lying in bed, a Catholic,
He’s lying in bed.He’s totally dying, on his
last legs and that. All his family ask him,
any last requests?
[INAUDIBLE].And the guy’s like, aye, I
wanna become a Proddy.
And the family are like, what?
Excuse me, what?And he says, honestly, that’s
really what I want to do.
So they get a minister in.
The minister comes in.He coverts him to a
Protestant, and a
Rangers fan, and that.And the family are like, Dad,
why would want to do that? Because see, if I die, that’s
one less Proddy bastard to
worry about, eh?
[LAUGHTER]KEV KHARAS: In late winter,
2011, I traveled north from London to Glasgow to get an
up-to-date look at one of the oldest rivalries in
world football. The sectarian divide that splits
Rangers and Celtic has its roots in things that
happened across the Irish Sea
centuries ago.Today, the hatred is just as
strong and continues to split
the city in two.MALE SPEAKER 2: I definitely
think people, they see themselves in the context of the
Old Firm, as either green or blue, Catholic or Protestant,
British or Irish. MALE SPEAKER 3: I think at the
end of the day, though, there’s a certain mutual respect
for each other’s fans. KEV KHARAS: So what do you
think of Rangers fans?
MALE SPEAKER 4: Scumbags.MALE SPEAKER 5: Celtic fans,
I think they’re crass, disrespectful, and
definitely Irish. MALE SPEAKER 6: I fucking
hate Rangers! MALE SPEAKER 7: Rangers fans,
they don’t know who they are.
They get brought up to hate.MALE SPEAKER 8: The kind of
lunacy that you get with Celtics, why you would seek out
the company of of people who are mentally disturbed
has always been a bit of
a mystery to me.MALE SPEAKER 9: I bumped into a
Celtic fan with one shoe on. And I went, you’ve lost one
shoe, you stupid cunt.
He went, no, no, I found one.
[LAUGHS].MALE SPEAKER 10: There are
songs I’ve heard sung at football matches the last two
seasons that have no place in Belfast in the 21st century,
never mind Glasgow. MALE SPEAKER 11:
we will follow Rangers.Anywhere, everywhere,
we will follow on. Dundee, Hamilton, fuck the
Pope and the Vatican. If they go to Dublin,
we will follow on. KEV KHARAS: Living in England
gives you a very black and white impression of
the Old Firm. If the cliches about Celtic
fans are true, they’re all Pope-obsessed, IRA
gun-runners. And if you’re a Rangers fan,
you’re probably a right-wing Protestant who only smiles when
you think of the queen. Of course, these cliches don’t
tell the whole story.
This is a complicated hatred.But one thing both sides seem
to agree on is that they
should be allowed to hate.The Scottish Parliament
feels differently. And it’s just passed a new
bill aiming to make songs about Huns and Fenians
a thing of the past. In Glasgow, there were
murmurings of money problems at Rangers that threatened to
make the Old Firm itself a
thing of the past.But on my first visit
to the city, it was
time to get a tour.I met Joe Miller, founder of
Celtic fanzine “Not The View.” JOE MILLER: This is the
traditional route that Celtic fans will walk up
to Celtic Park.
This is called the Gallowgate.It’s a very kind of strong
Celtic area. And this used to be a massive
Irish community here. Celtic Park, paradise
we call it. KEV KHARAS: After watching
Celtic fans bond with the players, we headed over to
Rangers’ home, Ibrox, in the
West of the city.JOE MILLER: This area
here is Bridgetown. This is where my father’s
from, in fact. And it’s a massive
Rangers area. KEV KHARAS: Do you ever
hang out here?
JOE MILLER: Oh no.
Glasgow is–you walk into a pub, and
anything can happen. It’s just the nature of this
city is very hard. I got a kicking once
going to Ibrox. I got a sore one right
between the legs.
This is Paisley Road West.Just hold your breath
We’re coming up to Ibrox.
You’ll probably smell it.KEV KHARAS: Have you got
a name for Ibrox?
JOE MILLER: Oh, yeah.Castle Greyskull, the
Hunnery, Shit Pit. KEV KHARAS: At Ibrox, we found
our first proof that the rivalry extends beyond
Scotland’s borders. It came in the form
of a friendly
German football bigot.When did you first start
liking Rangers? GERMAN MAN: First
game was in ’86.
KEV KHARAS: OK.
What do you think of Celtic.
GERMAN MAN: [LAUGHS], Fenian.
Fenian bastards.MALE SPEAKER 12: You shouldn’t
say that on camera. You’ve just shamed the
whole of Germany.
[LAUGHTER]KEV KHARAS: The next day, we
went to meet a man named Mark Dingwall, who runs Rangers
fanzine “Follow Follow.” MARK: Obviously because of the
background, it means more to more people, I think, than some
of the rivalries that you
would get down south.But it’s not really quite as
serious, I think, as it’s often portrayed in
documentaries, where because of the religious side of things,
they try to make out that Glasgow is a sectarian
I think that that’s a myth.KEV KHARAS: Maybe Dingwall’s
right, and the idea of Glasgow as a furnace of sectarian
hatred is a false one. But pretty much every flag we
saw for sale on match day referenced the old Troubles
in Ireland. MARK: Well, it’s about
the culture. I mean, if you look at the links
between Scotland and Ireland over the last 200, 300
years, we’ve probably had about a million people
immigrating to Scotland from
Ireland, and vice versa.
