- Rangers F.C.
infobox football club
fullname = Rangers Football Club
nickname = The Gers, Teddy Bears, Light Blues
shortname = Rangers
founded = 1873 [The club was formed in 1872 but was not officially founded until a year later]
capacity = 51,082cite news|url=http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Stadium/0,,5,00.html|publisher=Rangers official website|title=A Look at Ibrox's Rich History]
chairman = flagicon|Scotland Sir David Murray
manager = flagicon|Scotland Walter Smith
Scottish Premier League
season = 2007-08
position = Scottish Premier League, 2nd
pattern_b1 = _white_nzfc_shoulders
leftarm1 = 0000FF
body1 = 0000FF
rightarm1 = 0000FF
shorts1 = FFFFFF
socks1 = 000000
leftarm2 = FFFFFF
body2 = FFFFFF
rightarm2 = FFFFFF
shorts2 = 0000FF
socks2 = 0000FF
website = http://rangers.co.uk/
current = Rangers F.C. season 2008-09
Rangers Football Club are an
association footballteam based in Glasgow, Scotland, who currently play in the Scottish Premier League. They have won a world record 51 league titles,cite news|url=http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/kamprec.html#tnc|publisher=Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation|title=Total Number of Championships|date=23 November 2006] and have won more major trophies than any other football club in the world.cite news|url=http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/rangers-100trophies.html|publisher=Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation|title=Glasgow Rangers - 100 Trophies|date=21 October 2001] The club are nicknamed the "Teddy Bears", from the rhyming slangfor "Gers", which in turn is short for "Rangers", and the fans are known to each other as "Bluenoses". The club's correct name is simply "Rangers F.C.", although they are sometimes referred to as "Glasgow Rangers" for European matches to avoid confusion.cite news|url=http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/glasgow-rangers/index.html|title=Glasgow Rangers|publisher= Yahoo!sport]
Rangers' players and fans today are multi-national and of various religions, although the club have traditionally been identified with and favoured the
Protestantand Unionist community of Scotland, as well as the Ulster Unionist community in Northern Ireland. For most of their history, Rangers have enjoyed a fierce rivalry with their cross-city opponents Celtic,cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/5289202.stm|publisher=BBC Website|title=A rivalry tied up in religion|date=26 August 2006] and the two are collectively known as the Old Firm.
The club's home, the all-seated 51,082-capacity
Ibrox Stadiumin south-west Glasgow, is a five-star UEFA elite stadium. The stadium was the first in Scotland to be granted this accolade, which it now shares with Hampden Park, Scotland's national stadium.
Formation and early years
The four founders of Rangers - brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath - met in 1872 and named their team after an English rugby club upon seeing the name in a book.cite news|url=http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HallOfFame/0,,5~529960,00.html|title=Hall of Fame - Moses McNeil|publisher=Rangers official website] In May of that year the first match was played, a 0-0 draw in a friendly against Callander F.C. on the public pitches of
Glasgow Green. The only other match played that year was another friendly against a team called Clyde (not the present-day Clyde F.C.) resulting in an 11-0 victory and featuring the debut of the club's blue strip.cite news|url=http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,5~390080,00.html|title=1872-1898 - The Birth Of The Blues|publisher=Rangers official website] The official founding of Rangers is recognised as taking place in 1873, when the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. The first season's fixtures were all friendlies, as the deadline for joining the Scottish Football Associationhad been missed, meaning the team did not take part in the inaugural Scottish Cup. By 1876 Rangers had their first internationalist, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales, and by 1877 Rangers had reached a Scottish Cup final. The first ever Old Firmmatch took place in 1888, the year of Celtic's establishment. Rangers lost 5-2 in a friendly to a team largely comprised of "guest players" from Hibernian.
The 1890-91 season saw the inception of the
Scottish Football League, and Rangers were one of ten original members. By this time Rangers were playing at the first Ibrox Stadium. Rangers' first ever league match took place on 16 August 1890 and resulted in a 5-2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing equal-top with Dumbarton a play-off was held at Cathkin Parkto decide the who would be champions. The match finished 2-2 and the title was shared for the only time in its history, the first of Rangers' world record 51 championships. Rangers' first ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3-1 victory over rivals Celtic in the final. By the turn of the century Rangers had won two league titles and three Scottish Cups.
1919-1939 The Struth Years
The 1919/20 season heralded the dawn of a new era for Rangers as manager
William Wiltonand number two William Struthinitiated a Rangers dominance that was to last until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Though winning this season with 31 wins out of 42 games and scoring 106 goals, it was overshadowed by the subsequent death of manager, William Wilton. Taking over the manager's mantle, William Struth guided Rangers to a further 14 titles before the war. This period was also noteworthy for the attendances. On the 2 January 1939 a British league record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional new year holiday old firm match. cite news | url = http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,5~452,00.html | publisher = Rangers website | title = 1919-1939 A Glorious Double | date = 5 August 2008 ]
Ibrox disasterovershadowed what happened on the pitch to a large extent in the early 1970s. On 2 January 1971, in the final minutes of the New Year's Day Old Firm game with the score set at 0-0, Jimmy Johnstonescored for Celtic. Within seconds Colin Steinhad equalised for Rangers. As the 80,000 strong crowd was trying to disperse at full time, many fell down the stairway at the Copland Road end of the ground. Their momentum led to large scale crushing and 66 people died. A benefit match to raise funds for the victims' families took place after the disaster. A joint Rangers and Celtic team took on a Scotland XI at Hampden watched by 81,405 fans.
