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  1. By Lindsay Herron RANGERS can boast some fantastic teams in their long history and the class of 1948/49 can certainly lay claim to being one of the best. They became the first Scottish team to complete the clean sweep of domestic honours and today, April 30, is the 60th anniversary of their Treble triumph. Managed by the legendary Bill Struth, Rangers were a formidable force in the immediate post-war era. They boasted the famous Iron Curtain defence - Bobby Brown, George Young, Jock Shaw, Ian McColl, Willie Woodburn and Sammy Cox - and an attacking line that featured Willie Waddell and Willie Thornton. In a fantastic campaign, they claimed the newly introduced League Cup, the Scottish Cup and took the title on an incredible last-day shootout. 1949 Treble captain Jock Shaw and Bobby BrownGoalkeeper Brown is one of only two survivors from this famous team - the other being Sammy Cox - and he recalls their achievements with relish. He said: "The fact that we conceded 16 goals less than any other team was an indication of how strong we were at the back and we were also fortunate not to have any injuries. "We were able to field our strongest team in most of the matches and that was significant. "Of course, we had the Iron Curtain defence at that time. Woodburn was peerless. In the all the time I have been watching football I have never seen a better centre half "Jock was a good captain, an out and out Ranger. He was forever shouting in the field. He was a first class left back and an excellent defender. "I had every confidence in him and if I went out for a cross ball I knew that he and George Young would be behind me." Brown played in every match that season and there was an unlikely twist which set Rangers up for the first leg of the "Triple Crown" as it was referred to in these days. Back in 1948/49 and up until the 1970s the early stage of the League Cup was played in sections and it looked odds on that Celtic, in the same group as Rangers, would come out on top. They had won their opening three matches, including a 3-1 win over Rangers, but then lost 4-2 to Hibs and then, incredibly, lost 6-3 at home to Clyde!Torry Gillick scored in the 1948-49 League Cup final It meant that the final section game between Rangers and Celtic would decide who would go through. A crowd of 105,000 packed into Ibrox to watch the cliff-hanger. Goals from Billy Williamson and Willie Waddell gave Rangers a 2-1 win and pitted them against St Mirren in the quarter-final. A 1-0 victory followed by a 4-1 romp over Dundee in the semi-final set Rangers up for a League Cup Final appearance against Raith Rovers in the spring. Given that the Fifers were in the Second Division at that time, Rangers were expected to win comfortably but Brown remembers that was far from the case, He said: "We were lucky to be drawing 0-0 at half-time because we didn't play particularly well and Raith Rovers had had a goal disallowed. "Torry Gillick scored early in the second half and that settled us down and then Willie Paton scored soon after and we were on our way to the Cup." Rangers' path in the Scottish Cup was much more comfortable. They reached the Final with easy victories over Elgin, Motherwell, Partick and then East Fife in the semi, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one. The Final itself proved no difficulty, Rangers seeing off Clyde 4-1. One curiosity emerged from the match. Billy Williamson, who had scored the winning goal in the previous season's replayed Final against Morton, again found the net, giving him the remarkable record of having played in only two Scottish Cup games, both of them Finals, and scoring on both occasions. The second leg of the treble was now safely at Ibrox, but the odds on winning the Championship seemed stacked against Rangers. Willie Waddell in action against Partick ThistleThe race for the title had been a titanic struggle between Rangers and Dundee. Indeed, Rangers lost 3-1 at Dens Park in the January. Rangers produced a fantastic run of 10 straight victories towards the end of the campaign but Dundee still had the advantage going into the final day. The Dark Blues needed a draw at Falkirk in their final match to clinch it while Rangers travelled to Coatbridge needing a win over Albion Rovers and some help from Falkirk. Incredibly they got both. Rangers did all that they could with Willie Thornton scoring a hat-trick as they won 4-1 Albion Rovers. But the news from Brockville Park was astonishing. Dundee had crashed 4-1. The title and the Treble belonged to Rangers. History had been made. Rangers had been given some help from an old friend. Jerry Dawson, who had starred for them before and during the war, saved a Dundee penalty. Brown said: "It was an incredible last day. We knew what was happening at Brockville and it definitely spurred us on. "Willie Thornton scored three great goals for us and we won our game well." There was a bit of decorum in these days and there were no wild celebrations. The players went for dinner to the now defunct St Enoch's Hotel in Glasgow and manager Struth made a speech. Changed days indeed
  2. by Matthew Lindsay RANGERS officials are often asked by dignitaries from visiting clubs and their own supporters why there is no club museum. After all, the Glasgow giants, founded way back in 1873, have a rich and colourful history which would fascinate anybody with a love of football. Yet, the answer to these queries is always the same - Ibrox Stadium itself displays all of the items which are of histor-ical significance to the Gers. The many articles of clothing, caps, photographs, paintings, medals, miscellaneous pieces of memorabilia and trophies inside the world-famous Govan ground tell Rangers' remarkable story eloquently. That is especially true now that the exhibits which will be on show to visitors on tours of the Category B-listed building have been extensively updated and expanded. For instance, mementoes from the club's epic run to the Uefa Cup Final in Manchester last year - including the medal which manager Walter Smith collected after the game with Zenit St Petersburg - can now be seen in the breathtaking trophy room. Sandy Jardine, the legendary former player who now works