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hammer6

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Bad blood and bigotry:
 
As the Old Firm tribes clash today, the public face of sectarianism will again be on show. But how deep does the hate go and what can be done to eradicate a problem that shames us all?
 
By Harry Reid:
 

MY big sectarian moment came back in April 1970. I had been with my brother to Hampden Park, where we had watched our team, Aberdeen, beating Celtic 3-1 in an admittedly controversial cup final. The distinguished football writer – and Celtic supporter – John Rafferty later avowed angrily that this game would always be known as Bobby Davidson’s cup final, because of the allegedly partisan performance of the referee, RH Davidson from Airdrie.

 

That night I was staying up the hill from Hampden in, ironically enough, a former Church of Scotland manse, the home of Colm Brogan, a precociously talented young journalist who was then a colleague of mine on The Scotsman. The Brogans, originally from Donegal, were a high- powered and high-profile family of academics, writers and teachers.

There was a gathering in the Brogan home of some leading members of what might be called the Celtic-supporting intelligentsia. The controversies of the final were picked over and I, the sole Aberdeen supporter present, was treated with a mixture of friendliness and derision.

 

I was informed, with passion and vehemence, that the fact Davidson came from Airdrie (a hotbed of militant Protestantism, I was forcefully told), was particularly damning. I was also lectured eloquently about Celtic, a club created by an exiled people.

A s the night wore on and the drink flowed, there was loud singing of Irish rebel songs. Then came a moment like one of HM Bateman’s The Man Who cartoons. I think the song being sung at this point was Kevin Barry. Colm’s father, Diarmid, a well-known Glasgow teacher, suddenly pointed across the crowded room at me and roared: “You! Yes you! Why aren’t you singing?” There was a terrible hush; everyone was looking at me.

I managed to defuse the considerable tension by mumbling some words to the effect that I was just a loon from Aberdeen (not true, I’m actually Glaswegian) and that I didn’t know the words because I was a Scottish Protestant (quite brave, that). My clinching defence was that, anyway, I couldn’t sing.

This seemed just about sufficient to satisfy Brogan Senior, and the aggressive singing resumed. But it had been a dangerous and charged moment, and for me, it was also an eye-opener, a genuinely educative experience. Although Glasgow-born, I’d been bought up in Aberdeen, where there has always been a healthy contempt for both sides of the Old Firm – possibly Rangers slightly more than Celtic – and very little, if any, sectarianism.

Slowly, over the years, I was to learn all about Scottish sectarianism, and the past that informs it. What I became aware of that night exactly 36 years ago, and ever more so as I worked in Glasgow and mixed with highly educated and professionally successful Protestants and Catholics, was that sectarianism is not simply the solace of an underclass. It is not merely the prerogative of the deprived and the outcast, those who live in the unfortunate nether world at the bottom of the heap.

Indeed, there is a difficult, but in a way valid, argument that bigotry can almost be justified if it provides some identity and meaning in otherwise barren and impoverished lives. That may sound condescending but I don’t mean it to be; quite the opposite.

On the other hand I became aware that among people who really ought to know better – those who should be the enlightened and even the leaders in our society; the civic cream if you will – there still sometimes lurks atavistic bitterness and loathing. And worse, this loathing is carefully nurtured, so that it is handed, alive and warm, from generation to generation.

I have discussed this phenomenon more than once with Tom Devine, Scotland’s pre-eminent academic historian who is also consultant on anti-sectarian policy to the Scottish Executive’s justice department. Devine calls the kind of sectarianism I have been sketching “attitudinal”. He believes that structural sectarianism – the kind that, for example, stops people getting jobs because of their religion – is pretty well beaten, and I agree. But ominously, Devine thinks that attitudinal sectarianism might even be getting worse.

In the long and messy history of Scotland, there are admittedly plenty of readily available excuses for anger and even hatred on both sides. In 2001, I was commissioned by the then Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Andrew McLellan, to write a book about the Kirk, its situation and prospects. I was also asked to explore the Kirk’s recent past, and the Faculty of Divinity of Edinburgh University gave me a visiting fellowship so that I could use their research facilities.

 

Well, the more I delved into the history of the Church of Scotland in the 1920s and 1930s the more I was, literally, horrified.

The Kirk’s most prominent figure in that era, John White, from Kilwinning, should have been a great man. He had many gifts. He was indubitably courageous; he was a magnificent orator; he was very clever. But instead of being a force for peace and reconciliation in the years following the first world war, when Scotland was spent and wounded, he instead bitterly divided the nation with his vicious anti-Catholic rhetoric and his racist campaigns against Irish immigration.

 

He asserted that a superior race (the Scots) was being supplanted by the inferior Irish.

He used the Kirk’s newly formed Church and Nation Committee to urge the mass deportation of all Irish-Scottish Catholics deemed undesirable. Kirk ministers were required to report on the numbers of Catholics living in their parishes. And White was not some marginal crackpot, whipping up hate and fury on the sidelines, but the Kirk’s central, leading figure.

We have here the complicating dimension of race. In Scotland, sectarianism is not just about religion. The Irish factor has made matters more complex. Nonetheless, I believe Scottish sectarianism is basically religious. It is undeniable that, thanks to demagogues like White, Catholics lived in fear for far too long in many areas of Scotland.

And we can go back much further. Scottish history is at least in part about the Covenanters, and about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. I greatly admire John Knox, and his prescient vision of a Scotland in which the poor were looked after and everyone would be educated. I also admire Patrick Hamilton, that numinous and gentle young man, Scotland’s first Protestant martyr.

 

Tried for heresy in 1528, he refused to recant and was burned to death, very slowly and cruelly, at the gates of St Salvators College in St Andrews. His six-hour agony was watched by Cardinal Beaton. Far from ignoring such episodes, I think we should discuss them, and try to understand why and how they happened.

Some think the way to eliminate attitudinal sectarianism is to dismiss the past, and as it were delete any unfortunate atavistic memories. I think that is wrong-headed and immature. Indeed, I believe the opposite: the more we know about the past, and the more we seek to understand it, the better. That is not to say that we should glory in the sins of our fathers.

 

The moderator-elect of the Kirk, the Rev Alan McDonald, made a brave and noble intervention when he was convener of the (now defunct) Church and Nation Committee. He publicly atoned for the anti-Catholic wrongs that were done in the name of the committee in the 1920s and 1930s. That was a fine gesture, one of the best things done by a Kirk figure in recent years.

Thus I do not want in any way to smash or even diminish what might be termed the Protestant identity and the Catholic identity. I just wish there were more openness, more understanding, more respect between the two. In a way, this is the precise opposite of ecumenism.

