Celtic great John Hartson has revisited his failed Rangers move back in 2000.
The big Welshman signed for Martin O’Neil a year later and went on to be a hero during his five-year spell in Scotland. Indeed, Hartson left Celtic with three league titles, two Scottish Cups, and one League Cup.
BT Sport pundit Hartson also played a pivotal role in the club’s famous Road to Seville UEFA Cup campaign back in 2003. Famous goals against the likes of Liverpool and Celta Vigo have since become iconic, with the big hero still a fan-favourite today.
However, he’s been speaking to the Scottish Sun in an exclusive interview and has revisited the time he nearly signed for Rangers.
“Listen, I would have signed for Rangers without question. I had no allegiance to Celtic at that stage. But I failed four medicals in my career and that was the best one.
“My feeling was that Rangers treated me unfairly. They waved a contract under my nose, took me to Ibrox where I was pictured, and then whipped it away again. Their mistake.
“It was wonderful (his time at Celtic), from start to finish. The best four years of my career by far. I formed a bond with the supporters because I gave them everything I had. I’m proud of the 110 goals I scored.”
A fine gift from Rangers
Perhaps it was an act of God that Hartson was to sign for Celtic. After all, his names goes extremely well alongside Sutton and Larsson. Without big John there it just wouldn’t have been the same.
Hartson has always described that Ibrox medical as the best one he’s ever failed. And you can tell from his comments here that he still feels bitter towards Rangers for it.
Former Rangers chairman David Murray then made some bizarre remarks regarding Hartson’s fitness levels and ability to produce on the big stage. Indeed, he told Sky Sports back in 2000, “No disrespect, but to score against Huddersfield is slightly different to scoring against Galatasaray.”
Well David, how about scoring against Barcelona, Liverpool, and your own Rangers consistently? How comments can come back to haunt you, and Murray’s definitely did here.
Hartson continues to be a vocal supporter of the club to this day. Often using his Twitter account to voice his support of the club, his icon status at Parkhead won’t ever go away.
How big a deal was this for the O’Neill years? What would’ve changed if Hartson signed for Rangers back in 2000? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.