at Rangers as player recruitment and welfare manager, has been heavily involved in the extensive overhaul. He said: "There are a lot of great stadiums in the world. There are some wonderful brand new stadiums. "But not many of them have a trophy room like we do. As soon as you walk in it has a wow affect. "Over the last four or five months we have taken it and changed it a bit. Because we had new memorabilia we have taken all the pennants and put them up high where everybody can still see them. We have put new memorabilia around the wall. But we also still have extremely old pieces of memorabilia as well. "We have the original of the constitution of the club in 1874. It tells you the rules, tells you what the club will be called, what the strip will be like, and the people who will be involved, Moses McNeil, people like that. Jardine added: "But we have many other things. We have Willie Waddell's handwritten team for the European Cup- Winners' Cup Final in 1972. "It is written on the morning of the match. He still hadn't decided what the team was. One position was between Penman, Conn and Parlane. "We have the handwritten team lines drawn up by manager Scot Symon at the Grand Hotel and handed to the referee before the very first European final we played in 1960. "In those days European competitions weren't as regulated and didn't have the same back-up and admin. "Whenever we win a cham-pionship we put a miniature of the league flag up on the wall in the trophy room. We have a world record of 51. Hopefully, we will get another one to add to our collection at the end of the season." While Rangers fans could spend hours poring over the many exhibits in the well-stocked trophy room, the same is true of other stops on the tour - the old manager's office as well as the impressive Blue Room. Jardine continued: "We have manager memorabilia in the office. We have the typewriter that Mrs Dallas, Bill Struth's secretary, used to type letters. "It has Rangers headed notepaper from 1925 in it. We have the ink stand which used to sit on the table. Any player who signed for the club would have used that ink to put pen to paper. We have Bill Struth's walking stick for his bad leg. "We have the decanter set which was given to Willie Waddell on the occasion of the completion of the redevelopment of Ibrox Stadium. We have the actual phone, complete with its original phone number Ibrox 1858, which Scot Symon used to use." The Blue Room, with its murals of Rangers managers, chairmen and captains on the mosaic walls, is one of the most eye-catching in the stadium and it has also been changed this year to celebrate the club's most memorable matches. Jardine explained: "We have photographs and medals of the most significant games in the club's history through the years. We have the first medal which was ever won by the club in 1879 in the Glasgow Charity Cup and medals from all the European finals we have been involved in. "The club have acquired the medals through auctions. Either that or they were loaned to us or we have just found them in the safe." Former Rangers players have also been happy to donate the Scotland caps they have won for their country so they can take their place alongside the greatest players ever to turn out for the club. Jardine said: "We have the greatest collection of caps in the world. They date from 1892 right to the present day." And if Rangers have their way, there will be many more additions in the years to come. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/display.var.2504524.0.rangers_trophy_room_is_in_a_different_league.php
  3. SKY SPORTS' 'Time of our Lives' series continues tonight with a special programme about the Rangers team that won the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup. 'Kings of Ibrox' will celebrate the remarkable achievements of the side managed by Willie Waddell some 37 years ago at 10pm this evening on Sky Sports 1. Sandy JardineIn the programme, club legends John Greig, Sandy Jardine and Derek Johnstone all join Jeff Stelling for a considered stroll down memory lane. They'll look back to the tumultuous events of 24 May 1972, when the Light Blues beat Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in Barcelona to claim their first European trophy. As well as the final itself, the three Hall of Famers will reminisce about the managerial techniques of former boss Waddell. Greig and Jardine will also discuss the heartache of losing to Bayern Munich in the final of the same competition five years earlier in Nuremburg. And all three will recall an incredible European night in Glasgow when they got their revenge against the Germans in front of 80,000 fans at Ibrox. 'Kings of Ibrox' is something you won't want to miss so make sure you tune in to relive the club's biggest achievement on the continental stage.
  4. The recent post by CammyF got me thinking about our Greatest Ever Ranger. John Greig was my absolute hero when I was a boy and teenager. He was a wonderful, fantastic player and captain. The ultimate Rangers captain. I thought the world of him. Mr Rangers. Perhaps he didn't get the chance to learn the management job and that's not his fault but he was a whole lot less successful as a manager. He didn't have the players, the money or the experience. However, as a director, John Greig seems to have turned from hero to zero. Fair enough if the directorship is simply a gesture to a club legend but for his part, he has allowed a whole lot of shit to happen without ever uttering a word of concern. In fact, I find in recent years that I've lost all of my erstwhile respect for Greig. A man like him, who has played under Symon, Waddell and Wallace must have little excuse for participating in the mismanaged decline in Rangers fortunes these last ten years or so. The treatment of fans at Ibrox, the attitude of the club to the treatment of fans away in Europe, the continual false promises to sell season tickets, and so on are all issues that Greig could and should have taken a position on, even if it meant losing his directorship - especially if it meant losing his directorship. Instead, it seems to me he has buried his head in the sand, protected his own self-interest, and buttoned his lip. Such a waste, such a disappointment.