 

I believe that much so-called ecumenism is glib and half-hearted. Instead of trying to bring two traditions together in some artificial unity, I think we should rather glory in the differences, and cherish them, in a spirit of friendship, understanding and – dare I say this in Scotland – love.

Unfortunately, it is becoming fashionable, in the context of race relations and the immigration debate, to suggest that multiculturalism is flawed and past its sell-by date. I disagree, just as I disagree with the notion that Christianity can easily be united. Indeed, the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism are very, very real, and there is little point in denying them or smoothing over them. In that sense and that sense only, sectarianism has a certain implicit validity.

One of the defining characteristics I admire most in the Roman Catholic Church is its sense of authority, and its concomitant hierarchical structure. The Church of Scotland is by contrast almost excessively democratic, to the point of near anarchy, a problematic condition in a church. The Kirk sometimes appears confused as it attempts to grapple with today’s secular world. Young people nowadays – in Scotland, though not in other parts of the world – often have scant understanding of the notion of legitimate authority and legitimate sanctions.

The Papacy, with an admittedly flawed and controversial record over the years, is probably the most significant popular institution in the world today. It may well be the most respected source of authority. It is certainly one of the oldest and most venerable. Around one billion human beings sincerely regard the Pope as their spiritual leader. The Papacy has seen off all the secular empires.

So instead of just saying to people that the words f*** the Pope are wrong, which of course they are, should we not make some effort to educate them as to the sheer global significance of the Papacy? Or is this impossibly naive?

The other thing that I, as an outsider, most admire about the RC Church is its constant nourishing of public beauty. In its liturgy, its music, and particularly its art and architecture, it makes the Church of Scotland seem pinched and mean. Every time I am lucky enough to be in Rome I am awestruck by the splendours of the baroque (and in particular the ubiquitous work of Bernini) in church after church after glorious church. I used to console myself in the bleakness of my Protestant soul that this art was vulgar. No longer am I so stupid.

ON the other hand, I believe the Reformation was necessary and that Martin Luther was probably the most significant human being of the past millennium. He paved the way for Calvin and Knox, so important to the Kirk. In some ways, like John White, he was a bad man, and he was a terrible anti-Semite, but he also had the vision, energy and titanic moral force to smash the dark ages of the mind.

 

He gave religion back to the people, and made it something that could be personally appropriated. In a way, the Reformation was anti-authority. It ushered in the centuries of individual freedom which have given us not just capitalism and prosperity but also a record of consistent technological achievement beyond the imagining of those in the dark ages of ignorance.

Maybe this individualism has gone much too far, just as Catholic authoritarianism has too often been abused. But the point is that these two great strands of Christianity have been central to the creation of our modern world and have touched every part of our lives – intellectual, material, cultural – whether we are religious or not. In this greater historical context, sectarianism seems spiteful, petty and altogether pitiful.

So what I am asking for in Scotland is a kind of grand educative cleansing. Let’s seek an enlightened understanding of the two separate traditions, and respect them equally. The people who can best kick-start this new approach are the religious leaders themselves, if only they had the courage and the vision to do so.

Of course sectarianism is practised by many who never go near a church or chapel, or pay attention to a churchman. And it will be said that in these aggressively secular times, nobody listens to church leaders anyway. Really? So nobody listened to Pope John Paul II when he visited Scotland in 1982? Nobody will listen to Pope Benedict XVI if he visits Scotland next year, as is being proposed?

And what about the leaders of the Kirk? The Kirk, lacking a hierarchy, finds it difficult if not impossible to provide leadership continuity. Yet over the past generation or so there have been some outstanding communicators. I mentioned that Alan McDonald is moderator-elect.

 

He is a man who could embrace this proposed approach with eloquence and understanding. But not only church leaders should be involved in this process. Teachers, lecturers, writers, even broadcasters and journalists – many can play their part.

It seems to me that this process would be much more useful than Uefa closing a stand at Ibrox, or indeed, the police moving into the Ibrox crowd and hauling out some aberrant songsters, making minor martyrs of a few sad miscreants. Such measures would not dispel the underlying malaise.

 

On the other hand, especially on the day of an Old Firm derby, it would be utterly wrong to appear complacent about the football manifestation of the problem. Rangers and Celtic provide the most readily available crucible for the working-out of the age-old animosities I have described.

Some argue that they provide a useful conduit for the release of tensions and hatreds that would otherwise take a more sinister form. There may be some truth in this, but it does not let the two clubs off the hook. They must work harder, much harder, to eliminate the deplorable chants and songs that shame all decent Scots. The clubs should also participate in the educational process I am proposing. (Celtic was in a way founded as a quasi-educational institution). These organisations must accept, once and for all, that they carry much offensive baggage; that they are far more than mere football clubs.

As a nation, we need to grow up, to learn to understand that there are differences, and that far from diminishing us, these differences give us diversity and strength. What we need is respect, understanding and compassion for both sides.

And we must not neglect our history. What we should not do is to trawl through it to justify expressions of bigotry and hatred. Where there have been errors and horrors, let there be atonement and expunging. For example, I understand that Pope Benedict may be visiting St Andrews next year. Should that happen, how marvellous it would be, if he could take part in a simple ceremony to atone for the death of Patrick Hamilton.

 

How marvellous, too, if Kirk leaders could tell the Pope, yes, we are different, and we disagree with you, yet there are so many aspects of the Catholic church that we envy, and it still has so much to teach us. This would be not ecumenism, but straightforward conciliatory realism.


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Daily Record NEWS

 

25 April 2006
EXECUTIVE 'TOOK FIGHT TO BIGOTS'

THE battle to rid Scotland of sectarianism would never have started without our own parliament, justice minister Cathy Jamieson claimed yesterday.

Speaking at a conference on bigotry in Belfast, she said that devolution allowed the Executive to try to solve Scottish problems.

But she claimed more had to be done to encourage people to stand up against bigotry in the same way they would against racism or anti-social behaviour.

She said: "We are just starting, and it is a challenge. But a devolved government with aspirations to build a fairer country has a duty to act."

She also praised Rangers and Celtic for tackling the issue.

She said: "I was delighted to see supporters of both teams unfurl banners at Sunday's Old Firm game condemning sectarianism."

