THE Directors of Rangers and Motherwell took part in the traditional Loving Cup ceremony in the Blue Room before kick off on Saturday.
Found within the Ibrox Trophy Room, the Cup is one of only thirty cast from a unique mould to commemorate the coronation in May 1937 of Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The story of how it came into Rangers’ possession is part of the club’s folklore.
Identical Loving Cups were presented to the 22 English First Division clubs of the time, with the others going to the British Museum and various organisations.
Back then, as now, Rangers were recognised as one of the world’s great clubs and so it was that they were asked to participate in a special match to raise funds for the dependents of the miners who lost their lives in the Holditch Colliery Disaster in the Stoke area.
Manager Bill Struth accepted the invitation immediately and Stoke City President, Sir Francis Joseph, presented Rangers with the last of the Loving Cups after the match which finished goalless.
His one request was that the vessel should be used in perpetuity to drink to the health of the reigning monarch prior to the club’s first home match of every year.
So it is to this day, the New Year toast is celebrated in the Blue Room by the assembled directors and guests of Rangers and their first visiting opponents.