Parcel bombs a new low admits Smith

by AFP on Apr 23, 2011

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Rangers manager Walter Smith admits the parcel bombs sent to Celtic boss Neil Lennon were a new low even by the standards of the often-violent Old Firm rivalry.

Smith was horrified when he heard that two viable bomb devices had been sent to Lennon earlier this week.

Other devices were sent to the Celtic manager's high-profile lawyer, Paul McBride QC, and former MSP Trish Godman, who was recently pictured in a Celtic strip.

Rangers and Celtic meet for the seventh time this season in their crucial Scottish Premier League contest at Ibrox on Sunday, yet the game has been overshadowed by the police investigation.

Although all four bombs were intercepted Smith, who first joined Rangers 25 years ago, cannot recall such a dispiriting time to be involved in the battle between the two Glasgow rivals.

"In the 20 years I've been involved and being from the west of Scotland, I've never known a week quite like this. It's sad," Smith said on Friday.

"When you look at people like Neil Lennon and the other couple of people involved in threats, it's something that unfortunately goes far beyond the footballing aspect."

Smith himself is understood to have been warned by police about his own security amid fears that the parcel bomb publicity could spark copycat attempts.

He added: "You always worry, the people I have just mentioned have had a direct threat and it's them and their families who have got to handle this situation.

"Regardless of what any of us say, for football to get to this level is entirely wrong."

Lennon, meanwhile, insists he won't be driven out of football by the threats and he remains focused on Sunday's derby.

"It is uncomfortable, you see your face every hour on the hour on the news and after a while you start thinking 'is that me they are talking about?'

"I've had this for 10 years but I don't want to say you get used to it because you never do.

"It's good that people are talking about it and we will get something done about it."