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GLASGOW
CELTIC

Brief History


Celtic Football Club was formed in 1888 by Brother Walfrid Kerins, leader of the Marist Order. He had seen the benefits that Hibernian Football Club had given to Edinburgh and thought that a similar idea would work in the east end of Glasgow. He wanted the club to raise money for "The Poor Children's Dinner Table," a charity that he had set up to give food to hungry children. The population of the area was largely Irish immigrants who were still looked upon as second class citizens. He gave the club the name 'Celtic' to instill pride in the club and the people that it represented. They rented a piece of land and volunteers worked to transform it into a pitch. The first match that they played was against Glasgow Rangers and they won 5-2.
This early team won many titles including the Scottish Cup just four years after they were formed.
In 1897 they became a limited company and Willie Maley was made their first Secretary and Manager.

Glasgow Celtic Information :
Martin O'Neill
Jimmy McGrory
Paul McStay
Chairman: Brian Quinn
Manager: Gordon Strachan

Record Celtic Park Attendance:
92,000 (against Rangers 1938).

Highest goal scorer:
Jimmy McGrory, 472 goals.
Most capped player:
Paul McStay, 76 caps for Scotland.
Record victory:
11-0 against Dundee in 1895
.
Celtic Park
Ground: Celtic Park, Glasgow
Ground Capacity: 60,000 all-seated

Average home attendance: 58,000

Lisbon Lions Today

Lisbon LionsHighest
Achievement:
Celtic were the first British Club to win the European Cup in 1967 when they beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon.

Celtic Contact Information:
Official website: http://www.celticfc.co.uk
Telephone: 0141 556 2611
Ticket office: 0141 551 8653
Club shop: 0141 551 4231
email-tickets: ticket.services@celticfc.btinternet.com
Address: Celtic Park, 95 Kerrydale Street, Glasgow, G40 3RE

Famous Celtic Supporters
Bono: Lead singer of U2.
Jim Kerr: Lead singer of Simple Minds.
Billy Connolly: Comedian & actor.
Michael Caton Jones: Film Director (Scandal, Memphis Belle, The Jackal).
Claire Grogan: Actress & singer with 80's group Altered Images.
Fran Healy: Travis lead singer.
Ardal O'Hanlon : Comedian
Alan McManus: Snooker Player.
John Higgins: Snooker Player.
Dominik Diamond: TV/radio presenter.
Steve Collins: Boxer.
Tony Roper: Actor in Rab C Nesbitt.
Sharleen Spiteri: Singer with group Texas.
Teenage Fanclub: Group.
Elaine C Smith: Comedian
Primal Scream: Group.
Rod Stewart: Singer.

Martine McCutcheon: Former actress on Eastenders turned pop star.

 

William Milne: Uncle of Robert Malcolm/ Rangers player.

GLASGOW
RANGERS

Brief History


Glasgow Rangers Football Club was formed by Peter Campbell, William McBeath and brothers, Peter and Moses McNeil. The team had no strips, money or even a football. They had their first match on Flesher's Haugh at Glasgow Green. It was against Callander Football Club and the final score was 0-0. They became established in 1873 when their first annual meeting was held and the office bearers were elected. They continued to use Flesher's Haugh as a pitch until 1875 when they moved to Burnbank. They continued to move pitches until their final move to Ibrox in 1899, where they settled and built their Stadium. It was also this year that they won the Scottish League for the first time winning 18 out of 18 matches accumulating the maximum 36 points.oints.
Glasgow Rangers Information :
David Murray
Alex McLeish
Ally McCoist
Chairman: David Murray
Manager: Alex McLeish
Record Ibrox Attendance:
118,567 v Celtic, 1939.
Highest goal scorer:
Ally McCoist, 335 goals.
Most capped player:
Ally McCoist, 57 caps for Scotland.
Record Victory: 14-2 v Blairgowrie, Scottish Cup, January 20th, 1934.
Ibrox Park
Ground: Ibrox Park, Glasgow
Ground Capacity: 51,114 - All Seated

Average home attendance: 49,000

1972 Barcelona
Highest achievement:
Rangers won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 against Moscow Dynamo where they won 3-2 in Barcelona. However John Greig (the captain) was only presented with the cup in the dressing room after the game because of crowd trouble caused by over-reaction by the Spanish police after some ecstatic Rangers fans invaded the pitch at the final whistle.
Rangers Contact Information:
Official website: http://www.rangers.co.uk
Telephone: 0141 427 8500
Ticket office: 0870 600 1972
Club shop: 0141 427 3710
Clubcall: 0891 121 187
Address: Ibrox Stadium, Edminston Drive, Glasgow, G51 2XD
Directions to stadium:
Car - From All Parts: exit the M8 at Junction 23. The road leads straight to the Stadium
Underground - Ibrox underground station is 2 minutes from ground
Bus - The following buses all pass within 300 yards of the Stadium and can be boarded from Glasgow city centre. Nos. 4, 9A, 23, 23A, 52, 53, 53A, 54A, 54B, 65, 89, and 91

Famous Rangers Supporters
Kenneth Branagh: Actor & Director.
Robert Carlyle: Actor (Train Spotting, The Full Monty, The World Is Not Enough).
Clive Anderson: TV presenter.
Jonathan Watson: Only An Excuse.
Alan McGhee: Creation Records.
Ian McCallum: Stiff Little Fingers guitarist.
Colin Montgomerie: Golfer (also supports Leeds United.
Carol Smillie: TV presenter of Changing Rooms.
Nick Nairn: Celebrity chef.
Gordon Ramsey: Celebrity chef.
Andy (The Viking) Fordham: Darts player.
Travis: All apart from singer.
Wet Wet Wet: Pop group.
Midge Ure: Ultravox.
Kirsty Young: News presenter.
Gary Player: Golfer.
Arnold Palmer: Golfer.

Andy Cameron: Comedian.

Donald Findlay QC: Number 1 Criminal defence lawyer.

 

The nickname 'The Old Firm' originated during the early year of the 20th century when the clubs began to dominate Scottish football and the term in part referred to the financial benefits associated with their frequent meetings


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New pact aims to beat the bigots
Bloody Sunday march in Glasgow
Trouble broke out at a parade in Glasgow marking Bloody Sunday
Representatives from police forces, local authorities, unions and the Orange Order have teamed up to tackle sectarianism.

The organisations have publicly signed a joint statement agreeing to work together to tackle the issue.

One joint aim is to ensure that marches and parades are not taken over by "thugs and bigots".

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson said "sectarian bullies" had been tolerated for too long.

The Scottish Executive said the organisations were coming together to "send a clear message to the thugs and the sectarian bigots who seek to take over legitimate expressions of history and tradition".

Speaking at a meeting of the organisations in Glasgow on Tuesday, Mrs Jamieson said the time had come "to get the hangers-on off our backs".

