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Found 8 results

  1. American football remains a minority sport in the UK, and especially in Scotland, where the urban English fascination with US culture, especially those of minorities, is less firmly felt. Even so, some of you may have read about the 'inflategate' scandal which erupted after last week's semi-finals, in which Boston's New England Patriots were, apparently, found to have deliberately under inflated the footballs used, presumably giving them an advantage. Quite how it did so I can't explain: perhaps their players are more used to handling squishy balls than the firm-tested team they beat. But the comeback against the most successful side in recent years in the NFL has been swift and bitter. Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft (presumably of the atomic-orange 'Cheesey Pasta' and suspiciously mushy, not-very-cheesy Dairylea Triangles family) has angrily stepped up to the plate, to mix our American sports, and lashed out at the coverage his side has received. Get this: “I’m disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon,” Kraft said, pointing directly to reports citing anonymous sources. “We expect hard facts rather than circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.” Sounds mighty familiar. I doubt many folk in the Greater Boston area would be thrilled at a comparison with Rangers, the bastion not only of quintessential Britishness but the Protestant Ascendancy, Conservative Values, Stout Monarchism etc etc. Just the same, it does sound familiar to the bluenose ear (now there's an image), does it not? “I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment,” Kraft added. “This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jumped to conclusions and made scarring accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff questioning the integrity of all involved.” At least throughout all Rangers' travails no-one accused them of under inflating their footballs. Balls of a different sort will be needed on Sunday, when probably the least anticipated Rangers - Celtic game of all time rolls around. The air has certainly gone from this fixture, and it would be appropriate if Rangers turned up on a series of old Raleigh bikes with flat tyres. Clown horns would not be amiss either, given the standard of play we've seen. I daresay Celtic fans can't wait for it. If I was in their shoes I'd be hoping for double figures. All very defeatist and in line with the mood of gloom which not only surrounds but suffocates anything and everything to do with the Ibrox side, but I don't apologise for that. On the pitch, in the boardroom, on the stands, can anyone see any light? As a long established handwringer, I'm split 3 ways between worrying about a total doing, the off field ramblings of various boards, and the potential for embarrassment from the stands. My wishy-washy attitude to this last has never been about being personally offended: as someone of no religion I shed few tears for sensitive clerical types of whatever stripe. It's always been about what hurts Rangers; but there's no sign of anyone else giving much of a toss. An afternoon long Sash Bash awaits, say some. Oh, the joy. I just felt it would show more balls, inflated to maximum, to call for decorum before the game, rather than wading in afterward. Who knows? Maybe it will all pass off in a manner which doesn't damage the club's image, what's left of it. Can't see it, though. And it's all such a waste of energy, anyway, shouting meaningless insults which don't insult the other side and bring harm to your own. I suppose everyone - and certainly, every club's fans - is guilty, from time to time, of saying things they don't mean. Only last night on the radio, Soviet Jim Spence, the Tayside Trotsky, suggested that the 80% of football fans who don't follow Rangers are bored with the saga. He might be more convincing if he didn't spend quite so much time talking about it, mostly in the manner chastised by Robert Kraft above. I doubt the US capitalist rotter, who seems more than a little aggrieved at being questioned at all - a sense of entitlement is rarely attractive - had the Couthy Commissar in his mind when he complained about 'circumstantial leaked evidence' but if the caps fits...and if 80% of fans don't care about Rangers, they've a funny way of showing it! Certainly, football worldwide is often the refuge of the unreconstructed, simple minded soul, and a sense of social awareness has never been a qualification for media work at all, let alone in sport. Last week's superb game in the FA Cup between Arsenal and Brighton, for example, was marred only by Robbie Savage's shrieked commentary, in which he not only encouraged Brighton players to put opponents into Row Z, play long balls into the channel and hoof it clear from defence, but persistently referred to co-host Ian Darke as 'darkey'. Even allowing for 'PC gone mad' considerations, this was brutal, throwback behaviour, as if the last 30 years on and off the field had never happened. I was ready for him to suggest Albion start the second half in flares before going on strike. But the game doesn't have to be so stupid: who in their right mind wants to use Robbie Savage as an exemplar? Maybe we can set an example for whatever future awaits our club by ignoring the existence of opposing fans and trying to lift the team. Well, there you have it, the depressing thoughts of a depressed handwringer on a depressingly wintry morning. We wait to see what happens on the pitch. I am sure the ground staff at Hampden will have the balls at the right pressure. I wonder what pressure mine will be come kick off.
