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I once met John Wark and nearly burst into tears. I was 38.

Anonymous Ipswich fan.


The news that greeted us on Saturday morning, that the body of the wee boy missing in Edinburgh has been found, is another sad reminder that childhood is fleeting, precious, and not always golden. At least for those of us on Gersnet, the vast majority of whom are (well) past childhood, our own youth has come and gone without such horror being visited upon us.


We, the lucky ones, get to carry our memories into middle and older age, like everyone some good and some bad, though hopefully precious few as awful as what has happened to poor Mikael. He whose life has been one uninterrupted series of happy events is rare indeed, but I'd guess that at least we share in common memories of a time in our lives when our beloved football team losing made us cry, when the stadium loomed up above us like a colossus, and when the thought of actually meeting one of the Titans who wore a Blue Shirt would have reduced us to jelly. These childhood affections many of us, to judge by the amount of time we waste on online forums, carry with us well into maturity.


And elsewhere, too. I still regale strangers with the time our present manager touched my shoulder and said 'excuse me, mate' in a Blockbuster sometime in the 90's; I also once, when he did some shopping in the store I was managing at the time, went before him crying 'make way! make way!' (I kid you not), quite brutally hustling innocent shoppers out the road lest they impede his Majestic progress. At least he had the decency to be embarrassed at my behaviour, which only stopped short of bestrewing his path with rose petals because we had sold out of roses by that point. On both these occasions I was well past childhood, but the football remained a link between me and mini-me, between the rather disappointing man I turned out to be and the child who dreamt of playing for The Rangers, and maybe one day coming into the presence of my heroes.


I wonder how many kids still have that dream? Maybe loads do. They'd have to be very unworldly, though, as another week of internal combustion to make James Watt green with envy puffs its way to an end, without even a Saturday game to 'take the taste away', as my Mum used to say when giving me a sweet treat after some ghastly medicine. Who is developing a romatic attachment to a club which seems be determined to set a record for employing the most amount of executives for the least amount of return in sporting history? Just as Monty Python once sent out two teams of philosophers, Greeks v Germans, we're well on the way to being able to fill the bench with accountants...a shame none of them appear worth taking a chance on, even for the last two minutes. It's just not the same.


Being able to hide inside the mind of 10 year old me at the football has been a lovely pleasure these last 30 years, but I might as well face up to the fact that that pleasure has gone now. It's not as if I could only handle success - growing up in the 80's I despaired of ever seeing us beat Dundee, let alone celtc or the dominant Aberdeen or Dundee Utd of the time. What a shock it was to me when Ally McCoist got selected for Scotland squads from about 1985 on - such a thing didn't happen in my youth. No, it's not that I can only support Rangers with childish fervour if we are winning: it's just that the thing I fell in love with aged about 8 or 9 doesn't seem to be there any more.


Probably this is more due to a long overdue opening of my own eyes rather than anything else: Rangers under David Murray was hardly an shining example of philanthropic goodness along the lines of Dickens' Mr Brownlow. But now, with the club run and owned by Mr Downlows, it just seems...soiled, somehow, and all the more painfully because it's killing off the last little bit of my childhood I could hold on to.


Obviously I only speak for myself, but this, to me, will be the legacy of people like David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green Jack Irvine or the Easdale brothers. You may imagine how I view such people. In the grand scheme of things, forcing a delusional 40 something to open his eyes is not such a big deal to anyone other than the person himself, I suppose: certainly, compared to other things which could have happened, it is of no importance at all.


But it feels like it is, to me. And that's why it hurts so much. For what it's worth, we play Forfar on Monday night, and will no doubt turn in another performance of depressing mediocrity. My 12 year old rarely lasts more than 10 minutes watching us on TV and I can't say as I blame him. Sheer habit will drive me to sit in front of the telly come half seven Monday night, but I can't seem to be able to tap into the decades long, childlike joy that the Blue Shirt used to give me.


Perhaps, on this weekend when one childhood has been so cruelly cut short, that is appropriate enough.

Edited by andy steel
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Quote from a recent Czech article..


Which club in the world has the most loyal fans? The answer is simple. They are the Scottish Rangers.


Glasgow Rangers. This brand of football is not dead, it's once again being feared. It will not take long and the club will in turn compete in the best competitions and presumably also in European Cups.


Just look at the table (below) showing the attendance for home games. For the league, an average of 42,985 people attend. Stunning, incredible, unprecedented.


Chin up brother - I will buy you a bridie on Monday night.

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I can relate to your 12 year old. After 10 minutes I end up concentrating more on my laptop than the TV. Watching us is extremely challenging and I derive no pleasure out of it.


In most cases going to the games, especially in the frozen north, is even worse; I can assure you.


Debenhams certainly are benefiting from increased sales of thier thermal underwear range.

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