Rangers fans in Glasgow crushed as hopes of winning Europa League shattered


Rangers have had their dream of winning the Europa League shattered after a gutting defeat at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in Seville on Wednesday night.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side proved to be no match for German club Eintracht Frankfurt as they failed to bring home what would have been their first European cup in 50 years.

Despite the defeat, jubilant fans continued to celebrate the historic occasion as the team played in their first European club competition in 14 years.

Supporters marked the occasion in Glasgow, as well as the Andalusian capital as thousands descended on both cities, with fans partying on the streets.



Fans in George Square

Many were delighted to just make it to the end and celebrated the efforts of all involved in getting the team there.

Chris Sutherland, from the Isle of Bute, said: “I am really disappointed but they got us here and that’s what matters.

“It has been some journey so hats off to them, all of the players and staff.”

Pal Neil McLean added: “They got us here and that’s good enough for me.



Chris Sutherland and Neil McLean
Chris Sutherland and Neil McLean

“The buzz that we have seen in Glasgow with everyone out and about – that speaks for itself.

“It is still a good result regardless.”

Fan Ross Murray, 28, from Kilmarnock was still celebrating the result as he didn’t make it to the 2008 Manchester game.

He told the Record: “I was too young to remember Manchester and I was only 14 and didn’t want to give up my paper run to go.

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“They still made it to the end so I am happy with that.”



Buzzing fan Ross Murray
Fan Ross Murray

Scots mum Louise Kell, 49, was watching the game with 18-year-old daughter Amy McMullan.

She said: “I am gutted but we have still done well to be here.

“It’s been a good atmosphere tonight and a good atmosphere all day. We came out at 12.30pm.

“I am a bit disappointed but I’m still proud.”

The last European title awarded to the club was in 1972 when the legendary Barca Bears won the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Former players of the 1972 team traveled to Seville on Tuesday and were spotted in the airport departure lounge showing their support.



Louise Kell
Louise Kell

The group included former midfielder Alex MacDonald as well as forwards Derek Johnstone, Willie Johnston and Colin Stein.

Now Rangers royalty, the team gained their Barca Bears nickname when they defeated Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in Barcelona 50 years ago.

Their victory was one of few in European club competitions for Scottish teams who have only made it to the final of such nine times.

Most of these were over 50 years ago – or even longer.



A Rangers fan looking rejected during the UEFA Europa League final
A Rangers fan looking rejected during the UEFA Europa League final

And Rangers were also the last team to play in a UEFA Cup final as they went toe-to-toe with Zenit St Petersburg in 2008.

The dream was also over for Rangers back then after the gut wrenching 2-0 defeat in Manchester devastated players.

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The Light Blues loss means a Scottish side has won a UEFA competition just four times.

But many fans felt the occasion was still extra special, despite the defeat, with it being 50 years on from the Barca Bears European trophy and supporters celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the club this year.

Legendary kit-man Jimmy Bell also died at the age of 69 in May, leaving the Rangers community devastated as they still mourned the loss of former manager Walter Smith, 73, after his death last year.

Among those wishing the Glasgow side good luck before the game were politicians across the UK.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered her support hours before kick off as she tweeted: “Wishing @RangersFC the very best of luck in Seville tonight! #EuropaLeagueFinal.”

Gio van Bronckhorst’s team even had their incredible run referenced at Westminster during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Boris Johnson asked colleagues to join him in wishing the Ibrox side success and Labor leader Keir Starmer said the final was the culmination of an “extraordinary story” for Rangers.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford added that it was “always a joy to see Scottish clubs to get to the finals of European competitions”.

And while star striker Alfredo Morelos was unable to play in the match after being ruled out for the season with injury, he still led the party.

Morelos joined in the fun as he was pictured leading a Rangers fan rally on the streets of Seville ahead of the match.

Wearing a Rangers bucket hat, he was spotted giving the thumbs up to thousands of adoring fans who had made extremely long journeys to make it to Seville.

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With 100,000 supporters estimated to have made the journey, only about 20,000 managed to snare a ticket to watch their team play Eintracht Frankfurt in the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.

The rest partied joyously at fan zones and hospitality venues in the city, much like the thousands of supporters celebrating at home in the streets of Glasgow.

While George Square is often a hot spot for fans to party, chaotic scenes in the city following Rangers Premiership title win last year prompted Glasgow City Council to take action before the big game to minimize the impact.

Workers fenced off statues, grassy areas, and flower beds as they also removed memorial benches that usually sit in the square.

The final bill for last year’s cleared up cost taxpayers £58,000, but supporters later fundraised to pay the £11,000 bill to repair the damage caused after historic statues including memorials to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were damaged.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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