  2. I thought id share this with you........ Hi Don Earlier this year Robert Marshall interviewed Rangers Legend Sandy Jardine for WATP Magazine. With all of the off-field issues that go on at the club we thought it would be worth sending this out so that everyone has the chance to read the words of a True Ranger and someone who cared deeply about our club. Sadly, Sandy had a relapse of his health issues and passed on the 24th April of this year. He is greatly missed. Sandy in Royal Blue The Sandy Jardine Interview - Part 1 Sandy Jardine is one of the true legends of our proud club’s illustrious 141-year history. He is without doubt Rangers’ best right back in living memory and can be held up as one of the greatest players to have turned out in a blue jersey. Born in Edinburgh with the Christian name of William, not far away from Hearts’ Tynecastle Stadium, I first remember laying eyes on Willie Jardine (as he was then known) when we played Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup match at Ibrox. He scored four goals that day, something that as a 12-year-old I would never forget! It’s fair to say I was impressed. I think to put it in context, if I had to pick a greatest ever ‘World XI’ then Sandy would be my first choice, not Cafu, not Lamb, not even the great George Cohen – he was that good. Some people might disagree but I watched him all through his career at full back and I never witnessed him having a bad game. I have been lucky enough to have known Sandy for a few years now and I was delighted when he accepted our invitation to do an interview with WATP Magazine. There is always something special about speaking with one of your heroes, that little thrill separates them from us mere mortals. Sandy is recovering from a life-threatening illness and it was really nice to be able to speak with him. Sandy, first of all how is your health? “I’m coming along fine Robert, I’m looking to be back working full time next year.” I’ve always known you as a bit of a workaholic so how are you coping at home? “It’s been a bit frustrating but I’ve been working away in the garden, taking things day by day and going walks to build my strength up. Thankfully I have been able to get back to a few games now.” How did you feel when the fans were applauding you in the second minute? “It was both humbling and emotional. I’m really grateful for all the messages of support I have had from the fans. They have been excellent.” Let’s start from the beginning, how and when did you join Rangers? “I went straight from schools football to Ibrox in 1965. I used to get on the train at Haymarket in Edinburgh through to Queen Street in Glasgow and jump on the subway over to Copland Road (as Ibrox underground was known back then). I even travelled with some of the greatest legends of that era: John Greig, Jimmy Millar, Ralph Brand, and later on we were joined by the Fife lads – including Billy Mathieson, Colin Stein, Willie Johnston. It was different then.” They would have been real legends to a young lad like yourself, how did you feel travelling with them? “Oh, they were great! They were always giving me advice and always had a good story to tell.” How did it feel going up the marble staircase for the first time? “You always remember your first time going up the marble staircase. It really epitomises everything about our club – class and dignity.” Moving to on-field matters, I remember you scoring four goals against Queen’s Park in a Glasgow Cup tie as a youngster coming through, what do you remember of that? “I was playing centre forward that night, and everything just clicked for me. It seemed that every time I touched the ball it went into the net.” I remember you as ‘Willie Jardine’ then, when did you become known as Sandy? “The players started calling me it around the time I made the first team, obviously because of the colour of my hair. I’m not really sure when it became my name publicly.” You seemed to play a few different positions before you settled down at full back, how did that come about? “Well, I made my debut in February 1967 against Hearts and played at right wing half. We won 5-1 and I kept my place for the rest of the season. When Willie Waddell came, he converted me to a right full back. I felt I was suited to playing there, and was there for most of my career.” Sandy is being humble when he said the position suited him. He was the first overlapping full back I ever witnessed in Scotland and he was outstanding there. He had everything you could want – stamina, speed, superb at a standing tackle, a fantastic reader of the game who brought others into play, and he was fond of popping up with a goal. I’m not exaggerating when I say he was world class. You were well known for your fitness. How influential was Jock Wallace in that? “Big Jock was brilliant for the players. He introduced the notorious Gullane Sands, which set us up for the season. People might joke about it but there were about nine members of that team that played well into their mid-thirties, which was uncommon in those days. We attributed that to his physical