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Old Firm

THE Rangers-Celtic Old Firm rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest in world football, dating back to the late 19th century when Celtic were founded in Glasgow's East End.

The teams first met at Celtic Park on May 28, 1888 in what was also the Parkhead club's first-ever match. Around 2,000 fans saw the home side win 5-2.

The nickname 'The Old Firm' originated during the early year of the 20th century when the clubs began to dominate Scottish football and the term in part referred to the financial benefits associated with their frequent meetings.

No two teams have dominated their national championship as much as Rangers and Celtic - between them they have won 95 of the 114 Scottish titles available since 1890.

And they have also contested numerous dramatic head-to-head encounters.

Here are the stats on how the Light Blues have fared against their old foes.*

  P W L D F A
League 299 117 98 84 429 392
Scottish Cup 47 16 22 9 61 72
League Cup 45 23 21 2 65 67
All Matches 391 156 141 95 555 531
* as at February 20, 2011
  P W L D F A
Premier Division / SPL 141 51 53 38 187 182
Premier At Ibrox 71 33 19 18 111 76
Premier At Parkhead 71 18 33 20 76 106
All League Games 298 117 97 84 429 389
League Games At Ibrox 149 72 35 41 240 156
League Games At Parkhead 149 44 62 43 189 233


  • Rangers' biggest league victory Celtic was the 5-0 thrashing of September 1893. Their best Premier triumphs were the 5-1 wins of August 1988 and November 2000.
  • The largest crowd ever to watch an Old Firm game was the 132,870 which saw the 1969 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden. The clubs hold the British record attendance for a league match - 118,567 watched their New Year derby at Ibrox on January 2, 1939.
  • The Light Blues' best score in an Old Firm fixture was the 8-1 rout of January 1, 1943. Unfortunately, like all wartime games, the match is classed as unofficial!
  • Ally McCoist is Rangers' top modern-day goalscorer in Old Firm matches with 27 goals between 1983 and 1998. However the famous R.C. Hamilton hit 35 goals against Celtic in various competitions during the late 1890s and early 1900s. Celtic's leading scorer in the fixture is Jimmy McGrory, who ties with McCoist on 27.
  • Alfie Conn is the only player to have won Scottish Cup medals with both Old Firm sides when playing the other. The midfielder scored for Rangers in the 1973 Old Firm Final and was in the Celtic team which defeated Gers 1-0 in 1977.

THERE is nothing quite like the drama and excitment of an Old Firm match and here William Walker looks at some famous Rangers wins over Celtic.

First Blood

Rangers 3 Celtic 1

Scottish Cup Final, Second Hampden Park, February 17, 1894

The first-ever Scottish Cup Final between the teams was contested on a miserable day at the second version of Hampden.

Gers were still seeking their first triumph in the tournament and Celtic, with more experienced players, were slight favourites.

But the Light Blues' superior fitness proved crucial as they stormed to victory.

All the goals came in the second half - a Hugh McCreadie volley, a suberb solo effort from John Barker and a 20-yarder from John McPherson put Gers in easy street. Willie Maley's late goal was mere consolation as the Cup found its was to Ibrox at last.

RANGERS: Haddow, N.Smith, Drummond, Marshall, A.McCreadie, Mitchell, Steel, H.McCreadie, Gray, McPherson, Barker.

CELTIC: Cullen, Reynolds, Doyle, Curran, Kelly, W.Maley, Blessington, Madden, Cassidy, Campbell, McMahon.

Attendance: 17,000

The Hoodoo Busters

Rangers 4 Celtic 0

Scottish Cup Final, Hampden, April 14, 1928.

For 25 years Rangers and the Scottish Cup just wouldn't go - there was talk of a cup jinx on the Ibrox men.

But after a score-less first half, inspirational captain David Meiklejohn settled the nerves by cooly converting a penalty-kick.

A huge cloud seemed to lift from the Rangers players and the boys in blue began to turn on the style.

Bob McPhail added a second in the 65th minute and winger Sandy Archibald capped a memorable afternoon by ramming home two piledrivers.


RANGERS: T.Hamilton, Gray, R.Hamilton, Buchanan, Meiklejohn, Craig, Archibald, Cunningham, Fleming, McPhail, Morton.

