Fans Contest this Season’s Only Old Firm Derby

The Old Firm derby will be missing from the Scottish football calendar for the next three seasons but Old Firm legends Gordon Strachan and Walter Smith took matters into their own hands on Thursday night as they each managed a team of fans going head to head for Glasgow’s bragging rights…and this time is was honours even between the two clubs.

Gordon Strachan was hoping to add the ‘fans’ victory to his impressive CV of three SPL titles in the match organised by Ladbrokes. Meanwhile, former Rangers manager Walter Smith was looking to avenge the 3-0 loss in the ‘last’ Old Firm derby.

The two teams, made up of Rangers and Celtic fans from Glasgow Sunday league clubs Garnock FC and Thornwood FC, lined up at the ground of Pollok FC and donned the colours of the club they support, as friends who were team mates at the weekends became opponents in football’s greatest rivalry.

In the end, it was a case of honours even in a eagerly contested game that finished 1-1.  Martin Hay put Celtic in front before Jonathon Railley equalised for the Rangers team late in the second half. However, it could have been a very different game if it wasn’t for Celtic goalkeeper John Boal who produced a string of great saves and was lauded as man of the match by both Strachan and Smith.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan said: “Ladbrokes told me before the game that Celtic are 5/2 to go the season unbeaten. I put a fiver on it so I told the lads before the game that they’d better start that streak tonight! I’ve managed my share of Old Firm derbies but it was great to get back in the dugout and add another to the list.”

Rangers manager Walter Smith said: “I can’t fault the boys today, they did the club proud. Rangers fans are in need of a bit of a cheer at the moment and it was a great occasion. Let’s hope both Old Firm clubs do the business in the cups this season and tonight might not be the only derby we’ll see this season!”

Jonathan Railley, of Thornwood FC represented Rangers. He said: “Pulling on the club’s colours today was amazing. Being managed by Walter Smith and then scoring in front of him was a once in a lifetime experience. I couldn’t believe it when Ladbrokes called up and asked us to take part. The whole experience has been incredible.”

Martin Tocker of Garnock FC and Celtic said: “I never thought I’d be able to say I’d played for a Celtic team managed by Gordon Strachan but now, thanks to Ladbrokes, I can. There’s been so much negative talk about Scottish football recently so we all wanted to do was play our best and show people the fans are still backing their teams.”

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “”The odds show just how confident we are that The Gers will bounce back to the SPL.”

She added: “At 1/33 Celtic have already got their hands on the title before the season’s even begun.”

Relevant Odds from Ladbrokes:


Celtic to win the SPL – 1/33

Betting without Celtic:


Dundee Utd – 7/4

Hearts – 9/4

Motherwell – 4/1

Aberdeen – 9/1

Hibernian – 12/1

St Johnstone – 16/1

Top Goalscorer (SPL)


Gary Hooper – 4/7

Anthony Stokes – 10/3

Jon Daly – 10/1

Giorgios Samaras – 14/1

John Sutton – 25/1

K Commons – 25/1

James Forrest – 25/1

M Bangura – 25/1

Tony Watt – 25/1

Celtic Winning Margin:

1-10 points – 14/1

11-20 points – 10/1

21-30 points – 7/4

31-40 points – 11/10

41 or more points – 9/2

Celtic to win every game in their respective division next season – 40/1

Celtic to remain unbeaten in their division next season – 5/2

Celtic to beat their 2001/2 points record of 103 points – 2/1


Rangers to win Scottish Division 3 – 1/25

Betting without Rangers


Peterhead – 9/4

Queens Park – 7/2

Stirling Albion – 11/2

Elgin – 6/1

Annan Athletic – 17/2

Rangers to remain unbeaten in their division next season – 7/4

Rangers to win every game in their division next season – 33/1