I was at Ibrox as usual last Saturday, but there was something very different this time.
My heart was pounding 10 times faster than normal. My hands were shaking. I was in awe of everything around me and things seemed to be going in slow motion. I have been on the Ibrox tour before and stood in the tunnel and dugouts while they were empty.
Yet nothing could have prepared me for this.
When I was there before I had wondered what it must feel like on a match day, to have the perspective that the players and management are blessed with, wondered what the buzz would be like to walk out that tunnel when 50,000 bears are cheering and applauding your very presence on the park.
Well last Saturday I got a glimpse of what that feeling was like. I was not in my usual seat in the Govan front, but was on the park, right outside the tunnel, waving a 10' Union Flag in the direction of the Bill Struth Main Stand.
The chance to be a flagbearer was not something I had ever anticipated I'd ever have the chance to do, but after helping with the Scotland Day flag display last month, fans liaison Jim Hannah provided me and my flatmate Alex with the chance to do just that.
After a brief chat about what our duties would entail, we headed down a maze of corridors from Jims office to just outside the tunnel. From there we were then led into a side room and given a Rangers jacket and possession of the flags.
We were ushered to the tunnel about 20 minutes before kick off and at this point I have to admit to feeling slightly on the the nerves!
Waving the flags was a lot more awkward than it looked, due to a sharp wind in one direction. Rather than trying to wave it around and end up tied up in the flag, not to mention the fact that 50,000 people would have wet themselves laughing.
I decided the best course of action was to simply hold it aloft and watch it catch the breeze itself.
After the players had descended into the tunnel and were ready to come back out, the other four flag bearers approached the dugout area and it was time for the guard of honour to assemble to welcome the Rangers onto the park.
As Simply The Best sounded out over the tannoy system and 50,000 bears clapped in unison, that’s when I really began to feel my nervousness take hold. As the players ran onto the park inches from me, everything seemed to go in slow motion, it was an awesome feeling and the rush was like my first time being at Ibrox for kick off all those years ago.
After rolling up the flag and nearly tripping up Ally McCoist in the process (Sorry Ally!) then it was back into the tunnel and up to my usual seat in the Govan front. Ninety minutes and three points later the Rangers were back on top of the league where we belong which made the day perfect.
A special thanks to Jim Hannah for the day; it was much appreciated and not one this Bear will forget in a hurry!
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