  5. Rangers have a very proud history in Europe being the first Scottish club to play a competitive European tie whilst participating in the European Cup in season 1956-57 season and became the fist Scottish or British Club to reach a European final when in 1961 we lost 4-1 on aggregate to Fiorentina in the inaugural European Cup Winners Cup final. During this campaign we defeated Wolves in the semi-final the game that gave us the wonderful Wolverhampton Town song which has thankfully, found it’s way back onto our hymn sheet in recent years. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwzxN0jPiS4]YouTube - Wolverhampton Town[/ame] As we will all be ware off, John Greig was the only captain to lead Rangers to a European trophy when he captained Rangers to the historic and exhilarating victory over Moscow Dinamo on that unforgettable night on Barcelona (May 24th) John Greig also has the distinction of playing in two Cup Winners Cup Final as he also played in our defeat at the hands of a young and upcoming Bayern Munich team that contained the likes of Beckenbauer, Muller, Maier and the scorer of the winning goal, Roth. The 1967 Cup Winners Cup Final was historic in the fact that it was the first time two clubs from the same city had played in both major European Finals in the same year. Ultimately, Rangers wouldn’t match Celtic’s victory and were defeated 1-0 by the Germans in a game played in Nuremburg. Losing this final was a disappointing end to a disappointing season that saw Rangers finish the season trophyless for the first time since 1951-51 season and saw Celtic claim a clean sweep of trophies. This was also the season that bore witness to one of the most embarrassing defeats in our history when a Berwick Rangers side inspired ironically by Jock Wallace knocked Scott Symons charges out of the Scottish Cup. A result that at the time, and is still thought of as nothing other than a catastrophe. However, the defeat at Berwick hastened the introduction of much needed young blood with Sandy Jardine and Alex Willoughby both introduced into the team. Willoughby would score 16 goals in 14 games, a run that astonishingly saw him dropped from the Cup Winners Cup Final and replaced by Roger Hynd, a huge error of judgement from Symon that arguably cost Rangers the Cup Winners Cup Final. Rangers had defeated some very decent teams to get to the final with Glentorn, holders Dortmund, Real Zaragoza and Slavia Sofia all defeated. The tie against Real Zaragoza was decided by a coin toss after thhe clubs draw 2-2 over two legs. The Rangers team that evening was Norrie Martin, Kai Johansen, Davie Provan, Ronnie McKinnon, John Greig, Sandy Jardine, Davie Smith, Willie Henderson, Roger Hynd, Alex Smith and Willie Johnston. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_UEFA_Cup_Winners'_Cup_Final [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgn9tb4wZsE]YouTube - 1967 European Cup Winners Cup Final Rangers vs Bayern Munich[/ame] We would ultimately gain revenge on Munich when we defeated them in the semi-final of the same competition in 1972. The calibre of opponents we faced during this competition was simply outstanding. Not only Munich in the semi-final, but we overcame the likes of Rennes, Sporting Lisbon. However, the Munich side were mightily impressive and would go on to win the European Cup three years in succession. They also contained 6 West German internationals who would help West Germany win the European Championships mere weeks after Rangers defeated Munich. Sandy Jardine and the young Derek Parlane (who replaced Greig in the starting 11) scoring the goals. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e60DMeCc1_w]YouTube - 1972 ECWC Semi-Final Rangers vs Bayern[/ame] The highlight of this campaign was a balanced side, scoring in every away tie we played, the critical goals from Colin Stein, Willie Johnston and Alex McDonald and the conversion of Derek Johnstone into a superb centre-half. The early tie against Sporting was decided on away goals after Rangers lost 4-3 in Portugal after winning 3-2 at Ibrox. However, with the scores tied, the officials commenced a penalty shoot-out that we eventually lost. The officials had forgotten about the away goals rule and declared that the Portuguese side had progressed and only changed their mind when challenged by Rangers officials and Scottish media once they realised their mistake. The final in Barcelona was unforgettable and one of the major achievements in our long and proud history. Our opponents were off outstanding quality, as was shown in the later part of the game as the Russian’s tried to overhaul our 3 goal salvo. This was Rangers 14th European Campaign and was already our 2nd Final (we had also reached the semi-finals for The European Cup) and we became the first club to have reached three Cup Winners Cup Finals. Willie Waddell’s charges had a determination to exorcise the memories of Nuremburg and had a brilliant knack of raising their game in Europe that season which was in stark contrast to our domestic form. The game was hugely anticipated and everyone hoped that it would live up to the friendly between the two clubs when the Russians toured Britain in 1945 in a precursor to European Football. The match at Ibrox was fascinated, with 90,000 fans missing work and school to witness the light-blues take on the welcome visitors from Russia; [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnBb7ZgEEng&feature=related]YouTube - Archive Footage - Rangers V Dynamo Moscow[/ame] A game that would see The Rangers play in blue and white hoops. Rangers, as always were well supported in Barcelona with in the region of 16,000 fans making there way in varying ways to witness Rangers triumph. Rangers dominated the game for around 50 minutes and raced into a three goal lead thanks to Colin Stein and Willie Johnston. Despite a late rally from the Russians Rangers held on and won the game 3-2 finally getting out hands on a European Trophy at the 3rd attempt. The scenes at the final whistle are well documented and the over reaction from Franco’s Fascist Police Force was an utter disgrace and spoiled what should have been the best evening in our illustrious history. Historically, the events that evening have been blown out of all proportion with the Rangers support being accused of rampaging and destroying chapels and assaulting Nuns. None of which is even close to the truth. In fact, the Rangers support are held in great esteem in Barcelona for putting the fascist Police in their place. The subsequent UEFA ban led to Barcelona inviting Rangers to their pre-season celebrations the following season and Barca captain Carles Puyol stated as much when interviewed prior to last seasons Champions League encounter. http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/sportscotland/asportingnation/article/0047/print.shtml [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlgmhGkh4Eo&feature=related]YouTube - 1972 ECWC Final 1st half Rangers[/ame] [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rvPIy0Q8ps&feature=related]YouTube - 1972 ECWC Final 2nd half Rangers vs Dynamo[/ame] I guess the saddest aspect of the events was that John Greig wasn’t allowed to lift the trophy in front of the static Rangers support, but the celebrations on their arrival back in Scotland and at Ibrox certainly made up for any disappointment. Rangers winning team – Peter McCloy, Sandy Jardine, Billy Mathieson, John Greig, Derek Johnstone, Dave Smith, Tommy McLean, Alfie Conn, Colin Stein, Alex McDonald and Willie Johsnton (other members for the official squad – Penman, Parlane, Jackson, McKinnon, Denny and Fyfe) http://www.glesga.ukpals.com/rangers/rangers1972a.htm Cammy F
