Three bears visit island supporters club

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The Lewis and Harris Rangers Supporters Club marked four decades this month with a blue carpet roll out for a pair of Light Blues legends.

Tom Forsyth and Alex Macdonald were the latest in a long line of Ibrox heroes to make the trip to the Stornoway-based club where they enjoyed a reunion with isles-based Rangers legend Ronnie MacKinnon.

The trio made a combined total of more than 1300 appearances and collected a massive 30-medals in their time playing for the Gers.

Speaking to the Gazette Macdonald, a goal scoring midfielder who helped the club win the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup, praised the Lewis and Harris RSC and all involved.

“The whole trip went fabulously well,” he beamed.

“Everyone looked after me 100 per cent and it was geat to see one of my own heroes, Ronnie McKinnon, for a catch up. He is doing really well and is such a big, cool, calm character, it was great to spend some time with him.

“John (MacInnes Supporters Club manager) was also brilliant and I’d like to thank him.

“Club’s like you have in Stornoway are very important to Rangers and it shows all the supporters are together, united, and all in one gang.

“The Stornoway guys come down every year and show tremendous loyalty to travel all that way in such big numbers, it is fabulous.”

As Rangers look ahead to a fresh start in season 2015/16 under a new manager in Mark Warburton, Macdonald is hopeful the good times will return to Ibrox.

“I don’t know much about him but he seems to like attacking football, and scoring goals which is good,” admitted Macdonald, “but one thing I hope we are able to bring back is to see full-backs going past wingers on the by-line to get the ball into the box.

“The fans are keen to see young players in the team and for me the best experience for young kids to learn is on the park in football.

“It is easier to teach and learn in a real match than in training. It is far more beneficial in a real game scenario.”

Following Rangers’ disappointing 6-1 aggregate defeat to Motherwell in the SPFL Play-Off the club have released a handful of high earning players but Macdonald insists people get too focused on pay packets.

“There are high earners in every sport but people always seem to pick on football. Have a look at Lewis Hamilton in Formula One who has signed a crazy deal or film stars who get £20m to star in a movie. It’s not just about money, it’s about who wants to play for Rangers.”

The Lewis and Harris Rangers Supporters Club is 40-years old this year with the club, officially recognised at Ibrox as the world’s biggest Rangers Supporters Club, having grown significantly since forming in 1975.

Originally the club’s founding members met in several different locations around Stornoway before eventually setting up camp in a specially built Club House at 19 Inaclete Road which was officially opened by the great Jock Wallace in 1984.

To this day the club continues to operate from its Inaclete Road premises which was refurbished and reopened by Mark Hateley in 2004 following a fire on New Year’s Day.

Rangers’ legend Ronnie McKinnon is an Honorary Member & Ambassador for the Supporters Club also.

With nearly 700 members, The Lewis & Harris RSC is a thriving Club which continues to grow. The Club House is open seven-days a week and show’s all live Rangers matches on the HD big screen as well as other televised matches from the EPL and around Europe.

The RSC also runs regular trips to games and once a year a very special trip is organised where a large group of members head to Glasgow to take in a game in style with full match day hospitality.

This year 80 members of LHRSC travelled down for the Rangers vs Raith Rovers match at Ibrox on April 12.

As well as regular fundraising nights for local charities, music events and private functions, the World’s Biggest Rangers Supporters Club is also known for its famous Legends Nights.

The Club has been host to some past and present light blue greats over the years, including; Richard Gough, Andy Goram, John Brown, Derek Johnstone, Derek Parlane, Willie Henderson, Davie Wilson, Alex Rae, Lee McCulloch, Ally McCoist, several of the “Barca Bears” and many more.

The Lewis & Harris RSC is always open to new members, forms are available at the bar or via email and you can keep up to date with what is happening at the Club through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.