Visit of Rangers Football Club
Days like these do not happen very often! 1957 was the last time a game like this, against one of the Old Firm, happened at Mosset Park. This was a truly special day for the town of Forres and Forres Mechanics Footbal Club. Saturday 29th September is a day that will live long in the memory for all the right reasons both on and off the pitch. Scroll down all the way for some great memories of the day.
These photos are taken from the gallery produced, maintained and updated by Glasgow based sports photographer Willie Vass. We would like to thank Willy for kindly allowing us to show some of the photos from the Forres Mechanics v Rangers archive. You can see the rest of the archive here.
They said it was unique. They said it could be tough for Rangers. They said Forres are Highland League Champions. They said Rangers have had Forres watched! They said it was a dream tie. They said we had a chance. WE SAID - BRING IT ON!
A small selection of the media build up to the big game...
Folks, just wanted to say, you don't know how much you and the others support means to me and the players, were gonna give you a performance you'll be proud of, Mon the Cans!!!
A confident Charlie Rowley's message to the facebook page three hours before kick off - He wasn't joking either!
So all credit to Forres. They were top-notch on the park and different class off it. A few SPL clubs could learn from a set-up that had a fully-functioning press room and power outlets and wifi in the stand.
First class hospitality at #Forres today, nothing too much trouble. A lot of clubs could learn from @themightycans.
Forres, the club, were superb. They didn’t win and yet, they did. They were great. They were accommodating and helpful. Lonely Planet and Trailfinders should have Forres Mechanics on their list of places to go.
WELCOME to our brief tribute to the biggest game in many Forres Mechanics supporters lives. This was indeed a game that almost felt like just reward for the amazing effort the Club, Managers, Coaches and Players put in winning the league last season. It has already been pointed out elsewhere that this game may not have been as 'important' for the club as championship and cup winning days but nonetheless and in different way it was a huge day for both the club and the Highland League.
A combination of the Cancans first league win in 26 years, the collapse of Rangers and pure luck of the draw served up the Scottish Cup 2nd Round tie between Forres Mechanics and Rangers at Mosset Park. The game itself ended with a 1-0 win for Rangers but how different it might have been as Forres dominated the second half, much of it with ten men, we had our chances.
From the moment the draw was made, Cup fever gripped the town. How great it has been to see local businesses on the National news channels, the town featured in many many news reports on BBC, ITV and Sky Sports. From the day Jim White announced that 'Ranger have been drawn to play the Highland League Champions, Forres Mechanics' to the reports of Willy Wonka style Pie shenanigans and the praise for the club on and off the pitch after the game it has been fantastic. We hope we have captured some of the occasion here, but just to emphasise the impact these rare events have on peoples' awareness of a small community here are a few statistics that we have produced from this site and the facebook page run by Mechanics fans.
Really hope @themightycans become champions again. As I have said before whole place left a positive impression on our fans and club. Still talking about our wee trip to your lovely town!
Rangers fan via twitter
Thanks, in a very big way, to various fans bombarding Sky TV's Soccer AM via Facebook and Twitter, Franky Fryer and his crew came up to Forres for an Away Day. This footage went out on the morning of the Rangers game - 29th September, on Sky1HD and SkySports2HD at 10am. Look out for various highlights such as the Forres lads doing the Can Can, The bewildered Forres Mechanic and The Doc struggling to get a word in as he does his fantastic #getyournutdaan moment! Oooosh!
The Mosset Tavern was host to many fans before, during and after the game. Gordon and Melissa have supported Mechanics (and attended many games) over the last few years.
The Tavern was packed pre game with hundreds of fans attending the hospitality Lunch with Ian Thain as the guest speaker. This video captures The Doc welcoming everyone to Forres and thanking the Mosset Tavern for their huge generosity. £50 of every ticket sold went directly to Forres Mechanics raising a huge sum of money for the club.
During the game the Mosset was busy with fans unable to get tickets and then was host to players and fans well into the evening. Some effort from the team at Mosset Tavern considering they had the huge addition of a wedding the same day! Thanks to you all for looking after us so well and contributing to a great day in the history of the club.
The last meeting of the two clubs took place in 1908 when Rangers played a friendly at Mosset Park. The only time the clubs have net before the Scottish Cup tie. As well as the traditional pennant swap in the center circle the clubs exchanged gifts. Rangers presented Forres with a beautiful cut glass decanter marking the occasion. For Forres, their gift was a little more unusual!
The Cans had two pieces of artwork commissioned for the game. The unique works were produced by a relative of the Doc at www.highlandstoneware.com and depicts a very 'tongue in cheek' look at Football in the North of Scotland, capturing fantastically the spirit of the occasion. On the plates, eleven sheep in the shirts of Forres and Rangers line up in the game. Some of Forres' key landmarks can be seen in the background including Nelson's Tower and the three church spires. This unique view of the ground and town that can be seen from the stand, the Forres bypass or if you are passing through, on the train. If you wish to go further afield you can get a long distance view of the lovely sky line from the beautiful Findhorn Bay, keep an eye out and you may well see some dolphins while you are there too. The artworks now take pride of place in the trophy room at Ibrox and the Boardroom at Mosset Park.
For me, the moment of the match was Nathan Sharp's hard but fair tackle on Big Jig (Lee McCulloch*) early in the game. It led to two things: 1) It made Lee think twice about where he was playing and how tough this game might be, and 2) It absolutely pumped the team and the crowd.
Once again the Forres (and Chelsea!) mad Tomato Terrace have have done us proud! It may not be the polished Sky or BBC coverage but Calum (12) and friends have talent and we hope they will carry on capturing the spirit of Mosset Park on the big occasions. The tremendously atmospheric video they shot on the day, last May, when the Cans won the league was a great hit.
Look out for Nathans tackle around 2:25 mins followed by the roar of the home fans and Nathan and Simon Allan's rallying salutes!
Good work lads. (Ed.)
*not too shabby a player but possibly not the finest McCulloch to grace the turf of Mosset Park! Hope you enjoyed the game Donnie, your spirit lives on.