  6. LEGENDARY Rangers manager Bill Struth and sensational striker Derek Johnstone have been inducted into Scottish Football's Hall of Fame. Struth, who bossed Rangers for an incredible 34 years, and DJ joined an illustrious band of men when they were announced at a dinner in Glasgow tonight. They were inducted along with John Thomson, Billy Liddell, Archie Gemmill, Jim Leighton, Ian St John and Bobby Evans. Football fans from all over the world nominated players whom they thought should be recognised for their contribution to Scottish football. Derek Johnstone at the Nou Camp with Cup Winners CupThen a panel of experts from football and the media considered the nominees and had the difficult task of whittling them down to eight. During Struth's remarkable tenure Rangers won 18 Championships, 10 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups, which makes him the most successful British club manager of all time. He presided over the some of the greatest years in the Club's history, when it established its name in World football. He is, also often accredited with establishing many of the great traditions of the Club and has been a role model for many of managers who followed, most notably Scot Symon and Willie Waddell. Johnstone, of course, famously burst onto the scene in the League Cup Final of 1970 at the age of 16 when his header defeated Celtic and gave Rangers their first trophy in over four years. He was a natural footballer who could play equally adeptly at centre half or in midfield and did so regularly throughout his career. At the age of 18 he played at the back in the Cup Winners' Cup Final of 1972 when he and the rest of the Barcelona Bears became legends. However, it is as a striker that Johnstone made the best impact scoring 210 goals for Rangers, including 132 in the league. Only Ally McCoist has scored more in the post-war era. Those already included in the Hall of Fame are Jim Baxter, Billy Bremner, Sir Matt Busby, Kenny Dalglish, Sir Alex Ferguson, Hughie Gallacher, John Greig, Jimmy Johnstone, Denis Law, Dave Mackay. Danny McGrain, Jimmy McGrory, Billy McNeill, Willie Miller, Bobby Murdoch, Bill Shankly, Gordon Smith, Graeme Souness, Jock Stein, Willie Woodburn, Alan Morton, Alex McLeish, Bobby Lennox, Charles Campbell. George Young, Jim McLean, Joe Jordan, John White, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Waddell, Alex James, Davie Cooper, Tommy Gemmell, Richard Gough, Henrik Larsson, Brian Laudrup, Sandy Jardine. Billy Steel, Willie Ormond, John Robertson, Tommy Walker, Willie Henderson, Walter Smith, Gordon Strachan, Allan Hansen, Ally McCoist, Rose Reilly, Eddie Turnbull, Willie Bauld, Eric Caldow and Jimmy Cowan.
  7. by Lindsay Herron THE WORLD of football paid tribute to Ian McColl today when his funeral took place following his sad passing on October 24 at the age of 81 Team-mates and rivals joined together with family and friends at St Paul's Church in Milngavie to remember the Iron Curtain defender, who played 526 games for Rangers. He was one of the last remaining links to a golden era for Rangers in the aftermath of the Second World War when football boomed. The period was dominated by Rangers and Hibs. From 1946 until 1953 they had a stranglehold on the title; Rangers winning in 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1953 and Hibs triumphant in 1948, 1951 and 1952. Other than in 1949 when Dundee were runners-up, Hibs were second when Rangers won and vice versa. Hibs boasted the Famous Five forward line of Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Ormond and Eddie Turnbull while Rangers featured the Iron Curtain defence of Bobby Brown, George Young, Jock Shaw, Ian McColl, Willie Woodburn and Sammy Cox. It was a fascinating and fearsome match-up, but it does not imply that Rangers were toothless up front at that time - far from it. Willie Waddell, Torry Gillick, Willie Thornton and Jimmy Duncanson were among the top class Rangers forwards of the time. "Rangers against Hibs? Now you're talking," said Bobby Brown. "We had fantastic games against them in that 1940s and 1950s period and Ian played a huge part in these matches. "They had the Famous Five forward line and we had the Iron Curtain defence. Many said they would have loved to have seen the two combined in the Scotland team but it never quite happened that all of us played at once. "Of course, we had brilliant forward players then too, like Waddell, Thornton and Duncanson as well as Jimmy Caskie. "But there was something special about the Iron Curtain defence. We all seemed to click perfectly and we got on well together. It seemed natural to us. "We used to go to Easter Road and play in front of crowds in excess of 50,000 and that could be doubled when they came to Ibrox." In a 10-year period Rangers averaged less than a goal against per game which is indicative of just how strong the defensive line was. In these days the formation as 2-3-5 - two full backs, three half backs and five forwards (two wingers, two inside forwards and a centre forward). McColl was right half and a first rate defender beside the mighty Woodburn and in front of the colossus that was Young. However, he could play the game too and that is not lost on goalkeeper Brown, who, coincidentally, also became Scotland manager in his later years. Brown told me: "I remember Ian was very strong in defence but he was also good on the ball and was adept at turning defence into attack. "My great memory of him was his fastidiousness at improving his passing. In these days training was basic and all we had was the running track around the pitch. "Ian used to play one-twos against the wall and did other things to try to improve his game. He was very dedicated in that regard. "We had many fine moments in the League and in Cups but my abiding memory is a bleak November day when we went to Methil to play East Fife, who were a powerful team at that time and regularly finished in the top five. "The game had a 2pm kick-off to help the local miners in terms of their shifts. They would be down the pits at five that morning so they could see the game in the afternoon - a game that had been sold out for weeks. "Ian was superb that day. I think he cleared two off the line, but he was wonderful in defence and we won the match 2-1. "There is no doubt he was a great servant to Rangers and it was with great sadness that I learned about Ian. "He didn't have the greatest quality of life in his latter years and that saddened me too."
