30 Apr 2012

Old Firm: huddle or bouncy bouncy, that is the question…

I left Parkhead (because that’s what I still call it, I am just evil like that) deeply troubled on two fronts.

First off – does the Green Brigade actually ever get to see any football or don’t they care much?

Second – do they all rehearse for that astonishing chant and response thing that goes on from one end of the ground to the other?

Ibrox was loud, deafeningly so and pretty much for the entire match – but yesterday’s game was every bit up with that and probably exceeded it for creativity.

To the Green Brigade first off. I think surely even Rangers fans would have to hand that corner of the ground full-marks for time and effort with their huge Four Horseman banner apocalyptically predicting doom and judgement for Rangers. The faces of Neil Lennon and Craig Whyte on the riders – the Celtic manager and disastrous last owner of Rangers.

In fact the name Craig Whyte was chanted more than Neil Lennon at this end-of-season Glasgow derby and celebration of Celtic’s championship win.

But among the banners, flags and all the rest of it I formed the distinct impression that those in with the Green Brigade neither see very much football through the flags, and chanting and waving and you name it… nor probably care all that much. And hell – why not? They certainly add to an already supercharged atmosphere.

But as with Ibrox a few weeks before, for an outsider there was a lot of noise – a hell of a lot, from both sets of fans – every English ‘supporter’ in the land should take note and recognise how quiet things have gone in our game down south. Coming from Parkhead and driving west to Glasgow airport later in the day I was listening to the Spurs game from White Hart Lane – might as well have been played in a library by comparison.

And what’s this echo chanting thing where one end of the stadium sings a couple of lines and – with total precision – the other end sings the next two. Who organised it? How does it start? I mean, how do they know? It’s only been happening this season they tell me.

“We have rehearsals Monday and Wednesday at 7pm. Don’t be late,” twittered one green wag when I asked.

Well if you’re an outsider you’d be convinced they did.

And outsideryness confers all kinds of responses not shared in Glasgow. To me, of course, from the other end of the ground high in the Jock Stein stand, the Rangers fans were superb. Sure, they went pretty dead for a while as the first and second goals went in. But then, two and three nil down they belted out their songs until the end and nobody left.

It’s possible they couldn’t leave because of the police operation – but I reckon they wouldn’t have anyhow.

It’s true, a lot of the songs are about such uplifting stuff as paedophile-laden insults against Celtic and taking the mickey out of the Irish famine. And on it goes. Celtic too have their own chants, and the whole lot can, and is, condemned by both sides as horribly sectarian, and now illegal and all the rest.

All of that’s no doubt true – though the latest laws against naughty chanting seem to me about as much use as the Cones Hotline.

And it’s equally true that as an outsider you frankly don’t care much whether one side’s chanting pro-IRA stuff as the other chants anti-Catholic ditties. For starters you can’t hear the words. To me it’s all part of the atmosphere. And I have to say I failed to spot one single Celtic supporter showing any kind of offence taken as Rangers fans banged on and on about, well, whatever…

Not so edifying, any racist abuse. Rangers have today complained to Strathclyde Police that one of their players has received racist abuse on social networking sites. That’s one that offends – or should offend – anyone from any strand of British culture and if it happened, action should be taken.

Action too against the Rangers morons filmed on YouTube apparently destroying the loos in their end as –  at one stage – a lone copper wanders in in his hi-viz, stands there and moves on. What else could he do on his own?

But in the seats  – (and how appalling it is that we still have all-seater stadia and not sensible organised standing areas that the fantastic German league has) I have to say things seem rather wittier than over at Ibrox. No criticism, just a style thing.

Celtic fans sing the famous Rangers’ Billy Boys song (now in theory banned because of its reference to being up to our knees in Fenian blood etc) to the words ha ha ha ha etc. That took me surprise. It’s loud. It’s funny.

Which leaves the huddle. People kept asking me if I’d do it. Like they’d asked about the bouncy-bouncy before Ibrox. In both cases the answer is yes – you don’t have much choice.

So Celtic score, sixty-odd thousand around me are doing the huddle and I’m supposed to stand there saying: “So sorry chaps, one has to defend one’s journalistic objectivity but please – do feel free to huddle away.”

Yeah, right.

For those outwith the cauldron of Glasgow football, the huddle is simply turning your back to the ground, bending over, arms round the people either side of you and jumping up and down. Pure mass stupidity. Must be worth it though as the Rangers section did a pretty good huddle too at one point, I seem to remember. And imitation’s the sincerest form of….etc

The bouncy-bouncy? Well you just jump up and down – bounce – whilst announcing the rather obvious fact by singing ‘bouncy bouncy bouncy ra ra ra etc’ rather a lot.

I’m up for both anytime. Mind you, with my team, our finest outpouring is a lengthy song about a disastrous journey to – yes – a racecourse. Few things could be less relevant to football than The Blaydon Races.

So I’m in no position to poke fun at either set of fans who have one really impressive thing in common – noise. If it was the last such Glasgow derby in a while (possible) or ever (impossible) it certainly went out with a bang – and on the whole a pretty good-natured bang at that.

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99 reader comments

  1. Tiltic says:

    Glad you seemed to have enjoyed yourself at both games. Different kettle of fish Wednesday night,December against St Mirren. No amount of thermals keep you warm . I also think these 2 games had different atmospheres because of all that is going on around RFC(IA)

  2. tim malloy says:

    Yes Alex, to a vistor and the untrained ear.The Rangers ditties don’t offend but they certainly do to the Celtic family.
    I notice you state that racism is proper naughty,and rightly so. So what about the famine song and the chants of “Why don’t you go home?” Racism too surely?

  3. Thomas Pulman says:

    Poor stuff Alex. There is no difference between racist abuse and Ranger’s obscene sectarian abuse.
    Let us not forget that, for almost the entirety of the 20th century, Rangers FC operated a sectarian signing policy, not only on the field but throughout their staff(cleaners,janitors,secretaries etc).
    The Rangers fans chants yesterday were absolutely shocking, and every bit as unacceptable as racist chanting.

  4. TheBlackKnight says:

    Alex, normally enjoy your blog and balanced reporting.
    However, referring to the game yesterday, can you point me to the illegal, vile, sectarian and racist songs the Celtic support sang? In the balance of fairness of course it is well known and documented (evidenced) that a large number of the Rangers support indulged in this aspect and only this aspect. It’s great that the authorities are upholding the new anti sectarianism laws.

