Rangers to give away section to Army for Champions League tie

RANGERS are to donate £50,000 worth of tickets to the Army for the club's Champions League tie against Unirea Urziceni.

The Ibrox side announced today that the traditional away section of the ground will be given over the Army for Tuesday's match after the Romanians said they would not be taking up the allocation.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain said the tickets were being given to Scottish soldiers "in honour of their service".

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The initiative is believed to be the first time a UK football club has donated an entire section of its ground to serving members of the Armed Forces.

Bain said: "This football club is totally committed to supporting and recognising these brave individuals.

"Once we learned Unirea would not be taking up their allocation in the away section at Ibrox we immediately thought of donating the tickets to the Army in Scotland.

"We all owe the members of the Armed Forces a huge debt of gratitude and our fans will give them a wonderful and deserved reception when they attend our European tie next Tuesday."

Today, Rangers chief executive Martin Bain joined manager Walter Smith, Brigadier David Allfrey and soldiers from 51 (Scottish) Brigade to hand over the Champions League tickets worth almost 50,000.

In recent months the club invited members of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland and Royal Marines from 45 Commando – who had just returned from front-line duty in Afghanistan – to league matches at Ibrox.

Walter Smith said: "Footballers are often regarded as heroes but the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces are the true heroes in life and it will be our pleasure to welcome them to Ibrox."

Brig David Allfrey, Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade, said the Army was greatly "appreciative" of the gesture.

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"An evening at Ibrox is a wonderful opportunity for Rangers fans in the Army – along with many others who just enjoy the game or perhaps those who have never seen a game at this level before – to watch two of the best teams in Europe in an iconic stadium.

"We are all hugely appreciative of Rangers generosity and wish them well representing Scotland in the Champions League."