The Herald

Never mind Taylor Swift or Tom Hanks, the star attraction is... Dougie Wilson


FROM the queue of people waiting for selfies you would be forgiven for thinking pop star Taylor Swift or actor Tom Hanks had decided to turn up at the Europa League final fan zone in Seville.

Crowding around for a photo, a group of women explained that they were from Bolivia, while some German visitors waited their turn with the man of the hour.

So who was this sudden Seville celebrity?

It was an otherwise unassuming Dougie Wilson, who has followed his beloved Rangers to Andalusia, dressed kilt and jacket.

He clearly delighted any non-scots who happened to pass, although whether it was because they had seen Braveheart or were astonished at such fortitude in 35C heat was unclear.

“It always happens, always,” Dougie said after shaking hands with an Eintracht Frankfurt fan ahead of the game.

“I’m Tartan Army as well, I go to all the Scotland games.

“I’ve followed Scotland and Rangers for the last 30 years. I’ve got a Rangers kilt as well but it’s stranded in Glasgow – my mate couldn’t bring it with his luggage.”

Dougie, 61, grew up in Lanarkshir­e but has since moved to Erdinger, Germany, and knew he had to act quickly when Gio van Bronckhors­t’s side made the semi-final.

With two teams from his adopted homeland involved, he knew he couldn’t take any chances if Rangers were to make it to Seville.

He told our sister paper the Glasgow Times: “I booked a flight the day before we qualified against Leipzig because the prices were going to go through the roof because obviously

Frankfurt and Leipzig were in the semi-final. I went from Munich to Lisbon, then got a bus from Lisbon to Faro. I stayed in Faro for the last four days and got a lift up here today.

“I’m from Airdrie originally and met some boys from Greengairs, which is just outside Airdrie, and they gave me a lift in.”

It is estimated more than 100,000 Rangers fans made the trip to southern Spain for last night’s final.

At 9.30am yesterday at least six charter flights were in the air headed to Seville from Glasgow, with a further 16 scheduled or having landed earlier in the morning.

That did not include anyone flying in from Edinburgh, Prestwick, or further afield.

With just 9,500 tickets available, the vast majority would not have got into the stadium to see the match.

Dougie, however, decided to shell out for what he acknowledg­es was probably his last chance to see his team in a major European final.

He said: “I got ripped off on

[ticket re-sale site] Viagogo but I wanted a ticket. I’m 61, so this is probably my last chance of getting to a European final, realistica­lly.

So I had to go all out.”

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom