Glasgow’s Greatest Rivalry: A Century of Passion and Intensity in Scottish Football

Glasgow’s Greatest Rivalry: A Century of Passion and Intensity in Scottish Football
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 13: Todd Cantwell of Rangers FC celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Cinch Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 13, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic in the Scottish football league is one of the fiercest in the world of sports. The two Glasgow-based teams have a storied history that spans more than a century, filled with thrilling matches, controversial incidents, and intense emotions.

The rivalry between Rangers and Celtic began in 1890 when the Scottish Football League (SFL) was formed, which resulted in their rivalry being referred to as the Old Firm Derby. Both teams were included in the inaugural season along with nine other teams, and they quickly established themselves as two of the strongest teams in Scottish football. As a result, their matches against each other became some of the most highly anticipated fixtures of the season, which they still are to this day. Just as back then, fans and rivals alike place a bet on their outcome or play modern online casino games in their honour for game day.

A rivalry of cultural significance

Over time, the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic has been fueled by a range of factors, including sectarianism, political and cultural differences, and on-field competition. The fact that the two teams represent different communities in Glasgow – with Rangers traditionally supported by the Protestant community and Celtic by the Catholic community – has added an extra dimension of intensity to the rivalry, and has unfortunately led to incidents of sectarianism and violence in the past.

Despite this, the rivalry has also been characterized by moments of sporting excellence and mutual respect between the two clubs. Over the years, Rangers and Celtic have produced some of the most talented players in Scottish football history, and their matches have provided countless moments of drama and excitement for fans.

The Emotional Connection Between Fans and Their Teams

There have been many key moments and games in the history of the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic, and most of them have been spearheaded by fan behaviours. One of the most significant games was the 1980 Scottish Cup Final, which became infamous for its post-game riots. After the Greens won with a 1-0 score in overtime, fans from both sides rushed the field. The event resulted in the British government banning alcohol from football games, which is a law that still lives on in Scotland alone.

The 2012-2013 season was also significant as it was the first time in over a century that the two teams had not played against each other in the Scottish Premier League due to Rangers’ financial troubles. They were relegated to the Scottish Third Division, causing outrage among both sets of fans but in 2023, their rivalry is back at the top with Celtic chasing Rangers for the trophy records.


Overall, the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that has evolved over more than a century of history. While its origins lie in the shared heritage of two of the oldest football clubs in Scotland, its enduring legacy is a testament to the passion and dedication of the fans and players who have contributed to it over the years.

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