  8. WALTER SMITH last night admitted it's time to build his Rangers team around Kris Boyd's goalscoring gifts - despite the striker's shortcomings. http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/opinion/columnists/gordon-waddell/2008/09/28/walter-we-ll-build-a-team-around-boyd-78057-20757530/ Lets hope it's true
  9. Graham Spiers Even when things get as mad and agenda-driven in the sectarianism debate as they did last week in Scottish football, some aspects remain crystal clear in their need of condemnation. That is, if people have the courage to say so. Celtic, streets ahead of Rangers when it comes to cleaning up their act, nonetheless will find it hard to fully divorce themselves from their benighted city rivals unless that clump of idiots in their away support who croon about the IRA can be silenced. The Celtic Park club, and in particular their chief executive, Peter Lawwell, have spoken out about it before, but perhaps another public push on the matter is essential. The fact is, the IRA chanting is galling for Celtic, given that the club have led the way over the past 15 years in eradicating bigotry from the vast swath of their support. For years now Celtic Park ââ?¬â?? unlike Ibrox ââ?¬â?? has been largely free of sectarian or racist chanting. Over at Ibrox, the latest favoured chant to pollute the air deserves open condemnation from Martin Bain, the Rangers chief executive, if only he can find the guts to do it. The so-called Famine Songsmacks of a brain-dead racism of the type too many Rangers fans simply cannot leave behind: antiIrish and antiCatholic. No wonder Strathclyde Police are now threatening to make arrests at Ibrox for racist behaviour. And it is inconceivable that, in private, Bain does not deplore the song, though he canââ?¬â?¢t bring himself to say so publicly. I have only one measure of sympathy for Bain, who in every other sense is a decent man and a talented football executive, and it is this: he must be weary of the prejudices of the white underclass which continue to infect a large minority of the Ibrox support. Rangers have suffered humiliation upon humiliation in recent years ââ?¬â?? in Villarreal, in Pamplona, in the Uefa prosecution over bigoted chanting, and most recently and shockingly in Manchester. Just what must it be like being this clubââ?¬â?¢s chief executive? That, however, does not excuse Bainââ?¬â?¢s timidity last week over the Famine Song. Of it, without a word of condemnation, he said: ââ?¬Å?Clearly some of our supporters feel aggrieved that a song they believe to be no more than a ââ?¬Ë?wind-upââ?¬â?¢ of Celtic supporters should be singled out like this...ââ?¬Â Iââ?¬â?¢m sorry? Unfairly ââ?¬Å?singled outââ?¬Â and a mere ââ?¬Å?wind-upââ?¬Â? Given the recent tradition of the bigotry problem at Rangers, I fear this latest dirge about ââ?¬Å?Irishââ?¬Â or ââ?¬Å?******sââ?¬Â being sent back to Ireland deserves something slightly more withering than Bainââ?¬â?¢s folksy ââ?¬Å?wind-upââ?¬Â claim. The song is trash, it is racist, and he should find the guts to say it. Back in 1972 ââ?¬â?? yes, it goes this far back ââ?¬â?? when the Rangers fans rioted in Barcelona and got the club flung out of Europe, you didnââ?¬â?¢t find the then Ibrox manager, Willie Waddell, indulging in this sort of obfuscation. On the contrary, facing his own supporters and with the steam coming out his ears, Waddell went straight for the jugular in condemning those who embarrassed his club. ââ?¬Å?It is to these tikes, hooligans, louts and drunkards that I pinpoint my message,ââ?¬Â Waddell said. ââ?¬Å?It is because of your gutter-rat behaviour that we [Rangers FC] are being publicly tarred and feathered.ââ?¬Â Every football club chairman or chief executive, like Bain, needs to keep reasonably ââ?¬Å?on-messageââ?