CELTIC: J.Thomson, W.McStay, Donoghue, Wilson, J.McStay, McFarlane, Connolly, A.Thomson, McGrory, McInally, McLean.

Attendance: 118,115

See You Jimmy!

Rangers 4 Celtic 0

Scottish League First Division, Ibrox, January 1, 1949.

Bill Struth's team were on the march towards Scottish football's first-ever 'Treble' and, as usual, their legendary 'Iron Curtain' defence played its part by shutting out the Parkhead attack.

And despite the wintry conditions, Rangers managed to play some quality football with the left-wing partnership of Jimmy Duncanson and Eddie Rutherford giving their Celtic counterparts a real roasting.

The game turned into a personal triumph for inside-forward Duncanson who banged in a glorious hat-trick to add to Willie Thornton's third-minute goal.

RANGERS: Brown, Young, Shaw, McColl, Woodburn, Cox, Waddell, Paton, Thornton, Duncanson, Rutherford.

CELTIC: Miller, Milne, Mallan, Evans, Boden, McAuley, Weir, Johnston, Gallacher, Tully, Paton.

Attendance: 85,000

Kai's Danish Sizzler

Rangers 1 Celtic 0

Scottish Cup Final replay, Hampden, April 27, 1966.

The Gers had performed well to hold their high-flying rivals to a 0-0 draw in the first match but Jock Stein's side remained favourites to lift the cup.

After 70 hard-fought minutes, neither side had managed to break the deadlock. Then a deflected shot bounced out in the direction of Gers full-back Kai

Johansen who quickly sized up his chance. The Dane connected perfectly with his instep and the ball flew past Ronnie Simpson and into the Celtic net.

The cheer from the Rangers End could almost have been heard in Scandinavia itself.

RANGERS: Ritchie, Johansen, Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Millar, Henderson, Watson, McLean, Johnston, Wilson.

CELTIC: Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, McBride, Chalmers, Auld, Hughes.

Attendance: 96,862

Sweet Sixteen 

Rangers 1 Celtic 0

League Cup Final, Hampden, October 24, 1970.

Rangers were in their fifth season without a major trophy and suffered a pre-match blow when skipper John Greig was ruled out with 'flu.

Forced into a team reshuffle, manager Waddell boldly decided to draft in 16-year-old striker Derek Johnstone - a move which was to pay off handsomely.

The game's key moment came five minutes from half-time. Winger Willie Johnston swung over a teasing cross and, to everyone's amazement, young Derek outjumped veteran Celts McNeill and Craig to steer the ball perfectly into the corner of the net.

It was a beautiful goal and one that will forever be part of Ibrox folklore.

RANGERS: McCloy, Jardine, Miller, Conn, McKinnon, Jackson, Henderson, A.MacDonald, D.Johnstone, Stein, W.Johnston.

CELTIC: Williams, Craig, Quinn, Murdoch, McNeill, Hay, Johnstone, Connelly, Wallace, Hood (Lennox), Macari.

Attendance: 106,263

Wham Bam Thank You Tam

Rangers 3 Celtic 2

Scottish Cup Final, Hampden, May 5, 1973.

A huge crowd had gathered under heavy Hampden skies for the centenary Scottish Cup Final.

After 25 minutes Celtic went in front through Dalglish but Rangers fought back to lead with goals from Parlane and Conn.

George Connelly converted a penalty to tie the scores at 2-2 and the expectation of most neutrals was of a Celtic win.

Then, in the 60th minute, an unlikely cup-winner appeared on the scene. As Derek Johnstone's header ran invitingly along the Celtic goal-line, defender Tom Forsyth popped up to force the ball over with his studs, before embarking on a mazy run of celebration.

RANGERS: McCloy, Jardine, Mathieson, Greig, D.Johnstone, MacDonald, McLean, Forsyth, Parlane, Conn, Young.

CELTIC: Hunter, McGrain, Brogan (Lennox), Murdoch, McNeill, Connelly, J.Johnstone, Deans, Dalglish, Hay, Callaghan.

Attendance: 122,714

Three Cheers For Ally 

Rangers 3 Celtic 2

Skol Cup Final, Hampden, March 25, 1984.

