I was born to be a Rangers supporter. I had no real choice in the matter. My father was a Ger, as was his father and his father’s father. I was accepted that as soon as I was old enough to be lifted over a turnstile I would attend Ibrox, faithfully.
From 1964 (aged 5) I worshipped at the shrine of Rangers for almost three decades. Fortunately for me, my father was the least bigoted man you could wish to meet. His religions were the trade unions and Rangers. Because he wasn’t bigoted our next-door neighbour and dad’s friend used to take me to Parkhead to watch Celtic too, which I found thrilling as I was convinced the “Tims” could see right through me.
This caused me a bit of confusion at school, because some of my family were “Tims”. In fact my favourite aunty was a convert to Catholicism and was as devout and decent a Catholic as you will ever meet. The conflation of football and religion was as normal as the smog-filled air we breathed. It just was what it was. You were either Proddy Ranger or Timmy Celtic. It wasn’t to be questioned.
Except my dad questioned it, loudly and often. He tried to explain the wrongs of the situation to me many times. I remember asking him why he still was a Rangers man if he disliked the whole Proddy/Tim thing that went with it.
“They’re my team, son. The morons can’t change that”, he told me.