¬Â with his own customers. But racism and sectarianism need to be condemned, not shirked. The madness of last week, involving BBC Scotland headlines and pages of the fall-out in many Scottish newspapers, had its own peculiar evolution. We have now reached the stage where organised bodies of Celtic and Rangers fans, often via those modern lunatic asylums called fans websites, are in a race to land the first propaganda blow. I must admit, when last weekââ?¬â?¢s story first broke about alleged ââ?¬Å?Irish diplomatsââ?¬Â poking their noses in by ââ?¬Å?getting in touchââ?¬Â with the Scottish Government about the chanting of Rangers fans, something wasnââ?¬â?¢t quite right about it. Just who was stirring which large pot here? There was something strained and farfetched about the way the story developed. Personally, it made me suspicious, and it only fed the now-rampant paranoia that goes with wearing a Rangers scarf. Then, predictably, something even more ludicrous happened. A group of Rangers fans, voraciously casting around to find someone ââ?¬â?? anyone ââ?¬â?? to make a similar complaint about Celtic, came up with the dubious figure of Gregory Campbell, a Democratic Unionist MP from Northern Ireland, who duly expressed his inability to venture to any Celtic game due to some supportersââ?¬â?¢ unsavoury singing. You could almost hear the underground clamour: ââ?¬Å?Quick lads, weââ?¬â?¢ve found an equaliser, get this Campbell bloke on to the TV stations!ââ?¬Â And so the whole daft scenario unfolded, tit for tat, jibe and counter-jibe. In terms of addressing sectarianism, last week was not one when our media covered itself in glory. One other fallacy needs to be debunked here. No one is suggesting that football chants should have either a squeaky, Mary Poppins air about them, or that they should be strictly football related. On both counts, of course not. Football largely enjoys the colour and daftness of its fans, and any killjoys in this regard should be kept well away from the debate. But neither bigotry nor racism is funny. If only someone, somewhere, could teach a section of the Rangers fans to love themselves, rather than hate others, a huge step forward would be taken. And another thing... Quiet times are over for Calderwood at Pittodrie Are we not about due another Aberdeen FC crisis? Itââ?¬â?¢s almost four years now since we had a thoroughgoing palaver at Pittodrie ââ?¬â?? far too long a period for those of us who had been accustomed to one every 18 months or so. Aberdeen managerial crises often had their own unique quality, with a venom unmatched even by the Old Firm. Iââ?¬â?¢ve seen the environs of Pittodrie positively spluttering with invective on such occasions. There were the dramas of Roy Aitken, Paul Hegarty, Alex Miller and Stevie Paterson ââ?¬â?? all managers who came a cropper amid a hot-breathed northeast lynch mob. It is quite a spectacle. Now Iââ?¬â?¢m starting to worry if this might not be around the time for ââ?¬Å?Jabberingââ?¬Â Jimmy Calderwood to fall into the trough. Calderwood, notwithstanding the odd close shave, has had quite a serene time of it these past four years, but I smell a set-to on the horizon. In their four home Premier League games now, Aberdeen have won none, drawn one and lost three, and their fans were haranguing Calderwood on Saturday following the 1-0 loss to Dundee United. On top of everything, more than a few of them still begrudge him his alleged Rangers leanings. It may be time to look out the hard hat, Jimmy. Lawwell shows how to survive at top table Peter Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive, left, surprised quite a few last week by turning down the offer of the same position at Arsenal to stay at Celtic. But one thing Lawwell did get right in his decision-making was avoiding the nightmarish real estate problem at their former ground at Highbury, which Arsenal are struggling to resolve, and which would have fallen Lawwellââ?¬â?¢s way. I still say Lawwellââ?¬â?¢s longevity at Celtic is amazing. Thatââ?¬â?¢s five years heââ?¬â?¢s clocked up now, in a job where, previously, the men in white coats arrived with the strait-jacket roughly every three years to take them away. Weââ?¬â?¢re talking here of a born survivor.
