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Not your average armchair fan: Scotsman shells out $1,700 for soccer stadium seat

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Nigel Roddis/Reuters

(Read caption) Rangers' Nikica Jelavic (C) celebrates scoring against Chelsea during their pre-season friendly soccer match at Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, Scotland August 6.

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

The lengths to which European soccer fans will go to display undying love for their favorite teams can often border on the quizzical: automobiles decked out in club regalia, children named after stadiums, and energy-sapping journeys from one side of the globe to the other for one-time showpiece matches.

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Now, a fan of the Scottish Premier League team Glasgow Rangers has added another oddity to this burgeoning collection of love stories by buying at auction a peculiar piece of furniture for his living room: a rare 1920s oak-and-cast-iron seat that was previously part of the club’s Ibrox Stadium.

Darrin Gibb, a father of two from Motherwell, about 20 miles southeast of Glasgow, paid an astonishing £1,080 ($1,760) for the antiquated seat – three times the price predicted by the auctioneers.

The seat became a piece of memorabilia when it was rescued from Ibrox in the 1970s, following a stadium renovation.

Mr. Gibb, who says he is a lifelong Rangers supporter, plans to give new meaning to the sort of soccer supporters that commentators and analysts call “armchair fans” – those who’d rather watch the match from home rather than in person. “[The seat’s] going to go in my living room and I’m going to watch the [soccer match] while sitting on it,” declared Gibb.