Rangers fan makes return to Ibrox three years after stroke
A Rangers fan has made a return to his beloved Ibrox Stadium despite fearing he would not be able to after surviving a stroke three years ago.
John Sangster’s peripheral vision was affected, making large crowds difficult for him, and he decided to stop attending games at the stadium which holds just over 50,000 people.
As the stroke knocked the confidence of the 64-year-old, from Blanefield in Stirling, he also began spending more time indoors.
But on Saturday he was welcomed pitchside by thousands of fans of the Glasgow club as Rangers played out a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock.
Upon his return to the stadium, he said: “It’s hard because it doesn’t look like a physical injury, people can’t see the effect it’s had on me. I don’t like being in big crowds anymore.
“A year ago I couldn’t even imagine returning to Ibrox and watching a game let alone setting foot onto the pitch in front of all those people. I can’t believe it.
“It’s something you dream about as a kid, I still don’t think I quite believe it’s really happened.
“At my first ever match, Hearts beat Rangers 3-1 but I still went back. I have watched them at home and abroad. I used to go to the games with my daughter. It was a big part of my life for a while.
“I love watching the games, I love the football spirit.”
Mr Sangster co-founded the Milngavie Rangers Supporters Club in his 20s and ran a supporters bus in the area for many years.
Through speaking about football with a rehabilitation support co-ordinator at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, he made it his goal to get back to a game.
Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of the charity, said: “We want to help stroke survivors do more than survive, we want to help people get back to doing the things they love.
“For John that meant returning to support his favourite football team and we’re delighted that John had such a fantastic time at the match.
“We want to say a huge thank you to the Rangers Charity Foundation for helping us organise this special moment for John.
“We were all behind John and we are so proud that he has taken those steps back to the game.”