So you do have this culture.My view would be that a lot of
the media and, well, the political class, they only want
to concentrate on what they perceive as violence
and bigotry. They don’t actually want to look
at the positive aspects of that, or in fact, the
historical reality. KEV KHARAS: What do
you think of this
phrase, “90 minute bigot”?MARK: I think it fairly well
sums up what happens at Old
Firm games.This is the release valve for
mainly working class people at
the end of the week.Because they go out
to football. They can say what they want,
do what they want, have a drink, have a laugh, be loud and
boorish in a way that they aren’t during the rest
of the week. KEV KHARAS: The next day, I
jumped on the train north to Dundee to meet Joe Miller
and some of
Celtic’s loyal away support.STEVEN: It wouldn’t bother me
tomorrow if they went bust. And it was a big Tesco,
or whatever. In fact, I would gladly
shop in it. MALE SPEAKER 13: It’s a kind
of religion to folk. That’s because you turn
out every week. Glasgow’s got a strong
Irish community. But we couldn’t express
ourselves in the community. There was no St. Patrick’s Day
parades or celebrations. A woman once said to me,
and she goes, are you
one of those Fenians?And I was actually
She labelled me a Fenian.KEV KHARAS: Was it a
girl that you were
trying to crack on to?
Or an old woman in the shops?MALE SPEAKER 13: It was
an older woman. I was still trying to
crack her as well. That label right away was,
I’m a Celtic fan.
I’m a Catholic.
I’m an Irish republican.These are all the labels that
are tied down with that. And I may not have been any of
them other than a Celtic fan. With Celtic fans, there is this
cult of victim-hood on
the one hand.Then on the other hand, they
want to be the tough guys. They want to support the IRA
and push people around. I would say that Celtic in the
last 5 to 10 years are probably more Catholic, more
Irish and more republican. KEV KHARAS: Do you think that
Rangers fans and Celtic fans are sort of inherently
different people? Maybe because of their
upbringing? MALE SPEAKER 13: We’re
more open, I think. When Rangers fans go abroad,
they go on a rampage. When we go abroad, we’re
probably up singing and dancing, having more fun
and meeting friends. KEV KHARAS: Do you have friends
that are Rangers fans? MALE SPEAKER 13:
Acquaintances. MARK: I have acquaintances
that would be
nominal Celtic fans.But general delusions about
persecution, about being a member of the IRA, about
claiming that your grandfather fought in the General Post
Office against the British, that your granny was raped
by the Black and Tans. I mean, this is not really the
type of people that you want
to associate with.KEV KHARAS: We saw a sticker
up at Ibrox. It just had a picture of the
Union Jack that said, love it
or leave it.
MALE SPEAKER 13: Yeah.Yeah, well, we’re
told to go back. Their famous shout is,
the famine’s over.
Why don’t you go home?
I live here.
I like this country.KEV KHARAS: Do you think
the bill will help? MALE SPEAKER 13: The bill
won’t help that. Because it’s just attacking
football fans. There’s a culture out there
that has to be changed.
MALE SPEAKER 14: Celtic!
Come on you boys in green!MALE SPEAKER 15: Come on
you boys in green! MALE SPEAKER 14: Glasgow’s
green and white. MALE SPEAKER 15: Glasgow’s
green and white. MALE SPEAKER 14: Glasgow’s
green and white. MALE SPEAKER 15: Glasgow’s
green and white.
MALE SPEAKER 14: Celtic!
MALE SPEAKER 15: Celtic!KEV KHARAS: Recording crappy
footage on my phone, I made my way into the ground, where
Celtic’s fans were going
through their repertoire.
[CHANTING]KEV KHARAS: They didn’t seem too
worried about falling foul
of the anti-sectarian bill.
[CROWD SHOUTING]MALE SPEAKER 16: Orange
MALE SPEAKER 17: Up the IRA!KEV KHARAS: I’d made an
appointment to see Nil By Mouth, a charity based in
Glasgow that wants to eradicate sectarianism
from Scottish life. They were set up after a
15-year-old Celtic fan died after having his throat cut on
the way home from a match. MALE SPEAKER 18: I came
in Scotland in 1999.And I went to watch an Old
Firm football game in the
student union’s bar.And I heard this shocking
was, six million Jews.And it should have
been Protestants. How many layers of ignorance do
you have to get through to come out with that
type of stuff? People have often put to me the
idea that in Scotland we
have 90-minute bigots.Now, you know that
kind of idea. For 90 minutes, we go,
we watch football.
We taunt the other sides.