Like many an Old Firm meeting, this match proved to be a fierce, hectic encounter.

When Ally McCoist added a second goal to his first-half penalty, Rangers looked to be in the driving seat until a Brian McClair free-kick and a late Mark Reid penalty took the game into extra time.

The disappointment of losing their lead might have floored lesser teams but character was never a problem for a Jock Wallace outfit.

After 14 minutes of the extra period, the Light Blues were awarded another spot-kick when McCoist was clumsily fouled by Celtic's Roy Aitken.

This time 'keeper Pat Bonner parried Ally's shot but the young striker reacted sharply to tuck home the rebound and complete a famous hat-trick.

RANGERS: McCloy, Nicholl, Dawson, McClelland, Paterson, McPherson, Russell, McCoist, Clark (McAdam), J.MacDonald (Burns), Cooper.

CELTIC: Bonner, McGrain, Reid, Aitken, McAdam, MacLeod, Provan (Sinclair), McStay, McGarvey (Melrose), Burns, McClair.

Attendance: 66,369

Slaughter In The Sun

Rangers 5, Celtic 1.

Scottish Premier Division, Ibrox, August 27, 1988.

The Light Blue faithful danced in the late summer sunshine as they watched Gers run up their biggest victory in an Old Firm fixture for 28 years.

Goals from McCoist (2), Wilkins, Drinkell and Walters made Frank McAvennie's early counter a total irrelevance.

Pick of the goals came from midfield general Ray Wilkins who dispatched a venomous volley into the visitors' net to make it 2-1.

The roof simply caved in on Celtic and goalkeeper Ian Andrews must still have nightmares about the light blue tidal wave which hit him.

As Nat King Cole might say... Unforgettable!

RANGERS: Woods, Stevens, Brown, Gough, Wilkins, Butcher, Drinkell, I.Ferguson, McCoist, Durrant (Souness), Walters (Cooper).

CELTIC: Andrews, Morris, Rogan, Aitken, McCarthy, Grant, Stark (Whyte), McStay, McAvennie, Walker, Burns (Miller).

Attendance: 42,858

Laud And Proud

Celtic 0, Rangers 1.

Scottish Premier Division, Parkhead, November 4, 1996.

Rangers were in pursuit of 'nine-in-a-row' but it was Celtic who topped the table as the teams lined up for this live TV encounter.

Brian Laudrup handed Gers the proverbial dream start when he picked up a loose ball before unleashing a cracking right-foot drive past Stewart Kerr.

A night of high-octane entertainment followed as intense Celtic pressure was met with skilful counter-attacks from Walter Smith's side.

Laudrup's strike eventually proved decisive but not until the fans had been treated to a squandered penalty by Paul Gascoigne, the Miss of the Millennium from Peter van Vossen and a wonderful penalty save by Andy Goram.

CELTIC: Kerr, McNamara, O'Neil (McKinlay), Stubbs, Boyd, Grant, Di Canio, Wieghorst, van Hooijdonk, Thom (Cadete), Donnelly.

RANGERS: Goram, Cleland, Gough, Petric, Bjorklund, Robertson, Moore, Gascoigne, McInnes (van Vossen), Albertz, Laudrup.

Attendance: 50,041

The Flag Comes Home

Celtic 0, Rangers 3.

SPL, Parkhead, May 2, 1999.

Rampant Rangers wrote themselves into the history books with this oh-so-sweet triumph, becoming the first Gers side to clinch the championship at their arch-rivals' ground.

But it was a Sunday evening clash packed with controversy as some of the home players and their fans lost their heads as well as their title.

Neil McCann was the two-goal hero for Rangers with Jörg Albertz also netting through a calmly-taken penalty.

Dick Advocaat's team could hardly have picked a better way to notch the club's 100th league victory over Celtic.

CELTIC: Kerr, Annoni, Stubbs, Marshall, Mahe, Riseth, Lambert, Wieghorst, Larsson, Viduka, Brattbakk.

RANGERS: Klos, Porrini, Amoruso, Hendry, Vidmar, Reyna, van Bronckhorst, Albertz (McInnes), Wallace, Amato (Johansson), McCann.

Attendance: 59,918

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