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Rangers FC

Rangers FC Information

Address:   150 Edmiston Drive, Glasgow. G51 2XD
Telephone: (0141) 5808500
Fax: (0141) 4190600
Founded: 1873
Stadium: Ibrox Stadium
Website: www.rangers.co.uk

Rangers FC History

Rangers Football Club is among the world's most successful football clubs and are the most succesful Scottish team. Founded in 1873 (although the club itself was founded in 1873, the same team was founded in 1872 - see below), Rangers, as the club is commonly referred to as, play at the 50,411 seat Ibrox Stadium in south west Glasgow. Rangers play in royal blue shirts, white shorts and black and red socks.

The present side is multinational and multiracial. The club has traditionally been identified with the Protestant community of Glasgow, and for most of its history it has enjoyed a fierce rivalry with crosstown opponents Celtic, which draws much of its support from Glasgow's Catholic community. Between them the two clubs dominate Scottish football, and are collectively known as The Old Firm.

The club's correct name is simply Rangers, although they are sometimes (incorrectly) called Glasgow Rangers - often by English commentators seeking to distinguish between them and other similarly named clubs, particularly Queens Park Rangers. The club is nicknamed The Gers by friend and foe alike, although the fans are known as "Bluenoses" and "bears".

The Birth and the early days

In 1872, Moses McNeil, Tom Vallance and Peter Campbell saw a group of men playing football on Glasgow Green's Flesher's Haugh and decided to form a team of their own. Three of McNeil's six brothers (Peter, William and Harry) joined him in this new pastime and together they formed the core of the early Rangers sides. The team's first game was in May of 1872 against Callander F.C. on Flesher's Haugh, which resulted in a 0-0 draw. At first they played under the name Argyle. Moses McNeil suggested the name Rangers after seeing the name in a book about English Rugby. Rangers only played two matches in their birth year and their second match was a comprehensive 11-0 win over Clyde. Rangers began to grow into a more formal football club and in 1876, for the first time, a player was called up to play international football as Moses McNeil made his Scotland debut against Wales. In 1888 the now famous old firm fixture was born as Rangers met Celtic for the first time in a friendly match which Celtic won 5-2. By 1890 the Scottish league was formed and Rangers enjoyed a victorious first season as they finished joint-top with Dumbarton and after a play-off match finished 2-2, the title was shared. Rangers had to wait until 1884 to taste their first Scottish Cup success after losing to Vale of Leven in 1877 and 1879 but finally lifted the trophy for the first time after a 3-1 win over Celtic. Rangers even came close to winning the English FA Cup in 1887 when they lost to Aston Villa in the semi-final. Rangers ended the nineteenth century with further Scottish cup wins 1897 and 1898 and a League championship win in 1899 during which they won every one of their 18 league matches. Rangers formally became a business company in 1899 and match secretary William Wilton was appointed as the clubs first manager. The club also appointed it's first board of directors under the chairmanship of James Henderson. Rangers were well on their way to becoming one of Scotland's top clubs.

Wilton and Struth

Rangers continued their success in the early 1900's winning the championship seven times between 1900 and 1918. Having lost the title in 1919 they responded in 1920 with one of the best seasons in their history as manager William Wilton and his right hand man Bill Struth retained the title as they hit 106 goals in 42 league games. However, in May 1920 the clubs first ever manager William Wilton died in a boating accident and subsequently Bill Struth was appointed manager. Struth would go on to be a legend as he steered Rangers to 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups in his 34 year tenure as manager. He was also the first Rangers manager to win the domestic treble when it was achieved for the first time in Scottish football history in season 1948-1949.

Under Scott Symon

After Bill Struth collected two more domestic doubles in 1950 and 1953 Scott Symon was appointed as Rangers third manager in 1954. Symon continued Struth's success winning six league championships, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups. He also became the second manager to win the domestic treble in season 1963-1964. Symon also took Rangers into the European Cup for the first time in 1956-1957 going out on to French team OGC Nice. They did however reach the semi-finals in 1960 losing eventually to German team Eintracht Frankfurt. By 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italians Fiorentina only to lose 4-1. Rangers suffered yet more despair in the final of the same competition in losing to Bayern Munich in 1967.

Davie White

Davie White was installed as Rangers' fourth manager in 1967. However, his tenure was a brief one and he was dismissed after little more than two years in charge, winning nothing.

Euro glory under Waddell

Willie Waddell was appointed as Rangers manager in 1969 and he guided Rangers to their first, and only to date, European triumph when they won the Cup Winners Cup by beating Dynamo Moscow 3-2 at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. The triumph came just two years after the Ibrox disaster where 66 people died on the east terrace on staircase 13. Within weeks of their European success, Willie Waddell moved to the general manager position and his coach Jock Wallace was appointed as manager.

Jock Wallace

Having been appointed as manager in their centenary year, Wallace celebrated with a Scottish Cup win having beaten Celtic 3-2 in the final. Rangers finally broke Celtic's Scottish football dominance in 1974-1975 by winning the league championship which was to be the last of its kind as a new format consisting of a Scottish Premier League was to be introduced the following season. In the inaugural Premier League season, Rangers not only won the league championship but also their third domestic treble. Despite winning nothing in season 1975-1976, Rangers once again won the domestic treble the next season. However, after a disagreement with Willie Waddell and the board he quit in 1978 and Rangers turned to a former playing hero and captain John Greig.

John Greig

Despite winning a Scottish cup win in 1981 and a league cup win the following season, aided by the signing of Ally McCoist, Greig resigned as manager in 1983 after a relatively unsuccessful spell as manager with Celtic and Aberdeen now dominating Scottish football.

