By the Govanhill Gub
Fifty years on and we will never lose our love and the memories of those who never made it home. Of course we will never comprehend the loss of those who did lose their own all those years ago.
My memories of that drab, dreicht, foggy night was seeing my two grannies in my house at the same time. Can’t remember it ever happening before.
I keep thinking about it as the years have went on. My parental granny had her husband and her four sons all at the game. Not a one of them ever had the inclination to come home early and back then who cared about phoning home?
As news started filtering through, we started getting to realise the tragedy that had unfolded. But those still in the pubs, and making their way home were none the wiser. And what could I make it of as a nine year old? All you could comprehend was something bad was happening.
My personal memory of that night? I went back out with my Rangers strip on that foggy night with a ball.
Now my old man contracted TB as a teenager, and had a slight limp. According to him, we all walked funny and he walked normal.
I can still see him walking out of the fog/smog that night coming home and I rushed out to embrace him.
Apparently he had went back to Rutherglen after the game with a pal and as the news was gathering steam he decided he better get himself back up the road.
I couldn’t begin to imagine the anguish of those 66 families still wondering what happened to their own.
So here we are down all these years. Have we as a club celebrated the memories of the 66 properly? I would say we should have had a minute’s silence every first home game of the New Year. Do we put 66 on our shirts or our shorts? That’s a debate for another day.
We also have the sterling work by the guys at the founders trail. There are no words left for the work these guys do for maintaining the memories.
Getting back to fifty years ago. I was much too young to realise or understand how the club could have reacted to such a tragedy. Who could?
No football club in Britain had, or has ever, had to cope with the crowds that Rangers have had. I can remember being walked squeezed out of the back of the Copland in the mid 70s., What was it like dealing with 80/90,000 plus in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s?
Those who were older are always of the mind that Willie Waddell took the club by the scruff of the neck and held us together. On the eve of this, then yes, we should be grateful. And his role here, has to be remembered.
All we can do as a club and support is remember and love the memories and families of those who didn’t make it home.
Not just tomorrow, for all years to come.