conditioning methods. Jock Wallace used to be an Army PT instructor and was quite revolutionary in what he introduced in training. He even brought in a professional sprint coach, which I felt I benefitted greatly from. We always seemed to score goals in the last ten minutes of games when other sides were tiring. We put that down to our superior fitness and that was due to Jock. The players all loved him, he was honest and upfront with you.” You played over 1100 first class games in your career. Which one was your favourite? “I wouldn’t say I had favourite games. I loved playing in every one. As far as importance goes, then obviously the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final victory in Barcelona in ’72 was the pinnacle of my career. Being a member of the only Rangers side to win a European trophy is something special. I played in the 1967 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final defeat to Bayern Munich, and I never really appreciated how big an achievement it was to get that far. It made me appreciate the victory against Moscow Dynamo even more.” Barcelona is one of my finest memories as a Rangers Supporter, what do you remember of the game? “It was a really good performance from the whole team. We were 2-0 up at half time through Steiny and Bud. We came out for the second half and when Bud added a third we had the game completely in control. The Russians, who were a very good team, scored a goal near the end and added a second with about five minutes to go. It must have been the longest five minutes of my career! The only disappointment was not being able to show the fans the trophy on the night.” That was a magnificent achievement, the single greatest triumph in our history – I thought everyone was fantastic on the night, but Dave Smith in my opinion had the best game of his career. Would you pick out anyone for special praise? “Davie had a brilliant game, but the whole team was brilliant. Throughout my career I wouldn’t like to pick out individuals. We won as a team and we lost as a team. We had a great spirit about us.” Although the team was fantastic on the night, I actually thought the best single team performance in the European Cup Winners’ Cup run was the semi-final at Ibrox against Bayern Munich. What are your memories of that game? “Well we were all-square from the first leg in Germany. Over there, we took an absolute battering that night! But we limited them to one goal. They were a great team, and went on to win three European Cups in a row with half the team being West German internationals. We got our equaliser through an own goal, but strangely in the last ten minutes of the game we were chasing the winner as Jock Wallace’s training methods allowed to keep going for the full ninety minutes. The second leg at Ibrox was completely different. We were always confident of beating anyone at home. That night there was 80,000 people crammed in to Ibrox and the atmosphere was amazing – probably the best I’ve ever played in. We started very brightly, and in the second minute I gathered the ball on the right-hand side, got myself forward and managed to hit the ball with my left foot and it sailed over Sepp Maier and into the top left-hand corner. You couldn’t hear yourself think. We added a second through Derek Parlane, who had replaced John Greig after he failed a fitness test. I had never seen any German team lose self-control the way they did that night, they were even arguing on the pitch. We had really gotten to them.” You must have been so proud to have played in that team? “I was and am. It was an amazing time, playing with great players and great people.” From a personal point of view, the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup campaign defined the Rangers team of that era for me. We took on the national cup winners of France, Italy, Portugal, West Germany and Russia - some of the biggest footballing nations in Europe. We played with a style that was suited to the European arena and Willie Waddell must take great credit for that. Players like Sandy, John Greig, Derek Johnstone, Tommy McLean, Peter McCloy, Colin Jackson, and Alex MacDonald went on to be the mainstay of the team for most of the next decade. We also had the very underrated Willie Mathieson and Alfie Conn, the sublime Dave Smith, and of course Willie Johnston and Colin Stein. Some of these players must be included amongst the greatest ever to wear a Rangers shirt. And we will leave it here for part one. We have covered Sandy’s arrival at Rangers up to Barcelona 1972. In the second part we will concentrate on his domestic successes, on leaving Rangers and all his subsequent work at the club. We will also cover the march to Hampden and his hopes for the future. I’ll reiterate, it was an absolute pleasure to interview Sandy Jardine. He’s the quintessential Rangers man and everything you would expect from someone who has represented our great club both on and off the pitch for so many years. I was impressed with him as a player since I was 12 years old, and today, I impressed with him as a man.
