Rangers have paid tribute to their ‘legendary and beloved kit man’ Jimmy Bell, who died aged 57.
He was a constant presence at Ibrox for the past 30 years, gaining cult status among the club’s supporters.
Bell began driving the Rangers team buses to games around the country, before moving into his current role as first-team kit manager.
Considered a vital member of the Rangers setup, he was there during successful periods such as the straight nine era and the UEFA Cup final and remained through administration, low-level football and their return to the Scottish Premiership.
In a statement, Rangers chairman Douglas Park said: “As a club, we are absolutely devastated to learn of the loss of our colleague and, more importantly, our dear friend, Jimmy Bell.
“Jimmy has dedicated his life to Rangers Football Club. Having worked under Graeme Souness at Giovanni, he has had some of the happiest days in our 150 year history. low and has shown selfless dedication, no matter what challenge awaits.
“Jimmy’s work ethic was second to none. He put in countless hours preparing for every practice and game. No job was too big or too small for him, and he thrived while working for his childhood club.
“I spoke with Jimmy regularly, knowing him from when he was a mechanic and bus driver at Park’s. He was excited for Thursday night’s game at Ibrox, particularly after already experiencing a European semi-final under Walter Smith .
“Rangers and Scottish football as a whole lost a legend and a friend today. He was a devoted family man, father, grandfather and husband. Jimmy will be greatly missed and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Bell family at this difficult time on behalf of Rangers Football Club.”
Former manager Steven Gerrard once joked that Bell was ‘the boss’ when it came to selecting which kit the team would wear for a game, while current boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst called it of “wonderful person” when they were reunited 20 years after the Dutchman. stopped playing for the club.
Jermain Defoe mentioned Bell in his farewell message to Rangers on Sky Sports Newspresenting him as a “funny character”.