Nick Benson

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Irish Catholic footballer recalls asking staff to bin hate mail he received following Rangers move

A Catholic footballer has revealed that he received so much hate mail when he joined Glasgow Rangers that he had to ask the club’s front desk staff to open and bin them.

Jon Daly became one of the first high-profile Catholic players from the Republic of Ireland to play for Rangers when he moved there from Dundee United in 2013.

The former Rangers player recently opened up about his move during an appearance on the Football CFB Podcast, revealing that he received hate mail before he had even had a chance to play for his new team.

“I am Catholic because I am born into the religion, I am not a practising Catholic,” Daly told the podcast.

“Religion is a big big issue with certain people and certain individuals, but it is not with me. I am not bothered by people’s religions or where they are from. I view it through my own lens, which is how I do a lot of things,” he added.

However, the Dublin-born striker acknowledged that his decision to play for Rangers, the Glasgow side with the predominantly Protestant following as opposed to their Old Firm rivals, the predominantly Catholic supported Celtic, did come as an issue to certain people.

He recalled how he had returned home after paying his family in Ireland visit following his Rangers signing to find his wife at boiling point reading a letter that had been sent to Dundee United and forwarded to his home address by the club.

The letter writer told Daly how “disappointed they were – and I’m putting it politely – that I had signed for Rangers”, he said.

“The letter said that I was this and I was that. And my family would be disgusted with me etc. etc.,” he added.

However, Daly revealed that his family were actually “over the moon” at the signing.
“I think certain people in this world can be quite narrow-minded and if you let them affect your decisions and your judgements, you are not going to make the judgements you think are the right ones for you,” he said.

Daly received further letters of a similar ilk and admitted that he used to “have a great laugh with the boys reading” them but eventually he became fed up of them.

“Eventually it got to the stage where I just said to Stevie on the front desk ‘if there are any letters which come for me just open them and if they are of that nature just put them in the bin’,” he said.

“I don’t need negativity in my life.

“Unfortunately signing there, that happened and it came with it but it doesn’t cloud my experience with the club or leave me having any negative feeling for it.”

Daly remained at the Ibrox until 2015, when he moved to Raith Rovers, where he eventually retired as a player in 2016 and became an interim manager of Heart of Midlothian FC.

Picture: Jon Daly during his time at Rangers. (Lynne Cameron/PA).

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OTHER NEWS

Burundi’s bishops say election was marred by irregularities

Bishops in Burundi criticised the nation's presidential election substandard, saying it was marred by widespread irregularities and general lack of freedom to choose. "We deplore many irregularities with regard to the freedom and transparency in the electoral process...

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Key international climate talks postponed as the result of the pandemic will now take place in the UK in November 2021, a year later than scheduled, it has been announced. The United Nations "Cop26" summit had been due to take place in Glasgow in November 2020 hosted...