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Rangers news: Celtic star Craig Gordon opens up on historic Jermain Defoe clash

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The new Rangers striker’s arrival at Ibrox brought memories of his clash with the Celtic keeper flooding back.

Gordon’s right arm was shattered after a late Defoe challenge when the pair met nine years ago while representing Sunderland and Tottenham respectively in a game at White Hart Lane.

The Scotland ace needed three operations to repair the damage and, before the Hampden clash between Scotland and England 18 months ago, the Hoops ace confessed he was so angry about the incident at the time he blanked an attempt by the hitman to make a telephone apology.

However, with time having healed all wounds, Gordon insists there’s no more ill feeling as the pair prepare to go head-to-head with their clubs in the fight for the Premiership crown.

He said: “It’s a long time now and it should probably remain in the past and we can get on with it. It was him that caused my broken arm, a lot of years ago. There’s a lot of water under the bridge since then, so I’ll be getting on with it.

“I wasn’t happy at the time. I was annoyed. I did think he meant to kick me rather than the ball, which happens in tackles anyway.

“Sometimes you mean to give the player a little kick. And I’m not suggesting he meant to break my arm. He’s not that type of player.

“I have felt it was a bad challenge which didn’t need to be made. But I’m not going to make a big thing about it. That’s in the past.

“I feel strong, I’ve come back. It’s not something that will be in my mind.

“He did try to contact me afterwards, but I declined the opportunity to speak to him. I was still too angry, but that’s long finished now. I played against him for Sunderland after it. He was just another player.

“It’s not something you can go into a game thinking about. Lots of players get injured because of a tackle, you play against them and that’s just the way it is.

“I’d shake his hand. No problem. I’m just going to get on with the game. There won’t be any problem.”

Gordon is full of respect for the talents of the Ibrox recruit and the Celtic keeper says the ex-England hitman could still be a top performer aged 36 years.

He added: “He’s scored a lot of goals and that will make people sit up and take notice.

“He’s coming to the end of his career now, but, in terms of goalscoring, there hasn’t been many better around the British game over recent years.

“He always seems to hit the target. I can’t see that being any different. He’ll be someone to watch out for.”

For more news relating to Celtic, visit our sister site Celtic Live.
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