We will not accept the streets of Scotland to be taken over by drunken and abusive louts
Cathy Jamieson
Justice minister

The document signed by the groups states: "Those who organise marches and parades, the authorities responsible for the welfare of communities, the police responsible for keeping order and the Scottish Executive all agree that the abusive behaviour associated with marches and parades has no place in a modern multi-cultural and multi-faith Scotland.

"We all agree that the time has come for this problem to be tackled once and for all.

"This statement is a clear message of our intent to work together to deal with the abusive individuals who are not welcome and will not be tolerated at marches and parades in Scotland."

Key points agreed were:

  • To exert whatever influence we can to ensure that those individuals who take part in marches and parades behave in a responsible and law-abiding manner

  • To use whatever means we can to advise spectators that abusive or violent behaviour will not be tolerated

  • To ensure that illegal symbols, slogans, uniforms or paraphernalia associated with banned groups or paramilitary organisations are not permitted on the march

  • To work in partnership to identify and deal with those individuals whose behaviour is unacceptable or causing distress to ordinary members of the community

  • To proportionate action being taken to deal with those individuals who will not desist from sectarian, racist and abusive verbal or physical behaviour.

Mrs Jamieson welcomed the commitment shown by those at the meeting.

She added: "For too long we have allowed the bullies, the thugs and the sectarian bigots to take over legitimate expressions of history and tradition - and get away with unacceptable behaviour.

"This is not a token or a hollow gesture. By signing this pledge we are sending a clear collective signal - we will not accept the streets of Scotland to be taken over by drunken and abusive louts."

Flute march
March organisers promised to work together to avoid problems

Peter Maclean, from the anti-sectarian campaign group Nil By Mouth, said an action plan to tackle religious bigotry was already in operation but he believed the signing still sent out an important message.

Speaking to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: "It's a good step to take.

"We live in a world where freedom of speech exists, but at the same time we also live in a world that won't tolerate sectarian or bigoted behaviour."

Represented at the signing ceremony were Ian Wilson, grand master of the Grand Orange Lodge for Scotland; Jim Slaven, national organiser for republican organisation Cairde na hÉireann; Katrina Purcell, chair of the STUC; Kevin Smith, assistant chief constable of Strathclyde Police; Jim Coleman, of Glasgow Council and David Saunders, of North Lanarkshire Council.

 

Related links:

 

SEE ALSO:
Can Scotland beat the bigots?
02 May 06 |  Have Your Say
Plea to 'give bigotry the boot'
29 Jul 05 |  Scotland
Old Firm 'takes on' sectarianism
19 Apr 05 |  Scotland
Children urged to combat bigotry
22 Mar 05 |  Scotland
'Historic' summit tackles bigotry
14 Feb 05 |  Scotland
'First steps' on end to bigotry
14 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Fans and McConnell tackle bigotry
07 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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RANGERS versus Celtic - 50,000 diehards, divided into roaring seas of blue or green. Old Firm derbies famously spark some turbulent emotions, and this recent fixture was no different.

Watching it on a live TV link in the Rangers study centre were a group of 12-year-olds from secondary schools of different denominations. They wore their colours with pride.

The kids had already met at two workshops, the result of a partnership between Glasgow City Council education services and Rangers and Celtic and organised under the banner of Sense Over Sectarianism.

"I've learned not to be sectarian to other people, and to try to stop bigotry, and to try to get Celtic fans and Rangers fans to be friends," says Joanne Casey, a Celtic fan since shewas aged four.

"We've learned ways to stop bigotry and learned how Celtic and Rangers fans are equal and we think the same things about each other," says Michael Gavin, from St Thomas Aquinas, a Celtic fan.

Rangers fan Clair MacNicol, from Whitehill Secondary, said that the idea was to pass on what they'd learned to friends and other people. "It starts out small but it grows and grows."

"At the workshops," says Dominic Sharkey, manager of Rangers' study centre, "they discuss why they support their team - the reasons range from peer pressure and family tradition to where they stay in Glasgow.

"They talk about possible solutions to the causes of bigotry and sectarianism, and the way forward.

"They talk about whose responsibility it is for change, and what their parents, teachers, MSPs and even the clubs themselves can do about it.

Tony Russell, Celtic's education co-ordinator, said: "The big thing about kids is their lack of bigotry.

"It appears to me bigotry is basically instilled at a later age, but if you get them young enough, it's very encouraging."


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A MILLION KINDS OF BIGOTRY

Racism is only one form of bigotry.

 

It is ugly and perverse and does tremendous damage to everyone

blinded by it, but these same effects can be seen from ALL kinds

of bigotry.

 

Families and cultures teach bigotry against bosses, rich people, poor

people, women, men, nationalities, and gays... and tall people, short

people, fat people, beautiful people, people who have beards or get

their noses pierced or wear too much makeup... and, mostly, people

who "just don't look right" and people who "aren't like us."

Bigoted people teach bigotry. And their bigotry is against everyone!

Bigotry is an attempt to explain to ourselves all of the hate we carry

around in our hearts.

 

We'd rather believe we hate "them," than that we carry hate for "us."

("Us" is so much closer to "me"!).

BLATANT BIGOTRY

The bigots who make the headlines by murderously acting out their

hate are easy to spot.

 

They either loudly proclaim their bigotry or lead their lives as

"quiet loners."

 

The fact that they have something to hide isn't a shock to anyone

who knows them well.

 

They usually come from families which directly created their hatred

through severe beatings and constant belittling, as well as through

the direct teaching of bigoted beliefs.

 

Their hatred was built over the years.

 

Only their "targets" changed over time.

MORE SUBTLE STUFF

Of course not all bigots make headlines. All of us are bigoted in one

way or another.

 

Although we don't all act out our beliefs in violent ways we do

express our lower levels of hate in subtle, everyday ways.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Let's assume that you know you are a bigoted and you want to change.

How do you actually go about making your changes?

A PREREQUISITE

The first thing you need to do is admit that all that bad feeling you

have had for so long is NOT against the groups you target.

 

You may know your hate started with severe beatings in childhood, or

that it started when a certain person from your target group did harm

to you or someone you cared about.

 

You may not even know where you got all this hatred. All you need

to know is that your comfortable "targets" are NOT what you are so

angry about.

A WAY TO OVERCOME YOUR BIGOTRY

1. Survey Your Discomfort. Spend some time just mentally listing all

the times you feel uncomfortable around other people.

 

List the "types" or groups of people you feel this way around

(like blacks, whites, men, women, old people, etc.).

 

2. Notice Whether Your Discomfort Relates to "Types" or "Groups" At All.

 

If your discomfort does not relate to any particular "types" of people,

go to #3.

