In today’s stranger news, Celtic hero John Hartson claims to have been made a substantial offer by Rangers.
Hartson was twice offered the opportunity to join Rangers. It’s well-known that a medical issue stopped him joining the Gers before Martin O’Neill swooped in. However, the suggestion that our rivals wanted him after his Celtic stay is new information.
The Welsh goalscorer, who has 51 caps for his country, made the claim on Go Radio:
“It was a reporter that mentioned his name to me, he said expect a call from Mr Murray, he’s sought your number out.
“[Murray] said ‘Look I’d like to bring you back up to Rangers. We know we made a mistake, we should’ve signed you’.
“I said look with all due respect thank you very much but there was no way, it was never happening. The conversation was a bit of a waste of time really.
“His actual words were, ‘I’m going to stick you in the safe house for the first old firm game,’ but that’s no way to live, it’s not the way I want to live anyway.
“I said, ‘look, one: I would have never been fully accepted by the Rangers fans and secondly just thrown all my 110 goals for Celtic down the river’.”
Celtic great John Hartson would surely never have considered Rangers move
Hartson, who played for Wimbledon, West Ham and Arsenal before Celtic, finished his career with spells at Norwich and West Bromwich Albion.
Instead of alienating Celtic supporters by playing for Rangers, even past his prime, he enjoyed Championship football on a decent wage. Talk about your “no-brainer” decisions.
We have seen players cross the divide, on rare occasions. Kenny Miller and Liam Burt are two modern examples. However, given Hartson’s impact at Celtic, a Rangers move would’ve been an incredible betrayal.
After all, Celtic took a real chance by signing him.
That gamble paid off, with Hartson becoming a huge part of the team under Martin O’Neill. A man for the big occasion, his strikes against Liverpool and Rangers are still the stuff of legend. David Murray, Rangers chairman at the time, surely had zero chance here.