Everywhere, anywhere #1

By Jamie Currie
 July 31, 2020

Following Rangers away from home in Europe is, by and large, a fantastic experience and I would urge any fan who hasn't yet had the opportunity to grasp it. It's something that, despite the result of the match, will have a positive impact on your Rangers supporting experience.

Over the years, I have been on nine trips, most of which have ended in disappointment in terms of actual football results, none more so than Manchester in 2008. It was a great day travelling down with the family and getting to witness Rangers in a European final, something I thought I would never see in my lifetime, if I am being honest.

The run to that final was magical, so many highs and lows. It was such a weird day. I met Mark Hateley before taking my seat, was sat in front of Alex Rae and then was consoled by former Ger and my former PE teacher Roger Hynd when leaving the stadium. I will never forget his words. "Don't be upset, wee man. There will be another one." Sadly, I doubt it.

From the nine trips, my favourite ones have to be the 5-2 Shelbourne win from the 1998 UEFA Cup purely from a result point of view and Legia – last season – was good but that was because the atmosphere in the stadium was the loudest I have heard non-stop for 90 minutes. Also, I would have to say Maribor in 2011. I went on the official travel club flight and because of limited numbers we got an overnight in a smashing hotel in the Maribor square and got fly there and back with the squad, which was superb.

"Got on the plane, walking towards the back and Ian Durrant said: "All right, wee man." It wasn't exactly earth-shattering but it was nice all the same.

Unfortunately despite taking the lead, we lost 2-1 and went out.

Without a doubt the best trip city-wise was Eindhoven. Bought tickets from PSV and myself and my dad were in behind the goal. When we were in the queue to pick up said tickets there were four Rangers fans in the same boat as us and we were all sat together. The City was great, the people were friendly and unfortunately, the result was 0-0.

Leipzig was another memorable trip; The stadium stairs, the result, the snow and beer almost did me in. So when we drew Leverkusen in the last 16 I was gutted I couldn't go because the Leipzig trip was a super one.

But it's not all about my experiences. I spoke to some other fans who gave me their perspectives and insight about their favourite trips abroad watching Rangers.

Firstly, This is Ibrox podder, William Irwin gave me his thoughts on what following Rangers beyond these shores was like for him.

He said: "My favourite game has to be the game in Denmark against Midtjylland as it I felt they would pose us a lot of problems but the performance was the best I have seen from a Rangers team on my travels".

"The Best trip would have to be Feyenoord as we took a slight detour to Bratislava to watch the under 18s play Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Youth League which proved to be a great 2-1 win for the lads before heading to Holland for the 2-2 Draw against Feyenoord".

"Overall, I have done 10 Euro trips if my memory serves me right and hope to do many more in the coming years."

Trumping William's 10 European trips is Angus Morrison, who managed 20 between 1999 and 2008, and Angus shared his experiences.

"The best trip for me was against Monaco. It was a beautiful city and the stadium was in a good location and of course, we managed to win 1-0".

"My favourite game was the UEFA Cup semi-final second leg against Fiorentina in 2008".

"The city was beautiful and the people were very friendly. The game itself was high-drama. The ecstatic feeling when Nacho Novo's penalty hit the back of the net will never be matched".

"I shared the moment with some close friends which enhanced the enjoyment of the situation".

"Moscow had to be the weirdest trip. Of course, it was very cultural but was freezing as well!"

Daz Christie was next up to tell us about his Euro trips with Rangers:

“I have done 25 trips, 26 if you include the final against Zenit".

“The first one was Man Utd in 2003/04 although had no ticket. So the first trip with a ticket was Bratislava in 2005/06;  I think I spent £70 in three days it was that cheap".

“Best trip would be probably be Lisbon with Edu getting the last minute equaliser".                                                                                                                                

“Would need to give a mention to Denmark and Poland this season both great days on day trip the Legia fans are definitely the best I have came across atmosphere-wise".

“I never imagined that I would see the Teddy Bears in Gibraltar so that was a good one to tick off the list.”

Finally, I asked Yvonne McLean about her travels watching the Gers. Yvonne has been abroad around 45 times to watch the team - with her maiden Euro away being in Dortmund in 1995 and her last was Braga last season.

She said: "Oh where to start! My first European away trip was in December '95 when we played Borussia Dortmund in what I can only say was arctic-like conditions – we drew 2-2 with the Great Dane and Juke Box getting on the scoresheet".

“In the 45 or so other European away fixtures I've attended from England to Moscow, there are so many wonderful places we've been to (and a few dumps). Three games stick out for me for different reasons. Valentines' Day in 2007 we were away to Hapoel Tel Aviv, although we lost the game 2-1 (with wee Nacho getting the only Rangers goal) what made the trip was spending five days in this most wonderful city and visiting such historical sites in Jerusalem; totally surreal to see all these places I read about at Sunday school".

"Next on my list is Lyon - October 2007. Before the game, my expectations were not particularly high, but on that night our midfield were nothing short of magnificent and we were worthy 3-0 victors on the night – we were outstanding! Finally, to Florence (where I managed to pick up a lovely new handbag!) – you know the year 2008 and that winning penalty from Nacho. I'll never forget all the grown men around me in tears – I was just in shock, it was like watching a film. It was the night dreams were made. Follow Rangers and see the world!"

To echo my views at the outset of this piece, watching Rangers abroad is wonderful and if you ever get the chance do it. Even if the match isn't the best you'll ever see, the people you meet and the memories you make ones that will live with you forever.

Written by Jamie Currie (@jamiecurrie89)

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