Jimmy Bell and the Rangers ritual that summed up legendary kitman as swapped jerseys given short shrift

Motherwell legend Stephen Craigan has lamented the sad passing of Rangers kitman Jimmy Bell.

And he revealed the Gers icon’s home game routine often involved chasing up swapped jerseys in the bowels of Ibrox.

Bell’s death was announced by the club he served for over three decades on Tuesday morning, at the age of 69.

Tributes poured in immediately, from Rangers legends to the current squad.

And Bell was well known to visit teams to Govan as Craigan – who devoted 14 years of his playing career to the Steelmen before a variety of coaching roles – explained the hilarity that would ensue when Well players had swapped shirts with one of their Light Blue opponents .

He told Go Radio: “My memories of him, of coming together with him, was when he used to come in the dressing rooms at Ibrox after the game.

“A lot of the boys who maybe came up from England and played against Rangers, played against Celtic, always wanted to get a jersey.

“Of course, Jimmy didn’t want players giving jerseys away.

“So umpteen times he had to be chased out of our dressing room because he was trying to get the jerseys back off the players, who had got them off the Rangers players!

“He was always wanting to make sure everything was kept intact.”

Stephen Craigan in action for Motherwell

Craigan called it a “sad day for Scottish football” and insists Bell lived the dream.

He added: “Kitmen normally are people who support their club, they’ve grown up as a fan and never got the opportunity to play for that club but the next best thing was working for them.

“Working for the club they love and support. I certainly know the kitman at Motherwell, Alan MacDonald, is the same and Jimmy Bell would have been that.

“A Rangers supporter growing up, never got the chance to play for Rangers but the next best thing was working for them, following the club, being involved in it and bringing that pride and passion.

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“And seeing those players like Gascoigne, McCoist and Laudrup. Being with these guys but still keeping a level head and getting his job done.

“It’s a sad day for Scottish football and a sad day for Rangers.”


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