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When Football Was Football: Rangers

Ronnie Esplin
Out Now

As Rangers prepares to enter a new era, fans of the club need no invitation to revisit the annuls of a long and proud history which has seen their idols claim more domestic league titles than any other team on the planet.

When Football Was Football: Rangers now looks back at over a century of life at the Ibrox side through a magnificent collection of photographs - many of them previously unpublished - from the extensive archives of the Daily Record and the Daily Mirror. The result is a gloriously detailed production which will provide Gers' fans around the world with a unique and authoritative account of their team's trophy-laden past.

The latest in the unashamedly nostalgic 'When Football Was Football' series chronicles a remarkable story which began in 1872 on the banks of the river Clyde when four teenagers decided to form a football club. A product of industrial, working-class Glasgow, that club became one of Scotland's most famous institutions and - along with fierce rivals Celtic - continues to dominate its football today, having produced many of the biggest names in the Scottish game over the years.

Legendary figures such as Bill Struth, Jim Baxter, John Greig, Jock Wallace, Ally McCoist and Walter Smith are all profiled in a book which - stretching back from the Govan-based side's formation until the dawn of the Millennium - focuses on a more innocent time in football, when players and supporters were equals and shared in the triumph and tragedy of life at their club.

Hundreds of wonderful black and white and colour photographs capture famous victories like the 1972 Cup Winners' Cup triumph in all their glory. When Football Was Football: Rangers also documents darker episodes, such as the Hampden riots of 1909 and 1980 and the Ibrox disaster of 1971, that have irreversibly shaped the eventful history of this famous old club.

When Football Was Football: Rangers is a book for every Rangers fan who wishes they could have watched The Gallant Pioneers, the early success of William Wilton's sides and Bill Struth's famous Iron Curtain defence. Its lavishly illustrated journey through the club's history will also re-awaken more recent memories of the brilliance of Baxter, the treble-winning seasons of Wallace's warriors and the legendary nine-in-a-row title winning sides of 1989-1997.


Ronnie Esplin is a sports reporter who writes for the Press Association and also has a weekly blog on STV's website, A former managing editor of Arena Leisure's football website, he has previously written for various publications including FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes, The Scotsman, The Times, The Herald, The Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times and Scotland on Sunday. A keen Scottish football historian, who watched his first match more than 40 years ago, his books include 'Down The Copland Road,' 'Barcelona Here We Come', 'The Advocaat Years', 'Ten Days That Shook Rangers', 'It's Rangers For Me?: New Perspectives on a Scottish Institution', 'Totally Frank: The story of Frank McGarvey' and 'Rangers: Triumphs, Troubles, Traditions' with contributions to other publications such as 'Ten Days that Shook Scotland'. Ronnie has three children and lives in Glasgow.

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