COLIN KAZIM-RICHARDS once signed for Galatasaray from bitter Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce but insisted even he isn’t brave or daft enough to ever consider a move from Celtic to Rangers. The much-travelled striker, who scored his first Celtic goal in the William Hill Scottish Cup victory over East Kilbride last weekend, was offered security protection after receiving threats from angry fans when he made the cross-city switch in 2011.

The 29 year-old revealed how he nearly sparked a riot when he tried to take his grandmother around some of Istanbul’s tourist spots not long after completing his transfer, before the police quickly ushered him into a nearby taxi. The player, who signed for Celtic from Feyenoord on deadline day, believes the story shows he is a man never to back down from a challenge.

He said: “When I went to Galatasaray, it was a problem. That’s a big rivalry. But when I played for Fenerbahce, I was a Fenerbahce player. When I went to Galatasaray, I was a Galatasaray player. I gave everything for both teams. But that was a transfer that was difficult for both sets of fans. It’s the first time someone had moved straight from one club to the other. They asked me if I wanted security and I said no. I think that would have drawn more attention – walking down the road with five Turkish security guards! I got a lot of threats. But it shows what kind of character I am. I did what I had to do. I didn’t look back.

“They were just written threats. I come from East London so I’m used to that. I went to Taksim Square in Istanbul and the police had to escort me to a taxi. My nan had never been there. She’d never been to Turkey. I flew her over and thought I’d take her to the tourist attractions. It was the wrong thing to do but I’m young and you learn! I didn’t do it again. But I scored the last ever goal at Galatasaray’s old Ali Sami Yen stadium. Then I scored in the first derby in the new stadium. My name is inked in history, which is nice for a footballer.”

Kazim-Richards, though, insists he is a “very respectful” figure and would never consider leaving Celtic for their deadly rivals across the city. He added: “You have to respect all kinds of people. Me? I’m very respectful. I’m not even thinking about Rangers. I didn’t come to Celtic because of the Old Firm. I came to Celtic because it’s Celtic. I want to win stuff.

“I want to go down in the history books here. I don’t back down from a challenge. I’m not one to hide away. But I won’t ever go to Rangers. I won’t do that.”

The one-time Brighton and Sheffield United player revealed he is his biggest critic. “When I’m sh*t I’ll tell you. I’ll be the first to say that. I think people respect that. I’m my worst critic. I go home, I can’t sleep, I rewind the game and that technology kills me.

“Football means a lot to me. I’m not here just to get a pay cheque or be a celebrity. We’re in the winning business. That’s what it is. That’s why I came to this beautiful club. They know how to win and I want to be part of that.”

Kazim-Richards has never scored more than 12 goals in a season and thinks he needs to be greedier like team-mate Leigh Griffiths. “I think that’s been my problem. I’m not the type of centre forward who demands the ball all the time.

“I think can learn a lot from Leigh because he’s got that. And I think he can learn from me because I bring everyone into play. In the Europa League last year, I had the most assists in the group stage. In general, when I play I bring goals to the team. It can be me scoring or other guys scoring. You can see that when I come out of the team.”