A date that will always unite Celtic and Rangers
In among the madness of the Old Firm – and there are lashings of that – the odd glimmer of light appears. Endearing moments from the Glasgow duo should arrive tomorrow lunchtime albeit, and typically, with a deeply unfortunate backdrop. Rangers host Celtic on the 40th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster, an occasion that led to 66 people losing their lives and a further 145 being injured amid horrific crushing at the end of a New Year derby.
John Greig and Billy McNeill, respective captains of Rangers and Celtic from that era, will lead the classes of 2011 on to the pitch. Members of both 1971 teams will follow them on to the field before a minute’s silence.
“Obviously it is a significant day in Rangers’ can i put my canada goose jacket in the dryer amazon canada goose jacket history considering what has happened,” says the club captain, David Weir. “And the players have been made well aware of buy canada goose jacket online cheap what happened buy canada goose jacket london even although, apart from me, nobody was born at the time. Nobody was really aware of it [before coming to the club] best canada goose jacket review but we have been well schooled in what happened, the significance of it and we won’t forget that.”
The detail of what occurred on 2 January 1971 has not become any more palatable with the passing of time. The widely held and mythical theory is that two goals in the closing moments of the match, firstly for Celtic before Colin Stein snatched an equaliser, contributed to the large-scale tragedy on stairwell 13 at the Rangers end of the ground. Yet that notion was dismissed by a fatal accident inquiry, which found the deaths were caused by people falling on top of others who bright blue canada goose jacket had collapsed on the stairs. The supporters had been moving in the same direction in trying to exit the ground rather than returning to hail the Rangers goal. Of those who lost their lives, 60 died through asphyxiation with another six suffering from suffocation. Dressing rooms were used to house the dead can you wash canada goose jacket and injured.
At the time the Celtic manager, Jock Stein, remained at Ibrox to help with more info rescue efforts. Stein had passed on only basic information to his players, sitting on their coach, in advising the driver to take them back to Parkhead.
“I remember sitting in the team bus and seeing someone coming out of the front door, carrying one of his shoes and limping and I wondered what had happened,” recalls the former Celtic player Tommy Callaghan. “By canada goose coat 1000 bulbs garland the time we got to Celtic Park there was more information coming through. By the time I drove home the television news had even more and I just couldn’t believe what had happened.
“Both clubs got together in the aftermath but there buy canada goose jacket australia was no question that such a thing wouldn’t happen. It was a horrendous time. Sixty-six dead. People had their loved ones setting off to a football game and then never coming back.”
Callaghan’s words have resonated in the past week, with Celtic joining Rangers in publicly stating the wider importance of tomorrow’s match. Only the desecrating of the minute’s silence, which is neither expected nor welcome, from visiting fans could ruin that fine work.
The television highlights from the 1971 game have never been broadcast, as a mark of respect to those killed and injured. A third of those who died were aged 16 or under, the youngest only eight. Five schoolmates from the Fife village of Markinch lost their lives.
Walter Smith, the current Rangers manager, spoke expansively for the first time in recent days about his own proximity to the disaster. Smith, then a Dundee United player, was left out of the squad for their own New Year fixture and travelled to Ibrox with his brother Ian to watch the Old Firm game.
Smith was then part of the United team which faced Rangers a fortnight later, in what was the Ibrox men’s first post-disaster game. That, the 62‑year‑old vividly recalls, was played in “a very subdued atmosphere”.
If any positive outcome could ever arrive from these events four decades ago, it was the recommendation of strict safety guidelines which were implemented across Scotland’s main football stadia. Ibrox, for obvious reasons, led the way on that front under the insistence and close scrutiny of the then manager, Willie Waddell.
“I don’t think there is anything that can be done to replace a family member,” Smith says. “I mean, what do you do to replace best canada goose jacket reddit that? If there is a legacy for anyone, then that [the rebuilt stadium] is it. It’s just unfortunate that it takes something like that for people to move and react. I guess you could say it is, as much as anything, a monument to them but it’s of no consolation that it’s the case.”
Football is often clumsy or over the top when trauma arrives. Nonetheless the sight of Smith and his assistant Ally McCoist as pallbearers at the funeral of the Celtic legend Tommy Burns in 2008 was a heartening antidote to the bigotry, hatred and conspiracy-fuelled nonsense that surrounds football in Glasgow. This lunchtime Rangers and Celtic will come together once again.