He has supported Rangers for most of his life, and now River City star Stephen Purdon is taking his passion for the Light Blues to the stage.

The actor will star in Rally Roon the Rangers later this month at the Pavilion Theatre giving the Ibrox loyal a play they can cheer on.

“It has been a long time since there has been a Rangers show on the stage,” Stephen said.

“There has been a lot about Celtic – Celtic - The Musical, The Celtic Story, Celts in Seville.

“I think the fans will love the banter. It is something for Rangers fans and hopefully, they like it.”

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The play was created by the team behind Singin I’m No A Billy He’s A Tim and centres around the story of eight die-hard Rangers fans.

With Scots Squad funnyman Grado also on board, the story follows the group as they try to save The Wee Rangers Supporters Club from demolition by the council.

As well as plenty of laughs, the play will also feature ‘simply the best’ of Rangers songs.

And for Stephen, it is a role he is bound to relish in.

“I am now 36 and I have been going to Ibrox since I was eight or nine,” he explained.

“My dad was a mad Rangers fan and he went to games everywhere.

“I have my own season ticket and the club is a very important thing in my life.”

He joked: “I love Rangers and my wife kind of moans about it a lot because I am always planning my calendar around football games.”

A love of Rangers was perhaps one draw for taking on the project for Stephen. Another was sharing the stage again with his good pal Grado, whose real name is Graeme Stevely.

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Stephen in River City 

Stephen, who has played Bob O’Hara on River City since 2002, said: “I remember I first met him when he did a few episodes of River City. I was like, ‘who is this guy? I cannae work with this guy’

“We are quite close friends now and we have done a lot together.

“He is mad and always bouncing about, doing something or carrying on. There is a serious guy there as well and he is not daft he knows what he is doing.

“He is a great, genuine guy and he is really down to earth. The two of us just kind of click especially when we are doing panto so that was a factor in agreeing to do this.

“We get on great.”

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Benny Lynch 

The role will provide some light relief for Stephen who has been touring the country in hard-hitting The Benny Lynch Story. The play based on the Gorbals-born boxer who was Scotland’s first world champion has been received well, and Stephen says there is even talks of another run next year.

He added: “I’ve really enjoyed it, getting my teeth into it. Hopefully, we are going to do it again next year.

“There was just something about it from the word go I’ve just been really invested in it 100 percent.”

With a young family, a long-running role on one of the BBC’s most popular soaps and regular theatre jobs – how does dad-of-two Stephen fit it all in?

“I’ve got a three-year-old and a six-year-old so life is manic,” he admitted.

“From Benny Lynch, I am going into the Pavilion for this Rangers play. I finish the play on the Saturday and back into River City on the Monday. River City will take me right through to panto time.

“But I am doing nothing really if I am not working – I am just sitting about the house.

“You need to work while you can in our business because there will come a time when I am quiet. I don’t say no to a lot of jobs.”

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Stephen clearly doesn’t say no to anything to do with his favourite club. He is a regular at Ibrox and often voices his support for Rangers on social media.

And with Steven Gerrard at the helm of Rangers, he is looking forward to what the club can do in the future.

“I still can’t believe he is the manager,” he beamed.

“When I was growing up, Gerrard was just phenomenal, one of the best midfielders of his generation.

“He is a bit of an icon so having him as the Rangers manager is mental.

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“But he has embraced the club. He knows it was built on a winning mentality. He always had a winning mentality as a player so hopefully, I think he will integrate that into the players now at Rangers.

“I think he is the right man to take us forward.”

Rally Roon the Rangers runs at the Pavilion Theatre from July 24 to August 3.

For tickets, visit www.paviliontheatre.co.uk.