    Many thanks in advance, TBK

  5. GuigsyBhoy says:

    Hi Alex, I like your take on both sets of fans (I am a Celtic fan myself) and in general there is good banter at these games but you should really understand where the ‘bouncy bouncy’ thing came from before joining in. I am not someone who takes offence generally to the songs from that mob but this is particularly sickening.

    Other than that I am glad there is a neutral observing the Scottish game though (and not just rangers). What the majority of fans across the board want is a fair fight, nothing more and hopefully the other 11 teams will get that now.


    1. Marty says:

      Come on. Not the old myth about the bouncy. Celtic fans really need to rein in theiur propaganda about “big bad Rangers”. There are unsavoury songs and chants on both sides but the bouncy isn’t one of them.

      As for Alex’s mention of singing “ha ha” to the tune of your opponents’ songs, Rangers fans did that years ago with The Celtic Song.

    2. SouthBelfastBluenose says:

      GuigsyBhoy, are we going to peddle myths here?…Robert Hamill is this, what you’re going to say?…Tell me this, if the bouncy has been going since the eighties, how come Hamill was murdered in 1998?

      Quite frankly, I couldn’t care what you sing, but if people want to be offended the way a lot of Celtic supporters are, it can be countered by mentioning the Pro-IRA ditties, songs containing Orange B****** and the use of the word Hun, and don’t tell me Hun isn’t sectarian line, KAH is sprayed on nearly every Nationalist area in Belfast, don’t try and say it means kill all Rangers fans. The problem with Celtic supporters is, they want to sing whatever they want, however everyone else to be scrutinised.

      1. JockSteinWolfeTone says:

        ‘Hun’ is not sectarian and never has been (you know this). Rangers fans have had it sang at them this season alone by Dundee United fans, Aberdeen fans and Dunfermline fans, and I’m fairly sure Kilmarnock fans as well. Each of those teams I’m sure will have had far more Protestant than Catholic supporters. There was a campaign on certain Rangers websites a few years back to get it classified as sectarian because you were getting a lot of heat for using ‘taig’ ‘fenian’ etc, which are by their definition sectarian referring as they do specifically to Irish Catholics. The term ‘hun’ originated from an English journalist in the 70s who referred to a mob of Rangers fans rioting through Burnley city centre as being like ‘rampaging huns’ (as in the nomadic barbarians). What you and many fans deliberately fail to misunderstand is that the divide has never been about anti-catholic vs. anti-protestant with rangers and celtic, it has been anti-catholic vs. anti-unionist. Some of Celtics greatest ever figures have been Protestants (and while we’re at it, some of the greatest figures in the fight for Irish freedom have been Protestants, too, have a wee look [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Protestant_Nationalists ]). Hope I’ve managed to clear that up for you, although I’m very sure on some level you’ve been aware of this all along. Also just to say its been a pleasure having a journalist the calibre of Alex Thomson hanging around Scotland for as long as he has, a genuine breath of fresh air compared to most of those based North of the border, hopefully he will have shaken the industry to life up here a bit. I doubt it though.

  6. Smiler says:

    Are Celtic fans honestly trying to claim that ‘the huddle’ is their invention? I seriously doubt it – it’s the Poznan and everyone has seen Man City fans doing it all season in tribute to the Polish fans who introduced it to them.

    1. Scauldy says:

      Celtic fans dont claim they invented it. They have however, been doing it since around 2007. It’s only caught on the past couple seasons. We’re all aware loads of supports (not just Lech) around Europe have been doing it for longer that us. The fact that you and everyone in England refer to it as ‘the poznan’ is embarassing. You have any evidence that they started it?

    2. Aodhán says:

      That’s hilarious… Well no… I’m actually embarrassed for you. “City fans doing it all season”…and before that when Celtic were doing the huddle, doesnt count, because????

      Bit like telling someone from Beijing that Royal Doulton have invented a great way to make nice tea pots.

      It’s called the huddle because before every game starts the Celtic players huddle together, and so the fans copy them.

      1. gav says:

        try you tube “the huddle”…..check the upload date…..fool.

    3. Neil says:

      This is from wikipedia:-

      The Scottish club Celtic do a version of The Poznań known as “The Huddle”; the words sung by the fans are “Let’s All Do The Huddle”. It has been reported that Celtic’s fans first did “The Huddle” in 1999 at Celtic Park, over a decade before Manchester City started doing the Poznań.

      I REST MY CASE!!

    4. Gary Brady says:

      The jumping around with the backs to the game originated in Greece. Le Grec as it is called was brought to these shores by Paris Saint German in 2006 vs Derry City. Derry copied it, the GB got it from a visit to the Brandywell, and Man City seemed to take it much later.

  7. Paul N says:

    Saw you walking past the pub I was in in the Merchant city, Alex. Smiled at you and you acknowledged back but whizzed past before I could beckon you in for a pint and a chat. Maybe I scared you off.
    You are right the atmosphere at these games is electric and unsurpassed. Yesterday was great as always and we took “taking the p**s” to a new level and I loved it.
    The Green Brigade are ground breaking in British football and many aspire to match them including the Rangers version who try to copy everything they do.
    All that aside, and as much as I will miss these days , Rangers should be punished accordingly and no quarter should be given that wouldn’t be to any other club.

    1. Graham says:

      Wow Copy the Green Brigade … What time did u stop sniffing glue .

      Yeah and u started singing ” Walk on ” naughty Liverpool copying u .. Lol

      Wow I give credit to the green Brigade .. Thank god they are in the stadium .. Gave us Rangers fans something to battle against .. as we sang non stop .

      The rest of the stadium just sit and don’t chump

      Cheers for giving me a Chuckle .

      Oops heard a team down England started something , Celtic fans keep ur eyes on tv .. Get the practice in and claim u started it .. Lol

      1. Padraig says:

        Headed home from the 3-0 drubbing of tex dodging Dignity FC with a hoarse throat from singing. If you call the Billy Boys and the Famine song supporting your team then you’re living in the wrong century. Rangers support at that game were a disgrace, a rabble of racist bigoted morons, and that’s just thier good points.

