Ipswich's Rangers fan club up for cup
IPSWICH'S big base of Rangers supporters are gearing up to watch the Scottish side take on Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup Final tonight.Around a dozen die hard fans headed off in a mini bus from Ipswich train station at 7am to attend the game at the City of Manchester stadium, while a further group - which is expected to exceed 50 - will be watching the action on a big screen in Kesgrave's Bell Inn pub.
IPSWICH'S big base of Rangers supporters are gearing up to watch the Scottish side take on Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Cup Final tonight.
Around a dozen die hard fans headed off in a mini bus from Ipswich train station at 7am to attend the game at the City of Manchester stadium, while a further group - which is expected to exceed 50 - will be watching the action on a big screen in Kesgrave's Bell Inn pub.
Most of these fans are part of the Ipswich Loyal Rangers Supporters Club which was formed in 2005.
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The club's secretary Ben Ramsey explained: “It all started shortly after Rangers played Ipswich at Portman Road in a pre-season friendly that year. I've been a Rangers supporter all my life but it wasn't until then that I realised how many Rangers fans there were in Ipswich. After the game I thought I've got to get this club started.”
Despite being some 419 miles away from Ibrox, word soon spread and more and more Rangers fans in Suffolk and Essex joined up.
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Ramsey said: “Rangers is one of those clubs where you will find fans all over the world. I'm English but started supporting them when Terry Butcher went there, however we've got loads of Scottish members that are now living down here. Membership is now around 55.”
The club have been based in Kesgrave's Bell Inn for the past two years after Scot and Rangers-supporting landlord Stuart McCallum, known as Sam, heard about the club's need for a regular venue.
Virtually every Rangers game is shown live on the big screen in the pub whether it be on BBC Scotland, Setanta, Sky Sports, Rangers own TV station or through the Rangers website.
McCallum, who has decked the pub out in Rangers memorabilia, said: “Some of the fans are season ticket holders and fly up from Stansted for the games.
“We've got fans that travel from as far as Great Yarmouth, Harwich and Braintree to watch the games at the pub with fellow fans.”
For more information on the club, which has its own emblem and merchandise, visit: www.ipswichloyal.co.uk.