12 May 2013

Rangers: The Journey – Stage One

by Peter Ewart | Contributor

It has been dubbed 'The Journey' and season 2012-13 will certainly be remembered for many things. Here's a collection, mostly away days and in no particular order, that stood out for me.

Hampden away

First time around, a remarkable day in our history as we took 28,000 to Hampden for a fourth tier away match, the Rangers End crammed with red, white and blue.

Second time around there was about 10,000 there, among them a family section full of young bears creating memories they’ll look back on in the future. Then, at half time, at the top of the Hampden stairs in the Rangers End, appeared a lone middle-aged Womble, who cleared his throat and treated us to a two minute solo rendition of ‘Rangers til I Die’. Persistance paid off and the TBO and UB and the rest joined in soon after. That is what makes football great.

The game that never was Elgin v Rangers

Rumour has it that they may well still be printing tickets for the game at Elgin last November. It put a lot of people out and lost Elgin a fortune when they had to cancel the game after the Police/pre-match ops meeting on the Friday when Elgin couldn’t confirm the number of tickets sold. When the match was actually played just before Christmas it was worth waiting for. Wind, open-air portable urinals, driving rain, a 6-2 win with even Hutts scoring and very randomly even some (pre-rape charge) Ken Barlow’s turned up to watch.

The Elgin Raver

We’ve all been there to a greater or lesser extent. A hell of a weekend rounded off by the football. But not on your own, or live on SSN. Before the Cup game against Elgin, there was this. And the Miles Away award goes to...


Berwick Away 

League games in England: For some a glimpse into the future.

Shielfield Park first time around will be many Bears favourite trip of the year. It was glorious end of August gorgeous sunshine and a massive old-school covered terrace down the touchline. The Bears end was jumping from a full half-hour before kick-off: 

Awesome atmosphere. Shite football. 

Second time was less fun. A few arguably overstepped the mark, Sellick’s security guy was in town, overreaction all round, including apologies from the Club and national broadcaster. We did win the game though, Little’s volley straight off the X-Box. No matter, unfortunately we won’t be back in 2013/14, in the league anyway.

Police Wasting Time

Away days and buses were stopped on an all too regular basis. From us in the east on the way to both Stirlings, most notably Peterhead (before Aberdeen), and very regularly for buses coming out of Glasgow. Ibrox had mounted police at every game I can think of a police helicopter in the air for a fair few home games too. Mini-umbrellas were confiscated off ladies going into Elgin and other niggly petty shit. What sort of orders are coming from match commanders? Is it all really necessary? Apparently if you’re a football fan it is. Welcome to Salmond’s Stasi Scotland.

Peterhead’s ‘terracing’

Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words.
10/10 for raising the capacity; 0/10 for the Bouncy.
A piper’s lament

After the tragic death of fan Rab Learmonth during a game against Berwick Rangers at Ibrox in January, one of the tributes at the next home game versus Montrose was a piper’s lament from Craig Lawrie. I must admit I was skeptical that it could work, but to a man, woman and child Ibrox was silent and rose to its feet. It’s captured very ably from the Main Stand from somewhere quite near me in this clip. First time I’ve been able to hear the players communicate above the crowd, a point which was recognised by the likes of Ross Perry and Andy Little after the game. All in all, quite a tribute.


Lop-sided Links Park

Did Montrose forget to build the rest of the ground?

and finally, The Blue Tsunami – the fans

Coined for Manchester 2008 when Bears poured South down the M74, this whole season has been one of Bears turning up in the usual huge numbers and in more far flung corners of the country. In a period when loyalty was seriously tested, we stepped up and backed our team in numbers that many couldn’t comprehend.

So whether you made it to Brechin, Falkirk, Peterhead, Berwick, Annan, Forres, Stenhousemuir, Cumbernauld, Stirling, Hampden, Elgin or Montrose I hope you enjoyed it. If you went to Tannadice – not so much.

See you all next season for Stage Two.

Post up some of your favourites in the comments below.