The Old Firm Derby between Rangers and Celtic is the first derby to feature on this list of Britain’s best derbies. This is as intense as a derby gets, with just four miles separating Ibrox on the west side of Glasgow, to Celtic on the East.
This derby dates back as far as the turn of the 20th century, ever since Celtic were founded in 1887, 15 years later than Rangers. This is a unique derby as the rivalry roots further than football itself, as it is partially a rivalry between Catholics (Celtic) and Protestants (Rangers).
An influx of Irish Catholics moving into Glasgow’s east end in the 1900s led to increased competition for housing and employment across the city, which caused huge tensions with the west end of the city, populated by protestants. This essentially pushed each club closer to their religious roots due to the cultural split in the city of Glasgow.
The tension between the Catholics and Protestants led to a lot of sectarianism and polarisation across the city which still exists today and this was essentially a catalyst in the hatred that the two most successful clubs in Scotland have.
As a result, the Old Firm derby has become one of the most hostile and tense atmospheres in club football. The infamous 1980 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park saw Scottish football ban alcohol from all Old Firm matches, following chaos inside the ground, with hundreds of opposing fans fighting on the pitch and stands.
Further factors have also intensified this derby, as Celtic recently matched Rangers’ consecutive league titles record of nine in a row, following the curtailment of the Scottish Premiership last season, which was also partially due to a helping hand from their enemies, as Rangers were relegated to Scottish League Two following financial difficulties back in 2012. Gers look set to win the league title for the first time since 2011, and with an opportunity to win it at Celtic Park potentially on the horizon, this could really stir the pot.