  3. ...but it won't be long before Kris Boyd hits the target. by Jonathan​McFarlane​ BOYD might still be looking for his first league goal of the season but JONNY says there is a very good reason why the Rangers fans are not writing him off. THE biggest shock of the season so far has been seeing Kris Boyd, the top goalscorer in SPL history, struggle to get off the mark in the Championship. Eight games and zero goals is a dreadful statistic that few would have considered possible at the start of the campaign. To most of us it looked like a top signing. Here was a club legend, a striker of undoubted repute, leading the Kilmarnock line like a man reborn and scoring goal after goal at the top level for a struggling team. Surely, with his confidence back and a new appreciation for hard graft forged in his years abroad, this was the quintessential no brainer signing. So far it’s not worked out that way and Boyd cuts a frustrated figure at Rangers with his eagerness to please the support seeming to have affected his killer instinct. He looks like a player who wants the goals to come so much that his goal radar has been knocked slightly out of sync. Against Livingston on Saturday, he had the sort of game where he couldn’t hit a barn door. It didn’t matter if it was a header, volley or open goal, he just couldn’t find the calm precision with which he made his name. This assassin is currently firing blanks. To be fair, at times he’s not been helped by the style of play of the team and this has seen him feeding off scraps in the bigger games. He is much more likely to get back to his best when he has creative players like Aird, Templeton and McLeod buzzing about him creating chances. Ally McCoist must do his bit by giving Boyd the platform to succeed. Perhaps this is why few are writing off the striker just yet. He has shown that he is a better all-round player than in his last spell and is more involved in the team’s patterns of play. While he has been enduring a frustrating spell he is still getting himself in great positions and history has taught us this will inevitably lead to Boyd goals. Thankfully, confidence, the main stumbling block for strikers in this kind of fallow period, is never going to be an issue for such an experienced and self-assured guy. You always get the impression that no-one believes in Kris Boyd’s ability to hit the net more than Kris Boyd. That is exactly the reason he will soon be back with a flurry of goals, I’m predicting 20 before the season is out. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/opinion/sport/record-fc-rangers-assassin-might-4393960?
