SCOTT BROWN will lead out Celtic at Ibrox this afternoon as he takes his final bow in the Glasgow derby.
It will be the club’s 35-year-old onfield leader’s 44th outing in these often frantic encounters and he has every intention of going out as a winner.
Victory in these confrontations is something the powerhouse midfielder has savoured on TWENTY-TWO previous occasions. There have also been seven draws since his £4.4million arrival at Parkhead from Hibs in the summer of 2007, money well spent by ex-gaffer Gordon Strachan.
The record books mistakenly list the 2-2 Scottish Cup semi-final stalemate with Mark Warburton’s Govan side in April 2016 as a loss. Technically, of course, it was draw. The 4-2 loss on penalty-kicks – in which Brown, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic all missed – was the loss that finally brought to an end Ronny Deila’s two-year reign at the club and opened the door to Brendan Rodgers the following month.
THE LAST HURRAH…Scott Brown holds the Scottish Cup alongside Callum McGregor after the triumph that sealed the quadruple treble at Hampden in December 2020.
SILVERWARE SUCCESS…Scott Brown with the domestic honours he has won 22 times.
It also reinvigorated his Hoops career after some misguided observers were writing him off. Brown knew he still had much work to do at Parkhead.
With the Hampden stalemate seen historically as a draw after 120 minutes of actual play, that leaves the inspirational captain with 14 defeats from these sorties.
Brown’s record in the high-octane fixture reads:
Played: 43; Won: 22; Drawn: 7; Lost: 14.
It breaks down thus:
CELTIC PARK: Played: 17; Won: 10; Drawn: 4; Lost: 3
IBROX: Played: 18; Won: 6; Drawn: 2; Lost: 10
HAMPDEN: Played 8; Won: 6; Drawn: 1; Lost 1.
Brown will not leave the Hoops as a great goalscorer, but he was the scorer of great goals. One such marvellous memory was his solitary strike against Rangers came in the 2-2 Scottish Cup deadlock in February 2011 when he curled a superb effort round the stranded Allan McGregor. That, of course, was followed by the iconic Broony celebration as he ‘shared’ the joy with opponent El Hadj Diouf.
It got even better when Mark Wilson scored the only goal of the replay and their opponents lost the plot and had three players red-carded, including the unfortunate Diouf.
Brown was banished once in a derby battle, a 1-0 loss in Govan in February 2010.
Overall, though, his 14 years will be celebrated following an extraordinary TWENTY-TWO honours, the last won in the Scottish Cup shoot-out win over Hearts on December 20 last year to seal the phenomenal quadruple treble.
He won 10 titles, six Scottish Cups and six League Cup and he was captain of the Scotland international team on numerous occasions during his 55-cap career.
THUMBS UP…Scott Brown’s message to the Celtic supporters.
Brown has absolutely no intention of going out with a whimper in this fixture when the teams lock horns this afternoon.
The old warhorse will make his Parkhead farewell on an emotional evening against St Johnstone on Wednesday May 12 and play his last game, ironically against former club Hibs, at Easter Road three days later.
After that, his immediate future will be at Aberdeen as player/coach after agreeing a two-year contract to team up with his former Edinburgh club colleague Stephen Glass, who took over as boss from Derek McInnes last month.
CQN doubts if Celtic have heard the last of Scott Brown. We wish him all the very best for the future – starting today.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Rangers v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.