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10 Best Players Who Played For Both Celtic And Rangers

Old Firm is one of the biggest football rivalries in the world, very few derbies can match its intensity. The hatred between both sets of supporters for each other is outrageous. It’s impossible to think that a player would switch sides between these two. However, certain players made the switch and played for both Celtic and Rangers. In this article, we will have a look at some of those players.

Here are the top ten players who played for both Celtic and Rangers.

10. Mark Brown

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Brown was a Rangers youth product who was called up for the senior team in 1999, but he rarely got any game time and was sold to Motherwell in 2001, after just playing five matches for the club. After spending time with Motherwell and Inverness CT, he returned to Glasgow with Celtic in 2007 to serve as a backup goalkeeper for Artur Boruc.

As was the case at Rangers, Brown was unable to establish himself between the posts at Celtic making just 13 league appearances, though still picked up two Scottish Premier League titles and a Scottish League Cup before signing for Hibs in 2010.

9. Steven Pressley

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Steven Pressley was a product of the Rangers youth system but struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular – though he did win two Scottish Premier League titles and a Scottish Cup – the centre-back left in 1994 to Coventry City.

Pressley then went to Dundee United and Hearts – winning the Scottish Cup –  where he became a mainstay in the team. After becoming a free agent, the then 33-year-old Pressley was signed by Celtic. In 2007, he was part of the Celtic side that won the Scottish Cup and became the first player to have won the trophy with three different clubs.

8. David McLean

McLean joined Celtic in 1907 and stayed there for two seasons. He played a great part in Celtic’s famous fortnight in April 1909 when they played eight games in twelve days to win the Scottish League.

After leaving Celtic in 1909, he joined Preston North End and later became a legend at Sheffield Wednesday. In 1918, he moved to Rangers and excelled, becoming the top scorer in the Scottish league in 1918/19 with 29 goals, making him the first player to achieve this in both England and Scotland’s top divisions.

7. George Livingstone

George Livingstone holds the unique record of being the only player to play for both sides of the Old Firm and Manchester derby. He spent one season with Celtic scoring 4 goals in 17 league appearances. He then played in the English League in 1902.

Livingstone returned to Scotland in 1906, to play for the Rangers. He played a total of 47 league games scoring 20 times before leaving for Manchester United in 1909.

6. Alfie Conn

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Alfie Conn was the first post-WW2 player to play for both Old Firm sides. He began his career with Rangers in 1968 and made his senior debut against Dundalk in the Fairs Cup. Conn played in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 and scored his team’s second goal in a 3-2 Scottish Cup victory over Celtic in 1973.

Tottenham signed Conn for £140,000 in 1974. His time with Spurs lasted three years before Celtic came calling and he agreed to join as he wanted to play for Jock Stein. He spent two years with Celtic and won another Scottish Cup, defeating Rangers 1-0 in the final. Conn was inducted into the Rangers’ Hall of fame in 2007.

5. Robert Campbell

Campbell Celtic’s career was a short 6-month spell, where he played 12 league games before being sold to rivals Rangers in January 1906. He made his Rangers debut against Port Glasgow on 20 January 1906. Campbell was a right-back but was later converted to a striker. He spent eight years with Rangers, making 211 appearances and scoring 56 goals.

He won three Scottish league championships, three Glasgow Cups, two Charity Cups, and the Scottish National Exhibition Tournament in 1908 with Rangers. After his retirement, he became a director of Rangers in 1926. He is widely regarded as one of the best players who played for both Celtic and Rangers

4. Kenny Miller

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Miller is the only player post-WW2 to switch between these two sides twice. He was signed by Rangers in 2000 for £2m and spent a season at Ibrox before moving to Wolves. In 2006, Celtic signed him on a free transfer, but he never became a regular starter and was sold to Derby.

In 2008, he was signed by Rangers for the second time, which was unpopular among Rangers’ supporters. After three years, he left in 2011. In 2014, he signed for Rangers for the third time, playing for four more seasons.

3. Tully Craig

Tully Craig, a Scottish footballer, was a versatile player who played in the front, midfield, or defense. Born in Laurieston, he was signed by Celtic in 1919 and made his first-team debut in a 3-2 league win against Kilmarnock in January 1920. However, Celtic manager Willie Maley deemed him too lightweight, leading to him spending most of his time at Parkhead in the reserves.

Craig was sold to Alloa Athletic in an exchange deal, where he was a success. After only one season, Rangers bought him for £750 in 1923. Craig spent 13 years at Ibrox, winning five league championships, two Scottish Cups, two Glasgow Cups, and four Charity Cups. He retired from football in 1935 and passed away in 1963.

2. Mo Johnston

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In 1984, devout Catholic striker Johnston signed for Celtic and was a success, scoring 52 in 99 league games, before joining French club Nantes in 1987. After two years in France, Celtic agreed to a £1.2m deal to bring him back to the club. However, due to financial complexities, the deal never went through and Johnstone signed for Rangers less than a month later.

Rangers fans were appalled at the deal, burning scarves and handing in season tickets. Johnston was “their first major Roman Catholic signing” and angered both Celtic and Rangers supporters. Some Rangers fans burned scarves and threatened to hand in season tickets over the signing. However, Johnston won over many Rangers fans in November 1989 when he scored an injury-time winner against Celtic.

1. Alex Bennett

Bennett was one of the rare players to make the direct switch between these two. He first joined Celtic in May 1903 and was a regular in the side which won the League Title for four consecutive years between 1905 and 1908. In the latter two years of this streak, Bennett also collected Scottish Cup winner’s medals.

After spending five years with Celtic, he was released from the club. He overall played 124 league games during that time and scored 47 times.

Bennett joined Rangers as a free agent, in May 1908, and remained with the club until 1918. He won a further three League Championships while at Ibrox. Bennett was capped 11 times for Scotland, gaining three caps while at Celtic and the remaining 8 while at Rangers.

Checkout: Comparing Celtic’s Greatest XI With Rangers Greatest XI


A sports addict! @subhamchaurasia

5 thoughts on “10 Best Players Who Played For Both Celtic And Rangers

  • You missed out Ian Young

  • Robert Monteith

    only one i hated signing for rangers was johnston

  • you missed out gordon marshall

  • Mp Johnston’s connection with Catholicism was remote – He certainly was not a “devout Catholic”

  • Robert Monteith

    i for one never said m johnson was a devout catholic
    i just did not like him signing for the glasgow rangers

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