Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 17:44 UK

'Chance of a lifetime' for Ibrox fans

By Gillian Sharpe
BBC Scotland news website

Rangers fans
Fans gathereed to watch the game inside Ibrox

Some of them had been waiting outside Ibrox stadium in Glasgow all night.

But when the prize was a seat inside to watch their team play in a Uefa Cup final, no-one seemed to mind.

The sunshine helped with the wait but excitement and nerves were mounting among Rangers supporters gathered at the stadium on Wednesday hoping to see the game beamed onto a giant screen.

Rangers said they opened the gates to Ibrox two hours earlier than they had planned because of the "huge demand."

Capacity for the event was 25,000 and that was filled by shortly after 1700 BST.

Police have asked that no-one else to travels to the stadium.

One group, from Paisley, began their wait at 2200 BST on Tuesday.

Sixteen-year-old David Barr and his friends came to Ibrox so early because they had been told that people would be camping out to get seats inside. Actually it was quiet and he said they now felt "a bit stupid".

They pitched up with a couple of deckchairs and were not equipped for a night in the open. After being turfed out of a local supermarket they had "not slept a wink".

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," added David. "I don't want to miss it. It'll be better up here because it's home ground. They better bring that cup back up."

Hill family
It's terrific here with the supporters - this is what it's all about
William Hill and family

For many it has been a real family occasion. The Hills - William, Jeanette, 13-year-old Calum and 11-year old Ryan - travelled from Crossford in South Lanarkshire.

Mr Hill, 55, said he "didn't sleep all night. It's terrific here with the supporters - this is what it's all about".

"This is our big day," he added, "I'm going to have tears in my eyes when I see the boys coming out onto the park. I'm Rangers daft, they're my team."

David Hirshawl was out for a walk in the crowd with his 18-month old niece Carly McGhee.

18-month old Carly McGhee and her uncle, David Hirshawl
David Hirshawl wanted his niece Carly to savour the atmosphere

Both Mr Hirshawl and Carly's father were hoping to get into Ibrox, but he was keen for the toddler to soak up the atmosphere.

Isabel Muir and Nicky Spiers began their day at 0630 BST in Irvine and arrived at Ibrox at about 0800 BST.

Ms Muir said: "We're here to show our support and get with the atmosphere. I think it's going to be brilliant.

"Win or lose we've done ourselves proud. This is definitely our day. "

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