Celtic guard of honour plan for Old Firm rivals Rangers ‘was banned by police’

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Celtic agreed to give Rangers a guard of honour in an Old Firm showdown 43 years ago as a “recognition for champions” but the players’ applause at Parkhead before a Celtic v Rangers game was vetoed by the police.

The build-up to the final Glasgow derby of the season has been accompanied by a row over whether Rangers should line up and applaud the eight-in-a-row Champions on to the Ibrox pitch.

Celtic boss Jock Stein, left, and Rangers manager Jock Wallace walk out together.

Celtic boss Jock Stein, left, and Rangers manager Jock Wallace walk out together.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard had initially suggested he would talk about it with his board, but it is now clear that it will not happen.

Gerrard took part in a guard of honour four years ago when he was Liverpool captain for a game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

There is a precedent for it happening in an Old Firm clash, although it was back in 1976.

Rangers clinched the title with a 1-0 win at Dundee United on 24 April and faced Celtic two days later on a Monday night in a game that had been rescheduled after being postponed the previous month.

Celtic even suggested the gesture to honour Rangers, who had won their second title in a row.

Sean Fallon, who was acting Celtic manager for most of that season after Jock Stein had suffered serious injuries in a car crash, said: “Rangers won the title by being the most consistent team in the country. And we will give the champions their recognition before the game, in the same way as we would do to any other club coming to Parkhead having just won the title.”

But Glasgow police chiefs refused to give the go-ahead to the gesture amid concerns about the reaction of the 51,000 crowd.

The game passed without incident and finished in a goalless draw. Jock Wallace’s side went on to win the treble that season.