It may be a different Rangers but it’s the same ideals and supporters at Ibrox. Celtic were due to play the Rangers today, so in memory of the old club/ the previous incarnation, it’s a good time to remember the lunacy of the peparabi escapade. This story is perhaps jovial and, in the interests of accuracy, it is important to state that the subject matter was only reported in one tabloid newspaper: The Sun. Therefore, there is no strong basis upon which a historian should claim this to be fact. However, in 2005 it was reported that Rangers had banned the sale of Peperamis at Ibrox because of their green coloured wrapper. Regardless of whether this was actually confirmed or not, the Celtic support mocked Rangers over the debacle during a 2-1 victory at Ibrox on 24 April 2005.

Celtic took an early lead through Stylian Petrov’s header. The Bulgarian jumped the advertising boards into the Rangers support at the Copland Road end and received a cup of hot coffee to the back of the head for his troubles. Craig Bellamy then doubled the Hoops’ advantage before half time with a wonderful curling finish into the far corner, having cut inside on to his favoured right foot, from the left corner of the penalty box. Celtic remained in control throughout, although a late Thompson goal for Rangers two minutes from time, did momentarily unease the Celtic faithful.

Notwithstanding the action on the field, the purpose of this story is to explain the jesting by Rab Douglas and the Celtic support at half time. The Broomloan Road stand was swaying in an orgy of green and white delight, as one might expect with Celtic being two goals to the good against their most bitter rivals. It seemed certain that the three points would return to Paradise and give the club a five-point lead in the title race with as many matches to play. What better opportunity to wind up Rangers fans?

A hail of Peperamis fell from one quarter of Ibrox, with one fan even blessing himself with the snack before eating it. Rab Douglas was the substitute goalkeeper that day and was warming up behind David Marshall’s goal, when a Peperami inadvertently found its way towards him. As the half time whistle blew, Douglas took a seat next to the goal and ate the forbidden meaty snack in front of the Celtic support.

As previously stated, it is not confirmed whether the food was actually banned from Ibrox or simply removed for other reasons. Yet, what was evident that day was that the Celtic support and Rab Douglas have a good sense of humour, capable of mocking any small-minded ridiculousness that they are up against in Glasgow.

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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