to toe in goosebumps.
There’s a line in a Rangers song that goes “…. it’s the greatest sight that I have ever seen”. And it certainly was when I first walked into Ibrox.
A sea of red, white, and blue Rangers fans in front of me and 8000 green and white Celtic fans to the corner. Each trying to out-sing each other.
As always, the game started frantically. Rangers took the lead through Dado Prso – a Croatian international and a favorite with the Rangers fans. The first goal is always important in these games, and this time it led to Rangers dominating the match.
Celtic’s Alan Thompson was sent off in the 40th minute as tensions rose, and Rangers made it 2-0 straight after half time through Belgium’s Thomas Buffel.
Rangers would go on to see the match out 3-1, and the atmosphere leaving the ground was unbelievable. Strangers hugged, kissed and high fived. I had only ever watched these games on TV before, and to be a part of it was something else.
I’ll always remember that feeling when that first goal went in. One of sheer relief and euphoria. I hope whoever reads this will one day experience what I did and see why, for me, this is the biggest derby in the world.
Thomas is a Glasgow Rangers fan and hosts Homefans tours in Glasgow.