A quick trawl through online dictionaries provides a variety of similar and succinct definitions for “Lifeblood”.
“a vital or life-giving force or component”
“the indispensable factor or influence that gives something its strength and vitality”
“the thing that is most important to the continuing success and existence of something else”
RSC’s are not comprised of people who view themselves as “uber fans”, who consider themselves better or more deserving than others, they are just a group of bears who, most probably for geographical reasons, have aligned themselves together with the common purpose of following and supporting the club we love.
They have evolved significantly since the days of their forerunner – the brake club, a name given honouring the mode of transport. A brake was large horse drawn carriage which could transport 20-30 people and brake clubs often had their own distinct banner in much the same way our modern RSC’s have their distinct logos. What a sight to behold that must have been!
With the development of both motorised transport and the railways the days of the brake as a form of transport were numbered, but not so the recognised value of Rangers fans uniting together with the common purpose of following and supporting the club they loved.
The modern-day RSC is a vital component part of the Rangers community with many more far reaching benefits than just transport. It serves to bring together like minded Rangers supporters who otherwise would have been strangers. I have in my phone 23 names which would not had been there had I not joined my local RSC. These are guys I speak with, rip the piss out of (always reciprocated) and socialise with on an almost daily basis. Our local RSC is effectively networking, bringing together people with a shared mission and vision. Collectively it serves to ignite the flames of passion for our football club. It is vital, it is strength giving and it is indispensable.
Networking with other RSC’s is a further benefit, and on several occasions now we have enjoyed the hospitality of our friends in the Toryglen True Blues. Their passion and desire for our club is epitomised on the Rangers website “Buses leave 20 Social Club, Rutherglen for every Rangers game in Scotland and to every away European game that is reachable by bus” One can almost feel the “come hell or high water” oozing out of that!
For a club which draws its support from all over Scotland and beyond the local RSC serves as the focal point for the Rangers diaspora, and one only has to look at the incredible work and achievements of the Plymouth True Blues, @ThePTBs1988 for those on twitter, as a shining example.
Of course, irrespective of the many collateral benefits of an RSC, transport to and from games remain their primary function. The local Rangers Supporter Bus provides not only an essential service, but also by their character and nature, an indispensable service. They bridge the gap in the lack of provision afforded by public transport. With their localised pick ups and unique dropping off points they can make the difference between success and failure in our desire to follow Rangers, particularly for those who find themselves less able these days. In short, they offer affordability and accessibility. It is probably no co-incidence that the largest RSC in the world is in the far-flung regions of Lewis & Harris.
As an RSC member I consider myself no better nor deserving than the bear who jumps in his or her car and makes the solitary journey to watch our beloved team. Having done that for many a year myself, I have the utmost respect for them. But having joined my local RSC, the energy, vitality and sense of belonging it provides is a drug of addiction I couldn’t be without.
Our RSC’s are our lifeblood in so many ways – let’s make sure we sustain them.