Ibrox Stadium

Ground No. 53
Visited - Monday 27th December 2004
Result - Rangers 4-1 Motherwell
Competition - Scottish Premier League
Attendance - 49,909

Despite concentrating on finishing the 92 in England first, when seeing this game as being the only one played on the 27th December, and people asking me what I wanted for Christmas, it seemed the perfect opportunity to go to one of Britain’s best grounds.

Perhaps it was due to Wolves’ poor form, or maybe that I didn’t feel that I had to go to this game, but in the weeks running up to it, I hadn't been looking forward to a trip so much for a long time. So setting off early from Wolverhampton on a freezing cold winters day, with the city covered in snow I was in quite good spirits. The journey on the train up to Glasgow went quite well, despite it seeming to take forever, but we got there on time, and after arriving in Central station, there was time to have a quick walk around the city centre, which seemed a nice place, before finding the club shop and then getting the underground down to the stadium.

The tube ride was perhaps the most uncomfortable that I have ever been on, the trains on the Glasgow underground are smaller in height than the London ones, and as I was next to the doors I was having to crouch down, with my face in some blokes armpit, which wasn’t particularly pleasant, the air was so humid that I was virtually suffocating, so was glad to arrive and get off at Ibrox Station. The station is right next to the ground, so it wasn’t a long walk, and once there I walked all around taking pictures, in particular admiring the exterior of the Main Stand, which really did look good. Unfortunately the other 3 sides let the ground down a bit, looking rather bland, but once inside that was different.

I found my seat, which had a good view, although was rather cramped, with legroom ok, but I was fairly squashed up to people next to me. I was in the Broomloan Front, which was a fairly big stand with two tiers, and excellent facilities. Opposite, The Copland Rd stand was exactly the same, and to our left, the Govan Stand was another similar design, with two even sized tiers. The one stand that sets this ground apart though was to our right, The Main Stand. It really is stunning, and with the brickwork outside, and the 3 tiers inside, in my opinion it is the best individual stand in all of Britain, certainly of the grounds that I've been to. It does look similar to Everton’s Main Stand, but has an extra sense of class about it, and would grace any ground in the English Premier League. With the stairwells filling either corner next to it, and opposite either side of the Govan Stand a lower tier of seating, and video walls above that, then the ground is totally enclosed, and with a full house is a great place to watch football.

After taking some more pictures, the game started and within minutes Rangers had taken the lead, after some confusion between the Motherwell defenders and goalkeeper, Nacho Novo came in to poke the ball home, whilst actually facing in the opposite direction from the goal! He made it 2 on 15 minutes after good work by Shota Averladze, and the game seemed a mere formality with the only question being how many Rangers would get! They didn’t have it all their way though, with Motherwell playing quite well, creating chances of their own, but the first half finished 2-0 to Rangers.

After an emotional tribute to Davie Cooper during half time, the second half started and Motherwell took the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring a stunner from Scott McDonald with only 4 minutes gone. That seemed to shake Rangers to their senses, and Averladze restored their two-goal advantage 5 minutes later with a quick counter attack. Soon after that goal, ex-Wolves hero Alex Rae came on, which was nice for me personally, and he almost scored a great goal himself, but for the width of the post. They did get another one, from Steven Thompson who finished from the edge of the area after some nice build up play, it could have been five, but both teams played the last few minutes out without much attacking being done.

Throughout, the atmosphere had been a little strange, I was sitting right next to the band and people trying to make some noise, but it didn’t seem like there was much singing going on elsewhere, but it was difficult to tell really, although there was plenty of noise being made due to the referee, who seemed quite biased, although surprisingly not to the home team, but to Motherwell, making several baffling decisions throughout the game.

After staying behind to take some pics of the ground empty, I walked up to the club shop to try and get a programme as I had forgotten to do so earlier, but unfortunately they had sold out, which was quite annoying, especially as I'd walked past a few sellers whilst taking pictures. So after that went back to Ibrox station, only to find the stories about queues to be true, so I set off for the long walk back to the city centre.

I had hoped that there would be people to walk with, but there were only a few stragglers, and I ended up walking the last few miles completely alone, down the banks of the Clyde, which seemed surprisingly quite nice, and to have had a lot of restoration work put into the area. After getting into the city centre and finding some food, I caught the train home, getting back late, but happy.

Overall it had been a great day, well worth the effort of an early start and late finish, as it really is a superb stadium, one of the best in the country, and one that I really hope to go back to before too long. Before this I'd always been sceptical about the arguments for the Old Firm to play in England, but after going here its plain to see that Rangers certainly would be a fine addition to the Premiership fixture list. Next on the agenda in Scotland is probably Celtic Park, or if Hearts do decide to sell up, then Tynecastle, but this certainly wont be my last visit to Ibrox.

Welcome to Ibrox

Rear of the Broomloan Stand

Rear of the Main Stand

Main Entrance

Rear of the Copland Stand

Rear of the Copland Stand

The Club Shop

Rear of the Govan Stand

The Govan Stand

The Copland Stand

The Main Stand

The Main Stand

The Copland Stand

The Govan Stand

Ibrox Stadium Panoramic 1

Ibrox Stadium Panoramic 2


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