We use these kind of words.And then we go back to
our kind of life. Now I’ll put it to you in
this kind of context. If I use the term nigger
to you, you’d
find that quite offensive.And quite rightly, because
it’s a disgusting term. Does that make you a
Does it really?You know, we all have
to have laws. And we have to have boundaries
as what is acceptable behavior
and what is not.And if you don’t have that,
then it’s a bit
of a free for all.And people do what they want,
as and when they want. KEV KHARAS: This is Abdul Rafiq,
a Muslim Rangers fan who’s banned from football
matches for five years for
singing anti-Catholic songs.So how has this ban order
affected your ritual? Because I imagine it must have
been a pretty big part of your
life before.ABDUL: Yeah, I used to go to
all the Rangers matches. But now, to suddenly not be
allowed to go to matches, it’s had a big effect on
me, you know? And I just don’t think the
punishment fits the crime, just for singing songs,
you know? I was singing the “Follow,
Follow” songs. But there were some added-on
words that you’re
not supposed to sing.KEV KHARAS: What
were they like? ABDUL: Dundee, Hamilton, eff
the Pope and the Vatican.
You know, that one.KEV KHARAS: The banning
order has made Abdul a
pretty famous guy.He’s well-known both
on the streets of
Glasgow and on the internet.ABDUL: Oh, I do like to
be beside the seaside. And I do like to be
beside the sea. With a hammer in my hand, Fenian
bashing on the sand beside the seaside,
beside the sea. I’ve got friends that
are Celtic fans.
So it’s only a game.
It’s only a bit of banter.And I’ve got to sign in at a
police station in the first half of every Rangers game
for the next five years.
I’m on my way just now.KEV KHARAS: Abdul’s also famous
for being the only Muslim member of right-wing
nationalist group the English
Defense League.ABDUL: If you’re born in
Britain, then it’s natural to
like your country.The flag of my country is
red, white, and blue.
Rangers play in those colors.I don’t go to the mosque
to pray five
times a day or anything.But I’d still like to
be a good person. That’s being religious
I’m a good person.
I’m good to accept everybody.
So that’s being religious.So I would say I’m religious
in a way. KEV KHARAS: Do you think you get
picked on because Rangers is, you know, traditionally
a very Protestant club. ABDUL: Because of my connection
to the EDL and SDL,
the police recognize me.So I do get picked
on by the police. That day I got arrested at the
football match, the officers
recognized me.And it was a high-profile
match because we
were playing Chelsea.And the Chelsea fans were
there chanting my name.
KEV KHARAS: Really?
What were they singing?ABDUL: They were just chanting
the name, Abdul, Abdul, EDL. I have a few racist remarks
from Rangers fans.
Just a few.But you’re always going to
expect a few anyway. KEV KHARAS: As Abdul lapped up
the attention outside Ibrox, keeping the rain off his head
with his Union Jack umbrella, I couldn’t come to think of
him as a spiteful guy. It just seemed like he wanted to
be part of something, even if that something had turned him
into a football bigot who
hangs out with fascists.What is it that you identify
with with the EDL? ABDUL: Well, the EDL are
against extremism. They’re against all sorts
of extremism. They’re not against
just Muslims. They’re against all, even the
Catholics, IRA, and that. And I’m born and bred
and I love my country.So I’m against any sort of
extremism, you know.
And they’re open to anybody.
They’re not racist and that.KEV KHARAS: Do you not buy the
argument that they are themselves racist
people, the EDL? ABDUL: But if they were
racist, they wouldn’t
have me with them.KEV KHARAS: Do you think they
might be saying one thing and doing another, trying to
hide, maybe, the fact
that they are racist?ABDUL: Well, they’re asking
me to bring more
Muslims to join up.When they’re down your
street, they don’t
shout abuse at Muslims.They actually say to them,
come and join us. MALE SPEAKER 19: You little
poof, where are you going? Are you banned from still
going to Ibrox?
I’m back with EDL, though.
He was from the EDL.MALE SPEAKER 19: Don’t
let them video you.
ABDUL: No, it’s all right.
They’re not going against it.MALE SPEAKER 19: They’ll fucking
put it against you.
ABDUL: No, it’s all right.KEV KHARAS: Abdul’s mates
didn’t seem to like our
cameras all that much.So to avoid a beating,
we went elsewhere. How does it make you
feel when you see? ABDUL: Well, when you see that,
it makes me look out to be as if I’m a Catholic-hater
or something. But that’s not the
case, you know. Because I just think
that it’s banter. Another notorious Ranger
celebrity who is against the
bill is Sandy Chugg.Sandy was one of the stars of
the Scottish football violence
scene of the ’80s and ’90s.He led Rangers’ terrifying Inter
City Firm into battle
many times.SANDY: As much as I dislike
Celtic songs, the IRA songs and that, I will defend our
rights to sing them.
The product’s not great.
The crowds are dwindling.And they want to lock up people
for to provide a wee bit of atmosphere
at the football.
[INAUDIBLE], well done.
Keep it going.KEV KHARAS: As far
as we know, Sandy
isn’t a hooligan anymore.Instead, he spends his time
here, training kids at this
school in Glasgow’s East End.
SANDY: Come on, [INAUDIBLE].
Wrap your feet around it.
Come on.I started playing about
8 years old. Then I was picked up with the
Rangers, under-14 level.
I spent two years there.Unfortunately, I wasn’t good
enough to make the grade. Other things in my life
at the time as
well, the Casual scene.I was finding out I was a lot
better football Casual than I
was a football player.
So I sort of got sidetracked.KEV KHARAS: Do you regret
that at all?
