Neil McCann: 'Celtic fans abused me in same way Steve Clarke was'

Dundee and Celtic players stand to applaud in tribute to Neil McCann's late father Eddie on 26 December 2017
Dundee and Celtic players paid tribute to McCann's late father Eddie before kick-off on 26 December 2017

Former Dundee boss Neil McCann says he was subjected to sectarian taunting from Celtic fans on the day tributes were paid to his late father Eddie.

McCann, a Catholic and former Rangers player, said he was taunted with the "exact same song" Rangers fans chanted at Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke.

Players and fans had earlier marked McCann's loss before Dundee's home game against Celtic on Boxing Day 2017.

"It's not just one club here, or just two clubs," McCann told BBC Sportsound.

"It happens at other clubs as well. I've been called 'the hun' and an 'orange b******' and all the rest of it and I'm Catholic.

"When I played football I had no interest whatsoever in the religious set-up or anybody's ideas or gripes. I chose to play for Glasgow Rangers and it was a huge honour to play for such a prestigious club.

"I remember saying I wasn't a Rangers fan when I signed but from then onwards I would become one because when someone is paying you to play for them then you give everything for that team."

McCann spoke about his own experience amid a debate on sectarianism in the wake of Clarke being subjected to abuse "from the dark ages" in Kilmarnock's Scottish Cup replay defeat at Ibrox last week.

"It wasn't just myself but my family were subjected to lots of abuse," recalled the former Scotland winger, who played for Rangers from 1998 to 2003.

"It is totally unacceptable but I grew to ignore it. I've been subjected to all sorts and some of the shouts which have come off the back of it are pretty despicable and shouldn't happen.

"It's difficult when you're out with family - that's when it becomes beyond personal. That's when it hurts.

"Even when we held a minute's applause when my father passed away, I was subjected to the exact same song that Steve Clarke got when Celtic scored their first goal. Nothing was said about it."

'It's not me that's sick' - Clarke

Rangers chairman Dave King issued an apology to Clarke last week after fans at Ibrox called him a "Fenian b******".

Rangers fans responded by unveiling a banner stating "Get well soon Steve Clarke" before their 5-0 Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Clarke said: "I appreciate their concern. But it's not me that's sick. I'm not sick."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has also asked the club's fans to stop singing offensive chants, saying "there's no place for it".

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