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KISS of DEATH; Rangers relegated.


West Ham 0

Rangers boss Ray Wilkins claimed defiantly: "No one will be leaving here," as the club slumped out of the Premiership after a 13-year stay.

But they went out in a blaze of glory and at least died with their boots on.

Two goals from Kevin Gallen and one from Karl Ready weren't enough to keep them in the big league as other results went against them.

And the news that they were relegated was broken to them by club doctor Neil Fraser as soon as the final whistle blew.

"I suppose he is used to handing out bad news. And it left us all stunned," said Wilkins.

"We had no idea our fate had been settled during the game. The fans were so buoyed up as the goals went in that we just got carried away with them.

"It's a bitter disappointment to get relegated after winning like that."

Wilkins is adamant that no one will be leaving the club as they face life in the Endesleigh First Division.

He meets with owner Richard Thompson on Tuesday. And if the man who has ordered the sale of many top stars in the past insists on selling again, it could lead to a bust-up.

"As far as I'm aware I'll be here next season - and so will they," added Wilkins.

"I want to keep them all and would like to think the board will back me on that.

"Getting relegated is not a nice feeling - and I feel so sorry for the hard-working people at this club."

Rangers blew away feeble West Ham with a second-half power show which left losing boss Harry Redknapp fuming: "Our defence was abysmal."

Visiting fans chanted "What a load of rubbish" and sang the praises of their former legend Billy Bonds, now youth team coach at Rangers.

Bonds, who sat in the QPR dugout, made it clear that his split with the Hammers still hurts when he revealed that he had not spoken to Redknapp since he left the club in August, 1994.
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Steggles, Jack
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 28, 1996
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