East Belfast Bear, Andy Loughran, shares his insight into what a typical day is like for Northern Irish Bears, who travel across the Irish sea for the Rangers game!
One of The Rangers most famous anthems is ‘Follow Follow’. The lyrics mean so much to so many connected to our great club.
The Rangers supporters are one of the most loyal fan bases through club football, No matter where the team play you will always have fans turning up to watch them.
This is just a bit of an insight of what it is like for myself and hundreds of others who travel from all over Northern Ireland to cheer the boys in royal blue.
There are fans from all over the country who wake up in the early hours of a Saturday or Sunday morning to go and meet the supporters bus they’re travelling on or even for some make their way to the airport.
A usual day of going to see Rangers for me would consist of the above which starts at a 5am alarm, up and ready with the colours on, A short taxi journey to the Newtownards road where the supporters bus would pick up around 6.20am and the make it’s way to the Stena Lina terminal at the Docks in Belfast.
The bus would board the boat for the 7.30 sailing which would make its way across the Irish Sea to Cairnryan.
It’s great to see so many fellow Rangers supporters on board with families or friends alike having conversations about previous games, thoughts on team selections for the game or making plans for the day ahead sipping over a tea, coffee, soft drink or for the more hardcore at that time of the morning a couple of beers.
The boat would arrive around 9.45am in Cairnryan and the buses would set off on a roughly 90 minute bus journey towards Ibrox passing through small towns and villages such as Girvan,Maybole and Turnberry before going on to the Motorway.
The buses would usually start to arrive in Govan around 11.45-12.00 and fans would then visit the local Rangers pubs or even venture into the city centre for some pre match food or refreshments and meet up with friends from ‘across the water’ before going to making our way to the stadium to watch the team we love.
After the game we make the journey back down the road to Cairnryan for the 7.30pm sailing which arrives in Belfast around 9.45, some fans may not get home until close to midnight depending on where in the country they live.
As I mentioned earlier this is an insight into the journey for what a lot of the Rangers support from Northern Ireland do on a fortnightly basis sometimes even twice a week if there is a European game or those who are fortunate to travel to away games.
Thanks to those who have taken the time to read this, I hope you have enjoyed, and as the song goes ‘ We will follow in the footsteps of our team’.
Andy can be found on x/Twitter @AndyLoughran