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Football: Winsford’s Danny Fox ready for Champions League showdown as Celtic host Rapid Vienna before Old Firm derby with Rangers

PLAYING in Europe and being embroiled in one of the fiercest derbies of British football is a mere fantasy for most youngsters growing up in Winsford.

PLAYING in Europe and being embroiled in one of the fiercest derbies of British football is a mere fantasy for most youngsters growing up in Winsford.

But it is a journey, from the grassroots of Mid Cheshire’s junior football scene, that has been completed by former Over Three starlet Danny Fox.

The 23-year-old defender is now a first-team regular for Celtic, having completed a £1.5m move to Glasgow from Coventry in the summer, and he is now contemplating a dream tie against European giants Rapid Vienna.

If Fox comes trough the Europa League fixture unscathed then he is sure to be involved in his first ever Old Firm derby with arch-enemies Glasgow Rangers at Ibrox.

But despite being at the highest point of his career so far, Fox is keen to keep his feet on the ground.

He said: “I can't begin to think about Rangers now because if ever there was a case for taking one game at a time then this is it. We can’t look beyond Rapid Vienna.

“This is what I've worked all my life to be part of. You shouldn’t be in football if you can't get excited by the prospect of a game like the one against Rapid Vienna.”

Raised as an Everton fan, Fox, who used to live on the Greenfields estate, recalls how his dad used to tell him about the Toffees’ European Cup Winners Cup victory after beating Rapid in the 1985 final.

It was also the same season that Celtic were forced to replay Rapid after a controversial fracas between players. The Parkhead side lost 1-0 – a result which saw a Celtic fan attack Vienna goalkeeper Herbert Feurer.

“It gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction to be involved in a game like this one,” he said. “I was brought up as an Everton fan and my dad was always going on about the night they beat Rapid Vienna to win the European Cup Winners Cup.

“That game came in the same season as Celtic had their trouble with the Austrians and nothing will get in the way of me helping to beat Rapid, not even the thought of going to Ibrox for the first time.

“When the final whistle goes on Thursday night the game against Rangers might be the first thing I think about, but not before then.

“I’m reliably informed there is nothing that compares with an Old Firm match, not even the Merseyside derby. But there’s another huge match to attend to first of all.”

 

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