People stopped talking to me after I signed for Celtic – because I’d played for Rangers, reveals Steven Pressley
Former Rangers defender Steven Pressley has said that people stopped contacting him after he signed for Old Firm rivals Celtic.
Pressley, best known for his spell as captain of Hearts when the Jambos won the Scottish Cup in 2006, started his career at Ibrox in a successful era for the Light Blues.
Soon after leading the Edinburgh club to glory, he made a controversial exit from Tynecastle, signing for Gordon Strachan’s Hoops on a free transfer where he went on to win a league and cup double.
The move made the ex-Scotland internationalist one of the few men to have crossed the fierce Glasgow derby divide.
Since 1945, only Alfie Conn, Mo Johnston, Kenny Miller and Mark Brown have also played in both royal blue and in green and white.
Speaking to Grosvenor Sport, Elgin-born Pressley spoke of the pride he has in his achievements as a player, even if his move to Parkhead severed some personal ties.
He said: “I’m extremely proud that I’m only man to have won the Cup with three different teams – and it might have been four as I was on the bench with Falkirk in 2009 when we narrowly lost to Rangers having played well in that game.
“I think it’s a record that’s unlikely to change because I don’t think too may – if any – will play for both Rangers and Celtic in the near future and you would need to do that to have any chance.
“There have only been five players since the Second World War that have done it but I thought in the 2000s when Kenny Miller and Mark Brown also did the same it would become more prevalent.
“However, it hasn’t happened. Many players turn out for Liverpool and Everton or even Barcelona and Real Madrid but it’s different in Glasgow.
“It’s more than football and it’s deep-rooted. There were many people who were acquaintances of mine – people I would exchange messages with, even birthday cards and Christmas cards – but when I signed for Celtic they never contacted me again. Not a word since.
“Listen, there were a certain section of the Celtic support that never accepted me either, but that’s Glasgow.”