Boy did I need cheering up on Saturday.
After driving up and back to Dens on Friday, only to be present at another dire performance by this Rangers side, I was forced to watch it all over again. In order to give my report and player ratings, I wanted to make sure I was fair minded.
Arguably it was even worse second time around. Even the joy of seeing Ally McCoist rip Chris Sutton to pieces couldn’t put a smile on my face for long.
Let me just say I was not in the best of moods after watching the game back. Then it all changed, at 12pm I got just what the doctor ordered, as I boarded a coach outside Ibrox stadium, to set off on the Founders Trail.
As a Rangers supporter, I can probably name you the scorers, of every game I’ve been at (at that’s a lot), how the game ended, what kit and socks combination they had, and up until Saturday thought I knew our history quite well.
I don’t want to give away too many spoilers as its something well worth taking the time to do, a must for all fans, but for those fans unaware, the Founders Trail is a 5 hour coach trip celebrating the founding fathers of our club taking you through the city of Glasgow.
Stopping off at all the landmarks and walking in the footsteps the gallant pioneers of our great club took. From where it all started at Flesher’s Haugh ,across and through the city, from Berkeley Street to the west of Scotland cricket ground, then onwards to the final resting place of some of the pioneers and club legend Bill Struth.
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The tour finishes up completing the link from present to past, with a stadium tour of Ibrox complete with a welcome from Broxi and a visit that includes the pitch side, trophy room and the Blue room.
Along the way there is also some great bits of Glasgow trivia. Coupled with pinpointing out ,the many restaurants , bars and residences where the pioneers owned and stayed, and not forgetting a short refreshment break and raffle.
The level and work and research the team behind this has taken on is quite staggering and that alone should be applauded. The whole day gets 5 stars from me, from start to finish it was utterly captivating.
What was striking most of all was not just the fact it was sold out, it is the continued growing appetite our fans have for all things Rangers. All this in a time in our history where fans of other clubs, would have walked away. We have and will continue to do the sold out Saturdays, Sundays, Fridays and Wednesdays all the other clubs fans promised and failed.
I got me thinking of some of the examples of fan led start ups. When they said we couldn’t buy the strips, a fan started his own (the Lionbrand) giving all profits back into the club. The very podcast that convinced me it was time to take the founders trail after hearing one of it founders on (Heart & Hand) was started by a Rangers fan for Rangers fans. This very website you are reading this on is by Rangers fans for Rangers fans. There are many other fine examples out there and every one only highlights just how proud we are of our great institution.
In a week where our current board must answer tough and uneasy questions, they must never take for granted the one thing we have above all other clubs, our great supporters and our history. We may not be rich on the balance sheets quite yet, but what we have no money can buy. A love of our club and all things Rangers.
All that remains is for me to thank all the tour guides from Saturday, from the Founders Trail to Ibrox stadium it was a pleasure to be in your company, a really fantastic day out.
I think it’s only fitting that I end with a quote from the great Bill Struth, spoken many years ago about the great pioneers, but no truer than today.
“Our very success, gained you will agree by skill, will draw more people than ever to see it. And that will benefit many more clubs than Rangers. Let the others come after us. We welcome the chase. It is healthy for us. We will never hide from it. Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure, and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. No matter the days of anxiety that come our way, we shall emerge stronger because of the trials to be overcome. That has been the philosophy of the Rangers since the days of the gallant pioneers.”