Today I have picked another significant event in time, and the Rangers game that followed it.

DATE: 1st February 2003

EVENT: Space shuttle Colombia blows up upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

This was the second disaster to face NASA’s shuttle program after the Challenger disaster in 1986.

This would effectively put an end to the space shuttle program that had offered so much, promising to be the future of space travel, when introduced in the late 70s.

The reasoning behind the tragic events was put down to a damaged piece of foam insulation, possibly due in part to the cycle and number of flights that Colombia had made.

The subsequent damage caused the shuttle to break up upon re-entry, killing all seven crew members on board. Although shuttle missions were resumed after a two-year suspension, the risk factors and confidence levels had been damaged beyond repair.

Rangers’ first match after this tragic event was a home match with Aberdeen.

DATE: 1st February 2003

VENUE: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow

SCORE : 2-1 (Mols 37,77) (Tosh 75)


This was a match with the rarest of rare goals, a Micheal Mols header no less. Alex McLeish’s men would head into the match just one point clear of Celtic at the top of the table. The Dons were sitting in lowly seventh place at this stage of the season.

The Light Blues had just added three new players to the squad; Steven Thompson, Jerome Bonnissel and Dan Eggen were the new recruits.

This was not a vintage Rangers performance by any stretch of the imagination, the game was a drab affair, but a win was vital, keeping Rangers top and the 100% home record until that stage.

Rangers had what looked like a stonewall penalty turned down by Willie Young, an official that loved the limelight more than Madonna.

The opening goal came just nine minutes before the break and was a Dutch of class, Numan and Ricksen working a short corner before crossing to the head of Mols, who headed past the hapless Preece in the Aberdeen net.

After that, the game struggled to find any real rhythm or flow and on 75 minutes we were made to pay when Steve Tosh broke through, curling a shot past the impressive Klos.

This goal seemed to spark the Gers into life and just two minutes later, we were back ahead after nice work by Caniggia who had replaced Arteta in the second half, his shot was parried by Preece into the path of Mols who slotted into the empty net. There was still time for Bonnissel to make his debut, replacing McCann instantly after the goal.

(4-4-2): Klos; Ross, Numan, Moore, Malcolm; Ricksen, Ferguson(c), Arteta (Caniggia 68), McCann (Bonnissel 78); de Boer, Mols (Maclean 89)
Subs: McGregor, Konterman
Booked: None

(4-4-2): Preece; McNaughton (Dk Young 88), McAllister, Anderson, McGuire; Tosh, Clark, Rutkiewicz, Sheerin; Mike, Mackie (Hinds 71)

Subs: Kjaer, O’Donoghue, D’Jaffo
Booked: None

Referee: Willie Young

Attendance: 49,667

Man of the Match: Mikel Arteta

@steven_harrigan   @rangersnewsuk