Football fan gives Rangers dumb boy a special flag handed to him over a decade ago

A Rangers fan passed a flag he was given as a child in 2007 to a young comrade on his way back from the Europa League final in Seville.

When Lewis Nicol was 10, he traveled to Barcelona with dad David for a Champions League game.

After watching his team lose to the Spaniards, he left the stadium dejected – but that soon changed after receiving the token from the stranger.

It was a special flag from the Glasgow Cup winners’ 1972 triumph over Spain – and it carried a special instruction for young Lewis.

Community Coach Lewis with Derek Johnstone and Willie Johnston
Community Coach Lewis with Derek Johnstone and Willie Johnston

David, 51, told the Record: “He asked Lewis, ‘Did you like that little footballer?’ and he just replied, “Yes, it was okay”.

“The man then said, ‘That was my father’s flag, he bought it when Rangers won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972′.

“‘I did my duty and brought back here what he wanted from me and what I want from you.

“Lewis seemed to appreciate the gesture and, having been disheartened by the Rangers defeat, was made up for a bit.

“He gave us the flag and Lewis has kept and cherished it ever since.”

Lewis, now 24, added: “He said he wanted to pass it on to me, hopefully I could take it to a European final sometime in my life.

“The guy, I assume his father passed away, told me to look into it and hopefully it would bring me some luck in the future

“I thought it was really cool at the time, but it wasn’t until I got a little bit older that I realized how special that flag would have been.

“I realized how much meaning and sentimental value it would have held for the stranger who passed it on to me.”

The father-son duo from Wishaw once again made their way to Spain to watch the Europa League final earlier this month.

With the pair in Albufeira, Portugal in the few days following the game, Lewis soon spotted 11-year-old Callan, from Prestwick.

He said: “Me and my dad came out of an Indian restaurant and little Callan was walking down the street singing a Rangers song.

“I thought it was class and stopped him, told him I had a present for him and that I would meet him there the next day and give it to him.

“I’ve never forgotten the guy who originally did it for me, so I thought it was only right after seeing little Callan belt out his tune.”

Callan’s mother, Shona Forsyth, 46, also told the Record: “He was really excited about it, he kept saying ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it’.

“‘I’m going to get this flag from Barcelona ’72, I can’t believe this is happening to me.

“I told Callan not to get his hopes up because Lewis said he would meet us tomorrow and might not show up.

“I just thought that when he’s a little more sober, he might say, ‘What did I say? So we basically just avoided the strip that night.”

Shona continued: “As soon as we got to the Strip in Albufeira the first person we saw was Lewis and he had the flag with him.

“Callan was absolutely delighted and we took a lot of photos with it and he was just thrilled that he made it.

“He promised Lewis he would take the flag to the next cup final to bring us luck and pass it on later in life.”

Shona says that of the whole family of supporters, Callan is the “Rangers dumbest” of them all.

She explained: “He’s walking around in his Rangers gear all the time, you can hear him lying in his bed singing Rangers songs to himself.

“On the flight from there he sat next to me and I’m not exaggerating for three hours, he sang the same song the whole time.

“During the Scottish Cup, Callan had taken it out and was waving around when Rangers scored the first goal.

“Then he carefully folded it into a tiny thing, put it in my pocket, and then put it in my pocket.

“I sent Lewis a video saying he has never folded anything in his life and look how meticulously he folds this flag.

“So it’s safe to say he definitely knows how important it is and how valuable it is, so it’s certainly going to be well taken care of.”

"Rangers-stupid" Callan with the flag
“Rangers-daft” Callan with the flag

Lewis has recently started working as a Rangers Community Coach which has allowed him to watch the game at the stadium.

He added: “I was lucky enough to have Willie Johnston, Derek Johnstone, Colin Stein and Alex MacDonald in front of me.

“I thought it was written in the stars as they sat in the row in front of me. I was disappointed that I never had a pen to get her to sign it.

“When the game didn’t go our way at the end, I just thought if it ever happened for me, that would be the time with the flag.

“So I decided it would be a good thing to pass it on to someone who deserved it.”

Callan’s parents and grandfather will be attending the NARSA (North America Rangers Supporters Association) conference next weekend.

In a turn of events Shona dubbed “destiny,” they hope to get the flag signed by 1972 goalscorers Willie Johnston and Colin Stein.

They are also hoping to get the photo Lewis took at the game signed with the two former players as a keepsake for him.

Shona said: “Lewis has a box full of Rangers memorabilia that he has collected over the years and this flag was one of them.

“I think for him to give that to someone, it takes someone special to part with something like that and give it to a complete stranger.

“Our holiday was great and was crowned by Lewis and I want to reward him in some way by having some of his stuff autographed.”

Lewis previously tried to track down the man who originally gave him the flag in Barcelona on social media but to no avail.

He concluded: “I made a post on Facebook, maybe a few weeks before the game on some Rangers pages.

“They got a few thousand likes but I never managed to trace back to the guy who gave it to me.

“I hope this story will help.”

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