STEPHEN MILLAR doesn't need to worry about how he is going to spend his retirement. He doesn't need to find a hobby or pick up a pastime after more than four decades working with William Hill.

Rangers has always been a way of life for Millar. Now he has even more time to devote to the club and a project that has been like a full-time job in its own right since since he started a Twitter account in 2011.

The page in question is the Rangers Archives. For any supporter that uses social media, it is unmissable, one that, alongside his Facebook page, is high on the essential follow list for those with an interest in or passion for the club.

It started out with just 30 members on Facebook. Millar now has 67,000 followers on that particular platform, a further 27,000 on Twitter and 10,000 that subscribe to his YouTube channel as he documents the greatest names and most famous games in Rangers' illustrious history.

"I was probably spending about 40 hours a week at least," Millar told Herald and Times Sport as some quick mental arithmetic arrives at a staggering figure. "It must be about 50,000 hours, at least, over the last ten years spent doing it.

 

"When you think about it, it is quite sad! I have probably got a bit of OCD like all collectors do. I nearly threw out my videos when I was moving down but luckily I had the space to put them in the loft and left them there for years without thinking about it."

Millar moved to Leeds almost 20 years ago and it is on the outskirts of the city where he will live in retirement. The blue part of his heart is back in Glasgow, though.

His knowledge of Rangers is as remarkable as his dedication to chronicling the club. Alongside the stacks of VHS tapes that date back to the 1980s in his collection, Millar has every edition of the Rangers News that was published in its 40 year run and the process of digitising each match or paper is a labour of love.

From pre-season friendlies to European finals, Millar has seen them all. His archive is a treasure trove and there is not a single supporter who will not find themselves meandering down memory lane as occasions that were historic for the club or just significant in a personal sense are relived in the digital age.

"That is what it is about and why it is all worth it," Millar said. "It is about rekindling memories for people that have maybe forgotten a game or it is the first game they went to with their dad or their grandad. If one person finds it useful, that is good enough for me.

 

"I have never been into it for likes or people saying how fantastic it is. I do it first of all for me. I enjoy watching all the old games and if other people like it great. I never go out touting for followers or anything like that."

The story of Rangers is one that all of those connected with the club cherish. The desire for success is what drives the custodians and those fortunate enough to wear the jersey onwards and upwards but the standards and traditions are shaped by the history that makes Rangers unique.

When times have been hard, supporters have followed near and far. Those difficult years will make the glories of the future all the more meaningful and fans are more in tune with the past than they have ever been after emerging from Rangers' most tumultuous period with a 55th league flag and fifth European final.

"In 2014, the club was at a real low, we had a bad season and it was a difficult time," Millar said. "I thought the history helped keep everyone focused, gave them hope that we would get back there. I hoped the pages wouldn’t be needed.

HeraldScotland: Steven Gerrard is a title-winning manager with Rangers (Pic: PA)

"From 2019 onwards it has not been as bad. The period between 2012 and 2019 was a real tough time but we are out of there now. It was very important to remember all the history."

There are some fixtures that even Millar cannot recall. He has been told that his first game was against Hearts in 1965 but it is a goalless draw with Dunfermline two years later - a match that was Scot Symon's last as manager - that is his earliest memory of Rangers.

A position in the Main Stand alongside his father, a berth they had to assume because he would have been too small to see over the crowds on the terraces, was the start of a love affair that endures to this day. He has seen The Journey and the run to Seville, the Revolutions under Souness and Gerrard.

"My favourite game until last season was Bayern Munich in '72," Millar said. "I was standing down at the corner of where the Centenary Stand was about to be built. I was coming up for 12 and it was phenomenal to see my team get to a European final.

HeraldScotland: Sweet revenge: Rangers' players Peter McCloy (left), Derek Johnstone (centre), Alex MacDonald (2nd right) and Sandy Jardine celebrate after avenging the 1967 European CWC final defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich by knocking them out of the semi-fina

"I watched the final in '67 but was too young to take it in. My dad used to take me to the home games from '67 onwards until I started going myself with my pals. I didn’t go to a Rangers v Celtic game until I was 15 so I missed the Centenary cup final.

"The Leipzig game last season was right up there and probably the best atmosphere I have been in, even ahead of Kiev, Leeds and Parma."

The chance that such occasions will be surpassed is what keeps supporters turning up week after week. The triumphs of tomorrow cannot be predicted but those of yesteryear continue to provide inspiration.

For the last two years, Millar has been working on a website, alongside friend Billy McColl, to collate all of his photos, videos and data into one place. When it is completed and launched in the coming weeks, it will be the definitive online resource for Rangers history.

 

Every manager and player - all 540 of them since 1960 - will have their own profile pages and a bank of 60,000 images will accompany match reports and every programme that Rangers have produced for more than half a century.

"To start with, we are going from 1960 onwards," Millar said. "That is when I was born and I would think most people who look at it, their memories will go back to the 60s.

"I have got all the teams, scorers and data from each match and pictures of the programme and the match and all the match reports, three or four from each game from the papers.

HeraldScotland:

"They will be available for everyone to go in and have a look at and it will be fully searchable. If you want to look at the five victories against Celtic in 63/64, it is two clicks of a button to find and you will be able to see everything from the game."

In time, the history of Ibrox will be added and Millar will go even further back through the years. He already has match reports dating to the days of the Gallant Pioneers and the assistance, both in terms of time and resources, of others will allow the lifelong Ranger to leave a valuable resource to those that follow in his footsteps.

"I have used three or four different sources," Millar said. "I have gleaned it from as many different sources as possible and they all get acknowledgements on the website.

"It will be a legacy and I will leave it. I am not going to ditch it after a year or two. I will continue it as much as I can for as long as I can."