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EX-GERS HERO INSISTS CLUB SHOULD RESPECT CELTIC ACHIEVEMENT

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FORMER Rangers striker Kris Boyd believes his old club should have shown their class and formed a guard of honour for the Celtic players before the midday kick-off at Ibrox on Sunday.

However, reports indicate there will be NO round of applause for the Hoops team who celebrated their eighth title success with a 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie at the weekend.

In the previous two seasons, Kilmarnock and Hearts have lined up as the champions have taken the field following their championship successes.

Boyd, who is now with Steve Clarke’s Rugby Park outfit, told the Daily Record: “I think Rangers would make a statement about what type of club they are if they do it.

“Over the years, it has always been the case that Rangers have held themselves in high regard and rightly so because of the way they have conducted themselves.

“It would be the right thing to do and, for me, I think they should.

“At the end of the day, they might be your rivals, but they have won the league. Pay them the respect they deserve.”

Boyd added: “I get the view of the fans. Asking why you would want to clap your rivals onto the pitch.

“But be the bigger man, as such, and do what’s right. That would be to give Celtic a guard of honour on the pitch.

“They have won the league, they are the champions so, for me, why would you not?

“I understand fans might be frustrated, but it’s not the end of the world if you clap someone going onto a pitch.

“As a club, I think they should make a statement and do it, yes.”

Manager Steven Gerrard had stated he would discuss the matter with club officials before a decision was made.

It now looks as though his side have been told there will be no guard of honour for the title-kings in the last Old Firm game of the campaign.

A goal from Olivier Ntcham gave the Hoops a 1-0 win at Parkhead in September, but Gerrard’s team matched that scoreline with a Ryan Jack strike in the December confrontation in Govan.

A goal near the end from James Forrest ensured Lennon enjoyed a comeback success against the Gers in March during an explosive encounter in which Alfredo Morelos was red-carded in the first-half for an elbow in the face of Scott Brown.

Ryan Kent was caught on camera delivering a punch to the Parkhead skipper’s jaw in the immediate aftermath of Forrest’s strike and Andy Halliday picked up a second yellow card following a rammy with Brown after the final whistle.

The on-loan Liverpool winger was dealt a retrospective red card and Gerrard, too, was banned for one game after comments to referee Bobby Madden.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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