McAuley: "Childhood kerbs were red, white and blue"

McAuley: "Childhood kerbs were red, white and blue"

New Rangers signing Gareth McAuley has told of his Rangers background growing up.

The former West Bromwich Albion defender put pen to paper on a one-year deal with Steven Gerrard’s side this afternoon. The centre-back has been a free agent since leaving the English side back in May following relegation from the Premier League.

The new man was unveiled at Ibrox earlier on this afternoon, and spoke about his Rangers background growing up.

McAuley was a big Rangers fan growing up (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The words are likely to have a connection with Rangers supporters as it appears McAuley was always a Ger. The Northern Irishman was speaking to Rangers TV after signing.

It is massive for me personally. My family support the club as do I. The street I was born on, the kerbs were painted red, white and blue. So to get the opportunity to come and play at this famous club is amazing. I have been linked with here over the years, but it has never come off for whatever reason – it’s perhaps an easy link for press men coming from Northern Ireland and the connection with Rangers.

Football matters

Having a Rangers connection is always a plus, but it’ll be what McAuley does on the football pitch that matters.

Whether Gerrard feels this a signing that can come in right away and make a difference is doubtful. With Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson the first-choice centre-back pairing, it would be surprising to see anyone break that up.

Joe Worrall also came in from Nottingham Forest last week, and has been guaranteed some first-team football. This would leave chances for McAuley as limited as possible.

Joe Worrall signed for Rangers on-loan from Nottingham Forest (Getty Images)

But what the Northern Ireland veteran does bring to the group is a wealth of experience. With Katic and Worrall still extremely young in their development, McAuley can be the man to help steer them in the right direction.

Veteran centre-backs have worked for Rangers in the past. Clint Hill was signed by Mark Warburton back in 2016, and made a good impression during his time at Ibrox.

If McAuley can be as useful as Hill was during his time at the club, Rangers fans will be satisfied.

But one thing’s for sure, supporters can relate to McAuley’s stories of his childhood.

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