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”