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Leon Balogun hopes win gives comfort on 50th anniversary of Ibrox Disaster

St Mirren v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – St Mirren Park
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Leon Balogun hopes Rangers’ 1-0 win over Celtic on the 50th anniversary of the Ibrox Disaster gives some comfort to the friends and families of the fans who died that day.

There was a poignancy about Saturday’s match in Govan where the tragedy in which 66 Gers supporters who lost their lives in a crush on stairway 13 following the traditional New Year’s Old Firm game in 1971 was again remembered.

Gers skipper James Tavernier and his Hoops counterpart Callum McGregor laid wreaths in the centre circle before kick-off and both sets of players wore black armbands.

It was an own goal from the latter in the second half, after Hoops defender Nir Bitton was sent off, which gave the home side a crucial 1-0 win.

Steven Gerrard’s side moved 19 points clear of the nine in a row champions albeit they have played three games more and Balogun, the 32-year-old defender who signed from Wigan last summer, recognised its significance.

He said: “For us, for the cause, for the mission that we are on, it is massive.

“But when you think about the club – because it’s not just us players and staff, it is the fans that make the club – it is massive.

“And to win an Old Firm game on that day it is probably some kind of comfort to some of the people who have been affected, the families.

“And it is a great gift from us as representatives of the club to the supporters for the New Year, on that day