Jimmy Bell, 57, dies unexpectedly as a Rangers kitman, and condolences pour in for the Ibrox legend.
Jimmy Bell has been an important member of the Ibrox backroom staff, joining the club soon, even before the arrival of Graeme Souness in 1986.
He began as a bus driver for the club, progressed to kitman, and worked for ELEVEN Rangers managers.
Manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst welcomed him cordially on his arrival because he remembered him from his playing days.
The fans’ favourite held power behind the scenes at the Ibrox club right up until Sunday’s Old Firm encounter.
“Rangers Football Club is now devastated to announce the loss of our much-loved, famous kit man, Jimmy Bell,” said a statement from the club.
“Jimmy, who has served the club for over 30 years and been a friend and confidant to numerous generations of players and staff, will be sadly missed by everyone at the Rangers Football Club.
“A former employee of Parks’ of Hamilton, Jimmy initially drove the Rangers team buses to matches across the country, before moving on to his current role as First Team Head of Kit.”
Douglas Park, chairman of the Rangers, stated, “As a club, we are devastated to learn of the loss of our colleague and, more importantly, our dear friend, Jimmy Bell.
“Jimmy dedicated his life to Rangers Football Club. Having worked under managers from Graeme Souness through to Giovanni, he experienced some of the greatest days in our 150-year history.
“Of course, he was here during some of the lowest points and showed selfless dedication, regardless of the challenge ahead of him.
“Jimmy’s work ethic was second to none. He dedicated countless hours to preparing for each training session and game.
“No job was too big or too small for him, and he thrived on working for his boyhood club.
“I spoke with Jimmy regularly, having known him from his time as a mechanic and bus driver at Park’s.
“He was excited for Thursday night’s game at Ibrox, particularly having experienced a European semi-final before under Walter Smith.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) May 3, 2022
“Rangers and Scottish football as a whole have lost a legend and a friend today. He was a family man, a devoted father, grandfather and husband.
“Jimmy will be sorely missed, and I send our heartfelt condolences to the entire Bell family at this difficult time on behalf of Rangers Football Club.
“Please respect the privacy of the Bell family at this difficult time. Funeral arrangements will be communicated in due course.”
Bob Malcolm, a former Rangers player, led the tributes, saying, “Rest in peace, Keizer proper club legend thought go out to your family.”
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