  10. Long read this but worth a look over lunch... http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=670&Itemid=1 As is usually the case after a Rangers win against Celtic, itââ?¬â?¢s not the excellent football and resounding victory of last Sundayââ?¬â?¢s match the media are talking about but the desperate claims of offence from the usual quarters. The tedious attempts of one-upmanship from the supporters, the mischief-making lies told by reporters (see Waddell and Spiers) and the usual appearance of Neil Lennonââ?¬â?¢s victim-status when it comes to the subject of sectarianism ââ?¬â?? all have been prevalent again in the last week. Before you start yawning, the one subject that did interest me in the debate surrounding the assault of Neil Lennon, was that of Jack McConnell raising the issue in Holyrood last Tuesday. Apparently he felt not enough was being done to stop the disgraceful events of last week ââ?¬â?? namely the Lennon assault (no matter what we think of this manââ?¬â?¢s questionable character he does have the right to be safe in his own city) and the Novo threats (see the shameful address publication of a player who has done nothing to warrant the hate festooned upon him by the Celtic support). And, for once, McConnell is right. Unfortunately as a man who used the issue of sectarianism as a political football (sic) during his time as First Minister, heââ?¬â?¢s just as guilty for paying lip-service to the problem as every other politician, football administrator and journalist who have gained out of the ever burgeoning anti-sectarianism industry (for thatââ?¬â?¢s what it is) in this country. Itââ?¬â?¢s easy to point the finger of blame. Itââ?¬â?¢s even easy to accept responsibility. But itââ?¬â?¢s much more difficult to remove it ââ?¬â?? especially when football is often wrongly blamed as the sole reason for the controversy. After all, thatââ?¬â?¢s the clear inference from most actions by McConnell previously. Not to mention it served as a decent divisionary tactic for the likes of Scottish Labour when people are talking about controversial football songs instead of the real problems within Scotland ââ?¬â?? crime, health and poverty. Iââ?¬â?¢m sure the SNP will soon need a similar red herring to deflect from the same and with Salmond also having previous for inaccurate and premature comment on the subject (see Boruc caution), one would hope heââ?¬â?¢ll enter the debate from a more neutral and informed position. So what did McConnell do to address the problem? Did he succeed, have the SNP continued the work and is there a solution in sight? In late 2006, a publicly funded ââ?¬Ë?Sectarianism in Football Working Group (SIF)ââ?¬â?¢ consisting of the Scottish Executive, the SFA, sportscotland, ACPOS, the SPL and the SFL - along with contributions from Rangers FC, Celtic FC and Glasgow University ââ?¬â?? reported on the effect Scottish football had on the social problem of sectarianism in Scotland. A wide range of action points were agreed by all parties involved to help address the issuea. Despite their obvious relevance to the subject, no fans were invited to take part other than the main office holders of fan associations which donââ?¬â?¢t always accurately represent the views all supporters. In addition, as a result of the SIF Working Group, in August 2007, at domestic level, the SPL also introduced new ââ?¬Ë?Unacceptable Conductââ?¬â?¢ Rules for their member clubs. SPL Rules H7.5, H7.6 and H7.7b which state that any alleged failure to discharge these Rules, the SPL Board or Commission, shall have the powers to investigate and censure the club involved. Letââ?¬â?¢s have a look and see how successful these initiatives have been. [CONTINUED in Post 2]
  11. RANGERS have been saddened to learn of the death yesterday of Davie Kinnear who was an influential figure both on and off the field in nearly 24 years of service to the club. Kinnear, who was just 18 days short of his 91st birthday, joined Rangers from Raith Rovers in 1934 and spent 10 years as a player. He also spent 14 years with the club as Trainer and Physiotherapist between 1956 and 1970 when he worked with the great team put together by Scot Symon, a former team mate at Rangers. Scot Symon and Davie KinnearThe Fifer played as an outside left and had the arduous task of following in the footsteps of the legendary Alan Morton who had retired in 1933. However, he took part in three championship winning campaigns playing 109 times and scoring 32 goals. His most profitable campaign was 1936/37 when he only missed one of the 38 league matches and scored eight goals as Rangers beat Aberdeen by seven points for the title. Kinnear was also a key protagonist in the game that set the all-time Ibrox record attendance of 118,730 when he scored along with Alec Venters in the 2-1 defeat of Celtic on January 2, 1939. That attendance remains a record for a league match in the UK and will surely never be beaten. Kinnear's competitive playing career was cut short by World War Two and he was one of many Rangers players - including Willie Thornton, Eddie Rutherford and Willie Paton - who saw active service. He played for Third Lanark and then Dunfermline and then left football to work as a physiotherapist in hospitals. Kinnear was brought back to Ibrox in 1956 by Scot Symon to become the trainer and physio after Symon replaced the peerless Bill Struth as manager and he was a popular man. It was during his time in hospital that he worked with Harold Davis, who had been severely injured in the Korean War, and then recommended him to Symon who signed him. Symon was not a tracksuit manager so Kinnear would take all of the training sessions and then work on the injured players in the afternoons along with close friend Joe Craven who did the same for the reserve team. Rangers were hugely successful in the early 1960s, of course, and many of the team remember Davie fondly. He went on to work for Davie White when he replaced Symon in 1967 and left in 1970 when Willie Waddell took over and brought in his own backroom team.
  12. My dad has just phoned and asked me who was the Rangers right winger AFTER Willie Waddell? Since I'm an ageing young whipper snapper I have no idea. I thought maybe some of the older bears might know.
