'I felt so unsafe' - Pierre van Hooijdonk details terrible incidents in spell at Celtic
Former Celtic striker Pierre van Hooijdonk has been detailing some of the incidents which took place during his spell at the Parkhead club, which detail just how bitter the Old Firm rivalry can be.
The Netherlands striker. who spent three seasons with the Hoops between 1995 and 1997, revealed to Dutch newspaper Bn DeStem that the ferocious nature of the rivalry in Glasgow still shocks him, more than 20 years after leaving the Hoops.
“I was spit at when someone opened the door, which then ran away like a greyhound. That was intense,” van Hooijdonk said.
He then disclosed that he of all the cities he played in Glasgow was the one he felt the least safety in.
“At home I even had razor blades in an envelope. Then that hate comes naturally and you can talk through it. Nowhere have I felt so unsafe as in Glasgow.”
The rivalry will continue this Sunday when the sides meet at Ibrox in a crucial league encounter.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
A victory for the Hoops would see them move nine points clear of Rangers with a game in hand, whilst a win for Graeme Murty’s side would cut the gap to just three points and propel the Light Blues into an unexpected title race.
Football insider verdict
Van Hooijdonk’s stories are quite sad in all honesty, some people in Glasgow would do well to remember that the Old Firm derby is only a game after all. The rivalry seems to have calmed down a bit in the last couple of years, although Rangers’ liquidation may have had a lot to do with that. With the teams perhaps approaching parity on the field once again, it wouldn’t be surprising if the tension at the games went up a few notches, although these days most people are likely to just fight on social media about the game. Van Hooijdonk’s revelations do show how difficult it must be at times to be an Old Firm player, and if you don’t have the courage for the fight perhaps you are better off leaving.
In other Celtic news, Hoops fans have been giving their verdict on the Scottish Cup draw