Billy Gilmour Reflects on Decision to Leave Rangers in SFA Documentary

Billy Gilmour opened up about the pivotal decision to depart his boyhood club, Rangers, without making a first-team appearance.

Gilmour, who had long been considered a future star at Ibrox, attracted attention not only from his home club but also from top-tier teams, including Premier League giants Chelsea. The midfielder, then just 16 years old, ultimately made the life-changing move after a meeting with Chelsea’s then-manager, Frank Lampard.

Expressing his lifelong dream of playing in the Premier League, Gilmour shed light on the moment that played a crucial role in his departure from the Light Blues. “I was in one of the squads for a Cup game at home,” he revealed. “Graeme Murty pulled me before the game and said, ‘Look, not on the bench, just in the squad.’ It works in its weird ways, football.”

Gilmour’s desire to compete in the Premier League proved decisive in leaving Rangers at such a young age. Reflecting on the situation, he remarked, “Of course, I would’ve loved to have played for Rangers. But I ended up moving on, and maybe it’s a wee part of my journey that made the decision a bit easier.”

The Scottish midfielder and his family meticulously weighed the pros and cons of each club’s offer before making the momentous decision. Despite numerous advantages for staying with Rangers, Gilmour explained, “All the pros that we put down were very similar. With Rangers, it was the exact same. ‘You’re at home, still playing with a massive club, you’re round about the first team, we can see you more often.’”

Prior to the crucial moment of being excluded from the first-team squad, David Weir, who served as assistant to then-manager Mark Warburton, revealed the club’s efforts to retain Gilmour. “It was one of those things when you’re a manager or assistant manager, you want to keep your best players around,” Weir stated. “But we were also realistic in terms of Billy would’ve had a lot of different choices, a lot of different options. The world would have been his oyster.”

Weir emphasized the club’s duty to make a compelling case for Gilmour’s future at Rangers. “So you also have got to go and state your case and try and persuade Billy and the family that his future could have been with Rangers,” he explained. “As it turned out it wasn’t, and I think everybody completely understood that. But I think it was our duty to try and persuade him that it was.”