THE FOUNDERS TRAIL are continuing to chart the history of the club in written form with this the third blog that we’ll publish on the website.

Since 2009, over 5,000 people have made the trip around Glasgow on the Trail of our Founders and through the doors of Ibrox Stadium, many for the first time.

Through the education process of the Founders Trail the objective is to safeguard our unique and wonderful Rangers story for future generations and this is the second blog from the Founders Trail looking back through the history of the Gers:

With it being Cup Final week we are going to take a look back at our first Scottish Cup win in 1894.

It was a full 22 years after the Clubs formation that Rangers eventually got their hands on the Scottish Cup. It was on 17th February 1894 after beating Celtic 3-1 at Hampden. We have to bear in mind that the winning of the Scottish Cup in 1894 was still the pinnacle achievement for all Clubs, as the Scottish League was still very much in its infancy.

The build up to the game was just as intense as any modern cup final. Newspapers of the day were no different from their modern counterparts seeking interviews from former players. Founder Peter McNeil and club legend Tom Vallance both gave their views to the Scottish Sport.

Peter gave a slightly reserved opinion – “Peter McNeil says much depends on the first twenty minutes of play. If the Rangers get the lead in scoring, he is confident they can win.

“Coolness, he says, will decide the struggle, and he has hopes of the Rangers, if the backs stand fire as they can do. He once saw the Rangers lose a cup they had won. He hopes now to see them carry it off. He expects a stirring encounter, and grand play on both sides.”

Whilst Tom kept his thoughts closer to his chest – Tom Vallance says: – To those who would attempt prophesying the result of tomorrows match, I would give them the advice Punch gives to those about to be married – Don’t!’

A downpour that continued throughout the morning of the game almost caused the match to be called off. Luckily referee John Marshall held off his inspection till the afternoon and pronounced the park playable.

The Celtic team were first out of the pavilion followed soon after by the Rangers team. The Scottish Sport described the entrance ‘Spectators rather dejected looking, but in a second or two all unpleasantness is forgotten when M’Mahon, premier dodger, leads the Celts on the field amid tremendous cheering, redoubled when the Rangers scamper across the pitch’

Rangers won the toss and elected to play toward the west goal of Hampden into a slight wind. Celtic had the early advantage with Rangers goal keeper David Haddow pulling of a string of saves. The rest of the first period was a more open affair with John MacPherson (Rangers) and Dan Doyle (Celtic) both coming close to netting. The first half came to a close with neither team scoring.

With the second half still in its infancy Rangers took the lead. A Mitchell free kick was converted by Hugh McCreadie who hit an unstoppable shot. Rangers quickly went two goals up when John Barker finished off a mazy run slipping the ball under the advancing Celtic keeper.

Celtic tried to rally but Rangers with the wind in their sails fired another goal though John MacPherson. Celtic did pull back a consolation goal though Maley but it was too little too late.

3–1, Rangers had won the cup!!

Rangers were presented with the cup at the official ceremony in the Alexandra Hotels dining hall. On receiving the trophy President Dugald MacKenzie said he could ill conceal the pleasure he felt in receiving the cup and that no former president of his club had similar good fortune.

Who better to end this recap of our first Scottish Cup than the great Tom Vallance who had this to say on the milestone reached by the club, when he wrote in the Scottish Sport.

“It is with a true sense of delight that those who have followed the varying fortunes of the Rangers since their formation can now see their triumph, their name and fame shining throughout the land with a lustre that they never before approached”.

Cup Final Facts:

  • Rangers Trainer Johnny Taylor as ‘Trainer of the Scottish Cup winners’ received a gold medal from Bovril.
  • The crowd was just over 20,000
  • Gate money for the match totalled £755
  • William Wilton who acted as linesman for Rangers at the final brought his ‘Saturday Halfpenny’ which Rangers captain David Mitchell used for the toss.
  • Rangers were presented with the Cup in the Alexandra Hotel which was in Bath Street.
  • Tom Vallance later presented each Rangers player with a gold scarf pin to commemorate this milestone in the clubs history.

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