Tuesday, 9 February 2010


At wee Ishie's playgroup nativity concert (see December 17/09 post) my number came up: I won 'A Visit for 6 People to Rangers Football Stadium'! Well, today was the day for the visit and what a terrific time we had!

Gathering a clutch of former neighbours we all headed off to Ibrox - the home of Rangers Football Club - for a 1 hour conducted tour of the building and grounds and, afterwards, lunch in their Argyle Restaurant.

As a person who doesn't follow football - I mean, not at all, I am afraid - it was a real eye-opener! In the west of Scotland there is a very (VERY) strong football culture. It's a long story with many facets. One place to get the gist of who they are and where they are located both geographically and in the world of football is here.

One cannot live in this part of the world and be unaware of football especially the 2 main Glasgow teams, namely, Rangers and Celtic. Over the 40 years I have lived here I've had occasion to pass by the (Ibrox) stadium (or more likely not... as traffic had to be diverted for the games whose times I did not check!) or I have been in the city centre as fans wearing the colours of their team streamed out of the underground station heading for the big game.

We are talking about thousands! After a tour of the building built in 1929, so is historically a 'listed building' now, we were taken through the tunnel and on to the pitch. It was quite awesome! It seats 50,000! Being a lovely bright day it looked absolutely terrific! I can see what it must be like with all the supporters filling the place and therefore why people pay to go along!

What I did not know was: there is a camber to the pitch. It rises 17 inches from the outer long edge to the mid-point. And all pitches are different. While there I noticed what at first looked like a series of irrigation spray pipes on wheels like you see in fields for irrigating grain or garden produce. It was a photosynthesis system, i.e. what I would call 'lights'. It is winter and the grass does not grow so they help it along.

Everyone told me the visit was well worth while and they were quite right. It is like going to a museum and being shown, with explanations, all the history and trophies. Just seeing the collection of gifts that clubs give one another was a bit of social history in itself. On the whole, the gifts (of which only 1/8th is on display!) were very, very high quality e.g. fine design and materials with workmanship done by a given country's finest craftsmen/women.

Color plays a big part in football - for better or for worse! What I cannot figure out is: what, exactly, is the Rangers blue?

Photos: Wikipedia

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