  8. Padraig says:

    Glad you enjoyed your day at Celtic Park Alex, it’s earthy but it’s powerful and intoxicating. I was at Old Trafford last season (Villa game) 76,000 seemed to sit on thier hands for most of the game. Silenmce reigned for about 80 minutes, God, if Celtic had that team we’d blow the roof off the place! I agree that Celtic fans are more humorous than the other lot, who seem welded to outmoded ideas of Britishness which died on the Somme. The Green Brigade for all thier Republicanisn, support of everything from Basque freedom to a Palestinian State, have brought thunder to Celtic park and welded our support to our club even more firmly, as if we weren’t siamese twins already. Cheers m8

  9. rosie says:

    Great article,the Green Brigade are the best in Britian at creating an atmosphere,LOVE THEM

  10. Nick says:

    Glad you enjoyed your day Alex but could you enlighten us as to what sectarian songs were sung by Celtic fans? I must have missed them.

    And how can you make such a distinction between racist tweets and anti-Irish chants?

  11. Tony C says:

    Just looking for a clarification: ” To me it’s all part of the atmosphere… Not so edifying, any racist abuse.”. Isn’t singing abusive songs about bring up to ones knees in [Irish] blood a little bit racist?

    Both sets of fans have their share of bampots: i would advocate zero tolerance of any of the nonsense.

  12. John Mac says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Alex. Maybe we’re all getting a bit serious about the horrible chants. The Celtic banners were quite amazing, God only knows how long they took to make.

    It really is a game like to other. It’s just a shame that Rangers cheating has caused so much trouble recently.

  13. john d says:

    all is as you saw it alex, fair play as ever from you… however, you have any comment to make on the vids on line showing the glasgow cops stand back and watch rangers fans smash parkhead up?…. if you dont believe me then a cursory look at any number of celtic webs have the footage.

    so simple question – why do the cops stand back and watch rangers fans smash the place up?

    1. Marty says:

      Just to put things in perspective, there is damage by away fans at every Old Firm game. Celtic fans even damaged Ibrox at a recent youth game.

      1. Carntyne says:

        Hardly ever agree with you Marty, but this time is an exception…you’re right.

        The vandalism is downright disgusting regardless of who does it.

    2. Jon says:

      Probably the same reason they stood back and watched celtic fans set fire to seats at Ibrox i guess.

      1. Scott A says:

        Whataboutery! It’s the standard Rangers reply. Why don’t you just admit it was awful, mindless destruction, by a bunch of morons, who don’t have 10 brain cells between them?

      2. Jon says:

        So what your saying Scott A is that Rangers fans should be arrested for their acts of vandalism but Celtic fans should be allowed to get away with it?

        Personally i think vandalism at an away game is a total own goal as its the away team that has to foot the bill for it. However, deflecting the fact that celtic fans are just as guilty of vandalism by quoting “Whataboutery! It’s the standard Rangers reply” is just another typical sweep sweep comment from a celtic fan. Deny and deflect, its the celtic way since 1888.
        As a parting comment, if celtic fans weren’t guilty of similar acts, Rangers fans couldn’t say ‘What about……’. Think about it.

  14. Chuck says:

    Well said Alex, a lot of garbage written about OFgames from people who have never been,,,I for one don’t see anything wrong with fans abusing earth othe for 90 mins ,as long as it finishes at the whistle, and as you said rangers fans being morally horrified at a couple of morons on twitter after an OF game..well.

  15. Ninho07 says:

    Alex I have followed your blog with real interest and you have put across some great points. However singing a song about over 1 million people dying has as much bearing on society as any racist chant. Trivilising it only adds fuel to their already blinkered views in life.

    1. Marty says:

      Can’t say I like the so-called “famine song” but it is directed not at the famine itself but at Celtic fans’ songs etc about it. Celtic fans brought that event into the football arena.

  16. Gfficom says:

    Isn’t the Irish famine hilarious, a bit like the bombs in London a real rib tickler, no pun intended. I think you mis understand and trivialise the difference between witty banter and genuine hatred, which both sides on Glasgow are capable of but one group clearly have the edge. In doing so you tacitly endorse negative attitudes.

    1. Marty says:

      Come to think of it, was the so-called “famine song” even sung yesterday? All I heard was the song to the same tune about the founding of Rangers, which has replaced the “famine” song.

      1. katieb says:

        Yip correct, not even sung, four boys had a dream sang. NOT the famine song. Blinded by bigotry that’s what they are.

      2. craigh says:

        definately was sung, hello hello was definately sung, no surrender was definately sung, the guys who vandalised the toilets were singing about tomy burns’ death, derry’s walls….aye thats right katieb we are blinded by bigotry

      3. 2 Canadian soldiers says:

        Songs sung about the death of Tommy Burns?
        Plenty video evidence,Katie.
        Everyone knew the words,like it’s sung frequently.
        Trust me, we’re not blind, eye’s wide open.

  17. Danny Lennie says:

    Alex,you called that spot on (no surprise there) i was in front of you,well way in front of you at row C,i agree with every thing you have said.The rangers fans were superb all through the game,the billy boy thing apart,the atmosphere was superb,best in years,did we just witness history in the making?,i think we have,the last game ever between Celtic and rangers in the present form,glad i took my camara,glad you enjoyed the game.

  18. Scotty Buchanan says:

    A good article. I’m glad you had fun at Celtic Park yesterday. I’m a Rangers fan and found all the banners and tombstones absolutely hilarious, whatever people think about the green brigade and what they do or don’t stand for they are a credit to not just Celtic but British football as a whole. Nowhere in Britain can hold there hands up and say that there fans sing for 90 mins and get the rest of the crowd going. I’m not going to go Into what songs each side sing because that can be debated until the sun goes cold. Living in England I have been to a few games here and there but not one actually gives me butterflies and a feeling quite like the Glasgow derby.

  19. Danny Lennie says:

    The huddle came from a basketball game watched by Tommy Burns who brought it to Celtic,and Celtic were the first club in Europe to do it,live with it.

    1. Jon says:

      It was actually Tony Mowbary that brought it to celtic. Celtic were most definitely NOT the first club in Europe to do it. Live with it.

      Let me google that for you.


