17 August 2012

To be a Ranger

by Peter Ewart | Contributor

Tomorrow, 18 August 2012, stands to be a remarkable day in the history of our Club. We’ll be taking on East Stirlingshire in front of near sell-out crowd, and we'll be breaking records before we have even kicked a ball: the largest crowd to ever watch a fourth tier match.

The anticipation for this one is incredible. As we've seen over the past weeks, it means everything to be a Ranger. It feels slightly lazy to use Struth here, but I can’t better his words:

"To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him."

So if you're making your way to Ibrox tomorrow, or watching the game on TV somewhere around the world, take a moment to soak it up and remember what Rangers is all about. We have a massive tradition to uphold.

Remember the first time you were at Ibrox (Dundeee Utd '94), the first Rangers Goal you saw (Laudrup), European nights (Parma and Sturm Graz!), your favourite goal (Aluko), your favourite goal celebration (Amato), your first final (Hampden - Lovenkrands '03).

Hell, I’ve watched a full 90 mins on teletext! (Alania Vladikavkaz away)

Remember Bombscare Bert scoring at Hampden. Remember O’Neil on his ass and Laudrup tucking it away, the fox on the pitch and Goram’s save. Charbonnier’s heroics, Marseille 1993.

Remember the joy of 4-0 and 5-1, Rod Wallace v Parma, Gattuso’s debut 50:50 with Kirk Hunter, Prso, 3-0 down to Shelbourne, Albertz v Bayern.

Remember Kanckelskis standing on the ball, Negri’s 33 in a half season, Sir Walter’s second coming, 3 titles when we’ve been skint, van Bronckhorst and Numan, Whittaker’s quarter final goal, Daniel Prodan and Lord Lucan.

Remember Bus journeys, car journeys, train journeys, plane journeys and boat journeys to see the Gers, Wilkins goals, the bouncy, Mols goals, singing at the Eiffel tower – It’s only a pylon.

Remember Ferguson owning Parma and Leverkusen, the National Anthem, 1 or 2 two huddles along the way (Paisley Road West, Abertay Uni!)

Remember season ticket waiting lists and queuing for tickets, how good Jelavic actually was, Basile Boli, Erik Bo’s new year brace, Edu in injury time.

Remember Super’s first CL goals against Grasshoppers, Forza Papac, 10-1 against Keith, Nacho at Easter Road, Scott McDonald at Fir Park, Gough’s tears at Tannadice, 6-1 v Dunfermline (Arteta I love you), No Surrender Davie Weir.

Remember Gazza at Parkhead, his hat trick for 8IAR, and Ally... well Ally just being a legend in every sense possible.

They are memories that can never be taken away. They can’t be erased. And as a new chapter opens, may more great memories will be made. (I’ll start off with Little & McCulloch at Brechin) 

Times have changed but our support is steadfast. We are still the people.

Of course all your favourites and memories will be different but they are joined by the shared love of this Club. And the club is massive. The sheer scale of our support is the great forgotten part of Manchester '08. And while the strength of that support has been tested in the past six months, we’ve come out fighting, and stronger than ever.

It is more than a club; it's a family.

It is Rangers. Then. Now. Forever.