 

If your discomfort does seem to relate to "types" or "groups," notice

all of the other times when you are with these same types of

people but you are much more comfortable.

 

This time list the actual NAMES of the people who make you

uncomfortable, and of those who don't.

 

3. Notice the Behaviors You Don't Like.

 

Notice what the people who make you uncomfortable actually DO and

what the people who make you comfortable actually DO.

 

Note actual BEHAVIORS of real people, by name.

 

4. Give Yourself Permission To Be Angry About Behaviors.

 

At this point you will notice that your natural anger has nothing at

all to do with your "trained hate" or bigotry.

 

Your natural anger has to do with protecting yourself from mistreatment

by real people!

 

It's healthy and self-caring to be angry when you are mistreated.

 

Sometimes you will notice that someone isn't actually mistreating you but you still feel uncomfortable.

 

(like when someone from a different culture stands closer to you than you are used to).

 

You know that this behavior isn't "mistreatment," but it still makes you uncomfortable.

 

You might ask the person to stop the behavior that makes you uncomfortable.

 

You might train yourself over time to become comfortable with it.

 

Or you might just tolerate the discomfort. But, whatever you do,

don't allow yourself to think that you are being "mistreated" when

you are not!

 

(This is a major way we reinforce our bigotry.)

 

5. Give Yourself Permission To Enjoy Being Treated Well. Since you

were "trained" to dislike the people in your target group, you will need

to give yourself permission to disobey your training before you can enjoy being with them.

 

6. Be Proud of your Selfishness! You are not overcoming your bigotry

to help "them" or to make yourself into some "politically correct" person.

 

You Are Doing This So Your Daily Life Will Be More Comfortable - And

So You Can Stop Feeding And Reinforcing That Hate In Your Heart.


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SWEDE dreams are made of this and who am I to disagree? Henrik Larsson bows out a European Cup winner and helped guarantee his old club Celtic a £10million Champions League jackpot.

Even Rangers fans phoned the Hotline to applaud the footballing great.

First up was Joe Walker, Parkhead, Glasgow, who said: "Larsson is just unbelievable. It was great to see him getting his hands on a Champions League winner's medal and helping Celtic into the group stage."

Rangers fan Raymond McGill, Wishaw, said: "I thought Brian Laudrup was the best foreign player ever to grace these shores but I have since changed my mind. Larsson is undoubtedly the King of Kings."

Larry Walsh, Kilwinning, took it one step further by stating that after his MBE, Larsson now has a shout for a claim to the Spanish throne.

Larry said: "What a magnificent half-hour display. Never mind the King of Kings he should be renamed the King of Spain."

 

think you'll find Juan Carlos currently holds that title Larry but stranger things have happened.

John Smith, Yoker, said: "I am a Rangers man and did not want our rivals to gain £10m for entering the Champions League group stage.

"I settled down to watch the match and cheer on Arsenal but within 15 minutes I was a Barca fan as the commentary was so pro-England.

"It was great when Larsson came up with the goods to shut them up."

Frances Fisher, Linlithgow, said: "Larsson achieved his dream of getting a European winner's gong.

"That will shut up all the critics who said he could only play against inferior opposition in the SPL. Larsson is a legend and the Celtic supporters will never forget him."

Michael Osborne, Bonnyrigg, said: "Henrik Larsson showed he is still a world-class talent.

"It is one in the eye for all the doubters who said he could not hack it at the top level in the game.

"The original No.7 Jimmy Johnstone will be looking down on The Magnificent Seven smiling with approval."

Koj Ramsay, Edinburgh, said: "It was fantastic to see Larsson put his Seville disappointment firmly behind in emphatic style.

"The man is a fantastic footballer and thoroughly deserves his success."

John Fitzpatrick, Grangemouth, said: "Larsson is the ultimate team player but he was playing for two teams on Wednesday - Barcelona and Celtic."

Henry Taylor, Falkirk, said: "Larsson's contribution was nothing short of miraculous especially when you consider Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho were on the same park as him.

"Two sublime passes resulted in two great goals and Barcelona were crowned kings of Europe."

Joe McKeever, Milton, Glasgow, said: "The introduction of Larsson totally changed the Final.

"The SPL did not realise what a talent we had in this country until he was gone."

Joe Kane, Blantyre, said: "Larsson is a true ambassador. The Celtic fans will forever adore him and he is a credit to himself and the game."

Derek Reid, Dollar, said: "Larsson's display just goes to show how great a player he truly is."

Carol McInnes, Deaconsbank, said: "Congratulations to Larsson for bowing out on such a high with a European winner's medal that he was cruelly denied in Seville.

Henry McCafferty, Greenock, said: "I think I sum up the feelings of the Celtic fans when I say, 'Once a Celt, always a Celt'.

"Even when he is not playing for the team he is still busting a gut to help Celtic qualify automatically for the Champions League."

And here endeth the Larsson love-fest.

 

HENRIK: I WAS BETTER AT CELTIC
 

HENRIK LARSSON was amazed to be hailed as world-class in Paris because he reckons he put in better performances during his seven years at Celtic.

The 34-year-old former Hoops striker set up both goals for Barcelona in their 2-1 Champions League Final triumph over Arsenal to win a whole new army of fans.

But Larsson said: "I was as good as this during all my years at Celtic but in a smaller league in Scotland I did not get this attention from the worldwide media.

"I was good today, but I've played even better in the past. However, without doubt this is the biggest thing I've experienced in football. I didn't believe even in my wildest dreams it could feel this good.

"Right now, it's hard to find the correct words to express how happy I feel at being part of this victory.

"It's the sort of thing you dream about when you are a boy, sitting at home watching these big finals on the television."


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Le Guen gives red card to bigotry
Paul Le Guen RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
Ex-Lyon coach Le Guen has joined Rangers on a three-year deal
Rangers Football Club's first Catholic manager has spoken of his desire for tolerance as he takes over the reins at the Ibrox club.

The Frenchman said he was aware of the sectarianism which has dogged Rangers and Old Firm rivals Celtic in the past.

However, he said he preaches tolerance and expects others to do likewise.

A leading spokesman for Rangers fans said they were delighted at his appointment and results were all that would matter to them.

Le Guen, 42, said he is still a Catholic but now only goes to church on Christmas Eve in his home town.

He joined Rangers in March from French club Lyon on a three-year deal, replacing Alex McLeish who led the club for four-and-a-half years.

Speaking to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, he said: "I was a practising Catholic up to about 17 or 18 years old, that's the way I was brought up.