  20. JamesJ71 says:

    james@odonnelly.orgti-Irish abuse is less than edifying and should not be dismissed as lightly as you seem to do. When Celtic fans have had to “put up with” a century of anti Catholic and anti Irish chanting, attitudes and until relatively recently, the institution club being allowed to openly maintain a sectarian anti-catholic employment policy (incidentally mirroring the policies of many in Scottish industry), tacitly consented by the SFA who never challenged it, then you may understand why many will feel a little unhappy with your words. Any alleged abuse of Kyle Bartley should rightly be condemned, however, the illegal and highly offensive chanting by Rangers fans yesterday should not be dismissed lightly. Yesterday, Celtic fans were there to party and mock the attitudes of their rivals. It is simply not the case that because they were not falling around in dramatic shock at the offensive chanting, that they did not feel offended. I hope you enjoyed your trip to Glasgow Alex. Please stay in touch because in spite of this constructive criticism, you have the respect of many across every spectrum for your journalism.

  21. Paul T says:

    Smiler a simple check on YouTube will show you Celtic have been doing it long before Man City played Poznan. Doing it before Poznan? I don’t know, doubt it. But certainly before Man City.

  22. jewel says:

    Alex I have been following your blog with great interest.
    I am not a big football fan but I am a Catholic living in the west of Scotland and am saddened to read that you condone that sort of language Alex salmond would have outsiders believe this is an old firm thing doesn’t happen any other time well it does on the school bus ,work place,etc
    It is deep rooted I am surprised you didn’t discover this in your investigation!!!
    If you have lived in northern Ireland you should really know better there is no excuse or place for it in any society.

  23. Peter says:

    I find it absolutely incredible that someone could be so blasé towards thousands chanting paedophile-laden insults OR chats against Catholics, yet racism (on Twitter) is one that offends – or should offend – anyone from any strand of British culture and if it happened, action should be taken.

    Racism bad / Bigotry ok? Is that the message Alex?

    Personally I think both are absolutely abhorrent and action should be taken against both.

    But again here we are debating as though “both are as bad as each other” when in fact we’re talking about 8,000 Rangers fans V 1 idiot on Twitter – and we don’t yet know if he really IS a Celtic fan. (However just for the record, if he is or not – those tweets are shameful, absolutely disgusting and I hope the person is brought to justice for it)

    Rangers fans in recent times have told everyone that they “don’t do rules” and that certainly applies to a return to their vile songbook.

    Rangers are “the fabric of the nation” according to Alex Salmond.

    My God what an advert.

  24. alcolusa says:

    oh its the old Rangers fans are pure worse than us so they are mantra
    say something often enough and it becomes fact – in your own heads maybe
    “soon they’ll be no Protestants at all” and Nacho Novo being executed by those lovable freedom fighters the IRA must all be figments of my imagination.
    But the award for complete mentalness goes to GuigsyBhoy – yes thats right The Rangers support made up a song about a gut being kicked to death 10 years before it happened
    If only our collective foresight had been as good when Murray and Whyte were running us in to the ground

  25. geronimo says:

    There was absolutely nothing about the famine sung yesterday, The terminally offended just can’t help playing the victim card against they big bad prodies, the ones they are happy to sing about being wiped out (soon there’ll be no protestants at all), but its all fun and games singing about genocide but utterly abhorrent when rangers fans sing a satirical ditty about returning back to the country they claim affinity with (even when as pointed out it wasn’t even sung).

    Rangers fans sing about your bheastly atrocities? deal with it, its part and parcel of your clubs history and as your rivals we are going to highlight it and use it against you, you weren’t as holier than thou on the subject when singing about Richard Gough, maybe if you stop telling lies about us we’ll stop telling the truth about you.

    Agree with the author re: those who damage the stadium, utter idiocy but it happens at both Ibrox and the piggery. It only results in higher costs for tickets for both sets of fans.

    1. Peter says:

      No point in debating with people like you. To use child abuse as a means to point score in any way shape or form is despicable and the fact you condone and support it it says a lot about you and your fellow fans.

      It’s for reasons like this, liquidation will be the biggest party ever.

      Jelly & Ice cream?

      1. Aodhán says:

        Well said.
        You can’t fool a fool.

        The sooner the liquidation, the better for all.

  26. Jimbo79 says:

    As usual the same old approach by Celtic posters – tell a lie often enough and hope it sticks. The ‘famine song’ was not sung at this match. Same tune, different song was. Backs up the point in article about not being able to hear the words anyway. As we know, Celtic fans are permanently offended and don’t appear to see the irony of complaining of rangers fans so called sectarianism whilst continually singing songs glorifying a terrorist organisation that slaughtered Protestants. Rangers fans are no saints but could the Celtic minded family spare us the holier than thou nonsense.

  27. Davie C says:

    1..Dortmund were doing the huddle long before,just ask Paul Lambert.
    2..Is this the same jolly craicsters,The Groin Brigade,who gaves us the bloodstained poppy banner?!Aye right,bringing the fun back to football!

    1. John says:

      Like the Green Brigades views on politics or not.Thats up to you! But there can be no doubt about the fact they generate all of Celtic Parks fantastic atmosphere and their banners week in week out are just superb.They should be applauded for that.

      1. Davie C says:

        Love their Starry Plough banners,etc and their superb songs celebrating mass murderers,aye fantastic,let’s applaud that!

    2. SouthBelfastBluenose says:

      Davie don’t be telling ‘Monkeyheid’ that, surely it was Tony “take it on the chin” Mowbray that brought it north?

  28. stephen d says:

    Alex I have also followed your blog with interest over the last few weeks and thought you showed your class on SSB. I’m asking you to do one thing Alex, please dont trivialise the racist/sectarian abuse me and my 11 year old son had to endure for 90 minutes yesterday (we sit at the divide). You should also investigate what the “mass stupidity” of the bouncy bouncy song actually means.

  29. Easily Taken In says:

    Geez Alex when did you start filing copy for Country Life magazine ?

    Next you will be up for a pair of tea towels for a prize winning essay submitted to People’s Friend.

    By the way I’ve still to come across any NEWS in your meanderings but don’t let that stop you trundling out your regurgitated disinformation.

    Keep up the good work Alex.

  30. Gordon Stillie says:

    “4 Lads had a dream to start a football team.
    They had no money, no kit, not even a ball.
    They still carried on, the Rangers were born.
    After 54 titles we’ll still follow on.
    This is the anti- Irish ditty you’re all getting your knickers knotted with.

    Permanently offended halfwits.

