New Rangers midfielder Scott Arfield has revealed he plans on wearing the club’s No.37 shirt next season as a tribute to his former Falkirk team-mate Craig Gowans, who tragically died in a training ground incident back in 2005.
The 29-year-old put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal at Ibrox yesterday after an impressive five-year spell with Burnley in the English Championship and Premier League, and plans on taking on the same squad number he wore whilst a regular at Turf Moor.
Arfield was not only colleagues but also close friends with Gowans when the 17-year-old was killed in a freak accident, when 20ft-high training poles he was carrying accidentally collided with overhead power cables.
Gowans’ 37 shirt was retired in tribute at Falkirk but worn as a tribute by Arfield throughout his own career.
And speaking via the Sun, the Canada international is hoping to continue the tradition, saying: “I spoke to Craig’s family, his siblings and his mum and dad. They were ecstatic that I still want to take that on.
“It is something that means a lot to me and my family. If it gets rubber-stamped, I will be buzzing to wear it.
“I feel as if when I wear it there is a sentimental factor that kind of gives you a peace of mind.
“You feel as if your mate is looking down and you are carrying on things not just for you, but also Craig’s legacy as well as his family.
“Squad numbers mean a lot to certain players and some don’t to others. Certainly, that one means a lot to me.
“It was Craig’s squad number when we came through and broke into the first team. I was No31, he was No37. At the time, that got retired by Falkirk.
“I couldn’t do it at Huddersfield but when I went to Burnley, I thought, ‘This is the time’.
“Thankfully, we got up to the Premier League.
“That league is shown everywhere across the globe, so that number got a prominent position around the world. Everyone knows why I wore it.
“As I say, I spoke to the family and they are ecstatic about it. I’m just as happy as them to be wearing that number.”
No first-team player at Rangers was credited with the No.37 shirt last season, so we see absolutely no reason why Arfield won’t be making it his own from his debut onward.
What do you think of the tribute?