Former Bellshill Athletic and Thorniewood United ace Hugh Sommerville fulfilled a lifelong ambition by starring for his beloved Glasgow Rangers – at the age of 63!
Viewpark-born Hugh, who lives in Mossend, made a second half substitute appearance for Rangers Legends against their Portsmouth counterparts on April 17, in a team managed by legendary former Ibrox striker Mark Hateley.
“It was a lifelong dream of my dad’s to play for Rangers,” said his son Kris. “And he did it at the age of 63 which was just incredible.
“The Rangers manager Mark Hateley – who scored 88 Gers goals in 169 appearances in the 1990s – was spot on and really down to earth.
“He cheated in the second half by putting 12 players on, before Portsmouth spotted this and fielded 15 players!
“Hateley was joking with Rod Wallace, telling Wallace that he was moving faster now than he did in his Rangers playing days!
“My dad, who was a right back, loved the day and came on for the last 20 minutes.”
“He had just missed out on going senior during his playing career all those years ago.
“He had trials with Motherwell and Celtic aged 18 but he never got the break.”
Last Monday’s match, which was watched by over 2000 spectators at the ground of Portsmouth-based Portchester AFC, saw the Portsmouth Legends prevail 4-2 largely thanks to a hat-trick by Icelandic star Hermann Hreidarsson.
Pompey – whose team also included former England winger Darren Anderton – faced a Gers side packed full of stars including David Robertson, Rod Wallace, Gregory Vignal, Bert Konterman and Keith Gillespie.
Although former Northern Ireland international Gillespie never played for Rangers, he was keen to play as he game was a fundraiser for the Lee Rigby Foundation charity.
The match saw over £10,000 raised in memory of the murdered soldier, with the cash supporting the bereaved by providing them with counselling and other support.
A fun day included an appearance by celebrity goalkeeper Wayne Shaw, recently fired by Sutton United for being filmed eating a pie in the dugout during an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal.
“Wayne was eating pies at half-time and loving it,” Kris added.
Kris also starred for Rangers Legends against Pompey.
Dad Hugh, whose football playing career started at YMCA under-18s, also played for Shettleston.
He later went on to become assistant manager at both Thorniewood and Bellshill.