About 6 months ago i received a message from one of the posters from follow follow asking if i would like a copy of the Rangers vs Ankaragucu programme when both sides met in the Cup Winners Cup at Ibrox in 1973. Just last week i got a message to ask if i could meet the said person to pick the copy up. I met up with Stuart for the first time at Ibrox and was delighted to be given this fantastic gift. Rangers and Ankaragucu have and always will be a big part of my life and for the first time i took the Ankaragucu flag to Ibrox for the game against Clyde as a tribute to both clubs. In this article we will learn of the time when 30,000 Ankaragucu fans gave Rangers a standing ovation in Ankara.
I had a read through the programme at half time and when i went home so i thought i would share the content with the readers of The Round Ball in Ankara and Follow Follow. The first game was played in Ankara with Rangers winning 2-0.
Ankaragucu Team - Soysal, Mudjin, Aktan, Hotlar, Dilber, Yilmaz, Atacan, Yalcintas, Zafer, Renkilbay, Unal
Rangers - Mcloy, Forsyth, Mathieson, Smith, Jardine, Jackson, Greig, Young, Mclean, Conn, Parlane,
Ziya Taner was coach of Ankaragucu at this point with the famous Jock Wallace manager of Rangers who had won the Cup Winners Cup in 1972.
Ankaragucu were the first Turkish side to play at Ibrox and here is what the programme had to say.
" Rangers welcome Ankaragucu officials and players to Ibrox tonight. The Turkish club were excellent hosts in the first game in Ankara a fortnight ago. They are of course the first Turkish Team to visit Ibrox for a European tie."
" They join the imposing list of clubs from 18 nations who have come to Ibrox since the club first moved into the European scene back in 1956 with a game against Nice from France. Now its the time of the Turks. They come to Glasgow 2-0 down from the first leg and obviously not confident of their prospects. But tonight is another game....another 90 minutes and Rangers realise full and well that it would be foolish to take anything for granted"
" Ankaragucu will be treated with respect but Rangers will be out to add a few more goals to the tally as quickly as possible. Tonight is the clubs 85th European game.
Meet the pride of Ankara, here we take a look at what the Rangers programme had to say about the Ankaragucu team.
" Ankaragucu are the only First Division team in the Turkish Capital now that their two city rivals Skerspor and P.T.T have been relegated to the Second Division. This gives Gucu the support of the entire city for the European games and big league games. The club founded in 1910 is run and financed by a large mechanical and chemical company.They were relegated in 1968 but came bouncing back and have stayed their ever since. Ankaragucu play in Blue and Yellow. "
" Two years ago they won the Turkish Cup final and last season reached the final but lost 4-2 on aggregate against Galatasaray over the two games. Ziya Taner is the Ankaragucu coach who has been with them for three years and is very popular. His assistant is Candan Dumanli who was a player with the club up till three years ago. The Gucu usually finish fourth or fifth in the league. Some of the Ankaragucu players who will be on show tonight are."
Soysal Baskin - He is a 32 year old Goalkeeper and has 2 caps at International level for Turkey. He has been with Ankaragucu for 4 years.
Erman Toroglu - 24 year old full back who has been capped twice for the International team.
Remzi Hotlar - full back has been with the club for 4 years.
Ismail Dilber - Giant sweeper who is a great club man but not played at International level yet
Mujdat Yalman - One of the most experienced men in the side who has over 17 caps in 5 years with the club.
Mehmet Aktan - another internationalist
Zafer Gonculer - been with the club 3 years winning 11 honours
Selcun Yacintas - forward who has been with the Gucu for 12 years and picked up 35 caps making him the teams number 1 internationalist.
Melih Atacan - is just 21 and one of the youngest players with the team but still won six caps.
Ali Osman - one of Turkeys top men, he was bought from Adanaspor in a bid to step up the Gucu goal rate. A big name Internationalist with 14 caps.
Attendance in Ankara - 30,000
" Strike first - thats the classic answer to the problem of tackling virtually an unknown team in conditions which are awkward and demanding. And thats just what Rangers did in the first meeting in Ankara a fortnight ago. The Turks were practically unknown as far as the light blues were concerned with only a report from scout Doug Houston on which to base tactics. There was the knowledge of course that last season Ankaragucu gave Leeds a real fight going out 2-1 on aggregate."
" And the conditions to say the least were testing, a hard rutted pitch, a light ball and blazing heat with the kick off advanced unexpectedly by several hours to the hottest part of the afternoon. But despite all this, plus the absence of key players Derek Johnstone because of injury and Alex McDonald due to suspension the Ibrox side took control from the start."
" Even a first minute tackle which laid low Alfie Conn meant him going off for treatment for several minutes didn't upset the light blues who kept the cool all the way. And it was in a way only justice that Alfie Conn returned to put the Ibrox men in the lead in the 11th minute. Alfie was on spot to ram the ball home from close range after defender Ismail miss kicked a Quentin Young cross."
" The Turks came onto a game for 10 minutes in the second half and it was Peter McCloy in goal who turned on the style aided by skipper John Greig and Colin Jackson who did a great job. Then came the clincher, and a goal which was pure Turkish Delight for Rangers. Wee Tommy McLean picked the ball up deep, moved past a couple of defenders, worked a 1-2 movement with Derek Parlane then beat two more defenders before slamming a left foot shot into the net."
" Even the Partisan Ankaragucu fans were on their feet cheering that one. That brilliant goal deflated Ankaragucu and Rangers weren't troubled after that. The 30,000 capacity crowd was the second highest in Europe that night. Which just proves even in Turkey, Rangers are a big attraction."
What the papers in Scotland said after Rangers win in Ankara !
" Rangers returned to European competition after over a years absence and looked as if they were never away. They had far too much experience, technique and power for the Ankaragucu squad and their trip into the next round is assured." GEORGE AITKEN GLASGOW EVENING CITIZEN.
" In the end they had the exhausted Turks run off their feet, Quinten Young had a superb night in his first European game for Rangers. Smith was cool and coaxing which captain Greig, Forsyth and Mathieson were excellent. But my lasting memory in the Turkish Capital will be the moment of McLeans goal. One that put his name in banner headlines in Turkish Papers." JAMES SANDERSON SCOTTISH EXPRESS.
Rangers went onto win the second leg 4-0 at Ibrox, no disgrace for Ankaragucu who had won new friends and even to this day you can see the Ankaragucu pennant handing on the wall of the Ibrox trophy room.