A group of Egyptian Rangers fans who caught the attention of Gers supporters with their homemade kits are now the proud owners of the real deal after a crowdfunder raised money to help them get kitted out properly for a six-a-side tournament.
After posting to the Rangers subreddit on Reddit, Grant Burns and a group of other fans organised a whip-round for the Egyptian Rangers.
“The lads initially posted a pic to the Rangers subreddit of them with their homemade tops,” Grant said, speaking to HITC.
“The tops were really impressive and the community picked up on that. The post took off, with many users mentioning that we should hook these guys up with some official gear.
“We started a gofundme as it was difficult to get a response from Castore due to the team excelling in Europe and domestically resulting in them/the club being inundated with inquiries and orders.
“The boys were absolutely over the moon when they saw the reaction. They initially turned down the offer as they felt the money would be better off going to charity. We explained that it was no bother at all, and that as a support we had just donated 55 thousand pounds to charity after a failed Red Arrow flyover bid. Raising the cash for a few strips wouldn’t be an issue, so they accepted.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing though as the club’s success on the pitch made getting hold of the kits difficult while customs fees amounting to almost the same cost as the kits themselves proved a hurdle – as well as one last-minute appeal for donations from Rangers fans.
“The complications arose with Castore’s stock and import/duties fees. Unfortunately, due to popularity, the tops were flying off the shelves. We were also not aware that the boys wanted the tops for a tournament they were competing in, so that brought up an additional problem. Initially, we could only get a mix of home/away/3rd tops for all their sizes as there was very limited stock on the site.
“The customs/duties fees were massive, almost the same as the cost of the tops. I’m not sure if it was because of the whole Suez canal debacle, but customs fees increased from the time we started to the time we ordered. So we had to raise around £660 for the tops/customs and gofundme fees.
“Every day we would check the online shop for a stock update and one morning we got lucky, however, we were still around $170 short. We posted an update on various social media outlets with an urgent request. Thanks to several last-minute large donations we hit the target. I confirmed the address with the boys and bought the tops.
“They were ecstatic when they got the news, and even more so when they arrived. Upon receiving the tops they posted a picture to their Insta story to the tune of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. They weren’t able to get together to try them on initially as they had exams at the time, it wasn’t until a couple of days ago that they had their first training session in their new kits.”
As well as fans on Reddit, the Rangers Discord community and fans on Twitter all contributed to help support the fundraiser.
After hearing about the story, Rangers have also now got involved and are looking at sorting a”little something out” for the Egyptian Rangers and Grant admits he would be “thrilled” at the prospect of one day getting them over to Ibrox to see Steven Gerrard’s side in action for themselves.
“Honestly, I would be thrilled at the thought of getting them over to Ibrox to see the team and the finest stadium in the world.”