SANDY: No.To be honest, I loved
the scene. It the biggest youth culture
explosion, in my opinion,
since the Mods.Boys from Yeovil to Inverness
were involved in fighting each
other, fighting the law.To be part of that, looking
back, although I know I wouldn’t say it makes me proud,
I am sort of glad that
I was involved in it.I was lost to the rave
generation for about two or
three years.That was the next new wave
of youth culture. It led me to three years
in prison for
dealing LSD and ecstasy.That’s my major regret
in life. And my one ambition was
to be a Royal Marine.
Blew that out of the water.I want to prove to the parents
that despite my past, I’m the best person to coach
their kids. KEV KHARAS: Even though a
minority have complained about Sandy’s past to the school, he
didn’t seem too worried about re-living it in front of the
parents and their kids. When you see your picture next
to words like scum, and thugs, and wrecking the good name of
the Tartan army, I mean, how
did that make you feel?SANDY: In a strange way, I
was slightly proud to be
recognized.But when I look back, and I’m
looking back over a lot of stuff here, I’m kind of
thinking, that wasn’t really one of your cleverest moments
in your life,
you know what I mean?
KEV KHARAS: Yeah.SANDY: It’s something
to look back on. Maybe some people have
photo albums. KEV KHARAS: I mean, was football
violence an addiction
for you, do you think?
SANDY: Oh, most certainly.
Without a doubt.No matter how hard I tried to
walk away, I always seemed to
get dragged back in.A lot of people liked
I liked the violence.
I’ll be honest.
I’m not going to beat about the
bush, I liked the violence.KEV KHARAS: So what for you is
the biggest misconception that people have about the Glasgow
football rivalry? SANDY: I think the biggest
misconception is primarily a
religious aspect.In my own personal opinion, I
believe it’s now turning into
a national identity.It’s Scottish-British,
or you’re Irish. KEV KHARAS: That guy going mad
with a bin is Sandy’s old
sparring partner, John O’Kane.John was one of the founding
fathers of the
Celtic Soccer Crew Firm.His life with the Casuals
saw him up before
the judge 66 times.I’d arranged to meet him
in a pub across town. Was there, when you were
fighting, that kind of
unwritten, unspoken code?JOHN: After a Scotland game,
we got into a fight with
Patrick Thistle.And there were a few of them
on the ground after it. And the rest of them
had run away. And we’d gotten them up and made
sure the guys were OK,
and things like that.
You all right, mate?All your mates have fucked
off and left you. I’m just making sure
you’re OK. It’s an unwritten
sort of rule.
A fight’s a fight.KEV KHARAS: Does that
extend to Rangers fans?
Certainly not.Because I’ve been stabbed, had
my ear cut off by the Rangers, and been slashed
so many times. They actually threw one of our
boys off a bridge near Ibrox
stadium onto the M8 motorway.KEV KHARAS: The big guys with
him were from Shebeen, Glasgow’s premier republican
band and lifelong Celtic fans.
I have four green fields.
Each one was a jewel.
Nil By Mouth is the worst.They don’t live in
the real world. Celtics are singing “The Fields
of Athenry,” then
they’re singing “The
Famine Song.” Who cares?
Who really cares about it?
It’s a bit of banter.
And my four green fields.Run red with their
blood, said she. KEV KHARAS: So do you feel like
Shebeen might be under
threat from the bill?GRAEME: Well, if they come in
and arrest me or Alan for singing songs of Ireland,
then I’m a political
prisoner, in my view.
Sectarianism is divisive.
Republicanism is about unity.
[SINGING]And my four green fields will
bloom once again, said she.
GRAEME: That’s a wrap.KEV KHARAS: We had already
met Celtic men in pubs. Now it was time to meet
Rangers men in pubs.
And they were all men.I’ve never seen so many tough
looking guys as those that poured out of Ibrox subway
station on match day. Most of them called in
at the Louden bar en
route to the ground.There’s a guy over there just
being let away by police. And I think he’s one of the two
guys that came up to us just now outside the Louden bar
and started harassing us. They didn’t like the camera
or my accent very much. They called me an English
wanker, which is
difficult to deny.Then his mate came over and
started shoving me and grabbing the camera stuff
and kicked me. So I guess he’s been having
a bit more fun inside the
stadium as well.MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON] As I walked round and round,
the penny arcade, just ring
the bell on the big bagatelle.And you’ll make all those
colored lights cascade. ROBERT: I think 99%
of the Rangers and
Celtic are well behaved.I think they get a bad press
because it suits the
[SINGING IN UNISON] Yes it played and it played,
played all the time. Roll up and spend
your last dime. ROBERT: I have no animosity
towards anyone, including
I’m not a lover of their club.I think their club is corrupt
and always has been since the
day it was formed.I mean, that’s only
And I’m allowed it.
And I’m proud to be Scottish.I’m not born in Glasgow and some
sort of pseudo Irishman. I don’t know where they
get that from. MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON] Step up and play, each machine
seemed to say, as I walked round and round the
penny arcade. Just ring the bell on
the big bagatelle. And you’ll make all those
colored lights cascade. KEV KHARAS: The Rangers fans
we’d met have been
disappointed.But so far we’d only been shown
around the city by a
Celtic fan.So they told us to seek out
Darkhorse, Rangers fan, cab
driver, raconteur.DARKHORSE: She says, you
need to stop, driver.
