Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Rangers

Being brought up a Catholic, albeit a non-believing one, Celtic was always the side whose results I keep an eye out for. Rangers too-to put a smile on my face! Old habits die hard, so it was with some trepidation that I visited Rangers, for the stadium tour of Ibrox.


My pre-conceived notions were not just unfounded, but demolished! It is a wonderful stadium, with a magnificent history, & quite simply a jaw droppingly amazing attraction! As you will see, by the huge amout of photos I have taken! Like the Celtic stadium tour I took on the same weekend, many things I never took a note of, so I have forgotten details, but I hope this won't detract from our visit to Ibrox.

Fear not, I'm still happy to see them lose, but I now have a respect for the club, & maybe one day, will return to watch them play here.



Approaching from the Ibrox underground station, which is only two minutes walk away, the first thing you see is the Club store.



To the left of the superstore is this plaque, remembering the part of the ground from the terrible 1971 Ibrox disaster.



Moving round to the main entrance, where the tour starts, you pass these magnificent old gates.



As we turn to the main stand, & it's listed building status, we see this statue of the Rangers legend John Greig, which is part of the permanent Ibrox Disaster memorial.







Here we see the famous facade of the stadium.



The stadium was designed by the great Archibald Leitch.



The main entrance itself. To be treated with as much reverance as the old marbled halls were at the old Highbury.



Similar to my tour of Celtic, I will show you inside the stadium first, before taking you round the 'hidden' parts of the stadium. Here we are in the middle section of the main stand.



Here is the VIP section. Thanks to the listed status of the ground the original wooden partitioning must stay in place.



We look to our right, the screen in the far corner is where the club shop is situated outside.



Directly opposite, to the other stand, along the touchline.



And to our left, a similar stand, behind the other goal.



Behind us in the main stand, we look towards the back. The person in the hat is a Rangers fan, visiting from Australia!



From here we're looking to ur right behind the goal again, but from the press area.



This is the front of the middle tier, looking down, across the seats below.



And further along a similar view in the other direction.



Here we are directly above the players' tunnel.



Which is where we are now. As you can see this tour was more popular than the Celtic one!



From down here we are going to see some similar shots of the stadium, but this time from pitchside.


Here is one of the dugout, with the main stand behind.



Looking up to the main stand we see all three sections for the first time.



This is the same stand, at the other end.



Looking across the pitch the workment have now gone. Did you notice the crane in the other snap?



Turning round, to the main stand again, the directors' box.



Walking along the touchline this is the stand behind the goal to the left of the main stand.



And looking across the pitch again. I've no idea why I took this one a few times, but I have, so I will show it! ;-)



Here is the other goalmouth again, to the right, from further along the touchline.



The lower seats of the main stand, with hte criss-crossed boardings. I have no doubt these would have been long gone, if it were not for those who had the foresight to apply for listed status.



Each one is adorned with the club crest.



So now it's time to retrace our steps & take our tour behind the scenes. So we return to the main entrance, & step over the club badge mosaiced at the entrance.



The main stand is now over eighty years old.



In the foyer is this team photo, the earliest known one of the club.



I'm no architectural expert, to say the least, but the main entrance is stunning. The lights actually have the club initials monographed onto them, but you can't see them in these photos.



Here is the media room.



Next up is the visitors changing rooms, I wonder if a certain Alex Ferguson has ever given his infamous 'hairdryer treatment' here? ;-)



Wooden panelling, all part of the original fittings.



The shower area is as big, if not bigger, than many non-league changing rooms!



We're now back out in the main entrance, but fear not the tour is not over! There's plenty more to see! Upstairs we go!



We pass a bust of Bill Struth, who was manager from 1920-1954, when they won an amazing 18 Championships, 10 Scottish Cups & 2 League Cups.



Over the stairs is the Hall of Fame, with their most illustrious past players on it, & a huge honour to appear on this list.



At the top of the staircase is this painting of Alan Morton, one of their all time legendary players, who was on their books from 1920 to 2993; & who was known as the 'Wee Blue Devil'.



The main boardroom area is magnificent. Paintings adorn the walls of their great & good, from their history.



