BBC pundits Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards scared at Rangers v Celtic clashes
BBC trio Gary Lineker, Micah Richards and Alan Shearer have discussed how extreme their experiences have been of Rangers v Celtic clashes.
The three former England internationals played in derbies south of the border including the Merseyside, Manchester and Birmingham varieties, while Lineker featured for Barcelona in El Clasico, but none were prepared for the Old Firm.
The Glasgow rivalry is famous across world football for being heated, and it lived up to its reputation in the three ex-players’ eyes, while discussing derbies on the BBC Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast.
Asked if he had ever been, former Manchester City defender Micah Richard’s replied (via Football Scotland): “Once. Never again. Forget that.
“I’ve never heard a noise like it. It’s incredible.”
Long-time BBC sport anchor Lineker added: “I’ve done a few. There was a period where we had the rights; we televised about three or four of them at both grounds.”
“Cor blimey. When you talk about hatred, that is another level.
“I was a bit scared.
“The Rangers vs Celtic match is something else.”
Finally, English Premier League top scorer Shearer said: “They are without a doubt, and I’ve been to a lot of these games, but that Glasgow Derby is something else.
“My god – it is ferocious at both grounds, Celtic and Rangers. It’s proper hatred. It’s something different up there.”
Part of the reason that fans were so unhappy at the proposed Sydney Super Cup in Australia stemmed from the level of the rivalry, and how it should never be considered a “friendly”.
It is a unique fixture in the football calendar, covering all sorts of footballing, geographical and politics divides.
Despite having been played over 400 times, and occurring sometimes five or six times a season it hasn’t lost any of its fervour.
It stands up against any sporting derby in the world in terms of animosity between the two sides, as some of the meetings this year have shown.
Broken glass had to be cleared from the pitch at Ibrox earlier this month (3 April), having been thrown from the crowd in one of the variety of more unsavoury aspects of the clash.
Celtic have won the past two league meetings, ahead of the final instalment at the weekend (1 May).
But Gers triumphed in a pulsating Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park most recently, as the two old rivals have slogged it out for domestic supremacy once again.