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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Rangers revive traditional songs
Rangers fans
Sheets of song lyrics will be issued to the fans
A drive to eradicate sectarian songs at matches has been launched by Rangers Football Club.

Fans will be encouraged to revive traditional songs instead of "discriminatory chanting" which caused trouble with governing body Uefa.

In May, Rangers were fined more than 13,000 and severely criticised after video evidence was presented at a hearing of fans singing The Billy Boys.

The club will now play its "long- forgotten" songs over its PA system.

It will also issue lyrics for the traditional songs on match days, beginning with the first home game of the new season on Saturday.

Like many other Rangers supporters you sing that song without actually meaning the words you're singing
Jim Templeton
Rangers Supporters Assembly

It is understood the songs will include Wolverhampton Town, a song which celebrates the club's semi-final success against Wolves in the inaugural European Cup Winners' Cup in 1961.

Uefa officials have warned Rangers they face expulsion from European competitions if they do not eradicate bigotry from the stands.

They were ordered to make a public announcement at all of their home games prohibiting the chanting of Billy Boys.

Last week, club chairman David Murray warned that the consequences of fans continuing to sing sectarian songs would be grave.

'Show respect'

"We are creating initiatives for match days, we've been meeting supporters' groups, we've been meeting editors of newspapers, we have been pleading with the fans to show respect," Mr Murray told Rangers TV.

He said a small group of fans who wanted to continue to behave in an unacceptable a manner were doing no service to the club whatsoever.

"You are jeopardising the future of our club," he said.

Rangers chairman David Murray
Rangers chairman David Murray has appealed to the fans

Jim Templeton, of the Rangers Supporters Assembly, said the Billy Boys song and the lyric "we're up to our knees in fenian blood" caused particular offence.

He admitted singing the song himself at Rangers games, but said he did not feel any remorse afterwards.

"I know if that comes out in the wrong context it won't sound too good but like many other Rangers supporters you sing that song without actually meaning the words you're singing," Mr Templeton said.

He said fans of Dundee or Kilmarnock, who sing a version of the Billy Boys, did not mean it when they sang up to their knees "in Arab blood" or "Ayr blood" when playing their local rivals.

"At the time you don't feel guilty because basically you don't mean it," he said.

"Under the current circumstances with the Uefa directive it's got to work because there's a serious chance of damaging the name of Rangers Football Club."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See why Rangers have launched the drive



SEE ALSO
Rangers told to axe 'Billy Boys'
09 Jun 06 |  Rangers
Rangers fined after Uefa appeal
24 May 06 |  Europe
Le Guen gives red card to bigotry
21 May 06 |  Glasgow and West

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