Remember and Respect the Ibrox 66

ibrox-disaster-stairwayThe 66 victims of the Ibrox Disaster on January 2nd, 1971 were all fans of Rangers, but it could have just as easily happened at the other end of the ground. The poor condition of stadia and the complete disregard for the safety of fans by the clubs, football authorities and the state all played a part in this disaster. In those days it was common for football clubs to pack the fans into the terraces, with little regard for their safety.

Profit, as always, was the main motivation of those in charge of the game and it was no different at Celtic Park. I remember as a child feeling decidedly unsafe at times, being carried along by a crowd that was so tightly packed that my feet didn’t touch the ground.

It took another 18 years and the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough before the issues around policing, overcrowding and fan safety were seriously addressed by the football authorities and government.

Celtic manager Jock Stein tends to victims
Celtic manager Jock Stein tends to victims

One of the most striking things about the list of names of the victims of the Ibrox Disaster is how young most of them were (see list at end of this blog) many were still schoolkids or just out of school. Five of the youngest victims came from one street in one small town, Markinch in Fife.

I am old enough to remember my mum and aunties frantically phoning around pubs and clubs to make sure that my dad and uncles were safe and well, they had attended the game at the Celtic end of the ground. My mum also had brothers at the Rangers end as well, so she was concerned for their safety too.

I was only 9 at the time (I wasn’t allowed to go to matches against Rangers until I was about 13) but I remember that my dad and uncles were found in their regular haunt of The Right Half Bar on George Street and they knew nothing about the disaster until they were informed by wives and girlfriends… From older people I’ve spoken to who were at the match, once the news filtered through there was a sombre atmosphere in all of the pubs throughout the city, whether Celtic or Rangers.

At times like these it is fitting to put petty rivalries aside and remember that this was a disaster that could have happened in almost any football ground at that time. That the victims were Rangers fans is neither here nor there. They were working class people like us, most of them young and with everything to live for. They should be remembered and their memories respected by all football fans.

Rest In Peace.

By Talman

Celtic coach Neilly Mochan helped to stretcher the injured to ambulances
Celtic coach Neilly Mochan helped to stretcher the injured to ambulances

The 66 who died on 2nd January, 1971

ARGYLL

GEORGE IRWIN – Aged 22 – DUNOON

DUNBARTONSHIRE

JOHN GARDINER – Aged 32 – Dalmuir, CLYDEBANK

ROBERT CARRIGAN – Aged 13 – KIRKINTILLOCH
DAVID McGHEE – Aged 14 – BEARSDEN
THOMAS MORGAN – Aged 14 – BEARSDEN
DONALD SUTHERLAND – Aged 14 – BEARSDEN
THOMAS STIRLING – Aged 16 – KIRKINTILLOCH
JOHN SEMPLE – Aged 18 – KIRKINTILLOCH
JAMES RAE – Aged 19 – KIRKINTILLOCH
CHARLES DOUGAN – Aged 31 – CLYDEBANK
GEORGE ADAMS – Aged 43 – CLYDEBANK
ADAM HENDERSON – CUMBERNAULD

EAST LOTHIAN

JAMES McGOVERN – Aged 24 – TRANENT

WEST LOTHIAN

RUSSEL MALCOLM – Aged 16 – BROXBURN

EDINBURGH

ROBERT C CAIRNS – Aged 17 – EDINBURGH
JAMES SIBBALD – Aged 28 – RESTALRIG
WALTER RAEBURN – Aged 36 – BROUGHTON

FIFE

PETER EASTON – Aged 13 – MARKINCH
MARTIN PATON – Aged 14 – MARKINCH
MASON PHILLIPS – Aged 14 – MARKINCH
BRIAN TODD – Aged 14 – MARKINCH
DOUGLAS MORRISON – Aged 15 – MARKINCH

GLASGOW

RICHARD BARKE – Aged 15 – SHETTLESON
FRANCIS DOVER – Aged 16 – POSSILPARK
THOMAS GRANT – Aged 16 – YOKER
BRIAN HUTCHINSON – Aged 16 – BARLANARK
JOHN JEFFREY – Aged 16 – YOKER
ROBERT MULHOLLAND – Aged 16 – DRUMCHAPEL
DUNCAN McBREARTY – Aged 17 – SHETTLESTON
THOMAS McROBBIE – Aged 17 – BRIDGETON
THOMAS MELVILLE – Aged 17 – POSSILPARK
WILLIAM SOMERHILL Aged 17 – GALLOWGATE
ANDREW LINDSAY – Aged 18 – EASTERHOUSE
JAMES TRAINER – Aged 20 – BRIDGETON
GEORGE FINDLAY – Aged 21 – TOWNHEAD
JOHN CRAWFORD – Aged 23 – SPRINGBURN
DAVID DUFF – Aged 23 – POSSILPARK
ROBERT RAE – Aged 25 – PARTICK
PETER FARRIES – Aged 26 – SANDYHILLS
CHARLES LIVINGSTON – Aged 30 – TOLLCROSS
DONALD McPHERSON – Aged 30 – CRAIGTON
WILLIAM SHAW – Aged 30 – RUCHAZIE
JOHN BUCHANAN – Aged 32 – CASTLEMILK
GEORGE SMITH – Aged 40 – CARDONALD
DAVID ANDERSON – Aged 45 – EASTERHOUSE
JOHN NEIL – SHETTLESTON
WALTER SHIELDS – PARTICK

LANARKSHIRE

IAN HUNTER – Aged 14 – NEWMAINS
ROBERT MAXWELL – Aged 15 – BLANTYRE
ALEXANDER ORR – Aged 16 – AIRDRIE
JAMES MAIR – Aged 19 – LARKHALL
CHARLES STIRLING – Aged 20 – CHAPELHALL
IAN FREW – Aged 21 – AIRDRIE
PETER WRIGHT – Aged 31 – UDDINGSTON
THOMAS DICKSON – Aged 32 – AIRDRIE
JAMES GREY – Aged 37 – LARKHALL
MATTHEW RIED Aged 49 – CALDERCRUIX

LIVERPOOL

NIGEL PICKUP – Aged 9 – LIVERPOOL

RENFREWSHIRE

GEORGE WILSON – Aged 15 – GREENOCK
ROBERT GRANT – Aged 21 – BISHOPTON
ALEX McINTYRE – Aged 29 – BARRHEAD
HUGH ADDIE – Aged 32 – BARRHEAD

STIRLINGSHIRE

MARGARET FERGUSON – Aged 18 – FALKIRK
JOHN McLEAY – Aged 23 – SLAMMANAN
RICHARD McLEAY – Aged 28 – SLAMMANAN
ROBERT McADAM – Aged 36 – DENNY