  13. http://www.rangerssupporterstrust.co.uk/rstsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=156&Itemid=1 Once again the Trust has another interesting competition for our members. We have two copies of two different books up for grabs. First up is: * SILVER SMITH: THE BIOGRAPHY OF WALTER SMITH BY NEIL DRYSDALE Walter Smith is one of the most successful and respected managers in the history of Scottish football. At Rangers he helped them to nine successive league titles, a domestic treble in the 1992-93 season and both the Scottish Cup and League Cup three times. At international level he restored pride and faith in a faltering national team, being named Scot of the year in the 2006 Glenfiddich ââ?¬Ë?Spirit of Scotlandââ?¬â?¢ awards. But half-way through the qualifying rounds for Euro 2008, he controversially resigned to return to Rangers. From the Ibrox Disaster, to his days as a professional player and on to a dramatic future, this is the story of a man driven by a passion for perfection and success. Hardback Ã?£16.99 ISBN 978 1 84158 629 8 Next we have: * RANGERS: 100 HEROES OF THE MODERN GAME BY DEAN HAYES From Willie Waddell to Barry Ferguson, Rangers: 100 Heroes of the Modern Game is a fascinating compendium of facts and figures and a superb tribute to the men who have brought skills, thrills and glory to Rangers Football Club in the modern era. All the great players since 1946 are here, including Ally McCoist, Jim Baxter, Graeme Souness, Paul Gascoigne, Andy Goram, Brian Laudrup and many, many more. Each player is profiled with detailed statistics given on every aspect of their careers. Meticulous research, perceptive analysis and vivid storytelling make this a must-have for any Rangers fan. Hardback, Ã?£12.99 ISBN 978 1 84183 125 1 Both books available from http://www.birlinn.co.uk, free p&p in the UK - for overseas please add 30%. To enter, simply tell us who Walter Smithââ?¬â?¢s assistant manager was during his first spell at the club. Simply contact us with your answer, your membership number and postal address. All entries must be received by Wednesday 5th December. Good luck! :cheers:
  14. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=519&Itemid=1 Co-written with D'Artagnan One cannot go one week in Scotland without some faux moral objector highlighting problems within the Rangers support with regard to their traditions and background. Letââ?¬â?¢s be straight ââ?¬â?? Rangers are a club with a Protestant identity. Whilst such associations may well be decreasing and whilst their overall affect on the club is indeed debatable, this is something we neither need to be ashamed of or deny in the fact of constant attack on our club. Those pioneering young rowers who came down from the Gare Loch did not start a football club with a religious focus ââ?¬â?? letââ?¬â?¢s be in no doubt about that. But from the 1890ââ?¬â?¢s onwards, events in Glasgow caused the Protestant population to search for a football club which reflected their religion, their culture and perhaps even their political persuasion. Even so the choosing of Rangers as the vehicle of that expression had more to do with geography and existing transport links than anything else from our humble origins. Of course it was not just the supporters who shaped that identity - men like John Ure Primrose who, as well as being Rangers chairman, was Lord Provost of Glasgow (and who incidentally shared a platform with Lord Edward Carson who organised the opposition to the Home Rule Bill in Ireland) certainly helped mould Rangersââ?¬â?¢ Protestant identity. Through the years other admirable men such as Bill Struth and Willie Waddell carried on those traditions and Protestantism (and Unionism) have always played a part in the way our club has been run. Some may say that wasnââ?¬â?¢t always a good thing and they may well have been right. Alleged unofficial signing policies and less tolerant attitudes of the last century may not have been restricted to our club but to deny there may well have been such negative aspects of our past would be churlish and certainly unrepresentative of true debate. Of course, itââ?¬â?¢s certainly easy to criticise our past but itââ?¬â?¢s much more positive and constructive to look to the future. Rangers are an inclusive club these days ââ?¬â?? from the support, to the team, to all aspects of the club. However a significant number of people still see Rangers as the expression of that Protestant identity in Scotland. That does not mean that Protestant Rangers fans are part of a ââ?¬Ë?higher orderââ?¬â?¢ of fan or see others as lesser than themselves. Nor is it necessary to be a practising Protestant to celebrate Rangers Protestant identity; in fact itââ?¬â?¢s not necessary to have any prior Protestant connections whatsoever. All creeds and colours are welcome - as it should be! Nonetheless we need not shy away from our Protestant identity or its expressions. It can be argued that it was our Protestant identity which, along with other factors, shaped our club into one of the most successful in the world. It could also be said that our conduct as a club, often at times reflecting that identity, has helped us maintain our dignity in the face of ridicule and criticism. Perhaps even to our detriment considering our reluctance to get involved in the debate. Itââ?¬â?¢s with this in mind that Iââ?¬â?¢m delighted to read about the Rangers Supportersââ?¬â?¢ Trust finally managing to organise their inaugural ââ?¬Ë?GersPrideââ?¬â?¢ conference at Ibrox Stadium this Saturday (more info below - 1). Itââ?¬â?¢s not before time that our fans (helped by a varied choice of neutrals) have the platform to debate our history and background while finding some common ground for the future. Itââ?¬â?¢s vital that as many fans take part as possible because, if we donââ?¬â?¢t, we can't then argue about being marginalised or not having the chance to debate serious issues and change certain attitudes for the better. What can be said there is that there is no doubt in recent years our club and support have modernised and improved their outlook. Removing unacceptable add-ons and discriminatory terms from our songs so quickly is something to be proud of and gives us the kind of sound foundation to move forward into our next 135 years (and more!). However, while this is agreeable, there is no reason why we have to abandon other parts of our heritage just because others may not completely agree with it. For example, Celtic are a proud Catholic club with their history based on religion right from the start. They rightly celebrate such associations and no-one challenges them - why should they? Similarly, our national team and ââ?¬Ë?Tartan Armyââ?¬â?¢ often base their attitudes and spirit on battles of old and should never be told otherwise. The same should go for us. Songs like ââ?¬Ë?The Sashââ?¬â?¢. ââ?¬Ë?Derryââ?¬â?¢s Wallsââ?¬â?¢, 'Rule Britannia' and 'God Save the Queen' may not mean the same to everyone. Their words and other slogans our support utilise may take different meanings for different people but we should never need to question their suitability when they are a huge part of our history. That shouldnââ?¬â?¢t offend anyone and if it does, well theyââ?¬â?¢re only showing the kind of intolerance and bigotry that we get pilloried for. 1 - http://www.rangerssupporterstrust.co.uk/rstsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=150&Itemid=1
  15. From the Rangers website...
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