The level of racism received by Mark Walters during his time at Rangers was on a ridiculous scale. Today, the former Ibrox hero has claimed he wanted to volley those responsible.
Walters signed for the club back in 1987, making his Rangers debut at Celtic Park against the Parkhead side. The match itself has become a disgraceful symbolism of how far Scottish football can fall.
Certain Celtic supporters threw bananas onto the park before the match. This was to such a substantial length that the game had to be delayed because of the gestures.
It was a dark day in Scottish football’s history, and Walters remembers it well. Speaking in the Daily Record promoting his new autobiography, Walters claimed it all got to him.
“They used the N word, and yeah, mainly that really. It’s not going to change me, I am what I am and it’s never going to affect anything I want to achieve.
“If I had have done what I probably wanted to do, which was go up and do an Eric Cantona on him or something like that, volley him into the stadium, I’d have got sent off and probably banned as well so it wouldn’t have helped me at all.
“That was my mentality. Nothing was going to stop me playing for Glasgow Rangers.”
Walters had to deal with abuse and criticism that nobody in football should have to take. The midfielder played at Ibrox in a three-and-a-half year spell in Govan. He won three Scottish Premier League titles as well as two League Cups between 1987 and 1991.
Every football support has its unsavoury element. What happened at Parkhead on that day was dreadful, but it was the small minority that dented the club’s reputation on that sour day.
Walters recovered from the banana incident to have a highly successful Gers career. He remains a real staple of what can be achieved through inner strength and determination. His words about nothing being able to stop him playing for Rangers shows the character of the man.
Walters managed to make 154 appearances during his time at Ibrox, notching an impressive 52 goals. He eventually left to join Liverpool in 1991 as he formed a terrific career that ended in 2002 at Bristol Rovers.