How can we have Catholic players and then have concerns over a Catholic manager?
Jim Templeton
Rangers Supporters Assembly

"So, yes, you can say I'm a Catholic. But these days I don't practise. The only time I go to church, in fact, is back in Pencran, my home town, on December 24 - just because it's a tradition in the family and something we've always done.

"It's a tradition which I will be breaking this year as Rangers have a game on December 26, so there you are. But it's not something that will particularly worry me. I'll have a thought for my family as I know they will be there."

He told the newspaper: "I'm not someone for whom religion is a big part of life. I'm a tolerant man and I expect others to be the same."

Le Guen said he had been aware of recent controversy about claims of sectarian chanting by a section of fans at a Champions League game.

'Over the moon'

He said: "But all I can really do at this stage is repeat that I preach tolerance. In my day-to-day existence I try to behave in a way that goes in that direction."

Jim Templeton, president of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, which incorporates the Blue Order and the Rangers Supporters Trust, said: "I have yet to come across a Rangers fan who has even mentioned his being a Catholic.

"It makes no difference. Rangers fans are over the moon about this appointment.

 

"How can we have Catholic players and then have concerns over a Catholic manager? He will be welcomed with open arms."

 

He added: "We can't deny that sectarianism is there but it has reduced dramatically down the years and I have confidence it will be reduced further next year."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sectarianism: the unacceptable face of Scotland
 
PROBLEMS need solutions. And sectarianism is the most enduring and ingrained problem in Scottish society. Many church leaders, senior police officers, football executives and politicians refer to religious bigotry as the 'Glasgow disease'. And if it is an illness in the national body politic, someone has got to treat it. But, as our report in today's news section shows, nobody is willing to act as surgeon.

While the police, the Old Firm, the Scottish Executive and the churches are all eager to condemn sectarianism, they do nothing in real terms to tackle the problem head-on. Among power-players in Scotland, there is a private admission that sectarianism is just too nasty, dangerous and controversial to take on. So bigotry remains a blight on this country -- a 'scar on the national consciousness', in the words of Bishop Joseph Devine of the Catholic Education Commission.

Our country's leaders are scared of tackling sectarianism. Despite their protestations of disgust, they lack the will and the guts. The west of Scotland is historically and culturally intertwined with both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland -- it is a running joke that every second person you meet in Glasgow has a grandparent from some part of Ireland. And while our leaders may rightly not want to awaken old enmities in the new Scotland, they have to show leadership so that the battles of the past -- or perhaps, more accurately, the Battle of the Boyne -- are no longer played out on the terraces and streets of Scotland.

A modern liberal democracy has to be built on inclusivity and tolerance. Sectarianism is, by its very nature, about division and hatred. If this nation does not beat bigotry now, then we may as well dismiss the vision put forward by the Scottish Executive as an insubstantial sop to the chattering classes -- empty politically correct rhetoric.

Beating bigotry does not mean tearing up traditions and forgetting identity and culture. Nobody is saying that being proud of an Irish Catholic or Protestant Ulster heritage is a bad thing -- it is not. It is something to cherish. But what is a disgrace is to think as our ancestors once did. It is more than three centuries since 1690 came and went. What rational person could believe that the ideas and aspirations of that time could have any relevance today?

Tackling bigotry is not hard, but it does need some courage and backbone. Nil By Mouth, the anti-sectarian organisation set up in the wake of the murder of a Celtic supporter by a Rangers fan, has sent a simple anti-bigotry action plan to the Old Firm. It arrived on the desks of Celtic and Rangers bosses six months ago. But as yet Nil By Mouth have not even had an acknowledgement that it has been received. So much for the official response that they take the matter seriously.

The fight against sectarianism would also be aided if the courts stopped throwing out the cases of fans charged by police with displaying paramilitary flags and emblems. As one senior officer said: 'That's a victory for the bigots. It makes them think their hateful actions are acceptable.'

People must take a public stand against sectarianism. Glasgow's city fathers are happy to give off-the-record briefings about how the police should go in hard against sectarian fans and 'crack heads' on the terraces. Would it not be better if these councillors put their names to their beliefs?

Another subject that few civil or civic leaders will talk about is denominational education. They fear being asked the question: should we ban separate Catholic schooling? It is a hard question, but we claim to be a grown-up nation so we must discuss the issue if we are serious about working out how to rid this country of religious sectarianism. Even Bishop Devine admits that denominational schooling is an 'enabler' of sectarianism and is, by its very nature, 'divisive'.

Glasgow City Council's leader, Charlie Gordon, admits that as a nation we are 'dancing around' the subject of sectarianism. Meanwhile Strathclyde Police's most seasoned and senior officers say that although they are appalled by sectarianism and the antics of the bully-boy bigots, they fear a political backlash if they start to arrest sectarian fans and riots ensue.

What these civic officials and police officers need is leadership from the Scottish Executive so they feel they can act with the support of the people and the government of Scotland. But instead of leadership from our politicians we have petty bickering. The LibDem MSP Donald Gorrie was savaged from the Labour benches by Johann Lamont for so-called headline grabbing after suggesting Glasgow City Council was not doing enough to remove traders peddling sectarian goods outside Celtic and Rangers matches. Did he deserve condemnation, or did he deserve applause for at least raising the issue? Ian McLeod, the Celtic chief executive, also deserves praise for telling supporters who chant pro-IRA slogans at matches that he does not want them as fans.

But McLeod and Gorrie are voices in the wilderness -- they are effectively acting alone. Where is the voice of the justice minister, Jim Wallace, in this debate -- and where too is the voice of the sports minister, Mike Watson? There is a deafening silence from our leaders. Meanwhile small groups such as Nil By Mouth are left to be the voices of reason. As the group's Peter McLean pointed out, between 1999 and 2000 there were eight sectarian killings in Scotland but no racist killings. 'How much longer do we have to wait for action?' he asked. 'Do we have to wait until someone else is dead?'

The answer lies with our politicians, city fathers, religious leaders, police and courts. They must send a loud, clear and unambiguous message to the peddlers of sectarianism: your behaviour has no place in a modern Scotland that is built on principles of tolerance and understanding and where all citizens have the right to live their lives without fear of mindless acts of sectarian violence and abuse.

 


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10 June 2006
UEFA BAN BILLYBOYS
Gers told to warn fans at all games
 

UEFA have ordered Rangers to warn their fans by tannoy about sectarian singing - before EVERY game.

The club were fined £13,300 by European football's governing body for discriminatory chanting during the Champions League tie against Villarreal earlier this year.

Now UEFA have followed that up with a string of directives.