I said, what for?
She said, I need a toilet.I said, I can’t stop
on the motorway. But there’s a garage a
couple of miles up. And she says, no, if you don’t
stop, I’ll piss your seat. I told her I’d punch
her cunt in.
That’s what I said to her.
So she didn’t piss the seat.I’ve taken a lot of people right
to the hospital after a Rangers/Celtic game,
after the derbies. It’s a pretty bad
sight, you know. Mostly slashes, bottles,
knives mostly. The last Rangers game,
I picked up two
fellows in a town.And they were telling me, they
were up with their kids. And two Celtic fans attacked
the father in
front of the kid.That was the last Rangers/Celtic
So there you go.
All because they’re English.
MALE SPEAKERS: [CHANTING]
Hail hail, the Celts are here.KEV KHARAS: On derby day,
Glasgow was buzzing. U pubs were rammed with
both sets of supports. These fans had traveled all the
way from the Falls Road in Belfast to watch the crunch
match at Celtic Park. MALE SPEAKER 20: Come
on the Celts! KEV KHARAS: Ond man who wouldn’t
be attending the match, however, was Abdul Rafiq,
whose anti-Pope banter
earned him a banning order.Can you remember your first
derby day memories? ABDUL: That’s going back
about 30 years. At that time, you were able
to sing what you wanted. There used to be much more
trouble at that time.
And there was more singing.KEV KHARAS: Do you prefer that
kind of more resentful
ABDUL: Yeah, definitely.Because the atmosphere
is what makes it. It’s biggest club match
in the world. And what makes it special
is the atmosphere.
But it’s just a game.And to me, it’s just
a bit of banter. Stick your right hand out, and
you punch a Taig about. You kneecap the bastard
when you get him down.
That’s what it’s all about.KEV KHARAS: I’ve found some
examples of anti-Celtic,
Is that OK if I show you?You can tell me whether they’re
banter or not, or
whether they cross the line.“Jungle Bhoys Against Reporting
Pedophiles.” So that’s alleging that Celtic fans
are sort of part of some
big Catholic pedophile ring.
Is that too far?
Or is that banter?ABDUL: I’ll just put that
down as banter.
KEV KHARAS: Yeah, Just banter.Another, “Sweeping Child Abuse
Under the Carpet Since 1972.” ABDUL: I’d Just put
that as banter.
KEV KHARAS: How about that?A Celtic fan making a monkey
sign at El Hadji Diouf. ABDUL: Well, some people
will take that serious. But other people will
just look at that
as banter, you know.
KEV KHARAS: So that’s 50/50.
That’s on the line.
ABDUL: 50/50.KEV KHARAS: So there’s a fan
attacking Neil Lennon. ABDUL: Well, that’s obviously
gone too far. Because he should never have
come on the pitch to attack. I know a lot of Rangers fans
don’t like Neil Lennon. But I’ve met Neil
Lennon myself. And he says he doesn’t mind
all the abuse he gets. But he doesn’t like it when
somebody comes and attacks him
on the street, or whatever.KEV KHARAS: “Celtic will get
fucked up the ass like what those Catholic priests
did to little kids.
ABDUL: Just banter.
Just saying that.KEV KHARAS: Yeah, but
it’s child abuse.
So I don’t know, is that?
All right.Well, that’s the end of
the bant-o-meter. ABDUL: The only bit I see as
over the line there was when Neil Lennon was getting
attacked. When they’re actually violent,
fighting each other.That’s when it’s
over the line. But when it’s just singing and
taunting one another, I don’t see why the police should
Just let them have their fun.KEV KHARAS: Looking for some
of that fun that Abdul mentioned, we headed down the
Gallowgate to the Barras. the Celtic stronghold in
the East of Glasgow. There we ran into ardent
Celtic fan, Jonny. We talked to him about derby
day in the city. So we’re in the Barras on
the day of the match. What’s it usually like here
on match day, on derby day
specifically?JONNY: Today it will
be busy very early. There’ll be a lot of Celtic
A few beers.All of us are just excited
about the game ahead. This is an area of predominantly
all Celtic fans,
republicans, you name it.KEV KHARAS: Does that kind of
safety that you get here knowing that you can drink with
Celtic colors on, does
that change on derby day?Will there be Rangers
lads up here later
looking for a fight?
JONNY: There’s every chance.But I can’t remember, in the
last few years, anyway, that I’ve drank here that any Ranger
fans or loyalists have come down here and
Even came down here.The last thing was a wee story
we spoke about the last time we met, which was nothing to
with Rangers, may I add. It was just another bunch of
right-wing fascists that thought they would come
down here and
start a bit a nonsense.And they just got a kick up the
backside and sent home. KEV KHARAS: So what happens if
the Rangers fans do come up here and they’re looking
for a flight, and
the word gets around?JONNY: Well, this is
the difference. I mean, looking for a
fight is one thing. A Rangers fan walking down here
just with a Rangers top
on, nothing would happen.He wouldn’t get dragged off
the streets and brutally butchered in the middle
of an alleyway. I’m sure the vast majority of
Rangers fans would just like to stay in Rangers pubs,
listening to music that celebrates their culture and
whatnot, as opposed to coming
down here looking for trouble.KEV KHARAS: Is it good
conditions for a fight today, with the wind howling and
the rain lashing down?
