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Happy Rangers' Day; picture gallery and suggestion

We ask Cllr Karney whether we should make May 14 a holiday in Manchester

Published on May 13th 2010.


Happy Rangers' Day; picture gallery and suggestion

Everyone – well, nearly one – in the Manchester Confidential office loved Rangers Day.

But this wasn't an event, it was the EVENT of the year, of the decade aside from the Commonwealth Games. In the previous fifty years had Manchester ever experienced in a 24 hour period something so odd, so vast, so uncontrolled

It took place on 14 May 2008. It was the day when more than 150,000 Glasgow Rangers fans made their way to the city for a UEFA Cup Final against Zenit St Petersburg.

Their team lost 2-0, there was a minor riot, the main screen for viewing the match failed, the squares were filled with litter, the streets ran with rivers of urine, the harsh accents of Glasgow scarred the air. Manchester was a right mess.

By about seven pm the city had run out of beer, wine, spirits, meths, sump oil and anything else that could be drunk that might, just might, contain alcohol.

But for many people, many Mancunians, it was great to be part of this singularity.

Manchester has events, loads of them, some fairly big, some very exciting.

But this wasn't an event, it was the EVENT of the year, of the decade aside from the Commonwealth Games. In the previous fifty years had Manchester ever experienced in a 24 hour period something so odd, so vast, so uncontrolled?

This is how we viewed it on 25 May, 2010.

'By 6pm there was a form of anarchy on the streets. Manchester was under occupation by an army without leadership. It’s unlikely that anything like this will ever happen again. But to run scared from this unique event would be ridiculous. Brave cities succeed. Despite the litter and filth that we have to wade through this morning, that's worth remembering. And also that for much of yesterday the excitement was palpable in the streets, the collective awareness that something very, very unusual, very special was taking place. Those moments don’t come along too frequently.'

So because we miss the experience we asked the boss councillor for the city centre, Pat Karney, whether he would consider declaring 14 May, Rangers' Day - an official city holiday. A day which people could take off, maybe sit in squares and have the odd drink without being arrested, one in which a wild medieval freedom might reign.

There was a pause, while Pat considered this. The pause went on too long.

“Pat, are you ok,” we asked. “Should we call an ambulance?”

There was a cough and the sound of a man regaining consciousness.“Rangers' Day. Are you serious? A celebration.” said the clearly disturbed Councillor. Then he seemed to go into a trance.

“I remember leaving my city centre flat at quarter to seven in the morning. It was a beautiful day. On Oak Street there was a camper van, tables and chairs out, people in blue shirts drinking cans of lager. Oh my God I thought, is this how it's going to be. I still get blamed for it. I've tried to erase the whole memory of it. Get it out of my mind.”

It seems that our call for recognition of Rangers' Day may fall on deaf ears officially at least.

But come on everybody let's raid the supermarkets for a few cases of beer and sit on the grass, the pavements and the squares knocking it back, having a laugh, trying to avoid the street desecration that took place, trying to put litter in the bins provided. But recalling fondly, if we can, a crazy time in Manchester's recent history.

The Aftermath

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37 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Smyth HarperMay 13th 2010.

Just ranted on this and it didn't load. Hopefully this article is causing your server to break down, ha! What I said was that none of the pictures were loading, thanks be to god, and that I'd rather celebrate genital herpes.

Smyth HarperMay 13th 2010.

Genital. Herpes.

William CampbellMay 14th 2010.

ach com on you lot, it wiz jist a few young scots laddies oot fir a beer or twa. ok so wan or twa got a tad pissed aff at the telly no workin but thats understandable.

by the way i hope yir not SMITTY ALL THESE GENITAL HERPES.....YUK

Mr KonradMay 14th 2010.

Mad and very special. Loved it.

GUIDO FAWKESMay 14th 2010.

