HE will always have Annan.

"I am walking around to the gate to get in," says Andy Cameron, entertainer and Rangers fan, of the start of what was once described as the journey and one of its early staging posts at Annan Athletic..

"Charlie Green, is in front of me - I did not know him at this stage - and this big bear appears from nowhere. He says: 'Mr Green can you convince me to buy a season ticket?'

'Charlie says: 'Yes, buy one because we are the people'. The guy says: That will do me. I will be in for one on Monday morning'. Charlie has charisma,'' says Cameron. He seems more than slightly unsure over whether this was or is a good trait, particularly in a Ranger chief executive.

The Annan rendezvous occurred in September 2012. Cameron, now 74, whose first match was watching Moscow Dynamo at Ibrox in 1945, who had witnessed his team win the European Cup-Winners' Cup in Barcelona in 1972, who had drooled at Willie Waddell, had rejoiced in the differing skills of Jim Baxter and John Greig, who had counted off nine-in-a-row, had just watched the inter-action between Rangers fans and board member at the unlikeliest of venues. He was then condemned to sit through a 0-0 draw.

Rangers now stand a play-off series away from the top tier of Scottish football. The journey, though, has held all the romanticism of drunken coupling up a close.

Cameron, though, has survived. He is the only attender in the directors' box of those days in early 2012 who is still attending the Waddell Suite in 2015. Green, Craig Whyte, Malcolm Murray, Craig Mather, Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad, Walter Smith, Ian Hart, Bryan Smart were all on the board at various times in in that first turbulent season. Ally McCoist was the manager and such as Franciso Sandaza and Anestis Argyriou pulled on a light blue jersey.

Only Cameron remains to write his programme column, to fetch players for post-match interviews for hospitality and to dole out his pawky humour at boardrooms far from the South Side of Glasgow.

He sits in the restaurant at Argyle House and Ibrox points across to the main stand opposite. "To the right of the directors' box there is a staircase. You just go up that and turn into the second back row and my seat is at the end. That is my payment. I get a season ticket. I do not get a penny from Rangers."

He has, however, banked some memories. He glances down at the park: "There used to be a sign there that said do not step on the grass. They could have done with that on some Saturdays. But, anyway, I have been out there playing football with Archbishop Winning.''

One checks to see if Cameron is sipping from his coffee rather that form a hip flask of hallucogenic liquid. "Naw, it's true. The archbishop [later Roman Catholic cardinal] was doing a wee ecumenical thing where he would wear a Rangers scarf and I would wear a Celtic scarf and we would have a wee kickabout. Deedle [Willie Waddell the once fearsome manager of Rangers] came down and told us to carry on and then come up for a pot of tea. He and the Archbishop talked about Forth Wanderers and Craigneuk for about an hour. They loved their junior football.''

It was Waddell, Cameron's hero, who introduced the comedian to regular gigs at Ibrox, whether it be supporters' functions, a wee turn at a player's testimonial or generally being in charge of mirth when there was regularly something to smile about.

Happiness for large chunks of Glasgow can be shaped if not formed by the result of a football match. Cameron lived in an era where Rangers' superiority was followed by the Jock Stein years before Sir David Murray brought in success, but at what price?

"I just want to know why the club was sold for a £1 to Whyte,'' says Cameron, breaking his vow not to rake through the ashes of a meltdown for some sort of answer.

He adds: "The big problem over the past three years is that Rangers have not been run by people interested in football. They have been interested in other things. Money has been taken out of here. I exempt some people from this but others have walked down Edmiston Drive with saddlebags of money like in some demented Western.''

He is hopeful that the ravages have stopped. "They have business people in now. For example, I have known John Gilligan [Rangers director] for 35 years and he loves the Rangers as much as I do.''

He describes the years in the lower divisions as an adventure, but accepts there was an immense sadness at the demise of the club he first watched on the shoulders of an uncle wearing the uniform of the Royal Navy in November 1945.

"It has been sair,'' he says. "All my immediate family are Rangers supporters and it is what we talk about when we met up. My boys are in Dubai and Majorca now but they still watch the Rangers on TV and we talk about the team all the time."

Did he feel there was a surreality to events of August 2012 when he turned up at Peterhead for Rangers' first away match in the third division?

"No, really. I just sat and thought: 'Geez, here we are in the third division'. We were lucky to get a draw with Andy Little scoring in the last minute. It taught me a few things that have lasted down the seasons. First, this is not like football of 30 or 40 years ago when it was maybe over-the-hill players doing their stuff in the lower leagues. This was all about fit, keen youngsters who had no fear of Rangers. Peterhead, remember, are managed by Jim McInally who was a top-notch player who played in European ties.

"He told me before the game that the rise through the leagues would not be as easy as some thought. He was right."

And the second thing?

"The away support was up for it. That has been the same wherever we have played during the past few years. Me? If the Rangers are playing I cannae sit in the house."

There were painful, embarrassing defeats on the road but Cameron shrugs them off: "We had no divine right to win and it was perhaps not a bad thing to be reminded of that. And the home baking was good.''

He points out that many clubs had cause to be grateful for the arrival of Rangers and their considerable support.

"It seemed like at every game the chairman of the home club would make a wee presentation to Rangers. Annan was great. Three sides of a stadium and a fence looking out on to the main road and the nicest people you would want to meet. There was a picture of their groundsman brushing snow off their park with the headline: 'Our new sweeper'.

"I was asked to do a wee turn in a marquee at Peterhead. I even made headlines with what was supposed to be a row with the Forfar chairman over plastic pitches. It was never a row, just a discussion. I don't like plastic pitches but they have one of the best and I know it helps the club keep going. It all ended amicably with a wee wumman coming over with a bit of clootie dumpling in kitchen foil. It was to die for."

He maintains that hospitality, good baking and humour were all constants, however desperate some of the results. He talks animatedly of the possibility of great European teams meeting Rangers in the future. The hope deep in the DNA of every fan has never deserted him.

The experiences of the recent past have not diminished him. "Listen, it may be a cliche but it is an adventure." He looks down on an empty Ibrox and says: "All of a sudden we are not an institution, we are a football club again. I like that side of it."