Back To The Future
I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately about the Rangers of my boyhood years - the Waddell-Wallace era.
For me, there is something deeply symbolic about the strip the current team is wearing. It’s not just about honouring the past i.e. the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup triumph; it is also a statement and a message.
I firmly believe that in order to go forward, Rangers must go back. Back, that is, to the days before David Murray, when Rangers were Rangers – and everything that meant. The Rangers I knew growing up in the 1970’s were very much in the mould of the Rangers my father knew. The club was steeped in tradition, pride and an ethos that was very much marred by the Murray years.
Under David Murray, Rangers became a bloated parody of itself. There was success, yes, but we are paying the price for that now. Sadly Rangers became a club made in Murray’s image – arrogant, disdainful and disrespectful of others. Where once Rangers led Scottish football and was the favourite second team of most, during the Murray years this changed to despite and a desire to see Rangers humbled. Why? Because Murray wanted to dominate Scottish football, not lead it.
Being the biggest club means you are the club people look to for help and vision in times of trouble. With great power comes great responsibility, as Uncle Ben taught Peter Parker. Rangers lost this under David Murray but have found it again in our present role in the SFL. The teams in the SFL are only too happy to share in the bounty that comes with Rangers’ presence. This is exactly how it should be.
The values that were embodied by Struth, Symon, Waddell and Big Jock Wallace must once again be the warp and woof of the Rangers ethos. Of course, we don’t want Rangers to go back to the days when it was a sleeping giant commercially; there have to be good business people making money for the club off the field. But the traditions and philosophy that shaped Rangers pre-Murray can be and must be rediscovered in the way the team plays the game and in the way the club and its officials conduct themselves.
The Rangers I knew growing up inspired both fear and respect from others – yet also, curiously, trust. Teams in difficulty could rely upon Rangers for help. This is what we have to get back to.
There’s no question about it – people who hate Rangers have done their best to destroy the club and all it stands for. Like most Gers fans, I would be only too happy to see this doubled back upon these haters. But the reality is, with Scottish football in meltdown, the traditional role of The Rangers is one the club must face up to.
Rangers Football Club must once more lead the game here in Scotland. This was our historical role long before David Murray showed up at Ibrox. And it is our destiny now.
Bill McMurdo runs and excellent blog site, please have a look - www.billmcmurdo.com
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