JONNY: Excellent conditions.
[IRISH MUSIC PLAYING]KEV KHARAS: Hi How are
you doing, mate?
You all right?
SANDY: Yeah, soaked.KEV KHARAS: How are
SANDY: Nervous, nervous.It’s been three, four days
of anticipation. So I just can’t wait
to get it on. KEV KHARAS: I read in
your book about– was it Mr. Blue, when he
stormed the Gallowgate?
Were you there then?
SANDY: Yeah.Well, basically, we used
to meet in a pub called Minstrel’s down at
the waterfront. And somebody came up with a
bright idea one day of going
up the Gallowgate.And anybody that knows the
Gallowgate knows that it’s probably the most no-go
area for Rangers fans. 40 of us decided to
go up one day.
40 turned into 20.All the Celtic pubs
were emptied. The Celtic Casuals came out,
your John O’Kanes and that. John, as usual, was quickly
put on his backside.
But it was pandemonium.KEV KHARAS: Do you think
there will be
anything like that today?SANDY: For any young boy wanting
to get involved in football violence these days, I
kind of shake my head with a wry smile knowing the
they’re up against.It’s not like you can go and
have a row in the middle of
the city center now.And if you do that,
you’re on camera. You’re getting your door booted
in six weeks later. And you’re looking at a year,
two years in prison. KEV KHARAS: So you mentioned
John O’Kane. SANDY: I mean, I’ve got a lot of
respect for John as a boy,
because he’s a game lad.He may be put on
his arse a lot. But gets up every time
and wants to have
another go at you.So hats off to him for that,
know what I mean? KEV KHARAS: So where
abouts are we now?
Where abouts in Glasgow?JOHN: This is Broomielaw,
or Clyde Street. It was always a good place
for having a battle. Because of the one-way system
that used to be here, it’s easier to get away
from police. KEV KHARAS: Have you yourself
been caught up in any trouble
around this area?JOHN: Well, I could have lost my
life one night here after a
Celtic/Rangers game.Just around those traffic
lights there. That’s where the Rangers
mob have lined up.
And we’ve lined up here.And we’ve charged
at each other. I’ve charged in with
a can of CS gas.
I spayed it.
But there was none left.And in front of me was a guy
brandishing a knife. So as I turned, he got me
at the top of the leg. And I staggered along
And I fell in a heap.My trousers were crimson,
basically. And my mates had
stopped a taxi. The taxi driver actually
And they dragged me in.
And I was like, what’s wrong?
And he took me too hospital.If he hadn’t taken me to
hospital, I had burst a major artery, and touch wood, I
wouldn’t probably be here if it wasn’t for the taxi driver’s
Again, scary thing.KEV KHARAS: Do you find that the
trouble nowadays is more chaotic and less organized
than it used to be? JOHN: When it comes to
Celtic/Rangers games, yeah. There seems to be more sporadic
violence, where you’ve just got groups of
Rangers and Celtic fans just wanting to have a go
at each other. KEV KHARAS: With kick-off fast
approaching, we traveled to Denny, 20 miles outside of
Glasgow, where some excited Celtic fans had hired a
lodge for a pre-match
piss up and a singsong.MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON] When I see you Celtic,
I go out of my head.
I just can’t get enough.
I just can’t get enough.All the things you do to me and
all the things you said.
I just can’ get enough.
I just can’t get enough.We slip and slide and
we fall in love. And I just can’t seem
to get enough of–
[CHANTING]MALE SPEAKER 21: There’s only
one show in town tonight. It’s been bubbling up for
four or five weeks. And this is what
it’s all about. Getting the Huns in our own
back garden, giving them a
good seeing to.KEV KHARAS: Do you have many
mate who are Rangers fans? MALE SPEAKER 21:
Not really, no. KEV KHARAS: You keep them
at arm’s length? MALE SPEAKER 21: Aye,
further than that. MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON]
Singing I’m not a Billy.
I’m a Tim.
Singing I’m not a Billy.
I’m not so fucking silly.
I’m not a Billy.
I’m a Tim.
Thank fuck!MALE SPEAKER 22: As you know,
we hate the Rangers,
absolutely hate them.So we come in, have a few
drinks, listen to the banter, get kettled up, and
off to the match. MALE SPEAKER 23:
Fuck the Huns!
[INAUDIBLE].MALE SPEAKER 22: Come on,
you boys in green.
[CHANTING]MALE SPEAKER 21: When you think
of a Rangers fan, you basically think a guy about 18
stone, with a big handlebar moustache, with greasy hair that
hasn’t been washed for
about two or three weeks.And I don’t know if you’re
familiar with the Orange Walk. He’d be the boy banging
the big drum. MALE SPEAKER 24: You see Rangers
pubs and that, they’ve
only got a capacity of 25.
Because they’re that big.
They can’t get in.
They enjoy a munch.Do you know the difference
apple and an orange?You can’t get an
apple bastard. MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON] Walk on, walk on with
hope in your heart.
And you’ll never walk alone.