Rangers will have to "make a ic address announcement at every official fixture, be it international or domestic, stating that any sectarian chanting and any form of 'Billy Boys' songs is strictly prohibited".

The club have also been ordered to "announce measurable targets in order to reduce sectarian behaviour amongst its supporters".

And they must "control their anti-sectarian activities by producing comprehensive statistics that are communicated to the public".

 

Yesterday, the club and fans' groups pledged to work together to eradicate sectarianism and avoid further punishment, which could ultimately include a European ban.

Ibrox chairman David Murray and chief executive Martin Bain met supporters' groups onThursday night.

The Rangers Assembly, fanzine and website Follow Follow and the Supporters Trust were all represented at the Murray Park meeting.

Murray said: "I am delighted at the progress we made last night. Over the last two years, the club has strove fervently under the banner of Pride over Prejudice, working with the authorities to impose indefinite and lifetime bans.

"It is absolutely clear to all concerned that all supporters need to commit to silencing the minority."


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11 June 2006
HELLO HELLO WE ARE THE SILLY BOYS!  

NOT a column inch to be had. Papers full to the gunnels of World Cup openers and England expects.

Talk about a good day to bury bad news. Or a bad day to bury good news, depending on how you see it.

Either way, that's exactly what this announcement was - buried.

Make no mistake though - you can mark last Friday down in your diary as a red-letter day in the ongoing fight against sectariansim in football.

 

And boy, has it upset them. The rank and file think their custodian and their mates have sold them down the river.

They've called Murray an apologist, a quisling. They think the signatories to the statement from the Rangers Supporters Trust, the Assembly and Follow Follow are traitors to the cause.

Me? I commend them for being brave enough to put their names to it - but I still think they've only done half a job.

All they've done is announce what UEFA have told them.

It's not an order, not even a plea, from Murray, the RST, RA, the Blue Order or anyone else to stop.

It's also only one song. No mention of the others that have "F*** the Pope" woven into the lyrics.

Threaten

And they don't threaten any consequences of their own either.

Only that if fans don't stop UEFA will pile into them and there's nothing they'll be able to do about it.

It's a million miles short of where they should be - telling the bigots the CLUB will ban them if they don't stop.

Both factions also keep talking about a "minority" of supporters involved.

Who are they kidding?

On big European nights you wouldn't need to take your shoes and socks off to count the punters at Ibrox who are not up to their knees in Fenian blood.

And there it is. The magic word. Fenian. The crux of the whole debate for Rangers fans.

The one they claim is not sectarian, it's political. Let's put that myth to bed for good. Okay, the history books will tell you the Fenians were a political organisation. Let's get real though.

For decades now most people, including 99.9 per cent of those at Ibrox, have believed the words Fenian and Catholic are synonymous.

Every Rangers fan I know admits that. Growing up as kids, even now as adults, they see it as one and the same.

Yet suddenly politics have come into it as a convenient defence of its use -but these people are fooling no-one.

Instead the authorities should pay attention to the few fans who HAVE signed up to the Murray doctrine.

Because they're the ones who are protecting the future of the club.

The rest have this argument that their very way of life is being attacked. Their right to express their Protestantism. Their freedom of speech.

It's almost impossible to believe so many are so stupid that they can't see what's really happening.

Every flag, every supporters club, sports the world "Loyal". To whom, or what, are they loyal? Their club, or this "way of life"? That's what they have to get into their skulls.

Murray is rightly trying to protect his - and their - club. Whatever they believe in outside of football should be left exactly there - outside.

Ibrox should be a place to go and celebrate their club, their football.

If they want to celebrate a religion, go to church.

If they want to denigrate someone else's religion? Go to Hell.

That's the message they just don't get.

And they need to get it in a hurry because if they decide to stick two fingers up to this edict the consequences for the club will be grim.

A stand shut. Then the stadium. Then? Out of Europe. Then? Who knows? But if they, believe any of those options are worth it for the sake a single song which has nothing to do with the game anyway, then they're no fans of Rangers.

It's not as if they have nothing else to sing. They have a raft of them including Follow Follow which as I've said before is one of the great football tunes - IF they sing the traditional words.

But nah, that's not enough for them. The vast majority of reaction on their main website, barring a few right-minded individuals, has been "Up yours, Murray". Hell mend them.

One thing they are right about, though. This can't just be a one-team witch hunt by UEFA nor can it be a lone crusade by Murray.

Peter Lawwell has finally acknowledged Celtic have a problem with their IRA-loving away support. Time for him to act on it.

And Vladimir Romanov has to get to grips with Hearts' - albeit smaller -bigoted element.

But for now Rangers are the ones with the axe hovering. And only their punters can decide their fate.

Surely they have to realise it's time to forget the 17th century and join the real world in the 21st

The day they banned "The Billy Boys" from being sung inside Ibrox.

A joint statement from David Murray and their myriad supporters' groups revealed a UEFA directive has ordered, among other things, that an announcement will be made over the PA at EVERY match any sectarian chanting and any form of "The Billy Boys" is strictly prohibited.


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ONE of Scotland's leading criminal defence lawyers is to face a disciplinary tribunal after being filmed singing anti-Catholic songs.

Donald Findlay, QC, had to resign last week as vice-chairman of Glasgow Rangers Football Club after he led sectarian songs and chants at a party to celebrate the club's Scottish Cup Final victory over Celtic. He apologised for his "serious misjudgment" and for the offence caused, but the Faculty of Advocates has since received 19 complaints about his behaviour.

Nigel Emslie, QC, the dean of the faculty, said he had raised a complaint against Mr Findlay alleging "serious and reprehensible misconduct bringing the faculty into disrepute". The dean could deal with the case himself, but is expected to refer it to the internal tribunal. He has also begun a formal investigation into the complaints made by members of the public.

The tribunal has a range of options available, from an oral reprimand to a £10,000 fine. It could also expel Mr Findlay, although this would end his career. However, the last time it expelled an advocate was in 1790, and legal sources said yesterday that the flamboyant QC was more likely to face a written reprimand.

Mr Findlay, 48, who has acted in some of Scotland's most notorious murder cases, told a newspaper yesterday that there were people in Scotland who wanted to destroy him. He said: "It doesn't matter, the things you do or have done; people who don't even know you say vicious things and just want to see you destroyed."

The life-long Rangers supporter was asked to step down by David Murray, the club chairman, on June 1, the day his behaviour was disclosed in a newspaper. The Daily Record said he had taken a microphone for 10 minutes at a Rangers social club to lead a sectarian medley, accompanied by supporters.