Return of the Jock

Rangers hoped to rekindle success by bringing Jock Wallace back to the club. He won the league cup twice in a row in 1983 and 1984 but league form was indifferent. The continuing dominance of Celtic, Aberdeen and now Dundee United put Wallace under increasing pressure and by season 1985-1986 Rangers had slipped to fifth place in the league and subsequently he was sacked as manager.

The Souness Era

Graeme Souness was appointed as Rangers' first player-manager in 1986 and it began a period of signing top players from England. In his first season at the helm, he brought the championship back to Ibrox and also won the league cup. Rangers were on the brink of returning to greatness and that was aided by the arrival of tycoon business man David Murray. In the first season of the Souness - Murray partnership (1989), Rangers won the first of what would eventually become nine championship wins in a row. During his time, Souness made the most controversial signing in Scottish football history by signing Roman Catholic and former Celtic player Mo Johnston. Souness also signed some top European players including Ray Wilkins and Terry Butcher. Despite this success, Souness left Rangers in 1991 to join former club Liverpool. Souness' assistant Walter Smith was appointed as Rangers' ninth manager.

Nine in a row

Walter Smith went on to clinch the championship in 1991 following Souness' departure after a dramatic last day win over title challengers Aberdeen. Smith, with the financial backing of David Murray, continued to attract top players to the club and in season 1991 - 1992 steered Rangers to one of the best seasons in their history. Not only did they win the domestic treble but they came to within one match of the European Cup final. Rangers saw off English Premier League champions Leeds United in a 'battle of Britain' qualifier. In the group stage, Rangers won two matches and drew four but, despite not losing a single game, went out to French team Olympique de Marseille. They won the double the following season but missed out on a back-to-back domestic treble after losing in the Scottish Cup final to Dundee United. Rangers again won the championship in seasons 1994-1995 and 1995-1996 with the help of signings such as Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne. In season 1996-1997 Rangers went on to win their ninth championship in a row thereby equalizing Celtic's achievement of the late 60's and early 70's. Season 1997-1998 proved to be Walter Smith's last season as manager and Rangers were unable to win their tenth league championship in a row. Smith left Rangers and joined English Premiership team Everton. Many players also left Rangers including Brian Laudrup, Ally McCoist and captain Richard Gough.

The Little General

Dick Advocaat, nicknamed the little general, succeeded Walter Smith at the start of season 1998-1999. Advocaat, former manager of PSV, was Rangers' tenth ever manager and their first non-Scottish manager. Many players left Rangers after Walter Smith's departure and Advocaat made several signings including Arthur Numan, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Andrei Kanchelskis. In total Advocaat spent over £36 million on new players in his debut season. However, he did not disappoint on the pitch as he led Rangers to a domestic treble. The following season Advocaat continued to spend big bringing the likes of Michael Mols and Claudio Reyna to Ibrox. In his second season he led Rangers to the domestic double and led them into the Champions League for the first time having beaten Parma in a qualifier. However, the arrival of Martin O'Neill at rivals Celtic halted Rangers' dominance and, despite yet again qualifying for the Champions League and major signings such as Tore André Flo and Ronald de Boer, the club did not win a major competition in the 2000-2001 season. Having made a poor start to season 2001-2002 Advocaat resigned as manager and took up a General Manager position which he would later leave after only 11 months. Alex McLeish was the relatively surprising appointment as the new Rangers manager in December 2002. During Advocaat's tenure at Ibrox, it had been realised that with the club deep in financial difficulty they would be unable to continue signing top European players and instead focused on producing their own players. As a result, Advocaat spear-headed the building of Murray Park - a £12m training complex. His popularity plummeted however, as his expensive purchases failed to deliver on the pitch.

Under Big Eck

Under Alex McLeish Rangers won both the Scottish cup and league cup in his first season. Despite not being able to sign any new players due to the clubs financial position, he lifted the domestic treble in his second season at Ibrox. However, for season 2003-2004 he was not only unable to sign many new players he also had to sell many of his treble stars including captain Barry Ferguson who joined Blackburn Rovers and as a result of many of these players leaving the trophy cabinet was left empty. McLeish signed several players for season 2004 - 2005 including Dado Prso, Nacho Novo and Jean-Alain Boumsong. Boumsong would later leave the club in January 2005 to English Premiership side Newcastle United for £8m. That however paved the way for more signings including Thomas Buffel and the return of former captain Barry Ferguson, who had failed to settle at Blackburn Rovers and indeed suffered a serious injury that had forced him to miss many months of competitive action.

Famous present or former players at Ibrox include: Derek Johnstone, Alan Morton, Sam English,David Meiklejohn, Robert Smith McColl, Willie Waddell, Colin Stein, Jock Shaw, Paul Gascoigne, Terry Butcher, Graeme Souness, Davie Cooper, Ally McCoist, Mark Hateley, Brian Laudrup, Claudio Reyna, Arthur Numan, Lorenzo Amoruso, Rodney Wallace, Fernando Ricksen, Jim Baxter, Ray Wilkins, Richard Gough, Andy Goram, Barry Ferguson, William 'Sandy' Jardine and Jean-Alain Boumsong.

Rangers FC Honours, Trophies & Awards

  • European Cup Winners Cup: 1972 (1)
  • Scottish League Champions: 1891, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003 (50)
  • Scottish Cup Winners: 1894, 1897, 1898, 1903, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 (31)
  • Scottish League Cup Winners: 1946, 1948, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005 (24)
  • Drybrough Cup: 1979

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