Matt O'Riley: I wouldn't put it past my gran to sneak into Rangers v Celtic
Following the Londoner‘s first international call-up for the under-21s of the Danish nation where his mother was raised and numerous family members reside, he is preparing for his supergran to experience Scottish football superfan style. Indeed, the attacker is willing to believe she would look to ineveigle her way into Ibrox for the derby in a fortnight by any means.
O’Riley’s gran will accompany him on his return from international duty – which will see the Danes host Belgium on March 29 – and stay with him in Glasgow “for a little while”. Her timing is impeccable. A title-shaping match-up against Rangers at Ibrox on April 3 will give way to the Glasgow titans contesting the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April 17. The pair will then meet for the final time in the cinch Premiership at Celtic Park in another pivotal confrontation that is expected to be staged post-split in late April/early May. O’Riley expects his gran to be champing to attend all three in having followed his every move obsessively since his £1.5milliom switch from MK Dons to Celtic in mid-January.
“She is a huge football fan and wants to come and see me play for Celtic and see the stadium and the city, which is great,” O’Riley said. “She has been watching every Celtic game since I signed, sitting in her little apartment just outside Copenhagen making sure that she gets online to see the matches. I have cousins who are further north so they are all scattered around a bit but they are all following me and following Celtic now. They are planning on coming to watch me for our game and then my Grandma will be with me on the way back. I wouldn’t put it past her to try to sneak into Ibrox for that game against Rangers either. She is definitely wanting a ticket for Hampden too….she’s a superfan!”
O’Riley considers himself “half Danish” and is fluent in his mother’s native tongue. His call-up thrilled his many Scandic relations. “My mum was delighted,” he said. “I am in a Facebook messenger and WhatsApp group with the Danish side of my family and they were obviously buzzing with it. They haven’t watched someone in the family play for Denmark so they think it is so cool. I am excited for the football, but also to get over and see them all because I haven’t actually seen that side of my family for a long time because of the covid situation.”