Since 1888, Rangers and Celtic football clubs have been locked into an intense and frequently explosive rivalry: Rangers the product of West Scotland's Protestant establishment, Celtic the team founded to raise money for the Catholic underclass of Glasgow. On 2 January 2010 the two teams met in the Old Firm's New Year Derby, a fixture that had been banned for ten years because of the trouble it brought with it. Richard Wilson puts that game at the centre of a book which delves into the history and widens out to the cultural resonance of the fixture within Scotland. Starting as the fans begin to arrive in Glasgow, and ending as the long night following the match stretches out ahead, Wilson talks to the fans, the players, the backroom staff, the referee, the ferry staff, the stewards and the paramedics to create a panoramic view of a cultural institution. It addresses the role football plays in working-class life, the social aspects of the game and why it is part of its surroundings in a way that no other sport is. Inside the Divide is a mix of close-up observation and big-picture thinking, with insight, understanding and depth.

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