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Rangers fan dies after Europa League tie against Benfica

A Rangers fan has died in Lisbon following the club’s Europa League tie against Benfica. ‘Gers supporter Thomas McAllister was just 25 years old.

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Rangers had 3,250 fans at the Estadio da Luz last night. Tragically, Thomas McAllister lost his life after the game. Photo by Icon sport

‘A tragic incident’

The awful news was released as a club statement on the club’s website. Rangers said: “It is with profound sadness Rangers FC has been made aware supporter Thomas McAllister has passed away in Lisbon following last night's UEFA Europa League tie with Benfica.”

“The immediate thoughts of everyone at the club are with Thomas' family and friends, and we will remain in constant contact with both the Portuguese and British authorities over this tragic incident.”

The circumstances of his death are unknown at this time.

What has the reaction been?

Rangers CEO James Bisgrove was quick to offer his support to McAllister’s family and friends.

He said: “On behalf of the club, I want to pass on my sincere condolences to Thomas’ loved ones, family and his friends.”

“This news has hit everyone at the club extremely hard, as I am sure it will all of our supporters. Nobody should ever go to a football match and not return home.”

“The club stands ready to assist Thomas' family in whichever way we can in the coming days and weeks.”

Others on social media also paid their respects. One commenter on X/Twitter said: “Rest in peace young Thomas. Forever in our hearts. Drumchapel boys.”

Another comment read: “That’s ever so sad to hear. God rest your soul young man. So young to be taken away. No person should be returned home in such a way.”

What happened in the match?

It seems trivial in the circumstances, but Rangers secured a very useful 2-2 draw in the game against Benfica.

Tom Lawrence headed the visitors in front early on, before an Angel Di Maria penalty levelled the scoring.

Rangers struck back immediately, Dujon Sterling scoring his first goal for the club in first half stoppage time. But Benfica managed to claim a draw, Connor Goldson heading past his own keeper in the 67th minute.

The return leg will be played at Ibrox on Thursday 14 March at 17:45.


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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