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Celtic fans give incredible send off to their team before Old Firm Derby

Hundreds of Celtic fans have given their team even more motivation to win Sunday's Old Firm Derby after they turned up at Celtic Park on Saturday night to see them off prior to the match.

The Old Firm is set to take place on Sunday, 7 April at midday but the Celtic squad stayed at a hotel in Glasgow on Saturday night. The playing and coaching staff left together from Celtic Park at around 5pm where they were greeted by a congregation of Celtic fans who were keen to show their support in some way for the biggest Old Firm Derby in years.

The send off will be the last time the Celtic squad can receive any kind of support and energy from their supporters for the match as no Hoops fans will be allowed inside Ibrox for the match itself. Away fans have been banned from attending Old Firm matches at both stadiums since March 2023 due to safety and security reasons but they are set to return next season.

Celtic fans send players off for old firm derby
Hundreds of Celtic fans gathered at Celtic Park to send the team off on Saturday evening – Photo by Icon Sport

Outside Celtic Park, banners and flares were displayed as the squad boarded the coach. The most prominent banner read: “By any means necessary”, illustrating the importance of the fixture (which could decide the title race this season) isn't lost on the Celtic faithful.

Brendan Rodgers took the time to walk over to the supporters to show his appreciation by raising a fist in the air while the players stood and applauded the supporters. The Celtic fans will now just be hoping that their efforts can have a positive impact on the team. Just one point separates the two teams at present but as Rangers have a game in hand, Celtic cannot afford to lose at Ibrox on Sunday afternoon.

Celtic fans involved in Saturday night scuffle

Members of Celtic's ultra group, the Green Brigade, were responsible for organising the send off at Celtic Park but their night's work wasn't done after the squad made their way to the centre of Glasgow.

Reports have emerged of the Celtic ultras clashing with the Rangers' ultra group, the Union Bears, in Glasgow last night as tensions rise ahead of the Old Firm Derby. The Green Brigade reportedly covered a Rangers painting in a quiet part of Glasgow before being met by members of the Union Bears on their walk back to the centre of Glasgow.

Fighting ensued before it was quickly broken up by police who are always on red alert in the build-up to Old Firm matches. The police are expecting an even busier day on Saturday after the new Hate Crime and Public Order Act, which was brought into law on Monday, effectively criminalised sectarian chanting – an issue that has blighted this fixture for decades.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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