The year 2012 was supposed to be a golden one for Rangers FC. It marked the Glasgow clubs 140th anniversary since their formation when four teenage boys decided to start a football team without the aid of any money.
It was also the 40th anniversary of one of the clubs greatest triumphs, the 3-2 victory over Moscow Dinamo in the Cup Winners Cup final when Barcelona was swamped by thousands of Rangers supporters cheering their heroes on to their only major European triumph.
But 2012 was to be the annus horriblis for those who hold the famous old club close to their heart.
The seeds of the downfall of the Govan club where planted when the club was owned by millionaire businessman David Murray, a man who had overcame serious physical disability to become one of the UK’s most influential entrepreneurs and used his immense drive and ambition to take the Ibrox club to the brink of the Champions League final in 1993.
But his wreckless spending as he chased the dream was to come back to haunt him with the club running up debts up to around £80 million which was cut down before another businessman who had built up a fortune from nothing, Craig Whyte, swaggered into Ibrox to take over the mantle.
We know now that Whyte was a charlatan. And his name will be forever spoken in less than pleasantry tones by the masses of Gers supporters worldwide as his shoddy management saw the club sink into administration and ultimately liquidation.
For an institution such as Rangers FC to fall so far from grace shocked not only the Scottish football fraternity but indeed the whole footballing world.
With a world record number of League titles won, a fanbase which can only be bettered by only a handful of other clubs and a history of acquiring some of the games most famous names, the collapse of Rangers was undoubtedly one of the biggest footballing stories in recent years.
But they say the biggest darkness comes before the dawn and a new, potentially golden dawn is in its infancy for the Light Blues.
Brash talking Yorkshireman Charles Green is leading the fightback as the clubs new Chief Executive, the frontman for a consortium of publicity shy businessmen who see real potential in Rangers FC.
Talk of a major share issue and making inroads into the lucrative Chinese market are wetting the appetite of the fans who in the words of the clubs manager and legendary former striker Ally McCoist, are “not walking away.”
On the park the club may be now plying their trade in the Third Division of the Scottish League but off it the Rangers support is most certainly in the premier league, witness the incredible 49,118 who attended their first home league match of the season.
2012 may well be the year that Rangers take their first tentative steps back to the top, just as they did in 1872 when four young men got together and a footballing giant was born.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!