  4. I didn’t think it was possible for the Rangers support to be more fractured and lacking consensus than we were in the first half of this year but rather depressingly we’ve managed it. In the maelstrom of a referendum on Scottish Independence the boardroom turmoil that has dominated the forums, social media and old fashioned conversations took a back seat to Loyalism, Unionism and the bogey man topic of Nationalism. Such is the ineptitude of our board, they missed the opportunity to bury some negative news in amongst the fog of the ideological war that raged throughout the month of September but I digress. Being a pro-Independence Rangers supporter these last few months has been a real challenge. I’ve been confronted by many fellow fans on social media and called everything from a “timpathiser”, (whatever that is) to a Nazi and Quisling. One particularly poorly adjusted and misinformed fellow told me I was a “traitor to Rangers Loyalist Unionist roots…” The idea that a Rangers supporter could support Independence just would not compute for many and my follower count on Twitter tumbled dramatically, I won’t lose any sleep over that however I must admit to now facing somewhat of a crossroads. Do I plod on attending matches listening to chants about where people like me can “stick your Independence” and the Loyalist songbook which was given an airing in George Square on Friday night amidst scenes of thuggery and hatred? Do I carry on turning a blind eye to the continual linking of Rangers Football Club to Loyalism and The Orange Order just as I have done for many years? The thought of turning my back on the club I’ve supported since I was five years old and which has provided myself and my (now deceased) Father so many happy memories makes me physically ill. The thought of a future devoid of one of the precious few constants in my life so far is unthinkable and so that is not a road I’m willing to go down just yet. So what are my options? I could become the archetypal armchair fan and refrain from discussing football matters on social media but we are in an age where it’s almost impossible to avoid. I could fool myself into thinking that it’s not so bad and the majority of my fellow fans are reasonable, open minded individuals but I’m not capable of cognitive dissonance on that scale. It seems that the core of our support are labouring under the misconceptions that being a “real” Rangers man means that you must also be many other things. I’ll use this juncture to clarify what I mean by “core of our support”. There are probably thousands of Rangers supporters (I don’t like term “fan”) who are feeling similarly disillusioned at the moment and those are probably a large percentage of the several thousand fans who’ve been missing for the last few home games joined by those who are boycotting, suffering from boardroom related malaise or simply disillusioned with how we are playing. What’s left are a core (match attending group) and of those I’d estimate that 75% fall into the category as described previously in this article. There’s also a large group of fans who, for one reason or another don’t regularly attend matches and again I’d estimate that a large percentage of those are politically and ideologically aligned with their brethren sitting in the stands. I’m conscious that I’m in danger of pigeon holing large swathes of people here and would only offer the fact that this is how I see things in basic terms. I’m sure there are reasonable folks in amongst the core who do not fall into any of my hastily preconceived notions and that I do not think the situation has reached the point of no return just yet and this leads me to the only other option I feel I have left. I’d urge everyone who considers themselves to be a Rangers supporter to distance the club from toxic and divisive affiliations. To seriously consider for a moment that we are in real danger of losing thousands of people like me who feel marginalised by their fellow bears and more importantly that we are in danger of losing the next generation of season ticket holder who have shown throughout the referendum run up and beyond, that they are increasingly well informed and turned off by Northern Irish politics, by far right-wing rhetoric and the kind of vulgar displays of aggression that we’ve seen both online and in the streets of Glasgow from both Unionists and Nationalist factions. Next time you’re attending an Orange parade maybe leave the Rangers merchandise at home, remove the Loyalist symbolism from Rangers flags and banners, try not to marginalise your fellow supporters who don’t care about that kind of stuff really, that’s all. Is that too much to ask? For some, what I’ve asked is probably tantamount to singing rebel songs in a tri-colour but to me it’s just common decency, something that has been eroding away for many years and something that the gallant pioneers probably had in abundance. Try to be a bit more like a Moses McNeil or a Tom Vallance and live the values which built the very thing that we all hold so dear. If we want a positive future for our club we all have to sow the seeds of that starting from now after all, we share much more in common than we do which divides us. I’ll remain a supporter and will try to live by my own code, respecting others right to support the club any way they choose but speaking out against intolerance, negative affiliations and polarizing attitudes. Let’s see if we can build a stronger and more together support from the rubble. The alternative I’m afraid would be a very dark period in Rangers history. It’s only a matter of time before we will be back attempting to compete with Celtic. It may be only a matter of time before we see major boardroom change. Do we really want to be facing these challenges with a support that can’t agree on what colour the sky is? The answer is obvious to me.
