Jimmy Bell: Rangers 'devastation' at death of legendary kit man

Legendary Rangers kitman Jimmy Bell has died at the age of 69, the club has announced.

A statement from Rangers said it was “devastated to announce the death of our much-loved, legendary kit man. Jimmy, who has served the club for over 30 years and been a friend and confidant to numerous generations of players and staff, will be so sadly missed by everyone at the Rangers Football Club”.

Bell was once an employee of Parks’ of Hamilton, driving the Rangers team bus before moving into his role as the kit man.

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Tributes have poured in for Bell, from current colleagues, former players, fans and others from around Scottish football.

He is a figure which has been synonymous with Rangers for decades, witnessing the very highs and very lows, from league titles and a European final to the club's liquidation and journey from the fourth tier to the 55th league title last campaign.

“As a club, we are absolutely devastated to learn of the loss of our colleague and more importantly, our dear friend, Jimmy Bell,” the club’s chairman Douglas Park said.

“Jimmy dedicated his life to Rangers Football Club. Having worked under managers from Graeme Souness through to Giovanni, he experienced some of the greatest days in our 150-year history. Of course, he was here during some of the lowest points, and showed selfless dedication, regardless of the challenge ahead of him.

“Jimmy’s work ethic was second to none. He dedicated countless hours to preparation for each training session and game. No job was too big or too small for him, and he thrived on working for his boyhood club.

Rangers' legendary kit man Jimmy Bell. Picture: SNS

“I spoke with Jimmy regularly, having known him from his time as a mechanic and bus driver at Park’s. He was excited for Thursday night’s game at Ibrox, particularly having experienced a European semi-final before under Walter Smith.

“Rangers, and Scottish football as a whole, have lost a legend and a friend today. He was a family man, a devoted father, grandfather and husband. Jimmy will be sorely missed and I send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Bell family at this difficult time on behalf of Rangers Football Club.”

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