A tale of tragedy, triumph, a football club and its home city
Sunday 17 October 2010
Our world-class football is a key attraction for foreign visitors, according to a recent Visit Britain survey.
But a footie tourism success story in Scotland shows that it has an equally strong pull among domestic tourists and local residents.
When Rangers FC fan Iain McColl, and two fellow devotees, dreamed up the idea of the Founders Trail (thegallant pioneers.co.uk) – a tour of Glasgow focusing on the early history of the club and the four young men who founded it – they had no idea it would become such a hit. But this independent trail has been picked up by the national tourist board, which now displays the leaflets in its George Square office and has listed it on its website (visitscotland.com).
Born out of Iain's exhaustive research into the formation of Rangers FC as a boys' club in 1872, and the inspiring story of the four young men who kicked it all off, the project has developed from a simple trail map into a fully organised trip on an open-top bus. It takes in the key Glasgow locations of this tale, ending at Ibrox stadium for a two-hour tour.
"People can expect a journey of discovery," says Iain, "a tale of tragedy yet triumph – played out on the streets of Glasgow."
And this is a Scottish football tale that doesn't pander to perceived sectarianism. "We focus on the period before Celtic was formed in 1888, so we don't touch on that. Glasgow has a rich, colourful history and the Rangers story is an integral part of it – the city and the club grew together," says Iain.
"Glasgow is one of Scotland's most vibrant and diverse cities," agrees Jenna Ciancia from Visit Scotland. "It is always encouraging to find new attractions that visitors and locals alike can enjoy – and the Founders Trail is one of these."
Since March, Iain and his colleagues have welcomed almost 1,000 people onto their tour bus. And not just local footie fans, tourists from across the world are now carrying Rangers' story as far as Australia and Azerbaijan.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
Hashima: Among the ruins on Japan's Battleship Island, the place that time forgot
A commuter is getting revenge on First Capital Connect by Photoshopping its CEO's face every time his train is delayed
48 Hours in: Hong Kong
Win a tailor-made trip to Graubünden, Switzerland’s No. 1 holiday destination
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...
£33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...
£30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...