    1. Sandy, Paisley says:

      I hope you’ve got plans in place to change the words to that song when at least 6 of those titles are struck from the record books after it’s shown the players who (ahem) “won” them weren’t properly registered with the SFA.

    2. Peter says:

      David Murray; he had a dream,
      to build a brand new football team
      He wanted The Rangers to win the European Cup
      & nothing was going to shut him up

      Through arrogance, lies & succulent lamb,
      to hell with the rest, he couldn’t give a damn
      He devised a plan to take the gers to the top
      But then it all began to flop

      Martin O’Neill took o’er the Celts
      And you could see the panic in the boys in blue
      In the very first derby at Celtic Park
      We defeated the gers by six goals to two

      Poor David his ego was all smashed in two
      What next for his plan, oh what would he do?
      Through lies & deceipt the gers fans to please
      And to buy better players, he used EBT’s

      For every fiver they spend, i’ll spend a tenner
      And in the battle of Glasgow there’ll be only one winner
      But unknown to most folk apart from close friends
      The money he forked out was not his to spend

      He chased and chased and chased the dream
      His debt ran into millions, it was really obscene
      Then reality kicked in and his face with a frown
      He sold the whole club to Craig Whyte for a pound

      And what is the moral in this sad tale?
      It’s that there’s some things in life you are destined to fail
      The Lisbon Lions, that Great Celtic team
      The European Cup is our reality & will always be your dream.


      Have a nice day.

      1. Tottie Peeler says:

        same old septic always stealing chants saying songs The Blue Orders ideas

  31. Colina411 says:

    This comments thread has been ruined by the usual myths-as-truth nonsense. Some facts; it’s wrong but fans from both sides damage their rivals stadiums. The Bouncy is just a fun way to celebrate, remember it starting at winter games as fans tried to keep warm. But hey it’s Rangers so it must be bad. Personally I don’t care what Celtc sing but there is no hiding their desperate attention seeking

  32. Blå says:

    I think it’s hysterical that some people think the huddle (or standing in a circle together with the arms on each others shoulders) was invented at some place and then others copied it. It’s insane.
    It happens everywhere and always has. It’s natural to do it before a big game. Over here where I am based in Sweden, most teams do it from time to time, especially before big important games and it’s been done forever throughout the world in every team sport.
    It’s not something you invent, it something that is bound to happen sooner or later in team sports.

  33. BOAB316 says:


  34. Hello says:

    Can I just say Celtic fans wanting rangers to “die” has nothing to do with them being protestants or religion. There are many Protestant Celtic fans.
    Celtic fans don’t sing “soon there won’t be an Protestants at all” anymore either.

    The IRA’s goal was never to “slaughter” Protestants either , to claim so shows a lack of knowledge on the subject IMO.

    It’s good youwnjpyed the game Alex, and a good article apart from the bit condoning anti-Irish/catholic bigotry

  35. jimmy says:

    Hi Alex, welcome to the madhouse! We the inmates are very happy to have you join with us in celebration. In answer to your question about the call & response song this comes from French football.I live in Rennes and the tic played two games against the rouge et noir this season in Europa and the bhoys picked up on that one – come on ye bhoys in green etc – the french version starts – Aux Armes !! ( to arms ) that would get banned in Scotland for being too provocative though.All the teams sing that here maybe the main culprits are Marseille – it would make sense wouldnt it?I go to see Rennes in the Celtic Kop would you believe where the supporters sing all the time to a drum beating cheerleader (punk)and STAND honest to God on their seats!They have a dispensation for some reason. Anyway its good fun here in Rennes but its not Glasgow – excuse my french – thank fuck!

  36. Mark says:

    Dear me Alex, you had to mention sectarianism…..let the whataboutery begin.

    I am an Inverness fan. I moved to Glasgow six years ago because of work reasons. A few of my work colleagues are Celtic fans and a few are Rangers fans.

    I’ve been both to Ibrox and Celtic Park and I fully agree that there is a better atmosphere at Celtic.

    I must also admit that when I was at Celtic Park there was no sectarian chants. Only a few derogatory remarks about my teams manager because of his Rangers past. The green brigade sang their hearts out and really got their crowd up for it.

    At Ibrox it was a different matter. There’s a strong hatred for anything catholic or Irish. It also doesn’t stop inside the stadium. I can have a friendly pint with my Celtic supporting work mates and there’s no mention of religion. This is not the case with my Rangers supporting work mates.

    You only have to go out on a night out in Glasgow to realise that Graham Speirs was right when he said Rangers have a much bigger problem than Celtic.

    While Celtic fans, for the most part, seem to have moved away from sectarianism, Rangers fans seem stuck in the dark ages.

    This of course isn’t Rangers FC’s fault. It’s a society problem.

    Anyway, I hope that the next time you’re in Scotland you come to an ICT game. We’ve not got the best footballers but it’s a cracking view.

  37. Michael says:

    “First off – does the Green Brigade actually ever get to see any football or don’t they care much?”
    No they dont care about the football just the hatred.

    “To the Green Brigade first off. I think surely even Rangers fans would have to hand that corner of the ground full-marks”
    Not really alex for every banner they do thats funny they do another that mocks the dead scottish soldiers in iraqi and afganistan on remembrance sunday for example (some of which will have been celtic fans but thats bigots for you!)

    maybe alex you should just join the green charade if you think they are so great. Maybe they are avalible for childrens partys too lol. you trying to make them appear to be anything other than scumbags is just funny! Real celtic fans have nothing to do with those donuts. And also about the “better” chants and banners to be fair celtic have a lot more to sing about right now (they are not about to possibly stop existing for one).
    The songs that are linked in any way to the troubles from NI are all bad and shouldnt get sung especially any anti catholic or prodistant ones full stop. The hatred needs to stop anyone that thinks any different is a idiot.

    1. 2 Canadian soldiers says:

      Go on then Michael, you stop the hatred within yourself first.
      The GREEN BRIGADE love you..XXXXX

  38. Suzie87 says:

    @jimbo79. Irony….haha rangers fans kept belting out god save the queen and rule Britannia all the while the club haven’t been paying taxes and you talk about irony hahaha

  39. Broomhill Dons says:

    Oh dear Alex you have been sucked in by the circus that is the Old Firm. For those non bigot brothers fans this game is an example of all the things wrong with Scottish society, especially in the West. Sectarianism, hatred, arrogance and ignorance, not to mention the violence and domestic abuse perpetuated afterwards. No,you have your little moment of voyeurism, enjoy the atmosphere and then head south well away from having to put up with it everyday.
    Why don’t you come to a game in Scotland next season with no Old Firm. You will get the passion without the negatives.

