IT is 30 years since a day-late Scottish newspaper told a 16-year-old holidaying in Malta that Mo Johnston had signed for Rangers.

A phone call home, which was half my spending budget, confirmed news so sensational that only those around at the time could even attempt to describe what it meant to Scotland.

Super Mo was the first high-profile Catholic to sign for Rangers, thus ending an unwritten but well-adhered-to signing policy of those in charge at Ibrox asking what school a would-be player went to; although it’s transpired since that a few left-footers slipped through.

“It is a sad day for Rangers,” so said Rangers Supporters Association general secretary, David Miller, in 1989. “Why sign him above all others? There will be a lot of people handing in their season tickets. I don’t want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox. It really sticks in my throat.”

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Never mind the throat, Miller’s brain was stuck in the 1800s. He was also wrong. There was no boycott. The ticket office wasn’t open 24 hours to deal with folk handing back their season books. The average Rangers supporter worked out that their club had got one over Celtic and signed one of the best strikers in British football.

What section of Christianity the bold Mo, never a great church-goer it must be said, was brought up in mattered not a jot to most.

Catholics have played, captained and managed at Ibrox and yet I still see Rangers as a Protestant institution. That’s not a criticism, by the way. But as a club, Rangers have found it harder to shrug off what a section of their support sing, blog and tweet with regards to some of the old ways which, to right-minded people, belong in the past.

Those who see nothing good within the Rangers support, and remember it’s the biggest in Scotland, have an image of the shaven head, earring, tattoo, wearing an ill-fitting replica strip and whose politics are to the right of Klaus Barbie.

And you do see them about. You hear them, mostly at away games, and social media can feel dominated by the pro-Katie Hopkins brigade who boast of their love of Rangers more than anything. However, that’s not the bluenoses I know and have hung around with for years.

Left-leaning, Atheist, some from Catholic backgrounds, working class, middle class, funny, smart, some want independence while others don’t. They are into music, films, food and, of course, the famous Glasgow Rangers.

They do not spend their day listening to Loyalist battle songs. Some, whisper it, aren’t all that keen on the royal family.

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Are they anti-Catholic or anti-Irish? No, and I wouldn’t spent time with bigots from all sides if I can possibly help it. That is why the bigots think we all think the same way. It’s because the only people happy to be in their company share the same poisonous views.

I hate to break it to those who view Rangers as the baddies with no redeeming features but most punters go along to Ibrox, take in the game, then go home again. Just like everyone else.

As one Bear put it to me: “We get blamed for everything. I know the Rangers support can let us all down but it’s not as if the rest of us go about punching kittens.”

I was at Ibrox on Monday for the launch of Rangers’ new diversity and inclusion campaign, which hopes to show Rangers are the place for you regardless of background, sexuality, faith, disability etc.

“Everyone, Anyone,” was the message. Good on them. This was no box-ticking exercise. A lot of work has gone into it by good people who love Rangers and would rather like a few more to fall in love, no matter who they are.

The reaction was predictable from non-Rangers fans. The usual “Ah whatabout” began and will still be going. At least they are doing something. They had to. Not because it’s the right thing but because the Rangers support has changed.

There are 10s of thousands going to games every week who would rather some of the old songs weren’t belted out. They cringe when a chant goes up about the Lisbon Lions dying. They are less than proud of what led to 2012, and quite a few things which happened afterwards.

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And yet they watch their team, go back home to a partner who may well be of the other persuasion, and many of their friends will be. The world keeps spinning.

The playwright Alan Bisset, whose politics are of the left and he’s in favour of independence, is also big Rangers fan.

This is what he said a few years ago when discussing Rangers from a cultural perspective.

“Scotland has changed, Scottish nationalism is in the ascendancy and if you are a Unionist diehard you will feel under siege. There is that terror of no longer being relevant, of losing control.

“The cliched response is when Yes folk say: ‘How can you be a Rangers fan and support independence?’ – I am and can. I am frustrated at all Rangers supporters being lumped together.”

Rangers fans I know have no problem voting SNP, being one of those soppy liberals, having their kids at the other school and at the same time wanting their team to win trophies.

And they would like as many people as possible to join their gang. Who cares who they sleep with, what they do on a Sunday or if their second cousin, twice removed, once went on a date with Charlie Nicholas.

The Rangers support these days is a broad church. They like the idea of the person sitting beside them at the match not being from the usual “proddie” background.

As long as they support the team. Most of us have worked out it’s all that matters.