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Rangers pay respects as funeral of kit man Jimmy Bell takes place

Jimmy Bell Funeral
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Rangers fans and players past and present have paid their respects to long-serving kit man Jimmy Bell.

Supporters applauded the hearse as the funeral cortege passed by Ibrox on Friday afternoon following a private service at Wellington Church in the west end of Glasgow.

Bell, from Wishaw in North Lanarkshire, died suddenly aged 69 earlier this month.

Jimmy Bell Funeral

The funeral procession makes its way past Ibrox Stadium (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, former Ibrox defender Marvin Andrews and comic Andy Cameron were all due to speak at the private service.

Club masseur David Lavery and goalkeeper Allan McGregor were among those to help carry the coffin into the church.

Jimmy Bell Funeral

Rangers players Aaron Ramsey (centre) and Scott Arfield arrive ahead of the funeral service (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Rangers squad and management team took time out of their preparations for Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts to attend the funeral.

Hearts midfielder Andy Halliday and coach Lee McCulloch, both former Rangers players, were also there.

Other former players to attend included John Greig, Barry Ferguson, Stuart McCall, Richard Gough, John Brown, Alex Rae and Kenny Miller while former assistant manager Archie Knox was also there.

United States-based director Alastair Johnston was among the board members present and former Rangers chairman John McClelland was also there.

Jimmy Bell Funeral

Former Rangers players Lee McCulloch and Barry Ferguson arrive (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Bell worked for Rangers from the 1980s, firstly as the driver of the team bus and then as kit man for more than 30 years.

He died days before Rangers beat RB Leipzig to reach the Europa League final. His final match in the Rangers dugout came in a 1-1 draw with Celtic on May 1.

On the day his death was announced, Van Bronckhorst wrote: “I had a special relationship, I loved being around him, both as a player and subsequently as manager.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst arrives at the church (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“He was a hard working, dedicated and selfless Ranger, who epitomised everything this great club stands for. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Rangers.”

The Gers boss later revealed the squad had stopped their Europa League semi-final celebrations to “have a really nice toast for Jimmy the kit man, who I am sure was watching from above and we toasted his life and achievements, what he has done for this club”.

Van Bronckhorst, whose side lost on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday in the final, added: “We will miss him for the rest of our lives.”

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