By Joe Ellis

28th May, 2022 | 2:18pm

Rangers could have had different name as 19th century documents emerge

The club we all know and love as Rangers could well have been named very differently when the club was originally formed in the 19th century.

The Scottish Herald has unearthed the only ever first-person account from 1972 when Glasgow Rangers was formed but we could have been saying Glasgow Rovers instead.

Rangers historian David Mason found the autobiography of James Hill who played for the club when it was formed and he detailed the different names that could have been chosen.

“Nobody until now has ever shown the association of cricket in the formation of the club,” Mason said. “It aligns with what was happening in football at that time. It also shows they played in light blue. There has been some debate about whether they played in light blue or royal blue.

“It also shows they considered the name Rovers. They played under different guises early on. They operated under the name Western for a time, they were also called Argyle.

“But in 1873 when they were constituted they finally decided on the name Rangers. There were various suggestions put around. Rovers was one of them, but they decided on Rangers.

“The reason was that Moses McNeill saw the name Rangers in an English rugby football annual. He felt it was an apt name because they were mainly boys from out of town so they were strangers.”


After such a long time, not one of us can possibly imagine cheering on ‘Rovers’, ‘Western’ or ‘Argyle’ in the stands.

We’re well aware that the majority of other clubs will have similar stories to tell and they will find it equally strange but we’re one of the country’s biggest teams that has been at the forefront for more than a century and if the record were to change, it would just look wrong.

Admittedly, had a different name been chosen way back in the day then we would also be unable to imagine this club being called Rangers after 150 years of acclimatisation.

Let’s hope that we don’t decide to rewind the tape all that time and change the course of history but it would be quite nice to see Ibrox give a nod to our rejected names in some way, perhaps with a hospitality box or kiosk stand around the ground might suffice.

In other Rangers news, one of Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s main leaders has sold his Glasgow home to spark transfer speculation.