    1. Stan Free says:

      Well said Broomhill, you’ve saved me a wee bit of typing there.
      I will add though, that a quick look at the comments above shows fans of either cheek of the arse that is the Old Farm seem to think that their abhorrent behaviour is acceptable because the other lot do it.
      I wouldn’t mind it so much, the good people of the West can knock lumps out of each other all day long as far as I’m concerned, but the way they behave reflects so badly on the rest of Scotland. I’ve been speaking to people from England about the referendum issue on other forums recently, and they are genuinely believe that all of Scotland is like this, that we’re all either waving a Union Jack or and Irish Tricolour, and seem surprised when I tell them that outside of the West we couldn’t give a flying one about anyone’s religion.
      With a bit of luck, if justice does prevail, and the blue coloured ones do get demoted from the SPL, this will be the last Old Farm shame for a few years, and we can mofve ourselves and the beautiful game forward north of the border instead of having them drag our names into the mud season after season after season.
      Stand Free

    2. Peter says:

      You mention “arrogance”. It’s kinda arrogant (and downright stupid) to suggest bigotry only exists in the west of Scotland or more to the point within two clubs.

      1. Stan Free says:

        Sorry peter, You’ll have to point me in the direction of Sectarianism and bigotry from Caley fans, or Dunfermline? How about us Dons fans? I can’t recall the last time we sang about Chapels, popes or the queen (whether to save or f*** either one of them), or terrorism?.
        Which other SPL teams, or any other in the football leagues in Scotland are renowned the world over for sectarian violence, bigotry or intolerance.
        Please justify your comments using a whataboutism concerning a single episode that happened many years ago. That will make everything the fans of both cheeks of the old firm arse do wholly acceptable.
        Stand free, where ever you may be

      2. Stan Free says:

        And for what it matters, up in the North East we don’t give a damn if you go to a church, or a chapel, or a swimming pool or a golf course on a Sunday Morning

      3. Stan Free says:

        Nae Bother Peter,
        just show me the last time that, say, Caley supporters, or Dons fans like me were found to be singing about Popes of Rome, The Queen (whether to save or f*** either will do), famines or songs glorifying terrorism and I’ll agree with you 100%.
        Perhaps you can regale us with many tales of how Dundee Supporters waved an irish Tricolour or those nasty Pars guys with their Union Flags. And what about those Partick fans? – aren’t they renowned the world over for religious intolerance and hatred?
        That’s right, they’re not.
        There ARE, however, two teams, both of whom hail from a large city in the West of Scotland who DO have such a reputation, whos fans have rampaged across Europe dragging the good name of Scotland through the mire. These teams, not arrogant, but both well known to call the rest of their opposition the “diddy” teams (no arrogance there then, eh?)care so little for Scotland that until very recently they bleated about wanting to join the EPL. Both teams whos fans either wave a Union Flag and swear loyalty to the same Queen whos treasury they cheated out of millions or an IRISH flag. Both teams and their fans care little for Scotland, and bring shame upon our nation.
        Both teams, 2 cheeks, one arse
        Stand Free, wherever you may be

      4. Peter says:

        Stan Free …

        I’ve heard many a “FTP chant” from the wee so-called family clubs and many a sectarian chant. From many of them. A lot of them. You don’t want to hear that.

        And I can tell you most certainly and you might not want to hear this either – I remember Aberdeen fans at Celtic Park with their wee ditty “To Die A Fenian B*******”.

        But before you start talking about shame, let me remind you of this: As much as I do not like Rangers FC, I would never sing about the Ibrox disaster. I wonder what fans do that? Mmmm.

        Shame you say? Shame?

        Think you’ve been on too much of the old sheep dip – you’re judgement is somewhat clouded.


  40. the vicTIM says:

    Anti catholic feeling? This is from the mob that sing ‘soon there will be no protestants at all’. Get offended by the term ‘fenian’ yet sing of. ‘fenian armys’. Get offended by anti irish feeling yet sing and shout offensive ditties about the queen & all things British. Irony or what? and as for the guy criticising gers signing policy… U lot had your own sectarian policy at boardroom level, ask mr stein! And why do u get so offended by that yet any catholic players we sign u abuse mercilessly. Mo jo still cant live in this country. Novo was given death threats, attacked in front of his kids! Plus u sang that you hoped he would die from an IRA bullet. Neil Mcann was given a horrible time,

    1. John says:

      “Soon there be no protestants at all”haha. I cant even remember the last time we sung On the one road at Celtic Park!!What a pathetic attempt at putting us in the same bracket as your lot son.I know,you know and everyone with half a brain knows that rangers have a woeful disgusting element of bigots.Not the minority as is repeatedly spouted by your defenders but the high majority!Celtics Bhoys Against Bigotry campaign was very successful at stopping any sectarian songs at Celtic Park.

      How many songs in your song book dont make offensive references towards Celtic F.C(champions),the catholic church or Irishness in general?? NOT MANY if any at all!

    2. pat says:

      Just a hunch but I think it’s the being “up to our knees in fenian blood, surrender or you’ll die” part that some people don’t like, not so much the word fenian.

    3. GreenGargoyle says:

      Er, I don’t think Celtic fans get offended at the word “fenian”. It is the use of the word in a sectarian sentence and context.

  41. Peter says:

    I never heard any Famine Song sung on Sunday although I heard something with the same tune.

    But I did hear “No Pope of Rome” (banned), “The Billy Boys” (banned), various chants about child abuse (expected) and references to the YCV, a yough organisation affiliated to the Loyalist terrorist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force.

    And yet we have Rangers fans on here saying: “We never sang the Famine Song” as though that has somehow freed you from any wrongdoing.

    When the threat of liquidation becomes more realistic, it would appear that Rangers fans have decided “to hell with the rule book or any form of decency” with regards to their choice of songs.

    That’s also to be expected. It’s like a defiant last kick from a dying monster.

    Mind you I had to laugh at God Save the Queen – considering the amount of money their club has shafted from her maj – oh my God the irony.

    Oh and as for the “54 titles” … let me know how many of those were won by honest means. Then we’ll talk.

    You know it, I know it – we all know it.

