47 Years Ago This Week. The Birth of the Rangers.
‘’Thus ended their first match played at the latter end of May 1872 some two months after the inauguration of the club’’.
The words of Rangers player William Dunlop from his article The Rangers FC which he wrote so eloquently for the SFA Annual in 1881 using the pen name ‘True Blue’.
Rangers Football Club played it’s first ever match 147 years ago this week.
Our Club was formed on a spare bit of ground at Fleshers Haugh by a few kids who’d come to Glasgow seeking employment and a better way of life.
Their Club ,which they formed for no other reason than the love of football and the pursuit of sporting excellence, would go on to become the world’s most successful.
That first ever match was against Callander and ended 0-0, Willie continued,
“Their first game was a terrible spectacle with the ball suffering an incredible amount of abuse” William McBeath was given man of the match and then spent a week in bed recovering due to his exertions’’.
Founder William McBeath was from Callander and we believe it would have been Willie who approached ex-pats from the town who had settled in Glasgow and that’s probably where the opposition came from for our first match.
Willie’s Rangers team-mate Sam Ricketts wrote in 1884 about the boys playing those first few games in their civvies and journalist John Allan wrote about them having to change behind a bush as there were no facilities.
William Dunlop described how genial Peter McNeil would travel on a Saturday morning to a desirable part of the Glasgow Green, set up the noted standards and stand guard until the classic hour came when he would be joined by his friends. We felt this was a very dramatic and moving image and commissioned a painting to be done depicting this scene.
We presented the painting by artist Helen Runciman to the Club in 2009 and it now hangs on the marble staircase at Ibrox.
The Rangers would remain at Fleshers Haugh for three years.
They then began their journey around Glasgow to Burnbank and Kinning Park before finally settling in the Ibrox area in 1887.
The Rangers FC by William Dunlop.