“And Colin Stein scores ! “

My gran wasn’t too impressed with Colin Stein. Nothing to do with the player himself of course, but everything to do with the grandson who muddied himself on her back green in Anniesland trying to emulate the great man’s latest goal every Saturday. The following day being Sunday, there was no way she would take her grandson to church looking anything less than respectful and appropriate for The Lord’s House.

So the breeks were hand washed in the big kitchen sink, scrubbed at the knees with a scrubbing brush before being rinsed, and then wrung out on the huge brass taps. Depending on the weather they were either then hung out on the verandah, allowing the employees of Barr and Stroud, the factory directly across from my grandmother’s tenement, to know that Colin Stein’s young protégée was in residence. In the event of inclement weather, an extra lump of coal was placed on the fire and the trousers placed on a screen nearby.

Nowadays of course they would be straight into the washing machine and then the tumble dryer – Sorted.

Often we take for granted the things which makes life’s journey far more comfortable or enjoyable. Having them taken away for whatever reason can leave us with the prospect of having to do things as in days gone by, a fact I was reminded of that recently.

Rumour reached me that our supporters bus, The Monifieth Loyal, had folded leaving me facing the prospect of a long solitary drive, to and from Ibrox drive every other week. (The fact that it would also mean an abstention from alcohol on match days was a minor matter. Honestly) It was not something I relished having discovered the considerable benefits of the local supporters bus. It was relief to read a few days later on Twitter that the rumours were totally unfounded and it was business as usual.

Whilst supporter’s buses may be an alternative form of transport for those of us who can drive, for others they are the only form of transport available. For those in our community who are less than firm, less than able, the supporters bus with it’s unique and personalised stops and pick ups is often the margin of success in them overcoming insurmountable difficulties. The sight of the infirm and disabled overcoming the cruel hand life has dealt them to watch their beloved Rangers, is one which is truly inspiring.

Then of course there is the “social” aspect of the bus. Yesterday at Gayfield I bumped into and old friend of mine I hadn’t seen for years who promptly introduced me to members and organisers of his bus. Let’s just say every one of them were in particularly high spirits, I would imagine the crack on the bus home would have been worth the admission money alone. But it goes further than this. For those of who through work or other commitments have been forced to leave the mother nest of Glasgow for pastures new, the supporter’s bus brings together a network of exiles who otherwise may have been strangers to one another, and the many considerable benefits which that brings.

The local supporter’s bus offers many benefits, financial, friendship, social networking, information, opinions and convenience to name but a few. If you currently don’t travel via one I would encourage you to try it.

You will soon find it is not one of life’s luxuries, after a few experience you place it in the “essentials” category – and there will be no going back to “the old ways”.

3 Little Words

It was more, much more than just sheer panic. Panic is fleeting but not this, no, this was a slow, and painful realisation that as the prophets had warned, “all things must come to pass”. It was ominous, akin to an approaching thunderstorm, the distant peels of thunder sounding like a gong warning of foreboding. And the air, the air was pungent with a strange aroma invading their senses refusing them any kind of respite, forcing them reluctantly into an acceptance of the inevitable – the more astute amongst them recognised it, but dare not speak its name. It was the smell of fear.

Then one of them did the unthinkable, took a journey into land of the forbidden, uttering the three little words which sent waves of anxiety through them all.

“Rangers are coming”

And indeed we are. The chains which bound us to our Elbaesque exile in Scotland’s lower leagues have been shattered and broken, along with the schemes and plots designed to leave us in the wilderness. It was not a thirst for glory nor prestige which broke the yoke that bound us, but an unstinting sense of loyalty and commitment to a football club – it proved to be a characteristic of the Rangers support which our enemies could not overcome. In the years to come the Rangers support of this generation will be recorded as some of the club’s greatest servants. Ever.

It’s not hard to de-cipher that we are on our way back. The inflammatory language has been re-kindled, along with the almost obligatory “conspiracy theories”. Irrational comment has replaced sensible discussion, Rangers are being blamed and held responsible for the decisions made by others . As Dundee United and Aberdeen supporters organise a boycott of Ibrox food stalls for their forthcoming visits, we Rangers fans wait for the media proponents of “Forgive, forget and move on” to lecture others the way they lectured us. I suspect we will be waiting for a long time.

I also suspect that being merciful or magnanimous will no longer be part of our make up – we have not forgotten those who swung a kick whilst we were down. Dundee United experienced it with the Tannadice boycott, and as they ran squealing to the SFA about our club refusing tickets a rude awakening awaited them. Football authorities can do nothing about how our support choose to spend the blue pound. Only we control that. It’s a fact worthy of more considered thought.

It has been a long and arduous journey at times, which of course is not yet completed, but we are well on our way. Along the road there have been fall outs, rifts and unpleasantry. But even these pale into significance at the sense of unity, the sense of purpose in restoring our club. Even that which is less edifying has at it’s heart the same passion which drives our support to achieve what others would consider impossible. We should all rejoice in that passion we share – our club exists because of it.

For those for whom these 3 little words are unpalatable, I will say them again. “Rangers are coming”. Along with 3 more little words.

“Hell mend you”


United Colours of Hypocrisy

“Target: Some Rangers fans believe United chairman Stephen Thompson was instrumental in blocking plans to fast-track them back into the top flight”

(John Greechan – Scottish Daily Mail 20.3.2014)

I suppose if Mr Greechan’s article had appeared in the “fiction section” of the local library, perhaps he could at least offer a plea in mitigation for the fable he passed off yesterday as fact. Its not particularly difficult to establish the true facts – all that is required is a search engine on a computer :



Fast -tracked ? Dont make us laugh Mr Greechan.

Then again as a support, we Rangers fans are getting used to our true feelings being misrepresented within the media.

That’s not to say Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson enjoys popular status amongst the Rangers support, but the reasons for this are not as alluded to in Mr Greechan’s article. It’s perhaps worthy of re-visiting those reasons, particularly in light of recent comments by Mr Thompson, and exposing the levels of hypocrisy he is engaging in.

In recent days Mr Thompson has accused the SFA of being “economical with the truth”, making statements which he classed as “awful” and “aggressive”.


Perhaps Mr Thompson would do well to remember his own comments and conduct.


“There’s been a lack of remorse” Really Mr Thompson ? Really ?? I have spoken to hundreds of Rangers supporters online and in person these past few years and I am yet to meet one, one, who was not filled with remorse over the circumstances surrounding Craig Whyte’s tenure at our club, the damage he caused and the hardship he caused for many many people. Who is being “economical with the truth” now Mr Thompson ?

“Taking things to a court of law hasn’t helped. That’s certainly hardened views of people within the game. “ Hold on Mr Thompson, the Court Of Session found in Rangers favour – so asking for justice and being awarded it is in your eyes likely to cause a hardening of attitude against the victim ? And you have the audacity to label others “aggressive “ ?

The truth is Stephen Thompson was happy to be at the forefront of the pack of wolves who savaged our club when it was down. I would imagine when Ally McCoist remarked at those swinging a kick at our club whilst it was down – many Rangers fans thought of Stephen Thompson. Much of the discussion surrounding the boycott of Tannadice certainly centred around this fact.

The emotive and inflammatory language utilised by Mr Thompson, as well as those involved with the Arab Trust, have certainly done their club no favours at all. It is up to both the SFA and Police Scotland to deal with such unedifying language.

The Rangers support will rise above all this nonsense and do what we do best – Support our team.

Dundee United and their support would do well to follow our example. Perhaps if they did so, they would be afforded some measure of credibility when they ask for a 50/50 split of tickets.


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