    1. Michael McCahill says:

      Spot on Peter also found it funny to hear them singing F the SFA lol hilarious. HH

  42. deiseach says:

    Interesting article. The comment about the atmosphere at English grounds is surely not comparing like-with-like. Plenty of noise at north London derbies. But what really got me was that you don’t seem to have anything to say about the atmosphere in Glasgow after the game. I’ve never been but my former boss, a die-hard Rangers fan, has. I asked whether he went much and a look of disgust crossed his face. He hadn’t been in a long time. “The city is pure evil for the entire weekend” was his analysis. Plenty of not-so-good-natured bangs.

  43. Michael McCahill says:

    I have to agree the atmosphere was excellent and the DJ’s choice of songs at the end were hilarious(don’t look back in anger and when will I see you again)precious moments indeed. As for the sectarian singing, Contrary to what Alex and rangers fans are saying I DID NOT hear ANY song sung by Celtic fans that were bigoted nor did I hear any pro IRA songs and since I was sitting amongst the Celtic support I think I am more qualified than most to decide if they were being sung or not. In fairness I did not hear the famine song but I did hear no Pope of Rome and the billy boys, songs that I find very offensive and sung by 99% of the rangers support, what were the police doing while this was happening? I did not see one arrest while these songs were being sung why was that? Surely if the police start to arrest people these morons would start to get the message. As for the idiot that put the racist remarks on twitter, well he really is a disgusting fool, he will be arrested and quite rightly so but the rangers fans that sing these songs are EVERY bit as bad and its just a pity that strathclyde’s finest choose to ignore the bigoted chants instead of doing there job properly. Racismsectarianism has no place in any society never mind football its a shame that most rangers fans don’t see it that way. Maybe its best for everyone if they do just disappear, that would be justice done as far as I’m concerned.

  44. Craig Dunn says:

    Well done Alex, you seem to have captured the carnival of the auld firm in only 2 games as an outsider.
    What you haven’t captured is the aftermath, the hatred and the trouble with the Scottish society (mainly the west coast). It’s all very well leaving the game, getting on a train whilst writing your blog and going home to England. I would suggest hanging around a little longer, maybe for as long as to see a fan walking in the wrong part of town late at night, for him to be attacked or unfortunately murdered in some cases. You don’t really read that in the MSM up here about all the attacks/murders, in fact, it wasn’t that long ago that the government shredded the evidence of all the attacks before they produced this new bill. The main reasons the MSM don’t report the attacks is firstly due to retribution and secondly the people who were being attacked.
    As I am sure you will already be doing as a good reporter, you will no doubt be digging deeper. I hope you do get to the bottom of the problem as it needs to be exposed and in its full capacity. I am not sure you are grasping the problem up here, I am confident you will get there eventually if you stay interested long enough – the songs aren’t the problem, the people who sing the songs aren’t a problem, it’s the people who sing them whilst attacking people that are a problem.

  45. TIMplosion says:

    With all the coverage of Sunday’s game focusing on the Celtic’s fans delight at the potential demise of Rangers. Who’d have guessed that Celtic are actually SPL Champions 2011/2012? Where were all the banners celebrating this achievement? Other fans in their position would be shouting their success from the roof-tops.

    Seems like that chip-on the shoulder, that unhealthy obsession, that paranoid inferiority complex with Rangers is not a myth after all. Celtic fans really do believe it all to be so. That. Or perhaps, like most, the majority at the game realize that the 2011/2012 SPL title is not worthy of celebrating. I’ll leave them to explain why.

  46. Debater says:

    Careful, now – Green Brigade not about the football?

    Hush Alex, or a life ban from kerrydalestreet.co.uk awaits.

  47. Roberto75 says:

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 01:58 PM

    I was born a bluenose, I didnt really have a say. My dad was a bluenose. My uncle was a bluenose. Both my grandfathers were buenoses. And luckily for me I became addicted to the Rangers drug just as the Souness revolution kicked off. Butcher, Woods, Roberts, Durranty, Coop and Ally were the heroes as we triumphed in 87 before the glory of nine in a row became my obsession during my teenage years. Then there was the arrival of the Little General as the Murray Mint spent a fortune chasing the Champions League dream. Ok we never reached the heights we aimed for but the memories of the Parma stuffing, Gio, Numan and Mols silencing their compatriots as we hammered PSV, wee Barry dominating Matthaus, the blitzkrieg of Sturm Graz and the win in Monaco will always be there. Then there was Big Ecks treble, Helicopter Sunday before the return of Sir Walt, Manchester and three in a row. Now? Like a growing number of disillusioned bears I’d accept our medicine of thrid division football. We have become an embarrassment cheating the taxman, not paying up to fellow clubs, leaving poor old kiddie facepainters out of pocket, its pathetic. Last Saturday I joined the the masses of fellow bears as we marched to Hampden when in my heart I knew we should really have been heading for the offices of messrs Murray and Whyte. They have tarnished the image of our once great club. Lets start afresh. Lets give home grown youth a chance to flourish such as Perry, McCabe, Hutton and Ness. Lets rid ourselves of the sectarian nonsense whcih has dragged our repatation down for far too long. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger. Bring on the Brechin!

  48. Weary Willie says:

    Like thousands of others, the sound of ignorant morons chanting about paedophilia, being up to their knees in whatever or any particular terrorist/freedom fighter organisation (delete according to personal opinion) does not offend me easily.
    What does offend me is the continued choosiness of our police and politicians whenever the mood suits. The only way to eradicate these behaviours is to convince the offenders that they will be made to account for their actions – every time.
    That takes perseverance not “ah well, it’s the last time this mob will be here so we’ll let them do what they want.
    The match commander at Celtic Park/ Parkhead showed considerable ability in interpreting songs earlier this season, he now needs to get consistent……..or maybe not. What if the offenders come after you threatening all sorts because you have charged them with something? You could waken up with a horse’s head in your bed.
    Scotland 2012……….mafia controlled state

  49. pat says:

    As a Celtic fan I have to say I don’t find any of the Rangers songbook to be offensive. Can’t say I like them much but I’m not that bothered by them either. They highlight what some of their support are like more than anything else.

    If you want to sing ’10 german bombers’, about Tommy Burns, something about jumping on Celtic’s heads and generally take delight in child abuse then that’s a reflection of the kind of person you are really.