In 1972, Rangers beat
Dynamo Moscowto win the Cup Winner's Cup, their first and only European trophy to date. Captain John Greigreceived the trophy in a small room within the Nou Campdue to a pitch invasion by Rangers fans. [ [http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/uefacup/Destiny-awaits-Ibrox-heroes.4071420.jp Scotland on Sunday] ]
Nine in a Row
Every year from 1988-89 season until the 1996-97 season, Rangers won the league title. This 9 in a row achievement meant that they equalled Celtic's record. The first three of these seasons the club was managed by
Graeme Souness, the later six under the stewardship of Walter Smith.
Under Paul Le Guen
Paul Le Guenreplaced Alex McLeishas manager after season 2005-06.
The season started poorly for Rangers, with a number of losses and draws against teams lower in the league, as well as their being knocked out of the League Cup by Division One side St. Johnstone. Rivals Celtic built a lead at the top of the table, while Rangers fought for second place alongside Hearts and Aberdeen. The first
Old Firmmatch of the season resulted in a 2-0 defeat; the second - at Ibrox - was a 1-1 draw.
In the UEFA Cup Rangers became the first Scottish side to qualify for the last 32 of the competition in its current format.
There had been rumours during the season of disharmony at Rangers, between Scottish and foreign units, with players including captain
Barry Fergusondisapproving of Le Guen's strict disciplinarian stance. cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/6233959.stm | publisher = BBC Sport website | title = Clash of cultures | date = 5 January 2007 ] . It was announced on 4 January 2007 that Le Guen had left Rangers by mutual consent. cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/6231489.stm | publisher = BBC Sport website | title = Le Guen and Rangers part company | date = 4 January 2007 ]
Walter Smith's return (2007-present)
On 10 January 2007, it was announced that former manager
Walter Smithwas the new manager of Rangers, with Ally McCoistas assistant manager and Kenny McDowall as first-team coach.cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/6233237.stm|publisher=BBC Sport website|title=Smith installed as Rangers boss|date=10 January 2007]
The early season priority, qualification for the Champions League group stage was secured after aggregate victories over the champions of the Montenegrin and Serbian leagues,
FK Zetaand Red Star Belgraderespectively. The campaign started well for Rangers with two victories but ultimately they did not progress from the group stages. But the adventure continued as they progressed to the final of the UEFA Cup, defeating Panathinaikos, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbonand Fiorentina along the way. The final was against Zenit St. Petersburg who are managed by former Gers manager Dick Advocaat. They lost that match 2-0, amid serious disturbances caused by some supporters. Video evidence was released by the Greater Manchester Policeof Rangers fans attacking officers in Manchester City Centrefollowing the defeat. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/7402858.stm BBC News CCTV shows fans chasing police] ]
The 2008-2009 season saw Rangers make a below-par start to their UEFA Champions League campaign as they drew 0-0 at home to the
Lithuanian club FBK Kaunas. The away leg ended in a 2-1 defeat, having taken the lead through Kevin ThomsonRangers were beaten by a free-kick from Nerijus Radžiusand a late header from Linas Pilibaitis.
Club colours and crest
The club colours of Rangers F.C. are
royal blue, white and red.
The team's home strip invariably features a royal blue shirt (often with white and/or red trim). Traditionally this is accompanied by white shorts (often with royal blue and/or red trim) and black socks with red turn-downs. [ [http://www.jjbsports.com/rangers-kit/rangers-home-jersey-ss-0809/prod_158310.aspx Current Rangers Home shirt] ] However when wearing the 'home strip' Rangers will occasionally alter the shorts and socks, sometimes replacing the black socks with white ones; or replacing the white shorts and black socks combination with royal blue shorts and socks.
The basic design of Rangers away strips has changed far more than the traditional home strip. White and red have been the most common predominant colours for Rangers alternate strips, though dark and light blue have also featured highly. [ [http://www.jjbsports.com/rangers-kit/rangers-away-ss-shirt-0708/prod_107834.aspx Current Rangers Away shirt] ]
In recent years, Rangers have also introduced a third kit. [ [http://www.jjbsports.com/rangers-kit/rangers-third-shirt-0708/prod_107833.aspx Current Rangers Third shirt] ] This is usually worn if both the home and away kits clash with their opponents. The colours used range from light blue to red to a very controversial tangerine.cite news|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20021006/ai_n12580288|publisher=Sunday Herald|title=Rangers to drop orange strip after sectarian outcry|date=6 October 2002]
hirt sponsors and manufacturers
Football kit box
align = right
pattern_b = _rangers_third_0708
leftarm = 696A88
body = rangers_third_0708| rightarm = 696A88
shorts = 36353D
socks = 36353D
title = Rangers' third kit (2007-08)
; Scottish League championships (51): 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, 2005.
; Cup Winners' Cup winners (1): 1972;
* [http://www.rangers.co.uk/ Official website]
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