Lets have a public holiday on the 5th november, what better day to celebrate, especially as we all need a public holiday at that time of the year. Also on the subject of public holidays. Why were the people of Manchester not allowed to drink outside on St. Georges day. This stupid acts creates racial tension. Comments overheard on the day went along the lines 'the Irish can do what they want on St. Patricks day... and they bombed Manchester'. Strange policy to say the least.

Miguel de ArdwickeMay 14th 2010.

My father was treasurer of a working mans' club and much of my free sundays included him counting one armed bandits 10ps the morning after a boozy night. The smell is unmistakable and never quite leaces my mind. Much is the same as the day after Rangers Day. The Smell of stale beer and piss and piss flowing through ever back street of Manchester took your breath away. Blood soaked shirts and empty bottles and a team carting debris from the Gardens. Mrs Linnaeus Banks could only dream of witnessing such excess on her City streets. The history books of Cheshire and Derbyshire often tell of Scottish stragglers from the '45 war ending up as unlikely loom weavers in villages and an aquaintance showed me his new BF (such is gayness in this city) and interpreting from him explained he was from Glasgow and missed lost his ticket after the match and they were now happily living in Collyhurst. History books may oneday tell of the enormous contribution Rangers guys who lost their tickets played in the economy of Manchester. I favour a Rangers' Day and I want to get solidly drunk, piss the Tib aflowing and crown a ned, Manchester Laird for the day. Let your Buckfast (medicinal wine) ne'er leave your lips.

N33SCOMay 14th 2010.

Absolutely disgraceful. How ManCon can publish such rubbish online is beyond me. All May 14 2008 showed to everyone was what complete filth Rangers fan's actually are. They showed to the world their true digusting colours! Hooligans and thugs roaming the streets of Manchester singing anti-irish and anti-catholic bile!! Thebest bit of the day was watching Manchester's boys blue show them who's boss down here.

C WMay 14th 2010.

What a load of Vomit. An unsuccessful attempt at polishing 150,000 Turds.
Journalism at its worst!

AgricolaMay 14th 2010.

Now, now, don't get all sectarian. As a person belonging to neither side, I thought the day was remarkable.

Mr KonradMay 14th 2010.

You bunch of miserablists. What a cracking day that was. Funny to watch. How many middle England bores are on here

N33SCOMay 14th 2010.

For a cracking day see Seville 2003. 80,000 Celtic fans - zero trouble, zero arrests. That's how it should have been in Manchester, and that would be worth celebrating! You can't seriously celebrate rioting and violence?

DescartesMay 14th 2010.

Agreed Konrad; My office was on Spear St back then (just off Piccadilly Gardens) so we were pretty much in the middle of it. Yes, it did bug me that I had to wade through a river of piss when I went out on lunch/home for the day, but the atmosphere around Piccadilly gardens was electric, and let's face it, obviously brought a hell of a lot of money to local businesses.

I for one shall be wearing blue and white to mark the day.

N33SCOMay 14th 2010.

Descartes if you're gonna do it, do it right. Don't stop at wearing blue and white. Shave your head, get some tattoos, piss in the street, kick and swear at anything that moves and isn't wearing blue. As for the money - yes I'm sure Manchester made a profit after the cleanup. Simpleton!

AnonymousMay 14th 2010.

On that lovely May afternoon in '08,I had arranged to meet a pal for a few drinks and a meal. On the train, then around Victoria station, all the 1000s of Rangers fans, young and old were being nice, funny,courteous, out in the warm sunshine. but then I noticed the jaw- dropping amount of booze some of them were carting about and I thought ' uh- oh, this will turn sour...Sure enough, on the way back through town about 10.30, it had gone totally haywire and the atmosphere poisonous. I'd never been in the midst of alcohol- fuelled violence on that massive scale, and was petrified. On the station,it felt just as bad,so I've never been more relieved to get home in one piece, having travelled on a Rangers- filled train bound for Leeds ( but still got offered a seat, ha ha , p****d they might have been, but still gentlemen, well up to falling into a stupor anyway, lol

Leigh ScottMay 14th 2010.

market street all the way up to Pic station still stinks, and the council only ever employ one cartman and an electric brushing machine to grind it all deeper in to the concrete and stone slabs.