    I’m against banning things, it doesn’t really deal with any perceived problems, just forces it elsewhere such as internet forums.

    I agree with those who say that there are some people who almost want to be offended. It turns into yet another silly tit for tat argument. In the Celtic-Rangers context there is a culture where fans of each side are trying to find things to incriminate the other.

    This isn’t just a Celtic-Rangers thing either, ever since the Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Andrew Sachs stuff people all over Britain have been itching to be offended by anything and everything.

    The new offensive behaviour laws have done nothing to help and really fans of all teams should be uniting against them.

  50. FTOF says:

    To sum up;

    ‘Went to a football match, heard songs of a sectarian, bigoted nature with sprinklings of poking fun at paedophilia and glorification of terrorism, enjoyed myself very much and thought it was a laugh.’

    Have to say, very disappointed Alex. I enjoyed your previous blogs regarding scottish football and the admin saga.

    OF fans – You lot are beyond comprehension. The sad fact is you use football as a platform to air you’r centuries old political views. It’s disgusting.



  51. Anton says:

    Welcome to the Terrordome … A Celtic fan. Dislike Rangers immensly. Certainly not motivated by religion. I’m a Catholic. But I couldn’t give a monkey’s left one what religion you are. I dislike Rangers because … they’re blue; and they’re not Celtic.

    Fed up with tit-for-tat he said she said BS (get a grip!). Fed up with racism, bigotry, sectarianism (same thing as bigotry? No one has ever really distinguished between the two), anti-Irish, anti-Protestant, anti-Catholic … all the ‘antis’ and ‘isms’ really.

    Maybe people in the rest of the UK look down their moses at Scottish football abd trivilise the OF. Maybe we’re an ’embarrasment’ to the rest of Scotland. Who cares? Because no other game in the WORLD feels like this. And when you score against the Gers, it feels like … BOOOOM! So forget those other clowns: they will never experience pure joy.

    So, for ninety minutes I hate you, and I know you hate me. That’s a good thing: in this ever-complicated world it’s nice to be clear on who the baddies are, even if for just an afternoon. So I’ll continue hating you. But, by Ghod, I could not live without you. Ever. (Really, I love you).

  52. MaxX says:

    Their wee ‘ditty’ about Tommy Burns while they were recking the toilets at CP were especially enlightening!
    Songs about being up to you’re knees in Fenian blood, the death of a million Irish folk, songs mocking child abuse, no no Pope of Rome, no chapels to sadden my eyes, no nuns & no priests and no rossary beads, and bouncy bouncy-ing on a wee boys head are such fun aren’t they Alex….Oh the glasgae banter, eh!!
    Part of the fasbric of Scottish society after all!
    It’s not as if they’re sending bombs or anything is it!!??

  53. DB1967 says:

    A few points Alex. First off, any Green Brigade members I know are fanatical about football & Celtic in particular.

    The call & response started spontaneously at one match earlier this season & has grown in popularity since.

    I do have a problem with the following:

    “As the other chants anti-Catholic ditties. For starters you can’t hear the words. To me it’s all part of the atmosphere.”

    “Rangers have today complained to Strathclyde Police that one of their players has received racist abuse on social networking sites. That’s one that offends – or should offend – anyone from any strand of British culture and if it happened, action should be taken.”

    So you’re not fussed about Anti-Catholic songs (which are illegal in this country and being sung at the football can lead to up to 5 years in jail) but racism is despicable & should offend everyone? What’s the difference? Hating on someone for their religion or colour of their skin is despicable no matter what. Rangers fans sing anti-catholic songs = no bother but if they sang something racist to Victor Wanyama based on his skin colour then you’d have a problem? Very hypocritical of you. Both are as bad as each other, arbitrarily hating people based on their religion, colour of their skin, sexuality etc. is unacceptable & has no place in society. Saying it’s all part of the atmosphere is tantamount to apathetic approval.

  54. burerbhoy says:

    Listen up the Green Brigade work hard and usre there own money and other CSCs collect money and donate it to the GB! So wats ur problem chipping back to Pro-IRA stuff? The celtic fans have done well over the past few years stamping out such stuff, its those people from ADMIN F.C. Who continue to sing bigoted sectarian chants, just look at sunday singing awful things about Tommy Burns RIP these sickos know there day has arrived and are simply the finished! Not the best! How can you write such nonsense and bullcrap, the celtic family have been mistreated by the SFA and Media because of some Pro-Rangers fans amounst them in charge simple as! We shall not be moved! Na Cheltic Abu

  55. Georgieboy says:

    Peter you are spot on,the vile chants from the many mob are also on utube ,while they abuse the police and wreck toilets they sing their vile chants,Alex salmond is a disgrace,he plays into the hands of these morons while he juggles his politics,that may yet bite him in the arse. !!!

  56. al says:

    Reading the above makes me glad i no longer live in Scotland. Nothing in this is about Scotland or being Scottish. It’s all about ‘Chinese whispers’. None of the OF followers have an original thought or perspective amongst them. What your da or your granda or great granda ad nauseum has spouted through the years is accepted as gospel.

    Whataboutery?? What about you all STFU? You’re ALL nothing less than a disgrace. Unify on that.

  57. Bill says:

    Alex, kudos to you for participating in the huddle and joining in with the good spirited nature of it all. The Old Firm match may not have the greatest display of footballing artistry, but in terms of atmosphere and noise, no other club game in Britain comes remotely close.

  58. wandering says:

    257 arrests as Old Firm hit new record
    Martyn McLaughlin – Scotsman – 29th April 2011

    A record number of arrests were made during last weekend’s Old Firm game, prompting renewed calls for the contentious fixture to be played during midweek dates to minimise violence and disorder in Glasgow.

    More than 250 arrests were made in the Strathclyde area on Easter Sunday, with hundreds of on-the-spot fines also issued in the worst day for offences out of the recent sequence of meetings between Rangers and Celtic.

    Reports of domestic abuse incidents also reached a record high for the season, despite high-profile attempts on the part of police and the Scottish Government to address the issue in recent months.

  59. Sasha rodoy says:

    Join me in my campaign for increased legislation to rid the world of bigotry. Bigotry ruined my life, it destroyed my faith in the city of Glasgow. Glasgow has many beautiful people. Many successful companies, but it is being blighted by individuals who spoil it for the rest. My eyes are crying at what they see.

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