THERE is a quote from the great Sir Bobby Robson which perfectly sums up what football means.

“What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.

“It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city. It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.”

Try getting through that without a lump forming in your throat.

If only it were possible to explain what it feels when a young supporter of Celtic or Rangers go to their first Old Firm game. Sometimes there are no words.

However, as Sir Bobby said, when it matters so much, when a club is such a big part of anyone’s life, then that’s you for life and there will be times when nothing else exists. Sunday is the perfect example.

Apparently this latest instalment of the Old Firm match is a non-event.

Not only that, but there are radio presenters living in London quite happy to tell us Jocks that Scottish football is worthless and the league is a joke. Oh, and because Celtic are something like 600 points ahead of Rangers that for once the result doesn’t matter.

What a lot of nonsense.

This football game is still the biggest in world football. It’s not the best nor the most glamorous, and there have been some real stinkers down the years, but there is something about the Old Firm which elevates it above anything else.

Not all of it is good. A lot of what goes on turns the stomach. The vile hatred, open sectarianism, banners, effigies, songs about standing up to your knees in blood and, every so often, violence in the street. None of this does belongs in a civilised society.

Hypocritical as it may sound, however, the nastiness makes it special, let’s not kid ourselves.

And that is why there are never any empty seats, why this game on Sunday, even with nothing at stake apart from pride, would fill Wembley Stadium and then some.

Why? Because for 90 minutes or so, nothing else in the world matters apart from your team not losing to the other lot.

And I have always felt that this game is about not losing rather than winning. That is certainly the case this time in terms of what the Rangers supporters are thinking.

Celtic have never been bigger favourites in this fixture. It is almost impossible to see them not win and by a clear few goals.

The old cliché of form going out of the window in this derby has never been accurate. The stronger team always tends to come out on top. From time to time a “shock” will occur. However, it’s always been the case that whoever is going better wins.

It would be a shock on Sunday if Rangers were able to defend a corner properly.

I’ve heard talk of the possibility of a 7-1 and, do you want to know something, it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem, which is an extraordinary thing to type. Personally, I never thought the gap would ever be this big.

Even in the 1990s when Celtic were a shambles, they could always beat Rangers. Three years in a row they defeated them in the Scottish Cup as Rangers began their march towards nine in a row.

And now it is Rangers turn to play second fiddle in a city where second isn’t good enough. They didn’t play by the rules and so came administration, liquidation and Rangers found themselves playing at Glebe Park. And nobody outside their own support felt sorry for them.

Many people tell you, most especially Celtic fans, that Rangers died and this is a brand new club. If that is the case, then why did they celebrate the previous three wins as if they were Old Firm matches?

And they will be celebrating at Celtic Park on Sunday. A win means it would be impossible for Rangers to win the league. In mid-March.

Rangers are a mess on and off the park. Their only chance is if Graeme Murty can somehow get it through to them that Pedro Caixinha owes them no loyalty and will get rid of those he doesn’t fancy.

Too many have gone missing in the three games against Celtic this season. If that happens again then they will be out the door.

Murty might get a response. Stranger things have happened, although not that many, but I can’t see it.

Brendan Rodgers’s Celtic trumps them in every department. It’s their game to win or lose. If they perform then there is only going to be one result. It will be just a case of how many Moussa Dembele scores.

For now, this rivalry is incredibly one-sided, the bitterness remains and in an increasingly secular and liberal society, it is this football game which brings out the very worst in people.

But I love it. As a football writer, this is what you want to be writing about and there are another two to come.

You just can’t have too much of a rude thing.