I think I will make a map of all the stinky parts in Manchester city centre that dont get cleaned properly,starting with Tib street underneath that scruffy part of Debenhams,that always wafts of stale urine...Any other suggestions? I have Market street, (obviously).

Garreth ToddMay 14th 2010.

Ah ha, so the mask slips for N33SCO. He's been gagging to mention Seville, when 20 million Celtic fans were so fantastic!

His stero-typing of Rangers fans is bigotry at it's finest.

Dan NibloMay 14th 2010.

N33sco: was there much anti Irish sentiment in Manchester when the IRA decided to detonate an explosive device in a densely populate area of Manchester? Also, the Manchester boys in blue had plenty of notice Rangers were coming and by all accounts, got well and truly fuc'd over, pawl.

Aintree FanMay 14th 2010.

Is this meant to be a joke? People were seriously injured that day. To be honest, this type of article makes me despair at mankind and it does nothing for whatever good image Rangers fans have left. I was in Manchester that day and have my own tales about that day and night. Suffice to say, I was sickened by the thuggery, total disregard for people and property and any idea of law, respect or decency. It’s almost as if the article is saying, ‘Aren’t we so good for rioting in Manchester, you will remember us, wont you? Ha Ha’. Why don’t you try to goad us some more?

Everyone will watch a car crash, but only the sickest people will celebrate it or watch it again and again. Yes, there were good Rangers fans there too, but it was a very very significant minority causing trouble. It wasn’t one isolated incident. It’s nothing to celebrate. I look at anyone in that blue shirt in a much different way since that day. It turns my stomach.

Some of the comments are puerile - to suggest the police should have been prepared to be attacked defies belief – however, I would have though the author could have at least put his name to this.

I hope the Daily Mail get a hold of this story.

Catch yourselves on.

Aintree FanMay 14th 2010.

Is this meant to be a joke? People were seriously injured that day. To be honest, this type of article makes me despair at mankind and it does nothing for whatever good image Rangers fans have left. I was in Manchester that day and have my own tales about that day and night. Suffice to say, I was sickened by the thuggery, total disregard for people and property and any idea of law, respect or decency. It's almost as if the article is saying, ‘Aren't we so good for rioting in Manchester, you will remember us, wont you? Ha Ha'. Why don't you try to goad us some more?

Everyone will watch a car crash, but only the sickest people will celebrate it or watch it again and again. Yes, there were good Rangers fans there too, but it was a very very significant minority causing trouble. It wasn't one isolated incident. It's nothing to celebrate. I look at anyone in that blue shirt in a much different way since that day. It turns my stomach.

Some of the comments are puerile - to suggest the police should have been prepared to be attacked defies belief – however, I would have though the author could have at least put his name to this.

I hope the Daily Mail get a hold of this story.

Catch yourselves on.

NeedtoknowbasisMay 14th 2010.

Honestly. If the measure of an event is injury then we better ban them all. As for letting the Daily Mail know, well that destroys your arguments. That right wing rag would purge cities of intellectuals like Pol Pot and make us all live in classic English villages. Yuck. Anthropologically this was a great day.

AnonymousMay 15th 2010.

Catch yourselves on.
Do you think the people of Villareal, Bucharest, Bolton, Portsmouth (or any other city where the rangers rabble have rioted)would be suggesting this rubbish?
Up to their knees in fenian blood?
Up to their knees in urine ,vomit and excrement more like.

Barry McCrystalMay 15th 2010.

Brilliant.
Anonymous is muckshoot.

N33SCOMay 17th 2010.

Toddy, I think you need to check the definition of bigotry perhaps check with Nibby who indicates that everyone in Ireland is in the IRA amd that Manchester metropolitan ploice should have been ready to go to war with the Rangers hooligans. All I have done is state the facts but your comments position you clearly in the gutter beside your Rangers commrades.