  5. Friday night football is here so come down to The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium for the Quintessential Televised Football Viewing Experience and watch the match amongst your own. We will have a cracking night to hopefully set up the weekend in style with a win from Rangers. We will be showing the match live on our six 60” TVs in full high definition – the way televised football should be shown. We invite any Rangers Supporter who can make it to the vicinity of the home of fantasy football to join us in celebrating the continuing unbroken history of the most successful team in the history of the game. Renowned for our quick service, our staff will ensure you never have to wait long to get a drink. We provide an atmosphere second to none and for clarification – we don’t and never have had a cover charge. Come in for The Premier Rangers Supporters’ Matchday Experience in The Quintessential Rangers Supporters Pub. And of course we will still be providing our much sought after free rolls. Situated across from Ibrox Subway Station, there is easy access to and from all city destinations. If you are not able to attend our premises we hope that you will use your local Rangers Supporters pub or club. All Rangers minded venues need your help – use them or lose them! Watch The Game… Support Your Own We Are The People God Bless The Rangers The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium - More than a Pub One Rangers… No Factions – http://www.thelouden.co.uk, @TheLoudenTavern *We are responsible for The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium, 111 Copland Road, Ibrox, G51 2SL solely and are not involved in the operation of any other premises
  6. Sometimes you feel like a wee greet. http://willievass.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/100814-Rangers-v-Hearts/G0000hlKyrxgNifI/I0000Ko1_cYXoR6o/C0000DwY1ciUOXqU Will somebody put the pic. on here please.
  7. We will be open from 4pm for tomorrows match against Forfar. Renowned for our quick service and great pints, our staff will ensure you never have to wait long to get a drink. We also provide free rolls, free pies, an atmosphere second to none, and for clarification – we don’t and never have had a cover charge or tickets for a Rangers Match. All Rangers supporters are welcome. Situated across from Ibrox Subway Station, there is easy access to and from all city destinations. Although not completely finished, the outside drinking and smoking area will be available to enjoy our wonderful climate. We also have a bottle bar there that will get those in the beer garden served in no time. In addition to the premier pre-match atmosphere we will be showing live football games on our six 60” full HD televisions in the bar area and five big screen televisions in the lounge area for an ideal sports event viewing experience. Strictly 18s and Over Come in for The Premier Rangers Supporters’ Matchday Experience in The Quintessential Rangers Supporters Pub. One Rangers… No Factions – http://www.thelouden.co.uk @TheLoudenTavern We Are The People God Bless The Rangers The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium - More than a Pub Official Partner of The Rangers Football Club *We are responsible for The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium, 111 Copland Road, Ibrox, G51 2SL solely and are not involved in the operation of any other premises
  8. We will be open from 11am for tomorrow’s massive Scottish Cup Semi Final against Dundee United. This is the biggest game of the season and I think we will see one of the best atmospheres that Ibrox has seen in a couple of years. I expect us to be busy from opening so get down early to avoid disappointment. Renowned for our quick service and great pints, our staff will ensure you never have to wait long to get a drink. We also provide free rolls, free pies, an atmosphere second to none, and for clarification – we don’t and never have had a cover charge or tickets for a Rangers Match. All Rangers supporters are welcome. Situated across from Ibrox Subway Station, there is easy access to and from all city destinations. Although not completely finished, the outside drinking and smoking area will be available to enjoy our wonderful climate. We also have a bottle bar there that will get those in the beer garden served in no time. In addition to the premier pre-match atmosphere we will be showing live football games on our six 60” full HD televisions in the bar area and five big screen televisions in the lounge area for an ideal sports event viewing experience. Come in for The Premier Rangers Supporters’ Matchday Experience in The Quintessential Rangers Supporters Pub. Strictly 18s and Over One Rangers… No Factions – http://www.thelouden.co.uk @TheLoudenTavern We Are The People God Bless The Rangers The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium - More than a Pub Official Partner of The Rangers Football Club *We are responsible for The Louden Tavern: Ibrox Stadium, 111 Copland Road, Ibrox, G51 2SL solely and are not involved in the operation of any other premises p.s. We will be closed on Sunday this week - its all about The Rangers.
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