From Šmicer to AC/DC: Unexpected links between Slavia and Rangers

Even though the two clubs never met in a competitive game, there are several links which can be traced between Slavia and Rangers.

Slavia have never previously met Rangers in a competitive game but have faced Scottish opposition twice. They lost 3-1 to St Mirren on aggregate in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup, and followed that up with a 4-3 loss to Hearts in the same competition in 1992/93. The two clubs met in a friendly game in Prague in 1904 though (Slavia lost 0-5).


Photo from June 1904 when Rangers played Slavia in Prague.

Slavia legend Vladimír Šmicer played for Liverpool FC alongside current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard between 1999 and 2005. They won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Supercup together. Šmicer served briefly as Slavia coach in 2013/14.


Šmicer and Gerrard with the Champions League trophy in 2005

Another former Slavia player, Patrik Berger (second row fifth from the left), met with Gerrard in Liverpool (playing for the Reds between 1996 and 2003). Alex Miller (second row on the right) was St. Mirren manager when they played Slavia in 1985/86 UEFA Cup. Dr Mark Waller (third row on the left) now works for Rangers too.


Vladimír Šmicer in the second row fifth from the right, Steven Gerrard sitting second from the left on a 2002/03 Liverpool FC team photo. Source: lfchistory.net

Even though John William Madden, the first Slavia manager, was former Celtic player, he was employed by the Red-whites thanks to Rangers. In 1905 Slavia was on the lookout for a British coach. For whatever reason they preferred the Rangers player John Tait Robertson who like Madden had been born in Dumbarton. Robertson, who hoped to pursue a career in journalism, had no immediate interest in Slavia´s offer. Madden, who was willing to take the opportunity, along with Robertson and another Dumbarton footballer, Findlay Speedie of Rangers, set out to deceive his future club. Dressing Madden in a Rangers´ jersey and international cap belonging to Speedie and Robertson, he was provided with credentials that made him acceptable to Slavia. John Tait Robertson later became the first manager of Chelsea FC.


Slavia with John William Madden (standing in the front row on the left) in 1910.

The most Rangers paid for a player was £12m for Tore Andre Flo in 2000. His cousin, Per-Egil Flo played for Slavia between January 2017 and June 2018.


Per-Egil Flo in the game against Slovácko.

The Steaua Bucharest shirt displayed in Slavia Museum from our mutual UEFA Champions League game in 2007 belonged to Dorin Goian, who later played for Rangers (2011-2013).

The Hells Bells by AC/DC is traditionally played at Sinobo Stadium when Slavia players appear on the pitch for a pre-match warm-up. The Young brothers Malcolm and Angus – founding members of the band – were born in Glasgow and showed their affection for Rangers on various occasions.


Malcolm Young with Ally McCoist and Rangers shirt. Source: FollowFollow.com


Angus Young wearing Rangers shirt during a concert in Glasgow, 1991. Source: twitter @acdcrideon

Big thanks to Thomas Robb - Slavia and Rangers fan living in Bathgate - for his research!

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