Jimmy Bell: who was Rangers FC kit man, how old was he when he died, and tributes from Glasgow club

Jimmy Bell was a huge character who was very well liked at the club
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Jimmy Bell, a much loved Rangers kit-man who was adored by many at the club, sadly passed away at the age of 69 on Tuesday.

The club he contributed so much of his life towards led the tributes to him as first-team players and directors took part in a minute’s silence outside Ibrox earlier today.

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Wreaths were laid by captain James Tavernier and manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, with chairman Douglas Park and former player John Greig also in attendance.

Who is Jimmy Bell?

Jimmy Bell was part of the Glasgow Rangers set up for three decades, and was a key figure during some of the best moments in the club’s most recent history.

His first role at the club was as the team’s bus driver, and he would drive the side to matches across the country.

Bell had a strong presence within the dressing room, and was even referred to as ‘the boss’ by former manager Steven Gerrard.

What has Glasgow Rangers chairman said about Jimmy Bell?

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Many figures from the footballing world have offered their condolences to the family of Jimmy Bell, including Rangers chairman Douglas Park.

Mr Park spoke on behalf of the club about the devastation following the news of Jimmy’s passing, and about how he enjoyed some of the highest and endured some of the lowest points in the club’s history.

In a statement on the Glasgow Rangers website, Mr Park said: “As a club, we are absolutely 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.

Jimmy Bell has passed away, aged 57. Picture: SNSJimmy Bell has passed away, aged 57. Picture: SNS
Jimmy Bell has passed away, aged 57. Picture: SNS
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“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 preparation 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.”

Jimmy had experienced a European semi-final night at Ibrox whilst working at the club under Walter Smith, and Mr Park added that he was very much looking forward to Rangers’ clash with RB Leipzig on Thursday evening.

He said: “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.

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“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.”

What has Rangers captain James Tavernier said in tribute to Jimmy Bell?

Tavernier shared a poignant message on his personal twitter page following the news of Jimmy Bell’s passing.

The captain said: “Although he was officially a “Kitman”. He was much much more than that. Few people are synonymous with a football club in the modern day era. He was at Ibrox for longer than I have been alive.

The beating heart and soul of our club, The hardest worker, The most dedicated, He was Rangers through and through. He will always be remembered, He will always be with us, We will never ever forget him.”

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Speaking in his pre-match media conference on the eve of their Europa League semi-final second leg against RB Leipzig at Ibrox, he commented: “ It is obviously a devasting time for the club and everyone that knew Jimmy.

Jimmy Bell checks the Rangers dressing roomJimmy Bell checks the Rangers dressing room
Jimmy Bell checks the Rangers dressing room

“It was really difficult to take. I know Jimmy wouldn’t want the fuss, he would want us to roll our socks up and get stuck in.

“Everyone will be ready to go from the first whistle. To do it for the club, for the fans and for Jimmy. I loved Jimmy to bits, he was one of the first people I met at the club. I asked him for the number two and he gave me stick for asking him.”

The club has asked that the privacy of Jimmy’s family be respected at this time and that funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

What has Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said in tribute to Jimmy Bell?

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Van Bronckhorst said that the club was ‘very shocked’ after hearing the news and paid tribute to Jimmy, while speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Europa League match against RB Leipzig.

He said in his morning press conference: “We were all very shocked about the news of Jimmy. It was a hard day for all of us.

“We are still in shock, we talked about him and shared our personal stories about Jimmy. It was a really big game already, but we are even more determined now to make Jimmy proud.

“We still mourn and are down but the character, belief and determination of my players are there and we will do everything to reach the final. We will be ready.”

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