CELTIC supporters are everywhere and The Celtic Star has attracted readers from all over the world. Below Sam Teàrlach Hamad, a Celtic supporter from Egypt writes for the site for the first time and his subject matter is another Celtic supporter – Steven Gerrard.
Over to Sam, who is Scottish-Egyptian…
Steven Gerrard – They are up to their knees in what?
Of all the fanbases in Europe and quite possibly the world, only the fans of the old and new Rangers could see fit to welcome their new manage to their club and to Scotland, by singing about bathing in his and his family’s blood.
For this is exactly what happened outside Ibrox when Steven Gerrard was unveiled as the new manager of Rangers on Friday.
— William (@_w_scott1) May 4, 2018
The fans of this club only really know one way to react: hatred. This might seem like hyperbole, but when things were going well for them, such as during their famous 9-in-a-row run in the 1990s, funded as it was by dodgy and calamitous deals with the Bank of Scotland and avoiding paying tax to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, they reacted with hate.
They flaunted their success with sectarian bravado – even the players and board got in on the action. Who could forget Andy Goram, otherwise known, quite aptly, as ‘The Flying Pig’, wearing a black armband in an Old Firm just days after the death of the imprisoned sectarian mass murderer Billy Wright, leader of the fascist ‘Loyalist Volunteer Force’ in the North of Ireland? Goram, of course, when confronted about it spuriously claimed it was in memory of his late aunt, who had died many months beforehand.
Or how about the story, told by Goram in a speech to his fellow reprobates, regarding him saving a penalty by Celtic’s Pierre van Hooijdonk? Goram boasted that he approached Pierre and called him, and Goram was paraphrasing his own sectarian and racist slurs, ‘a non-white, unclean, non-protestant with no father.
Who could forget Paul Gascoigne’s sectarian jibes towards Celtic fans, running along the touchline miming playing the flute? Then there were the sectarian exploits of Rangers director, and prominent QC, Donald Findlay that were splashed all over the newspapers.
From top to bottom, this club – old and new, then and now – is saturated in racist and sectarian bile.
You don’t need to look to the past, of course. Aside from the constant singing of bigoted songs, the Rangers ‘ultras’, a black-shirted mob known as the ‘Union Bears’, issued leaflets prior to the Celtic victory at Ibrox earlier this year, advertising a march, in their own words, prior to ‘the match against the f***ans’.
It’s of no surprise then that at Gerrard’s unveiling the fans couldn’t hold back on a chorus of the ‘Billy Boys’ and repeating their desire to be ‘up to the knees in f***an blood’.
I don’t know if Gerrard heard it, but he must know that this sectarian filth is part of the ‘tradition’ of the club that he praised during his press conference and subsequent interviews.
He must know that it was the fans of this club, the ones he gushingly praised during his unveiling, that only a few years ago unleashed the monstrously racist ‘Famine Song’ on the world, which they still sing whenever they get the chance, like during the 5-0 hammering they received at Celtic Park on Beautiful Sunday only last week. He must be aware that these same fans, true to their tradition, waged a campaign of hate terror against his fellow professional Neil Lennon, based entirely on his ethnicity and religion.
Though it ought not to make a difference, as any decent-minded person regardless of creed or ethnicity ought to object to it, it’s a rather dark irony that Gerrard certainly has roots in Ireland.
His cousin Anthony Gerrard played for Ireland at youth level, while, rather embarrassingly, Gerrard himself appears to have been a Celtic fan and has previously lavished praise on Celtic and the fans in his capacity as a pundit.
While most of those who have expressed reservations about Gerrard taking the Rangers job have focussed on how it could likely damage his long term managerial aspirations, the British media, and particularly its sycophantic Scottish wing, have, true to form, scarcely, if at all, mentioned the sectarian elephant in the room.
I tend to think Steven Gerrard will come to regret getting into bed with this entity that far from ‘progressing’ or strengthening Scottish football, seems to stumble around like the undead, ruining careers and reputations, as well as tarnishing our game.
But I’d love to know what will be going on in Gerrard’s mind the first time he hears, as manager, not a small minority but around 80% of his own supporters deafening everyone with the ‘Billy Boys’ or any other number in their sectarian songbook.
And it won’t just be Gerrard.
Celtic winning 7-in-a-row and potentially capturing an unprecedented double treble isn’t good enough for the British media – it apparently pales in comparison to England’s favoured son coming into the Scottish game.
Even facing increased scrutiny, Scotland’s Shame will do what they do best and Steven Gerrard is going to be hearing it as soon as the new season begins.
Sam Teàrlach Hamad.
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