Rangers vs Hibs - once bigger than Old Firm Games!

Last updated : 17 April 2009 By Sam Cooke
According to my late Father it was certainly the case in the 1950s anyway. They were the most eagerly awaited contests of the season and often the attendances were higher at Ibrox for a match against Hibs than when we entertained Celtic.

The Hibees had a fantastic midfield and forward line of course with household names such as Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, Lawrie Reilly and Willie Ormond still spoken about by old timers lucky enough to have seen them play.

It is said by some that Rangers were considered to be the dour side of the day and were a team that relied upon our solid defence of George Young, Willie Woodburn and Sammy Cox and Ian McColl .. or the Iron Curtain as they were of course better known.

Press playing down the achievements and footballing prowess of the Rangers is not a new phenomenon.

However, back to the post war era, the quality of winger we had in Willie Waddell and his understanding with centre forward Willie Thornton and the craftmanship of Torry Gillick must have ensured a great deal of excitement and entertainment for the tens of thousands that follow followed back then.

Below is an upload Ive done of a Scottish cup tie at Ibrox in 1951; the announcer says the crowd bordered on 100,000, Ibrox certainly looked absolutely packed, with seemingly only a handful of Cops on show dealing with the huge amount of fans in the crowd.

(Official attendance given as 102,342)

Sadly Rangers lost the match 3-2 and the footage aint too good but still worth a look.


See the following thread for discussion of the period, and details of games between the two teams.