He sang The Sash, the unofficial Protestant anthem, The Billy Boys, and a football chant containing offensive references to the Pope. Rangers and Celtic have been attempting in recent years to stamp out sectarianism at their matches and Mr Findlay's behaviour was widely condemned by supporters of both clubs.

Last month, at a league match between the teams, the referee was hit on the head by a coin, three players were sent off and 113 people were arrested after fights. Mr Findlay, who led Scottish Tory campaign against devolution in 1997, also learned this week that he may have an honorary degree withdrawn by St Andrews University. The laywer was due to receive the doctorate of laws in October at the end of his final term as rector of the university.

1 June 1999: Rangers official quits in row over sectarian sing-song
30 May 1999: [Sport] Wallace clinches treble for Rangers
3 May 1999: Rangers triumph marred by violence


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Sectarian Songs Continued ...

Ok, this one may take some splaining. Firstly, the tune's the same as "I've Got A Brand New Pair of Roller Skates" ("You've Got A Brand New Key"). And now, some definitions thanks to Wikipedia .

1. A Sarsen (sp) is an armored vehicle used by the Brits in the North of Ireland.
2. UDR = Ulster Defence Regiment.
3. RUC = Royal Ulster Constabulary.
4. SAS = Special Air Service, Britain's Spec. Ops.
5. DUP = Democratic Unionist Party, led by that paranoid bigot, Ian Paisley.

And now. . . by "The Irish Brigade". . .

Kinky Boots

I drove my Sarsen through your garden last night
I kicked your front door down around at midnight
Something's telling me, boy, that your avoiding me
And when I find you, you will run for your tea.

Chorus:
I've got a brand new shiny helmet, and a pair of kinky boots.
I've got a lovely new flak jacket, and a lovely khaki suit.
And when we go on night patrol, we hold each other's hand,
For we are the British Army, and we're here to take your land.

My good friend Bertie, he's in the UDR.
To search for weapons he will go near and far.
Up around by Kappa, you'd never find him there.
The only gun he'll get there is an Armalite in his ear!

Chorus

My good friend Trevor, he's in the RUC.
But now they've handed him his redundancy.
Folks along the border won't be seeing him any more,
That provo sniper will be missing him for sure!

Chorus

My good friend Nigel, he's in the SAS.
He says a child is just as good as the rest.
Now they've gone and posted him way down to Crossmaglen,
He wishes to blazes, he was back in jail again!

Chorus

My good friend Sammy, he's in the DUP.
An upstanding member, as all the world can see.
I said, "Go up to Donegal, if you want to have some fun."
He said, "I'll take a run there, if I have nothing on."

Chorus

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Striker Larsson to be given MBE
Henrik Larsson
Henrik Larsson scored more than 240 goals for Celtic in seven years
Former Celtic hero Henrik Larsson is to receive an honorary MBE for services to football, it has emerged.

The Swedish player, who left Glasgow for Barcelona two years ago, was one of about 100 non-Brits to be awarded the honour last year.

However, his busy schedule meant that he had yet to be presented with the award, the foreign office confirmed.

The ceremony, which could take place in Spain where the striker is based, is expected to be held sometime this year.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "He's been awarded an MBE for services to football.

"The award was approved last year and will be presented when it's convenient."

Impressive record

Larsson signed for the Parkhead club in 1997 and went on to score more than 240 goals in seven years for the club.

He also has an impressive international record, scoring 34 goals in 88 matches for Sweden.

In 2003, his home country nominated him as the greatest Swedish football player of the last 50 years.

He played his last game for Celtic in May 2004 before joining Barcelona.

Irish pop group the Corrs and German golfer Bernhard Langer were also among the other non-Brits honoured

**************************************************

 

Ferguson among honours recipients
Barry Ferguson of Rangers lifts the Scottish Premier League Trophy in May 2005
Barry Ferguson led Rangers to two league championship titles
Rangers and Scotland football captain Barry Ferguson has been given an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The 28-year-old received recognition for services to the sport after leading Rangers to two league titles.


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Celtic

Celtic badgeCeltic seem to have missed out on signing Chelsea and Middlesbrough star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to add to their embarrassment of riches up front. The striker's wage demands a proved to be too much of a major block to a move. Portsmouth striker Svetoslav Todorov has urged his Bulgarian team-mate Stilian Petrov to join him at the south coast club.

 

Calm down Svetoslav! He wants to join Portsmouth, for some reason I've yet to figure out. I don't think "Stan" is the man you have to convince here. Celtic have already turned down a £3.5m bid from Pompey boss Harry Redknapp but as Petrov is under contract at Parkhead until 2010, they're under no pressure to accept what they may see as cut-price deal.

 

Petrov himself has claimed that string of Premiership clubs are interested in signing him, including Pompey, Everton and Manchester City. (Daily Record) Meanwhile, new signing Kenny Miller has gone through the obligatory 'parading' at Parkhead, saying all the usual nice things about his new club, team-mates etc and trying very hard to convince everyone that he isn't worried about the reception he's going to get in Glasgow having previously played for the 'other side'.

 

Right Kenny - so that's why you'll be living in Edinburgh and putting up with the hellish M8 commute is it?

 

****************************************************

 

Rangers

Rangers badgeJeremy Clement is expected to arrive in Glasgow this morning to clinch a £2m move from Lyon. Apparently Clement was "blown away" by the facilities at Ibrox after enjoying a whistle-stop tour earlier in the week.

 

(Record) Rangers are also expected to step up their bid to sign Swedish World Cup striker Johan Elmander from Danish club Brondby. The Gers have made a bid of £2m with Brondby asking double that amount.

 

Meanwhile striker Kris Boyd has signed an extended deal with the Gers until 2010. New boss Paul Le Guen was eager to tie the prolific striker to Ibrox after reports that top Ukrainian clubs were interested in signing him.

 

(Mail).Meanwhile two more Ibrox stars have been told to find new clubs - Ross McCormack and Jose Pierre-Fanfan have joined the recent exodus.


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16 July 2006
WITCHDOCTOR CASTS MAGIC SPL ON RANGERS...

A WITCHDOCTOR believes Rangers have next season's SPL title in the bag - after performing a bizarre ceremony with a Gers shirt. The Great Moropana sprinkled magic dust called muthi on the top and willed the team to win the league in a ceremony in a shanty town near Johannesburg last week. His spell came as the team continued their preseason South Africa tour.

Waving his staff in the air, Moropana emptied a goatskin purse packed with bones, ancient coins and artefacts on the blue top.

Moropana said: "I have seen that Rangers have the power to win the league this season."

Many African footballers are superstitious and visit witchdoctors to give them the power to succeed.


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