Duncan Whitelaw has provided Rangers Report with an exclusive look at his new book – It’s a Glasgow Rangers Story. This is Whitelaw’s second book on Rangers – the first, It’s Off to the Match, was released in 2012 & is still available on Amazon.
Whitelaw’s latest book looks at the history of the club & the impact supporters have had on its history. Whitelaw plans on donating the profits from the book to the Scottish War Blinded & to the Rangers Charity Foundation.
‘It’s off to the match I go’ was my small contribution to the literary world of Rangers football club. It tells my story growing up, developing from boy to man, my life intertwining with the fortunes of my favourite team.
Well received by Teddy Bears round the world, I received an e-mail from one complimentary reader. He said that he’d enjoyed the book, and fancied doing something similar – except, he didn’t have too many stories, and he couldn’t write.
Rather a big drawback for the prospective author!The seed was sown. I decided to take a look at the history of the Rangers, and blend a narrative around that rich tapestry, using stories and memories from my fellow supporters.
See them march on,
Marching on through the years of history.
Heads held high,
For the jersey they would do or die.
Fight, fight for right,
Play the game, wear the badge of glory.
Win, lose or draw,
Well that’s the Glasgow Rangers story.
There are a myriad of Rangers stories and memories. There are tales of glory and disappointment, of tragedy and of joy, far too many to be enclosed in one book, or even volume of books.
In this book, I just scratch the surface.
This is simply … A Glasgow Rangers Story.
The book looks at all levels of the Rangers experience.
Travelling to the game, from the spectacular…
I can remember seeing what seemed like an endless convoy of supporters’ buses, many with banners in their back windows and almost all of them belting out one Rangers anthem after another.
I got the train down and every time it pulled close to the motorway, all you could see was Rangers traffic; bus after bus, car after car, all draped in blue; scarves, flags, banners, you name it. No matter where we were, if we saw the road it was full of Bears all heading south.
To the frightening…
It was a windy night and the driver was genuinely afraid the bus would take one bounce too many, topple over, and tumble down into the dark waters of the River Clyde.
The bus immediately in front of us was struck by a petrol bomb, but fortunately it bounced off the vehicle and onto the road, flames spewed over a length of tarmac, but safely away from the passengers.
Then there’s the more alternative methods of travel…
The van wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone in the front seat, one of them was going to have to jump in the back – and share the journey with a couple of sheep!
We queued up, and when our turn came, we made our way down a slippy stepway and onto the ferry – packed in like sardines ‘til there was no space left. We then bobbed our way, in the dark, across the choppy River Clyde, murky water splashing and spraying onto our feet.
And the more luxurious…
The plane banked towards Barcelona. Flying high above the Pyrenees, the snow-topped mountains were below us, and then, suddenly, the sun kissed Mediterranean appeared on the horizon. For a lad who had never been on a plane before, it was an amazing sight, and quite majestic.
There is, of course, the actual football…
Super Cooper killed the ball in an instant, when nobody else bar Maradona could have done the same. He turned to face Aitken and slipped a sublime pass to the on rushing Durrant with the outside of his left wand. When the wee genius gathered it perfectly, it was a case of go on Durranty, the thud of thousands of seats as he was clean through with only Bonner to beat, the pause, the sharp intake of breath by thousands of Billy Boys, then he buried it into the corner.
Goalless for ninety minutes it looked like honours even, then Maurice Edu popped up in the right place at the right time. A blocked Kris Boyd shot fell perfectly for the American and he made no mistake in gleefully blasting the ball into the back of the net. Three of the four Ibrox stands exploded in ecstasy – just how good is an injury-time winner against that lot!
Our supporters’ bus stopped off at a wee hotel and we all piled in, the locals looking on in amazement at the madmen in blue drinking and celebrating as though there was no tomorrow.
Back in Glasgow we joined the party in George Square – Bears everywhere with cars circling the square in a true blue convoy, flags-a-flying and horns-a-tooting!
I’d to continually tell my gran to shut-up and sit-down as she kept leaping to her feet, to give the Aberdeen fans all sorts of abuse. I was terrified we were going to be chucked out – it was the family section after all!
And, of course, the dark days of administration…
I could see the train coming to take me home, and that’s when I read the headline that made my chest tighten, ‘Rangers apply to go into administration.’ The train rolled along the track and came to a dead stop, but it felt as though it had derailed, mounted the platform, and gone straight through my heart.
The football club is currently fighting its way back to where we all think it belongs.
The road has been long, with many twists and turns, and there is many a obstacle yet to be overcome, but get there we will!
We are the people, who sing of victory.
We follow Glasgow Rangers, from Kilmarnock to Dundee.
We are the people, who cheer the boys in blue
We follow Glasgow Rangers,
Our hearts are proud and true