The Ones That Got Away: Basketball

Rangers Football Club

Every club has them. The transfers that got away, the kind of ones you think back now and ask, how did we not get the deal over the line.

In this series I have picked out a few, some of them, we will be happy to have missed out on, others and for the most part will leave you wishing and thinking only what if.

PLAYER IN QUESTION: Basketball

DATE OF INTEREST: 1988

This week, I have deviated and went for a transfer that did happen. But it is so strange and weird, I feel it’s worth going over.

This must rank as one of the most peculiar, transfers and events In all Rangers history.

In 1988, Rangers, went all Harlem Globetrotters, yes, in the ultimate show of hubris and with a new owner at the helm, the Gers bought up a team to compete in the British basketball league.

How this all came to fruition I’m not quite sure, apart from the ultimate show off, Rangers chairman at the time David Murray’s, wanting to flex off his muscles coupled with the added desire to show off another toy to his pals.

Back in 1988, only one other British team had a basketball team, that was Manchester United. Although this is common practice across the continent, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Fenerbahce, and Red Star Belgrade, (Crvena Zveda) all serving as some examples.

Football teams with a basketball side has never taken off in the U. K, mainly down to the fact that, we especially in the 80s tended to be football, football and more football orientated with no room for second sports, least of all basketball.

Rangers, didn’t just start a team from scratch, no, that wasn’t the Murray way at all. He bought a side already well-established, so we’ll in fact they were current British cup champions and had finished second in the inaugural British basketball league season.

We merely took them over,  relocated them to Falkirk, playing a small number of games at the Kelvin Hall, with it changing the team name (MK Dons style) to Glasgow Rangers.

This I’m afraid would be a short-lived tenure into the world of basketball for Rangers, but a successful one never less, becoming British League champions in their one and only season North of the border.

After just one year, due mainly to poor crowds and lack of interest, Murray sold them off, and they went back to being the Kingston Kings. It was brief and strange, to say the very least but in the era of decadence, this was just another glaring example.

After all we were told in the 80’s greed is good.

Maybe this should have served as a warning to all, that when “Sir ” David, gets bored he simply moves on, with no regard for the supporters.

Let me know if you have any memories of this or attended any Rangers, basketball games. What was it like?

About the Author

Steven Harrigan
I am a rangers supporter living in Paisley.