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Military chiefs brand Remembrance Day tributes at Rangers game as 'inappropriate'

THE half-time Remembrance tributes organised by Rangers have been banned and will be replaced by just a minute's silence in future following the compaints.

MILITARY chiefs have criticised Remembrance Day events organised by Rangers.

Top brass branded the half-time parade during a match against Peterhead in November as inappropriate.

Fans watched Royal Marines abseil from the stadium roof and a howitzer was fired from the trackside to signal a minute’s silence.

But following complaints, Major General Nick Eeles, General Officer Commanding Scotland, met Navy and RAF chiefs and they agreed to ban a repeat.

Instead, he has said just a minute’s silence would be a more appropriate way to mark the contribution of those who served in the two world wars and other conflicts.

In a letter to one person who complained, the Army secretariat wrote: “The General Officer Commanding Scotland has now had the opportunity to review the events that took place at Ibrox Park with the other service heads in Scotland.

"They share your view that the format of the half-time event and the conduct of those taking part in it was inappropriate for Remembrance weekend and will take steps to ensure that such events are conducted with appropriate solemnity in the future.

“They believe that the minute’s silence before the match was the correct way to mark the occasion and Army commanders will be directed to restrict future Remembrance events to this type of activity in the future.

“The focus of Remembrance activities must be on the fallen, not on those who are serving in the Armed Forces today.â€

More than 400 members of the Army, Navy and RAF were invited to Ibrox as guests of honour.

Veterans supported by Erskine Hospital were applauded by the 48,407 crowd.

Rangers players wore special poppy strips during the match and fans displayed a poppy mosaic before kick-off. Servicemen were given footballs by subs from both sides and took part in a half-time kick-about.

But in future, servicemen will only be allowed to participate in a minute’s silence during Remembrance weekend.

The Ibrox parade was organised by the Rangers Charity Foundation to raise cash for ex-servicemen and their families.

The club have regularly honoured the Armed Forces on match days over the years. In 2009, they welcomed marines from 45 Commando on to the pitch at half-time against Hearts after the troops finished a tour of Afghanistan.

Scots Guardsman Gary Jamieson, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, was guest of honour during a match in 2010.

A spokeswoman for the Army said: “Half-time events such as this one will no longer happen at Remembrance Day matches and we apologise if anyone was offended by what they felt was inappropriate behaviour.

“Those from the Army who attended the match were invited as a thank you from the club as they wanted to show support for the job they do and raise money for Poppy Scotland.â€

A Rangers spokesman said the club have a close relationship with the services and will continue to mark Remembrance Day with proper respect.

He said: “No one from any of the Forces has been in contact with us other than to thank us for our support and help.

“Our Remembrance event proved to be the single largest memorial event in Scotland last year."

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Sounds like typical military top brass sticking their oar in where it's not needed.


The half time tributes are just that: tributes to those who have given their lives in the service of their country and to those who continue to make sacrifices on our behalf.

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I thought the tributes that day were superb, why can't the top brass keep the f*ck out of it. They seem to be the only people who opposed the tributes, along with the scum from Parkhead. Banning future similar tributes is a disgrace!

Exactly, I really can't see what kind of person could have put in complaints about what was going on at Ibrox.

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FOLLOWING an article in today's Sunday Mail the club has issued the following statement:

Rangers have always had a close and respectful relationship with this country’s services personnel and associated charities. That will continue.

No one from any of the Forces has been in contact with us other than to thank us for our support and help. Indeed, it was pointed out that our Remembrance event proved to be the single largest memorial event in Scotland in the year in question.

The Remembrance part of the afternoon was observed impeccably and carried precisely the correct degree of solemnity. This was, as should always be the case, entirely separate from anything that some might have deemed frivolous during half time an hour or so later.

That was when service people about to be deployed abroad wanted to celebrate in normal football style.

All activities on the day were arranged in full co-operation with the Royal Navy, RAF and Army. They have always been extremely appreciative of the club’s efforts and acknowledge we are massive supporters of the country’s serving men and women, as well as veterans.

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Remembrance Statement:


FOLLOWING a recent newspaper article which was critical of Remembrance Day events at Ibrox Stadium, the Armed Forces and Rangers Football Club met today and are pleased to issue the following joint statement on the strength of our relationship:

The Armed Forces are extremely grateful for the long-standing and continued support that they receive from Rangers Football Club, its players and supporters and appreciate the effort that goes into staging the many special events that are run in support of Service charities throughout the year by the Rangers Charity Foundation.

It has been brought to the Services’ attention that a small number of people did not find the conduct of the Servicemen and women involved in the 2012 Remembrance Weekend event at Ibrox Stadium to be appropriate for the occasion.

The General Officer Commanding Scotland and Rangers Football Club have discussed this issue at length and have agreed that Remembrance Day will continue to be marked by the club in future with activities that are suitably sombre and restrained.

The Service chiefs in Scotland will emphasise to their people that the focus of all Remembrance activities should be on those who have died in the service of their country, not on those serving in the Armed Forces today, and that they must be conducted with solemnity and respect.

Planning has already commenced for a Remembrance event at Ibrox in November 2013 and this will include both pre-match and half-time acts of remembrance.

The heads of the Armed Forces in Scotland are keen for the public to be able to show their appreciation for the Armed Forces – such displays of admiration for our soldiers, sailors and airmen and the recognition of the difficult and dangerous work they undertake on behalf of the nation are good for morale and for the relationship between the Armed Forces and society.

The focus for such events should be on Armed Forces Day and at the many and various homecoming parades and community engagement events held throughout the year.

Rangers Football Club is planning a major match day Armed Forces event early in the autumn once the new season is under way.

The General Officer Commanding Scotland is keen to ensure that the strong relationship between Rangers Football Club and the Armed Forces remains intact and that the club will continue to arrange events at which the nation’s warriors can be acknowledged in the future.

He also hopes that Rangers Football Club will continue to deliver its strong support to military charities and thanks the Rangers Charity Foundation in particular for its partnership with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity this season.

He wishes all those taking part in the Walk With Heroes at Ibrox in aid of The Soldiers’ Charity on Sunday 28th April the very best of luck and thanks them in advance for their fund-raising efforts.

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