Club legend without game: Rangers

Under no circumstances should the question sound disrespectful, but it is at first glance in the room: Jimmy – who? Jimmy Bell, the mechanic, Jimmy Bell, the bus driver. And Jimmy Bell, the top of the Rangers, if you want to take his title “Head of Kitman” literally. But of course Jimmy Bell was much more than all of this.

Jimmy Bell was “the beating heart and the soul of our club”, as Rangers captain James Tavernier tweeted. The 30-year-old dropped the tweet on Tuesday afternoon, a few hours earlier Bell’s heart had stopped beating. His club had announced in the morning that Bell had died completely surprisingly – at the age of 69. Europa-League semi-final against Leipzig, CL semi-final of FC Liverpool-all of this was secondary for the most important Scottish sports portals when the news of Bell’s death spread.

There are few people in modern football who are such a synonym for a club as Jimmy Bell was for the Rangers.

James Tavernier

no gate scored, no title got in – and yet a legend

“There are few people in modern football who are such a synonym for a club as Jimmy Bell was for the Rangers,” said Tavernier his appreciation for a man in 140 characters who was nothing less than a club legend, without ever scored a goal or, as a coach, to have brought in one of the 55 championships so far. In 1986, Jimmy Bell came to the rangers as an employee of a bus company and sailed “The Gers” through Scotland before he “promoted” to the witness keeper of the association.

And a confidante of many generations of players – like that of Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The current Rangers coach played for three years for Glasgow (1998-2001) and now experienced Bell and now as a coach “as a friend and selfless person who embodied everything this club stands for in its 150-year history”.

From a German perspective, you feel reminded of Hermann Rieger, who kneaded the muscles of the Hamburg professionals for 26 years and became the “cult masseuse of the Bundesliga”. When he died in February 2014, part of the glorious HSV was lost. The Rangers supporters should now feel similar, after all, Bell experienced not only 18 championships, ten cup victories and moving into the UEFA Cup final in 2008 in his 36 years at the “Blaunasen”.

A few days ago in jubilation: Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Jimmy Bell. Picture Alliance / Action Plus

Bell went as a reigning master

Disrespectful Actions of Fans
He also remained a loyal soul when the proud traditional association had to register bankruptcy in 2012 and was forced into the fourth league. This sporting sadness ended in 2021 when coach Steven Gerrard led the Rangers to the first championship after nine-year-old Celtic dominance. Bell’s sudden death let him die as a reigning master, he still experienced the 1-1 at Celtic on Sunday – the title race could decide again at the weekend in favor of the city rival.

Leipzig experiences the maximum contrast

But first of all, the chance of the fourth big European final for the winner of the 1972 Cup winner (3-2 against Dynamo Moscow) lives. In 2008, the Rangers had their hands close to Zenith (0: 2), “The Gers” wanted to turn the tables out of the first leg against Leipzig against Leipzig.

So the Saxons don’t just have to adjust to the already powerful Ibrox – since Tuesday they know that the Rangers will throw everything into the balance to crown the memory of Jimmy Bell with a sporty bell.

For the RB Leipzig, founded in 2009, a maximum contrast.