01 January 2023

Celtic to pay respects to trio during Rangers derby after Ibrox Disaster tribute

01 January 2023

Celtic will wear black armbands in respect for Frank McGarvey, Pele and former Pope Benedict XVI during their encounter with Rangers after a minute’s silence is held for the victims of the 1971 Ibrox Disaster.

Rangers stated they would host their annual service and the silence to remember the 66 fans who died in a crush 51 years ago to the day.

A Celtic statement read: “Please note that prior to kick-off at Ibrox there will be a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the Ibrox Disaster.

“In a week where a number of important figures have sadly passed away, we will also remember Celtic great, Frank McGarvey, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and footballing legend Pele, as the Celtic first team will wear black armbands as a mark of respect and tribute.

“Further tributes will be paid at our next home match at Celtic Park on January 7.”

About 700 Celtic fans will be in attendance for the cinch Premiership encounter at Ibrox.

A Rangers statement read: “Please note the club will host its annual service at the John Greig statue at 11.00am.

“There will also be a minute’s silence prior to the match, to remember those lost in the Ibrox Disaster.”

The Scottish Professional Football League had written to all 42 clubs last week in the wake of the deaths of both Pele and the former Pope.

The league wrote to clubs suggesting a “minute’s applause or other appropriate gesture be made prior to matches over the next few days” following the death of the Brazil great.

A league statement on Saturday night read: “The SPFL has today written to all 42 clubs following the death of former Pope Benedict XVI, informing them that any club wishing to wear black armbands during their next SPFL match or hold a minute’s silence (or other appropriate marking of his passing) at their next SPFL home match is permitted to do so.”

Former Celtic striker McGarvey died on New Year’s Day after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several months ago.

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