Yesterday I tweeted a picture of a packed Sandy Jardine Stand courtesy of my mobile phone, from my usual haunt of the Copland Road Rear. Within seconds it had been re-tweeted several times over. In the course of its re-tweeting it reached the other side of the world. I doubt the young bear who stood in almost the same spot 40 years or so ago would have been able to grasp such technological progress. A phone without a land line? A phone which takes pictures? Internet? Social what? You can almost understand where Peter Kaye’s father was coming from when he questioned the validity of “Garlic Bread”?
I’ve been blogging about Rangers for nigh on 20 years now. It started off on the old footymad Follow Follow boards where a few of us would regularly write articles to re-dress the balance of a very anti-Rangers press. In fact “re-dress the balance” is too kind, counter the lies and attacks of the Odious one, and others of his ilk would be a far better description. Defending both club and support was the motivator for all us, and although the musings of Rangers commentators sometimes splits opinion, I doubt anyone would argue, it’s sure been one helluva 20 years.
We have been kicked, ostracised, vilified and castigated, more often than not unfairly and unjustifiably. We as a club have been characterised, deliberately and maliciously I may add, due to the actions of 2 totalitarian and egotistical owners, neither of whom had the slightest idea about what the Rangers tradition demands of all of us. In many ways the need to defend the club is every bit as prevalent as it was when a group of us decided to fightback against the press onslaught. What has been particularly invigorating over the last few weeks has been the sight of a Rangers board willing to add their weight to the defence of the club. The manner of the official response to the Raith Rovers attack on our club was worthy of particular praise.
That willingness to defend and protect the interests of the club is critical for the future. A future which recognises the need to see bridges built and Rangers men returned to the top echelons of Scottish football. Anyone who doubts the need for this only needs to look at the omnishambles which has unfolded during our absence. But don’t confuse building bridges with forgiveness for what was done to us by others – that I’m afraid, for me at least, is the proverbial bridge too far.
Forty years ago when I looked to my right from the Copland Road I would have seen the Centenary Stand. The man whose name now adorns that stand was a hero on the pitch. In later life he was to become a hero off the pitch, and one who stood shoulder to shoulder with all of us as we demanded justice and fairness for our club. Sandy was familiar with crisis, he made his debut for Rangers a week after our exit to our Berwick namesakes in the Scottish Cup. Sandy Jardine is a constant reminder to all of us that acting with dignity and class can be consistent with resolutely defending our club.
Some will say that despite the kickings, the vilification, the ostracising that Rangers are still standing. They would be wrong. We are not standing, we are coming.
See you soon.