THERE is not year that passes without families and survivors remembering those who lost their lives when a stairway collapsed at the end of an Old Firm New Year derby.

Sixty six people died and more than 140 people were injured in the 1971 Ibrox disaster at the Rangers ground on January 2 following a crush at Stairway 13.

Every year at the foot of the statue of former Rangers captain John Greig, memorial wreaths are laid as people stand shoulder to shoulder and pause to remember.

And this year the club is looking to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragedy and has reached out to people to get in touch.

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With coronavirus restrictions in place on the number of people able to gather, the club recognises it is difficult to make firm arrangements but says planning and preparations are underway to commemorate this important anniversary.

In a statement on their website, the club wrote: “In addition to the annual commemorations that will take place, such as a minute’s silence and the laying of a floral wreath at the John Greig statue, the club is planning to carry out additional match-day tributes around the Old Firm game that is scheduled to take place that weekend. The club is also exploring all of the available options for a service to be held.

“Due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to provide precise details on the commemorations at this time but we would like to assure supporters and anyone with a connection or interest in the anniversary that a number of scenarios are being explored and prepared to allow us to commemorate the anniversary with the dignity and standards expected of such an important occasion.”

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It was one of the worst days in the history of Scottish football and preyed on the memory of everyone who was there that day from fans and players to officials, ambulance crews and police officers. People who watched the news unfold slowly on their television at home never forget their sense of shock.

The youngest victim was just eight-years-old. The death toll reached 66 and another 145 fans were injured. A Fatal Accident Inquiry found the 66 had died through being crushed or covered by the bodies of others. Sixty died of asphyxiation, the others from suffocation. Officials inspect the torn and twisted railings on the stairway where 66 people died.

The evidence suggested the accident was caused because at least one person fell or collapsed on the stairway when those who were descending were packed closely together and were being pushed downwards by the pressure of others above and behind them.

As part of the club’s planning and preparations, they would like to hear from anyone who has a personal connection with the anniversary to in touch.

The club added: “We are inviting anyone who has a personal connection with the anniversary to contact the club. It is incredibly important that we involve and reflect the wishes of families who lost loved ones on that day which is why we have created a dedicated channel of communication for people to use.

“The memory of the supporters who passed away in 1971, plus the supporters who passed away in earlier Ibrox tragedies, have a special place in the club’s history and on the 50th anniversary of the 1971 disaster, we will come together to remember their lives and legacy.”

The Herald would also like to hear from anyone linked to the Ibrox disaster. You can email