My jaw was dropping, not so much at the oppulance, but the sheer beauty.



This is a runners-up medal from the 2008 UEFA Cup final, when they lost 2-0 to Zenit St. Petersberg, in Manchester, & belongs to the manager Walter Smith.



Other medals from their previous European finals also adorn the walls.



These special trophies are presented to every single player who is inducted into their Hall of Fame. This one is to Jock Shaw (1938-1953). It is in the old Managers Office, which we shall now see more of.



The sets of badges are from the years they qualified for the Champions League, & each club is given a set. The trophy is a UEFA Fair Play one.



This is an old, original typwriter used the Club Secretary, a Mrs. Dallas.



Lots of people on the tour sat here, in the old manager's chair, but not for me!



We're now going into a very exclusive members area, where it costs not hundreds, but thousands of pounds a year to enjoy, with the best seats in the ground included. This room is packed with memorabilia, such as this old international goalkeepers jersey.



As you can see it is very plush!



A unique old Scotland shirt. From around 1900. They are the primrose & pink horse racing colours of Lord Rosebery, an important patron of Scottish football at the time. These shirts were worn nine times by the national side.



A selection of football caps.



Ibrox was not just for football, but also held athletics meetings.



We are now heading out into the corridors again, with even more historic displays on the wall. This is a set of pennants from their three European Cup Winners Cup Final opponents in 1961; 1967 & 1972.



The walls are lined with caps of their international stars.



We are now into the actual trophy room. Full of cabinets and displays. Many of the items I cannot recall where they are from, or what they are. Trophy Room is an understatement. It is a veritable museum in its own right! Magnificent!

Here are some china & porcelein type gifts, the one at the front being from Arsenal.



Penants are everywhere, as you shall soon see. Here is one from Milan.



They were all around the room.



There must be a story behind this gift, sadly I don't what it is to tell you.



Sparta, the famous Prague club, & my favourite Czech side.



The official commemorative pennant from the 2008 UEFA Cup final.



Here is one of the trophy cabinets on display. This is the Scottish Premier League Championship trophy, which only went on public display the very day of my visit! How lucky was that?



The Scottish flag pennants are presented each time a side wins the league. Rangers have won the Scottish title 52 times now, which is a domestic world record, recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

The bicycle is a gift from St. Etienne, where the manufacture of bicycles is a major industry in that region.



The next photo is unfortunately blurred, but it is the set of championship pennants when Rangers won nine titles on a row fro 1989 to 1997. A Scottish record held jointly with Celtic, who achieved this feat first, from 1966 to 1974.



I wish I'd asked about this!



More cabinets choc-a-bloc with presents from opponents all over the world, and assorted football trophies and medals:






This boat was presented to them by Peterhead Football Club, when they met in a Scottish Cup tie in 2006, which represents their fishing heritage.



This is the cabinet that holds that cannon I showed you earlier.



I had to take a picture of this, as it was due to the visit of the Belgian Branch of the Paris Saint Germain Supporters' Club, to play in the Queens Park Supporters' tournament, that I was in Glasgow in the first place!



Here is part of the huge bank of pennants for their many championship wins.



Another view of the cabinet, with the current Championship trophy we have just seen.



This vase is from Katowice, in Poland, and is made from coal dust, from the predominantly mining area.



As we leave this treasure trove of a room & take one final shot, which gives is a lovely view of this amazing place.



We're heading back downstairs again, & I notice this to commemorate the rebuilding of the stadium, which I had missed earlier.



Through the door we go...



Again extremely spacious bath areas.



And another hairdryer! I wouldn't have thought many players use this. They earn so much nowadays they probably have their own stylists! ;-)



The shirts are laid out for display. Note the picture of Her Majesty the Queen on the wall!



Ignore this if you're on the tour!



I hadn't realised the main stand had an official name, until I saw this.



This is another media area, by the tunnel, for immediate pre/post match interviews.






If ever you are in Glasgow, without being able to get to a match, I would heartily recommend you treat yourself to the three main stadium tours at Hampden Park; Celtic Park & Ibrox. They are all well worth it. But if you only ever have time to do the one, I would unhesitatingly suggest you treat yourself to the Rangers tour.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The pic (which you didnt know the story behind) with the poster of the bull and matador is the poster of the european cup winners cup final in 1972 which Rangers won (3 2 vs Moscow Dynamo) . its signed by all the Rangers team.

great pictures btw thanks.

Anonymous said...

The stags head on the wall in the trophy room, was presented to Rangers by Inverness caley thistle FC.

Reclaimer said...

Really enjoyed the tour of Ibrox Park. Rangers fans have been asking the club for a museum of some sort for many a year now, to show the history of our club to a wider audience. However we do have a special stadium and a special club, with fans to match.

Glad you enjoyed the People's club.

Anonymous said...

SHAME OF SCOTLAND, YOU FORGOT TO MENTION THAT! SOME GREAT PHOTOS BUT YOUR COMMENTS ARE UNBELIEVABLE

Rabbler said...

Anonymous (1) + (2): Presume you're the same person, many thanks for your clarifications.

Reclaimer: Still think your sectarianism in Scotland is crazy, but a great history. A proper museum, rather than just part of the tour would be great.

Anonymous (3): They might be the shame of Scotland, but in many ways that 'title' deserves to be shared with Celtic. No more shameful than the Remembrance weekend disgrace last November!
My comments unbelieveable? You mean you don't agree with them? A big difference...perhaps you could explain what is so 'unbelievable' about them. Once you've learned to keep the 'Caps lock' off...

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading about your experience mate. Some spectacular photos to match. I'm just dissapointed at some comments you recieved from celtic fans. They can be bitter people at times. Rangers FC is a proud Scottish and British club and because Celtic are classed as Irish most of them resent Britain. I'm sure I speak for all Rangers fans when I say this is a peoples club and everyone is welcome here, and I truly hope you come back to watch a game sometime.

Rabbler said...

Anon: I am sure I will get to a game at Ibrox over the next year or two. But as far as I'm concerned I don't really care who is worse. You are both mental!
As for Rangers being welcoming...well last year a party of Dulwich Hamlet fans went on both the Celtic & Rangers tours, when we visited to play Queens Park supporters. I didn't go on the tours as I'd done them already, but our group had the tickets booked by one of our ENGLISH fans called Mick O'Shaughnessy. The tour guide that day made several snidey remarks toward him when mentioning great Rangers achievements, digging him out things with comments like "Did you get that Mr. O'Shaugnessy", while not mentioning anyone else.
So I'll take your welcome comments with a proverbial pinch of salt.

Anonymous said...

YOUR QUOTE Being brought up a Catholic, albeit a non-believing one, Celtic was always the side whose results I keep an eye out for. Rangers too-to put a smile on my face! Old habits die hard, so it was with some trepidation that I visited Rangers, for the stadium tour of Ibrox.
You really should get up too date.Queen Victoria died and woman get the vote now, why you feel a need to mention religion is beyond me

David Barclay said...

Fabulous read up, it put a smile on my face to see the AC Sparta pennant and you to say they are your favourite Czech club, as they are mine.
Great pictures and i hope by now you have been to watch Rangers at Ibrox, the football isn't great at the moment but I'm sure you'll have a great time! Never mind the negative comment or two.
Best Luck to Dulwich Hamlet

Anonymous said...

One will never completely remove religion from the old firm. Why? Because Celtic was started by priests and rangers by boy's brigade officers to take youths off the streets and encourage them into sport. Unfortunately there are still a moronic few on both sides who will not let this fact rest where it belongs, history

TheExStig said...

Rangers were formed in 1872 not by boy's brigade officers but by a group of rowing enthusiasts, Peter Campbell, William McBeath and brothers, Peter and Moses McNeil.

Great pictures, just found these after all this time. Btw...the photo of the magnificent gates shown are of those manufactured during the 1990's Main Stand upper section restructuring known as the Club Deck. If you had ventured along the length of the 'B Listed' Bill Struth Stand to the other end of the Stadium you would have discovered the original 'Gates Of Ibrox' dating from 1928 and believed to have been designed by the Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh just before his death later that year.

TheExStig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.