DescartesMay 17th 2010.

N33SCO, I want to celebrate Rangers day - not support City ;)

NeedtoknowbasisMay 17th 2010.

This Dibigo guy who keeps coming on makes me sick. He's a negative bitter piece of work

N33SCOMay 17th 2010.

Dibigo, well said. Think you should run for Chief Constable my friend.

NeedtoknowbasisMay 17th 2010.

Dibigo, whatever, but please stop swearing, it gives me a headache

AnonymousMay 17th 2010.

DIBIGO should be formally acknowledged as chief cunt, not chief constable

Allan BoyleMay 18th 2010.

yes it certainly started of a lovely day untill the thugs in blue started a violent attack on any innocent passer by.still enough on manchesters thick plod.
manchester was warned about the numbers coming down from scotland and further afield, but due to typical english arogance ignored it and failed to facilitate at least, 200,000 rangers fans.
You were happy to take the money but not any responsibility.your boys tok a hell of a beating.

N33SCOMay 19th 2010.

I seem to remember Zenit St Petersburg dishing out the beating.

AnonymousMay 19th 2010.

I think most normal people were shocked that such an underclass exists in our shores.

Leigh ScottMay 19th 2010.

How do you get the "c word" through the software then??? oops!

Edward CarsonMay 19th 2010.

a great idea rangers day , sitting in the summer sun haveing a small refreshement with friends . but some of the horrible bigotted comments above from N33SCO & friends are typical of religious zelots. tell a lie often enough & it becomes the truth ( seville ) when was it the last time rangers played in an away european fixture & the fans were shooting one onother ? or a plane being diverted due to fighting with trolleydollies or a barman being glassed in the face , all while signing the praises of nazi ira murdering terrorists. i could go on but it would take for ever . i was there & for the amount of people in the city that day there was unsuficient ammenities for the travelling fans ,20 portaloos for about 15,000 people at picadilly.& if you left the square for the loo the security were telling folk they wouldnt get back in the square & that includes the kids who were with there parents in the square .the authourities were well aware in advance & messed up big time . the day was spoiled before it even started with the your not welcome statement from the people in charge of the city . & its a fact the tv didnt break down but was ordered to be switched off by the council . when the fans left the square they were met by riot police charging & hitting anything that moved & brought on a responce from the fans they were liberty taking .fans were being driven one way to be met by an oncoming onslaught of riot police from the other direction . manchester police have a well documented history of being well overboard especially with football fans & were on that night to begin with around about picadilly enjoying themselves being the bully . there are more arrests in manchester city centre in a normal weekend than there were that night .
anyway a great idea as said in my first line.

N33SCOMay 20th 2010.

Jonathan Schofield - editor. Getting bored of this calling of obscene names which is odd given this ranter seems to be looking for some moral higher ground. All similar rants from now will be removed.

Kat MichaelsMay 20th 2010.

Having moved to the University of Manchester from NJ, USA for a year I did take the time to experience the day Glasgow Rangers FC came to Manchester with some friend from here.

We thought the whole day was an excellent experience, and definitely one of the best during my stay in England. The fans were so welcoming, and hospitable, especially when they heard my American accent !

I would've liked to have seen the local council providing better facilities(Toilets, bins, Larger Fan zone's etc) as the friends we made told us they'd been speaking with visitor information centres and advising the 50,000 expected was un-realistic, which became obvious when nearly 4x that amount turned up

Jonathan Schofield - editorMay 20th 2010.

Reader17005 I just never got round to reading them all. I remove as I see fit, no grace or favour. I'm the editor like it or lump it. Generally if something is boring, boorish, excessively stupid, gratuitously insulting and without any humour at all it might go.

Stuart BamberAugust 26th 2010.

Rangers will be back in town it seems... should be... "interesting" :)

'mon the Reds!

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