Steven Gerrard's celebration vs Celtic was no problem and many are missing the point

By John McGinley

March 25, 2023

Steven Gerrard scored a penalty against Celtic on Saturday – I’m sure you’re aware as it seems to be big news. Outlets across the spectrum, from BBC Scotland to a variety of newspapers and digital outlets are apparently obsessed with a pretty bog standard celebration in front of the travelling Bhoys support at Anfield.

Gerrard passionately celebrating a goal at the home of Liverpool has to be one of the least surprising things that has ever happened. And I doubt the vast majority of Celtic fans were particularly wound up by it. He naturally got a bit of stick, he gives a bit back – it’s really, really no big deal – especially in the context of what the game was.

Barely mentioned along the way by most outlets, if at all, is that Celtic and Liverpool fans raised a lot of money for charity on Saturday. A lot of people in need will be helped by both clubs getting together for a retirement kickabout. Surely this is the point that matters?

Photo by LFC Foundation/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

I’m told as many as 48,000 were in attendance at Anfield, which will have generated loads of cash when you consider adult tickets were priced at £27.

Even taking into account any costs deducted, the proceeds are massive and will go towards the fine work done by the Foundation arms of both clubs to help some of the most vulnerable in our society.

I’m sure, given all that, most Celtic fans can take a harmless ‘wind-up’ celebration, even from a former Rangers manager. From some of the social media patter and some of the headlines kicking about, it seems there’s a misconception that Gerrard has ‘got one over’ on Celtic or ‘trolled’ us today. I doubt that was even his intention and even if it was, the reality is I don’t think many fans care and were happy just to see a lot of former pros pull on their shirts again.

We had Emilio Izaguirre and Mikael Lustig representing the Hoops again. Robbie Keane getting to play for both sides. Artur Boruc in goal. It was a pretty fun day, all in, streamed live to thousands more across YouTube and Facebook, with further promotion of donation links which I am sure raised even more money.

Naturally, there were a few Celtic vs Rangers angles going into and coming out of today. Charlie Adam got a heavy tackle off Ross Wallace, Gerrard got booed, he celebrates a bit back and so on. But there’s such a thing as over-egging the pudding and forgetting what really mattered here – which I think more than a few are guilty of.

Steven Gerrard enjoyed his day, Celtic fans enjoyed their day, Liverpool likewise and, ultimately, loads will benefit.

In other news, Chris Sutton says another Ralston-style rebirth could be on the way at Celtic.