You’ll never walk alone.MALE SPEAKER 22: Usually, when
you’re out in the jungle, the mighty jungle at Parkhead,
you know? If it wasn’t for somebody
chucking a bottle at your head, it was somebody
pissing on your leg. But as long you win,
You know what I mean?KEV KHARAS: So that’s to protect
you from the bottles? MALE SPEAKER 22: That’s correct,
from the bottles. But there’s fuck all to protect
you from some cunt
pissing on your leg.KEV KHARAS: Your
head’s intact. But your legs are
full of piss.
MALE SPEAKER 22: Yeah, right.As long as your head’s intact,
you know what I mean?
Up the fucking ‘RA!
Know what I mean?
Come on!MALE SPEAKER 25: Up
the fucking ‘RA!
Brits out now!
MALE SPEAKER 26: The Celts.
MALE SPEAKER 22: Jesus!
MALE SPEAKER 22: [INAUDIBLE]
MALE SPEAKER 22: Best of luck.
Best of luck for that match.MALE SPEAKER 22: It’s a fucking
certainty, mate. We’ll fucking pump the
gypsy bastards. MALE SPEAKER 24: Are
you getting a
Buckfast for the bus ride?MALE SPEAKER 22: Fucking
soap-dodging fucks! MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON]
Let’s all do the huddle.
Let’s all do the huddle.
[SINGING IN UNISON]
Let’s all do the huddle.
Let’s all do the huddle.KEV KHARAS: The police don’t
tend to let Rangers and Celtic play each other in the
evenings anymore. They think the fans will drink
all day and end up kicking
each other’s heads in.But for whatever
they’d made an exception.And with everyone well oiled, it
was time to get on the bus
and head to the ground.And why should the party stop
just because you’re barreling down the motorway in
storm weather? MALE SPEAKERS:
[SINGING IN UNISON] Oh, son, I see in memories, too,
of far-off distant days. When being just a lad like
you, I joined the IRA. Where are the lads that stood
with me when history was made? A Ghra Mo Chroi, I long to see
the boys of the old brigade. KEV KHARAS: After days of
talking about it with everyone I’d met, I’d finally arrived
at the derby.
It was fucking freezing.And I could hear fragments of
forbidden songs caught in the gale winds that were whipping
off the earth. I made my way through the
turnstiles to see if the atmosphere in an Old Firm game
was so horrible and poisonous that the government absolutely
needed to step in.
The mood inside was tense.But not as violent as the media
and the politicians
would lead you to believe.Tonight Celtics fans went home
the happier after a 1-0 win. The club were back at the
top of the table. The Fenians had beaten
[CROWD SHOUTING]KEV KHARAS: What is it about
Glasgow that you think generates this kind of
gang culture and
this kind of tribalism?JOHN: It’s really hard to
put your finger on. Glasgow’s a crazy, crazy
city at times. There’s areas where you
can’t venture into. I think the authorities
have just turned a
blind eye to it, basically.KEV KHARAS: Do you regret
anything that you’ve done?
JOHN: I’m too old to regret.
You make you own bed.
You’d better lie in it.KEV KHARAS: In Sandy Chugg’s
book, he identifies you as the
top boy at that time.And he talks about the Rangers
fans taking the
Gallowgate and stuff.
JOHN: I’ve not read it.KEV KHARAS: Have I told you
what he said about you?
JOHN: No.KEV KHARAS: When I pushed him,
I backed him into a corner. And he said he’d be quite proud
if you’d grown up a Rangers fan and been a
member of the ICF. Because you were always a game
lad, were his words. JOHN: Aye, but I’m not
going to get a tan. I’m don’t want to get
a fake tan like him. KEV KHARAS: You know, he said
he respects you and stuff. But he said that he’s suspicious
about where your
tan comes from.
SANDY: [LAUGHS].KEV KHARAS: He says you spend
too time on sun beds.
SANDY: He might be right.
He might be right, yeah.
[LAUGHTER]SANDY: I don’t think John
O’Kane’s seen sunlight, never
mind a sun bed.
I hope he’s keeping well.JOHN: There’s people
that there’s a
mutual respect between.But there’s other people who
don’t have a respect.
They’ve just got a hatred.
And they want to stab you.
And they want to kill you.And they want to do
things like that. If you do them fair enough,
that’s what the buzz is about. It’s not about inflicting
pain and harm on people.
It’s a big game.Waking up with a machine that’s
going, beep, beep. And you know when it stops
going beep, you’re dead. It’s one of the scariest
things that can
ever happen to anybody.KEV KHARAS: Has it
happened to you?
JOHN: It’s happened twice.KEV KHARAS: How does that effect
people close to you?
JOHN: It’s hard to say.I think that it did affect
my dad quite a bit. KEV KHARAS: How about
your own children? JOHN: Touch wood, they’re good
children at the moment. I wouldn’t want them to get
involved in anything like I’ve
been involved in.I want my kids to have
a life that I didn’t. KEV KHARAS: How about your
missus, or their mother? JOHN: I don’t really want
to talk about that.
