My Favourite Shirt - Part Ten
Part Ten of 'My Favourite Shirt' has Rangers fan, Ross McCarron, answering questions about his 1982/83-1983/84 Rangers Home Shirt as well as answering other questions about his club.
Ross's 1982/83-1983/84 Rangers Home Shirt
Why is this your favourite shirt? Glasgow Rangers are my team and I was born in 1984….but it is more than that.
This shirt is very special to me and is the catalyst for my shirt collection. I found an old Admiral Rangers shirt on eBay for £8 circa 2010 and decided to get it to wear to games. This purchase was quickly followed by an Adidas 92 shirt.
The holy grail would soon become the 1984 shirt. A unique shirt, white pinstripes on the traditional blue. Hours were spent trawling the depths of the internet in search of one, but it eluded me for years. The side effect of this obsession was the size of my personal collection of replica & matchworn shirts from around the world would move into three figures. Mike Ashley began interfering in Rangers and a boycott of replica shirts took place (Rangers made 7 pence for every pound sold under his deal). This meant the majority of fans began looking for vintage shirts, making the rarer ones scarce and very pricey.
I had been dating a girl for around eight months when we decided to go to Copenhagen for my birthday. Imagine my shock when my present turned out to be this 1984 shirt in pristine collection. I knew right then I had to marry her (and have since put a ring on it!). She was actually wearing the shirt as she ‘presented’ it to me, but that’s not a story for sharing!
Are there any happy or bad memories that come back to you when you see or think about this shirt? This was not a particularly successful era for the club, finishing 4th in the league that season. Graeme Souness would arrive two years later and fortunes would soon change.
Rangers did manage to win the Scottish League Cup and we recorded our biggest ever European win, 10-0 Vs Valletta in the Cup Winners’ Cup, with this record still standing today.
Who was the best player to wear this shirt? Two players stand out that season. Davie Cooper & Ally McCoist. Although the term ‘legend’ can often be used loosely, both players certainly meet the criteria for legend status at Rangers in their own right and are included in the ‘Greatest Ever Team’ which was voted on by Rangers fans from across the world. I was only lucky enough to see McCoist play in the flesh, so he edges it for me.
How do you rate the shirts of today compared to years gone by? Nostalgia is a powerful drug. One ‘hit’ of looking at my 94 Brazil shirt takes me back to kicking an Adidas Questra ball around the sunny southside streets of Glasgow in July 1994. Donning a homemade ‘7 Bebeto’ on my back, I’d rush home to watch the next match from USA 94. This was my first World Cup. How can I then compare Nike’s current Brazil offering to this? The reality is, there are many variables to this question. Material & design all now favour player performance. Surely that is an improvement? Value for the ordinary fan is no longer the case though. As for the design from an aesthetic viewpoint, that’s down to the eye of the beholder.
There seems to be a lot of disdain for the modern template that the top brands churn out. But some of my favourite designs from the 90’s were Adidas template shirts. The current love shown towards vintage design was evident at the World Cup last year (Nigeria, Germany to name a few) and I think Nike, Adidas etc. will be using this ‘hybrid’ shirt more often – modern technology with a retro look.
I’ll still be spending my kit money on vintage shirts though.
(Sidenote – Hummel have actually incorporated the pinstripe from the 84 shirt into next seasons Rangers shirt)
Why do you support Rangers? Simple answer. My Dad does. I believe football is something that you pass down from father to son (or mother to daughter). This was the case with me. I still go to Ibrox every other Saturday with my Dad and even travelled together to Russia to watch Rangers play Spartak Moscow in the Europa League this season.
What was the first Gers game you went to and what was the score? Apparently, I was taken to a reserve game between Rangers & Dundee at Ibrox in 1987. I have no recollection of this, being only 3 years old at the time and we had to leave early as I was spending more time climbing over the chairs than watching the match.
It wasn’t until the 1991-92 season that I became a regular, however, my first game was the final match of the 1990-91 season. It was a league decider between Rangers & Aberdeen. Both teams were level on points and goal difference, although Aberdeen were narrowly ahead on more goals scored. A 2-0 victory courtesy of a Mark Hateley brace secured the win, and the title, which eventually proved vital in our 9 in a row success. I still remember staying back and watching a sea of red, white & blue scarves showering the players as they did a lap of honour. I was hooked!
How have Rangers done this season in your opinion? The gap between expectation and reality has been distant in recent years for Rangers. The reality is, this season, although filled with inconsistency & disappointments, has been a positive step in the right direction.
We negotiated our way through a long & gruelling qualification campaign to reach the Europa League, in which we were extremely unlucky not to get through to the knockout stages. Recording our first Old Firm league win since returning to the top flight laid down a marker of what the fans expect. Consistency is key in any title win and a couple of quality additions over the summer will hopefully bring that level.
Steven Gerrard has impressed in many areas, but still has a lot to learn as a rookie manager. Silverware is a must or the pressure will begin to mount. Ultimately, winning the league next year is going to be the only real measure of success.
Your best Rangers 1-11 in your time supporting the club?
Ronald de Boer
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