RANGERS will welcome around 200 armed services personnel to Ibrox today for the game against St Johnstone, as part of the Club’s annual Armed Forces Day celebrations to honour the brave men and women of the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.
The celebrations will begin outside the Stadium, with community engagement activities in the Fan Zone from 12 noon, followed by the 2622 Highland Squadron Pipes and Drums from RAF Lossiemouth, who will perform in the lead up to kick-off.
A representative from each branch of the armed services will lead the teams out onto the pitch and personnel from the RAF will abseil into the Stadium from the Sandy Jardine Stand, before handing the match ball over to the referee. A lone piper from the RAF will also play pitch-side prior to kick-off.
As well as welcoming 200 troops to the stands, the Club is also playing host to representatives from each branch of the armed services in the Directors’ Box.
Fans will be able to support Rangers Charity Foundation’s Armed Forces Fund via a can collection at the turnstiles, which this season is supporting SSAFA, Poppyscotland and the Coming Home Centre in Govan, as well as smaller projects, which are improving the lives of veterans and serving personnel.
Rangers Manager, Steven Gerrard, said: “It’s great that the Club holds this celebration every year to show our appreciation for our troops. I hope everyone who comes along to the match representing the armed services has a fantastic day, and I am sure the fans will give them a very warm welcome.”
Lieutenant Commander Gary Farmer, Royal Navy, added, “The Armed Forces are delighted to be back at Ibrox for the Club’s annual Armed Forces Day event! Over 200 servicemen and women, from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force will be in the stands and we fully appreciate the support that we get from the Club and the supporters.
“The Club and Foundation has always had a strong relationship with the three Services and over the last few years we’ve been impressed with their commitment to the Armed Forces and especially appreciate the tireless work that the Rangers Charity Foundation does to raise funds for service and veterans’ charities, setting their goals high and pushing themselves to the limits, all to raise funds for good causes. We look forward to the event and thank you for your support.”
Rangers FC and the Rangers Charity Foundation have a proud tradition of supporting serving personnel and veterans. The Foundation has donated over £168,000 in cash to armed forces and veterans’ charities to date, as well as significant in-kind support.
The Club and Foundation also donate tickets for veterans via the ‘Tickets For Good’ scheme and the Foundation’s Glasgow Veterans United programme, along with Glasgow’s Helping Heroes, which ensures that veterans have the assistance they need to settle back in to civilian life. Serving personnel are also able to buy tickets for home league fixtures at a reduced price (subject to availability).
This type of support for the services earned the Club and Foundation an Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence last year.
Information on the Foundation’s Armed Forces Fund Partners
SSAFA – SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, provides lifelong support to serving personnel, veterans and their families. Last year, SSAFA caseworkers in Glasgow delivered personalised support to over 750 members of the Armed Forces community in need, providing practical, emotional and financial help through its network of volunteer caseworkers.
Poppyscotland – Poppyscotland reaches out to those who have served, those still serving, and their families at times of crisis and need. The charity provides tailored support and funding to thousands of ex-Servicemen and women as well as other vital services in advice, employment, mobility, respite, housing and mental health support.
The Coming Home Centre – The Coming Home Centre’s mission is to serve those who have served, offering practical help and advice to veterans and a place to meet and enjoy peer support and camaraderie.
Set up in 2010 in the heart of Govan, close to Ibrox Stadium, the Coming Home Centre provides a place for veterans to get together, enjoy lunch or a cup of tea, and talk with their peers. The Centre offers veterans access to a wide range of support and advice and also runs a number of workshops, from music and art therapy classes to cooking and woodwork.