Soccer-Rangers pay tribute to late kitman Bell after Leipzig win

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(Reuters) - Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst said they toasted former club kitman Jimmy Bell, who died this week aged 69, after their Europa League semi-final victory over RB Leipzig on Thursday.

Goals from James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and John Lundstram fired Rangers to a 3-1 win over the German side on Thursday and a 3-2 victory on aggregate as they progressed to their first European final since the 2008 UEFA Cup.

"I'm very proud of the performance of my team. The interaction with the fans today was amazing... we were celebrating after reaching the final, also in the locker room. And it was really nice," van Bronckhorst told reporters.

"But I think we ended the atmosphere of partying... to have a really nice toast to Jimmy the kitman, who I'm sure was watching from above, and we toasted on his life and achievements, what he's done for this club and we will miss him for the rest of our lives."

Lundstram, whose 80th-minute strike proved to be the difference in the tie, dedicated his goal to Bell, who served at Ibrox for over 30 years and was a favourite among fans.

"Words can't describe how much Jimmy meant to all of us. He was the bedrock of the club and touched everyone. I've only been here for one season but he took me in and I can't speak highly enough of him," said the former Sheffield United midfielder.

Rangers will take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the final on May 18, where the Scottish champions will be bidding to win a second European trophy 50 years after the 1972 Winners' Cup.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

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