Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday was forced to celebrate last month’s Old Firm win on the plane to Dubai after his cheeky bid to toast the triumph in the streets around Ibrox was foiled.
The boyhood Rangers fan, who grew up only yards from the stadium on Copland Road, helped Steven Gerrard’s men halt Celtic’s run of derby dominance with a 1-0 win. He later described the victory as the best day of his life but he was forced to dart straight to the airport after full-time having signed up for a sunshine break with girlfriend Jilly Cross in the Middle East.
However, Halliday, right, asked his other half if he could postpone the holiday by 24 hours so he could join the Rangers faithful in the bars around Ibrox, only to be disappointed.
The 27-year-old, speaking at the club’s winter training base in Tenerife, said: “I got straight on a plane after the Old Firm; it has been such a long season in a short space of time so it was good that the gaffer gave the boys a bit of time to recoup.
“I flew a couple of hours after the game but I celebrated on the plane. I actually said to my girlfriend if there was a possibility to get a flight the next day I was heading down Paisley Road West for the night.
“The feeling at the final whistle was sheer ecstasy. These players who have been here for the last few years have been through some difficult times but we have stood up to it and come back stronger.
“No more than the fans; they have gone through hell and back, but they have followed their club all the way through so it was important to get that victory for them and you can see on the streets of Glasgow they certainly enjoyed it.”
Halliday ensured the decibel levels went from loud to deafening only three minutes into the game as he launched a ferocious tackle on Olivier Ntcham.
That got Rangers pumped up and they went on to claim their first league triumph over their bitter foes in seven years thanks to Ryan Jack’s winner.
“I heard my tackle early on went a bit viral but you have to set the tone in a derby,” said Halliday. “I said to the boys if someone gets the chance to leave a marker on them then do it and I was the lucky one that got the chance.
“It is the best fixture in the world. I had some difficult times in that fixture in the past with some heavy defeats but it was certainly good to give a bit back to the fans. It was 1-0 but it could have been five.”