RANGERS fans have reached a fundraising landmark by breaking the £1million barrier for Scotland’s largest Veterans charity.

The Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal was launched in 2007 and has been at the forefront of a drive to raise funds to aid residents and staff at the four care home sites.

The group have contributed to countless projects for Veterans living in Erskine’s establishments, including a Sporting Memories room, a Reminiscence room, a Namaste room and a Bridge Activities room.

And secretary Tom Clark - who was the main behind the formation of the RSEA - is delighted to have surpassed a significant target.

He said: “To reach over £1,000,000 for the Erskine Veterans has been a labour of love and I am delighted we have now passed this milestone.

“To every single person who has donated a pound or given an hour of their time, thank you. Without them, we wouldn’t exist or have achieved what we have. Massive gratitude and thanks also goes to our Honorary President, the late Harold Davis, and his wife Vi.

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“Our gratitude extends to our Patrons, alongside the countless organisations who have supported the RSEA over the years, of which there would be far too many to mention individually.”

The efforts from Clark and his fellow Rangers fans have been invaluable for Erskine as cash has been raised through the sale of badges, golf days, charity dinners and even sponsored abseils and zip-slides over recent years.

The RSEA was named Volunteer Fundraising Group of the Year from the Institute of Fundraising Scotland in 2011 and has had support from a host of Ibrox heroes such as Richard Gough, Ian Ferguson, Lee Wallace and Dave Smith.

Former Gers striker Gordon Smith - whose grandfather Gordon Bullock fought at Gallipoli and the Somme during the First World War - has now succeeded Davis (below) as President of the organisation.

And Erskine chief executive, Ian Cumming MBE, has expressed his gratitude to the Rangers support for their charitable work that has been so important to the lives and wellbeing of our Veterans.

Cumming said: “Raising more than a £1 million pounds for any charity takes extraordinary motivation, focus and stamina.

“Everyone at Erskine is enormously grateful to the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal for their innovation, energy and resolve in exceeding this target and their generosity over the years, has made a world of difference to the lives of Scotland’s wartime heroes.

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“The hard work of the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal is one of a kind and it showcases the impact that a group of like-minded people can have on the lives of others.

“The fundraising efforts of everyone involved at the RSEA continues to transform the lives of those under Erskine’s care.

“For that, we are indebted to each and every supporter who has donated to the cause over the past 13 years, and to them we say a heartfelt thank you.”

The RSEA has continued to fundraise throughout the pandemic thanks to dedicated merchandise sales, which went a long way towards making Christmas special for every Erskine Veteran as shoeboxes were filled with gifts from Rangers fans so all 339 residents received a present.

The group also aided the crucial purchase of lifting aids and an assisted bath and refurbishment of the physiotherapy department in The Erskine Home and, most recently, the purchase of a hybrid vehicle.

Lesley Wylie, manager of Erskine Park Home, said: “The Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal have been tireless in their support for the best part of a decade, and it is difficult to thank them enough.

“Their fundraising has enabled us to develop specialist support across each of the houses at Erskine Park and beyond. This allows us to provide residents with a quality of care that greatly improves their well-being and quality of life.”

*You can support Erskine at: www.erskine.org.uk/support-our-work/donate/