Rangers to play Linfield in friendly at Windsor Park
Published 21/01/2011 | 00:01
Scottish giants Rangers will face Linfield this summer in a match to mark the Windsor Park club’s 125th anniversary.
The Blues confirmed the fixture last night after they received confirmation from Rangers that they were happy to accept an invite to come to Belfast for a game that is likely to be a 14,000 sell-out.
No date for the visit of the Gers — who could include Northern Ireland internationals Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty and Andrew Little in their line-up — has been agreed and it is likely that European games in July will play a part in dictating that, but it will be part of the pre-season programme.
“We are delighted that Rangers very willingly accepted our invitation and we are presently looking with Rangers at a date just before the new season,” said Linfield chairman Jim Kerr.
“Our supporters will look forward to this game and we can expect a huge travelling contingent over from Scotland.”
Just a few years ago Rangers were frequent visitors to Windsor Park, with three friendly fixtures taking place over a four-year period, but they haven’t sent a full first-team squad to Belfast since July 2006.
This time, however, it will be an even bigger occasion for Linfield as a club they have a close relationship with helps them to mark a significant milestone in their history.
Rangers goalscoring legend Ally McCoist is expected to take over as manager of Rangers from Walter Smith in the summer and the trip to Windsor Park will therefore be one of his first games in charge of the club he scored a record 335 goals for in a 15-year career.
Linfield are hoping that there will be other major friendly matches as part of their anniversary year.
Discussions surrounding such games on-going at present.