DCSIMG

Hillsborough and Gers group fund headstone for Maddiston Ibrox Disaster victim

Rangers legends Willie Johnston, Dave Smith and Alfie Conn with John McGovern, Alan Wall, Annette McLeish and Mary Gibb at Margaret Ferguson's re-dedication ceremony. Picture: Craig Halkett (141474d)

Rangers legends Willie Johnston, Dave Smith and Alfie Conn with John McGovern, Alan Wall, Annette McLeish and Mary Gibb at Margaret Ferguson's re-dedication ceremony. Picture: Craig Halkett (141474d)

 

Legends of Rangers FC paid tribute to the only female victim of the Ibrox Disaster at a re-dedication ceremony.

Margaret Ferguson was just 18 when she attended the Rangers v Celtic match on January 2, 1971 at the then Ibrox Park. She was the only person from Maddiston who was there who didn’t make it home.

A crush of fans on an exit stairway, now known as ‘Stairway 13’, caused the deaths of 66 people and injured over 200 others in what was the worst football disaster in British history before 96 Liverpool fans died at Hillsborough in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

Last Sunday saw crowds of family and friends side by side with former Rangers players Willie Johnston, Alfie Conn and Dave Smith to honour Margaret’s young life at Muiravonside Parish Church near Maddiston at a ceremony conducted by Rev. Louise McClements.

Margaret’s headstone was re-dedicated after repair works on it went wrong and left it looking worse than it had been. The family sought funds for the second costly job and approached the Hillsborough Ibrox Memorial Group, made up of fans of both clubs, who agreed to pay for a new headstone.

Niece Annette McLeish (49), whose mother Mary Gibb is Margaret’s sister, said: “There was a very emotional run-up to the ceremony due to the sad and unforeseen circumstances of the repairs.

“My mum was very emotional. The Ibrox Disaster will always be a big part of our family’s lives. I was only five-and-a-half when Margaret died, but I still have the memories of her because I grew up in the same house and we were very close.

“You never get any peace from it and it seems to get harder the older you get. I feel over the last 10 years I’ve missed her more than ever.

“We would like to thank the Hillsborough Ibrox Memorial Group for what they have done, the former Rangers players who attended and all our friends and family for their support.”

The family is also backing a move by the Hillsborough support group to fund a new permanent memorial for all of the 66 victims.

After Sunday’s commemoration the group’s John McGirvan said: “The ceremony was really moving. It was nice to meet such a lovely family and we were delighted to help them out.

“The group was set up to help the families of victims of both disasters and raise funds for fitting memorials. We want a new memorial in place for the 66 people who died in the Ibrox Disaster and are campaigning and fundraising at the moment.”

 

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