With the madness of the last weekend and the subject of anti catholic and sectarian issues being highlighted in Scottish football and society, former Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson gave an insight into his experience with playing in the Glasgow Derby but also shared his respect he had for Celtic players off the pitch when he was captain of Rangers.
Speaking on The Go Radio Football Show, Ferguson spoke at length of the chance encounters with Celtic players outside of the madness of Scottish football and what he revealed was very refreshing, “I’m not gonna kid anybody on here. He was a top player (Stan Petrov), and top midfielder and a real good guy as well. As he says we hated each other for ninety minutes minutes, but the respect was always there.
“If you where out with your friends or your wife, you would have a quick chat with them (Celtic players). You’d have a beer with them, a glass of wine so there was none a what people think goes on.
“There’s always respect. Every time that I was in a group of Rangers players or out with my missus and I see a group of Celtic players I would always go over and have a chat with them and have a laugh.
“Even when you go away with the national team, there’s always Celtic and Rangers players and people would say me, ‘Did you sit separate and not speak to them?’ Listen, come on, we’re playing with the national team here, you’d have a laugh and a joke, and you try and give them a wee sly boot in training or whatever but there was always one thing I will say, with the guys that I played with at Rangers and the guys I played with at Celtic, there was always that mutual respect.”
To be honest, in a day and age where sectarian singing and fan hatred of each other was probably at it’s height, this is a refreshing insight to the relationships players on both sets of the divide.