RANGERS fans gathered at Ibrox stadium to pay tribute to beloved kitman Jimmy Bell.

Bell’s passing at the age of 69 was announced by the club on Tuesday, who added that he would “so sadly missed by everyone” at Rangers.

Supporters soon began arriving at the stadium to lay flowers, shirts and tie scarves and flags to the gates by the Copland Road stand.

READ MORE: Celtic fan joins Rangers' mourners at Glasgow's Ibrox Stadium to pay tribute to Jimmy Bell

Messages and cards left at the gates told of how Bell was the “foundation and backbone” of the club and that he dedicated his life to Rangers.

Glasgow Times:

The atmosphere at Ibrox was reminiscent of the tributes paid to legendary manager Walter Smith in October, showing that not just the players and managers are revered by the supporters.

Lifelong fan David McKenzie spoke of the impact Bell made on him.

David, from Bridgeton, said: “He’s been a part of Rangers for as long as I’ve been a Rangers supporter, since I was four or five years old.

“Me and all my family are Rangers fans and he’s always been part of the club for me.

“There will never be another Jimmy Bell.”

Glasgow Times:

Kirsty Mansfield, 31, has never known Rangers without Bell, who first joined the club in 1986.

She said: “I mean, he’s been with Rangers longer I’ve been alive. He was just a total legend and a great guy to have off the pitch.

“He wasn’t a footballer, but he was still a big part of Rangers.

“It’s just so sad – he was there on Sunday and now he’s gone. But you don’t need to be a player or a manager to be a legend.”

Bell began driving the team to and from matches across the country as an employee of Parks of Hamilton and eventually became first-team head of kit.

He will be remembered not only as a backroom colleague but as a friend and confidant.

READ MORE: Rangers captain James Tavernier pays touching tribute to Jimmy Bell

He stood by the club through both turbulent and jubilant times in their 150-year history – and one fan left a message at Ibrox which read: “At least you were here long enough to watch Rangers win 55!”

Glasgow Times:

Rangers stars past and present who have known and admired Bell over the years have paid tribute, including Marco Negri, Steven Gerrard, Nacho Novo, Ronald De Boer, and George Edmundson.

Captain James Tavernier called him “the beating heart and soul of our club, the hardest worker, the most dedicated, he was Rangers through and through.”

Glasgow Times: James Tavernier with Jimmy BellJames Tavernier with Jimmy Bell

All who met him recalled how friendly and genuine he was, including fan Jonathan Dowie.

Jonathan, 38, said: “He was a total legend. I met him a few times in my old job at the Hilton hotel – he was at all the Rangers functions they had there, and I met Walter Smith too. They were so nice.

“It’s just sad. It’s just such a shock, he was in the dugout on Sunday.”

Robbie Galbraith, 46, from Portadown in Northern Ireland, added: “He was just a nice man, he always had time for the supporters, and he would never walk by you.

“I had a good conversation with him outside Fir Park once. He was just an all-round nice guy. No one had a bad word to say about him. He really was Mr Rangers.”

Glasgow Times:

The affectionate nickname adorned the dozens of blue, white, and orange tops left at the gates of Ibrox, with the message on one classic royal blue top encapsulating how everyone associated with Rangers is feeling.

It read: “Absolutely devastating. He really was a Rangers legend. Dedicated a huge part of his life to Rangers.

“Thoughts go out to his family. There’s only one Jimmy Bell. My heart and thoughts are with his family, friends, and the Rangers family.

“Sleep easy Jimmy. RIP Jimmy Bell.”