KEV KHARAS: OK.Pitched street battles between
gangs of screaming men might be a thing of the
past in Glasgow. But there was still the
issue of the chanting. Will Scottish Parliament’s new
bill really be able to extinguish a loathing
this deep-seated? MALE SPEAKER 18: If you look
at the context of the whole stadium, the overwhelming
majority of people don’t want
anything to do with it.They want to watch
the football. Nil By Mouth want to
help the silent
majority find their voice.MALE SPEAKER 27: There’s
too many people
here getting offended.They’re looking for reasons
to be offended. Whether they like it or not,
religious, cultural, and national divides will always
be here in Scotland. KEV KHARAS: After spending so
many hours in the company of people whose thoughts and
feelings are dominated by their football clubs, it wasn’t
surprising to me that I found myself taking
their side. To me, it seemed patronizing for
people who weren’t fans to take their words out of context,
then insist that people should take
offense to them. After the win on derby day,
Celtics fans had celebrated as if Rangers would never
be top dog again. I thought finality like that
didn’t exist in football. But a few weeks after the game,
Rangers were forced into administration by an
unpaid tax bill of
nine million pounds.If they fail to find a rich,
white knight to rescue them from the financial mire,
they’ll die, taking the
rivalry with them.Celtics fans haven’t reacted
to the news with much
sensitivity.I saw this graffiti sprayed over
the side of the Louden bar and asked Joe Miller
to explain it. What was your immediate reaction
when you hear the news that Rangers might
be going bust? JOE: Jelly and ice cream was
my immediate reaction. KEV KHARAS: Can you explain the
jelly and ice cream thing for people who might
not know it? JOE: Well, a group of guys
used to always say, we’re having a party when
Thatcher dies. And then it kind of carried on,
jelly and ice cream when
Thatcher dies.And then we went a wee bit
further and went, let’s have
it when Rangers die.So jelly and ice cream
when Rangers die. Pass the parcel when
All that kind of stuff.
It’s good natured.MALE SPEAKER 28: Yeah,
jelly and ice cream. That’s quite appropriate
for Celtic, isn’t it? Everybody knows about their
cover up of child abuse in the early ’70s with Jock Stein and
the directors, allegedly. KEV KHARAS: What would happen
to this pub if Rangers went
out of business?MALE SPEAKER 28: I would think
we would probably closely
follow them.ABDUL: If the club’s dying and
you’re celebrating, it’s like celebrating the death
of something. You know that’s sick,
you know? But that’s the nature of
football fans here in Glasgow.
Celtic need Rangers.They just think, OK, if Rangers
are closed they can laugh at Rangers fans and think
they can win the league
every season.But it will kill Scottish
football, you know.
We need two clubs.KEV KHARAS: How is the kind
of financial troubles that
Rangers find themselves in?And how has that kind of
effected the mood in the city? SANDY: Well, obviously,
one half’s delighted. And the other half, it’s been
like a death in the family. I have a few close Celtic fan
mates and a few acquaintances.
And it’s been real relentless.
It’s been really bad.KEV KHARAS: I mean, how big a
hole would it leave in your own life if Rangers were
to go to the wall?
SANDY: A massive, gaping hole.I’ve always grown up always
thinking there would always be a Rangers for my kids,
for my grand-kids.
140 years of history.We’re not going to give
that up all that easy. We will fight to the
bitter death. But as we say, I’ll
follow, follow. And I’m sure a great deal of
many thousands will continue
to follow, follow as well.
No surrender.KEV KHARAS: Would you miss
them if they want bust?
JOE: Miss who?
KEV KHARAS: Rangers.
JOE: Miss who?Loving Celtic doesn’t mean
anything about Rangers.
Nothing about Rangers.Loving Celtic only means
loving Celtic. ABDUL: I would miss the
Old Firm games. To me, that’s the biggest
game you can get. To me, without a Rangers/Celtic
nothing in Scottish football.KEV KHARAS: I went to
Glasgow an outsider.
And I still am an outsider.But I understand the rivalry
enough to know that the cliched, black and white idea
that people have of the Old Firm is just ridiculously
wrong. There’s no doubting that some
pretty hateful things have been done in the name
of the rivalry. But while it’s still here,
it certainly makes
Glasgow life richer.Savage it may be, but
it’s become part
of the city’s humor.Fans here have spent so long
trying to get under each other’s skin that the rivalry
is now embedded beneath the
skin of the city.And Glasgow is a city with
a very thick skin.
The rivalry between football clubs Rangers and Celtic goes past typical name calling and dives into violence, racial slurs and pure hatred. The rivalry between Glasgow’s “Old Firm” sides is the most famous in world football. It’s the game’s flagship loathing, proof of the power of the sport to inspire profound levels of tribal loyalty and a near-Pavlovian revulsion at anything to do with a rival. We examine the situation and try to get a handle on the political, religious, and national identity clashes that have shaped the rivalry, speak to fanzine editors on both sides of the divide and travel with the Bhoys’ away support to a match at Tannadice. Originally released in 2012 on http://VICE.com Check out more documentaries here: http://bit.ly/VICE-Documentaries Subscribe to VICE: http://youtube.com/vice Check out our full video catalog: http://www.youtube.com/user/vice/videos Videos, daily editorial and more: http://vice.com Like VICE on Facebook: http://fb.com/vice Follow VICE on Twitter: http://twitter.com/vice Read our tumblr: http://vicemag.tumblr.com