Let’s rewind to 1992, I got my first ever Rangers top (still got it!) it was our home top from 1992 – 1994, now to be honest I don’t know why I wanted one or even remember asking for it! Why would I? I was a 10-year-old girl who loved playing with her Barbies, maybe it was because my big sister had football tops and I thought I was missing out or maybe I realised I actually liked football. I can’t say that I was influenced by my dad or sister as to which team I was supposed to support, I say supposed as let’s be honest, I don’t think I would have been allowed to support Celtic – I’m 100% positive here that my dad would say “You could have supported whatever team you wanted” but I know had I said any other team other than Rangers, he would have been a little disheartened. You could say Rangers were my first love and it’s a love affair that will never end!
So there you have me 10 years old in my first ever Rangers top still playing with my Barbies! I wasn’t some crazed little girl who loved football, I just liked it, took me a while to understand it, even now I don’t, my sister always takes the mick out of me as I don’t get the away goal rule used in some competitions, what's the point in it? I wasn’t taken to many games as I grew up, I did however get every new Rangers top when they came out…..I have every top since I got my first one all those years ago! As the years went on, I began to understand the game, even played a little, and my love for Rangers grew and grew. I do remember asking to be taken to a Celtic game and was always told “NOT YET!” and this is the bit I could not understand.
The 9-in-a-row team was probably my favourite team, basically the only team I knew for so many years. Ally McCoist was my favourite player, probably still is to this day. I know he didn’t do too well as manager but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is and will always be one of the greatest legends to play for us. I’ve had many a name printed on the back of my tops, McCoist, Albertz, Amoruso, Lovenkrands, Novo, Bougherra, Little, Davis and Boyd, maybe some more but I can’t recall them. I’ve also met most of the 9 in a row team and most of those thereafter; I’ve even had a drink with Andy Goram in the Shankill Road!
I could never understand the Rangers / Celtic rivalry and probably still don’t. I don’t like Celtic but that’s not because I’m a Rangers supporter, I don’t like them because of what they stand for and the fact they covered up child abuse, people who abuse children don’t deserve anything from this life, simples. I will never understand why a tricolour flies over their stadium, I will never understand why they sing songs glorifying terrorists, I will never understand why they hate anything British, I will never understand why they don’t support the forces even if they probably have family that’s fought for this country, I will just never understand.
I will never understand why religion is brought into football. I’m in no way religious but I don’t have any problems with those who are. I may dislike certain religions but that’s a personal matter not a footballing matter, as some seem to think, does this make be a bigot? Well according to the description below then yes I am!
Bigot - noun
“A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.”
I loved the "Old Firm" games; no better a game to watch. I’ve been to a few games now, each one more intense than the last, it’s a world you get caught up in when you're in the stand and you're desperate for your team to score the winning goal or your keeper to save the penalty that will stop your rivals winning the league at your ground. These feelings are ones you experience only at these games. We’ve all sung the songs; called people names we shouldn’t have and defended our right to all of the above.
Fast-forward to 2nd March 2011, the Scottish Cup 5th round replay against Celtic at Parkhead. This is the worst football game I’ve ever been to, this is the game that hit home to me just how much hatred there was between Rangers and Celtic. I was stood in the stand listening to fans bellowing out the Billy Boys and some other songs, it added to the atmosphere, and there’s no better atmosphere than that of an Old Firm game. As the game progressed the atmosphere changed and it’s a feeling I will never forget, it was downright hatred and what was coming from the stands was matched on the pitch. Celtic can say what they want about certain things, it’s their prerogative to "defend" their players behaviour, but for certain members of their bench to racially abuse someone is disgusting. We all watched the replay and could lip-read what was said; yet it wasn’t said at all according to many, many officials. My own dislike of this vile club intensified. That was my last game at Parkhead. My last "Old Firm" game was at Ibrox in March 2012 when we beat them, I remember the banner in the Govan stand "No title win on our ground".
February 13th 2012 probably one of the darkest days for us, and the weeks to follow, would we still have a football team to watch? If most had their way, the answer would be no. Had we not been demoted to the Third Division I think the end would have been closer than we would all care to admit. We would never have survived in the top flight at that time. Even now 4 years on and we are still fighting to get back there, we are weeks away from that spot, but are we ready? It’s been one of the longest battles we’ve fought, hurdle after hurdle. The hatred coming out from everyone over the last 4 years has been truly eye opening. To be discriminated against is to be a Rangers supporter.
To be back where we belong, whether we are ready or not, is two fingers up to every single person who wanted us gone. We're almost there. Almost back where we should be, where we should have always been. Four years of pain, hatred and battles that no club and its fans should ever have been forced to face. As the victories rise and the court cases are won will we see an apology from our enemies? Doubt there is much chance of the SFA saying sorry, here's the money we owe you. The SPFL won't apologise because they were not around when we were demoted, remember they changed their name to avoid any issues. I'm sure Mr Lawwell will apologise when his rancid club complete their tour of Japan. What do you mean they never done that tour?
Rangers Football Club is thee most magnificent footballing institution in the world and we are who we are now as we were in 1872, never mind 2012.