THE family of a Greenock teenager tragically killed in the Ibrox disaster has thanked a Rangers fans' group for a deeply touching and personal tribute.

Young football fan George Wilson, from Lansbury Street in Gibshill, was only 16 when he went to watch his favourite team play, but never came home.

He was one of the 66 people who died during a terrible stairway crush at the end of the Rangers v Celtic match on January 2 in 1971.

Now, 50 years on, the Restoration of Rangers Graves Project has stepped into replace his headstone, to keep his memory alive and remember the terrible loss of life.

George's cousin Vicky Docherty, who now lives in Larkfield, said: "It means so much to us.

"It was such a lovely, personal tribute, to remember George in this way and we can't thank them enough for doing this.

"The years have passed and the headstone had fallen down and was broken.

"We were all from a really big and close Gibshill family but it is only the cousins who are left.

"George's mum and my mum, her sister, are dead now.

"I was only two when George died, but I was brought up with the stories about him.

"He was talked about all the time in our family and was never forgotten.

"It was such a terrible waste of life."

George had made his way to the big game with his friends from Greenock.

Vicky said: "I was told that George had went with his friends, but he didn't have a ticket. So he bought one outside the stadium. He ended up at the opposite end from his friends."

Tragically George was one of the thousands leaving the match by stairway 13 at Copland Road, where the tragedy occurred.

By the end of the day 66 people had died and 200 were injured in the crush.

The former Ladyburn School pupil left behind his parents George and Elizabeth as well as his youngest brother Ronald and sister Victoria.

In a moving gesture to remember all those who died, Gers fans chief Iain McColl decided to go through the list of victims and offer to restore the headstones.

Thousands of pounds poured in from fans for the project.

Mr McColl said: "It was an honour to remember George Wilson and all the fans who died.

"We wanted to pay a meaningful tribute to all of those who lost their lives.

"It was a terrible tragedy but by restoring the headstones we are saying we still remember them.

"We want to remind people that they were football fans, who went to a game and never came home.

"They will always be our family."

The restoration team replaced the headstone in the weeks leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Ibrox disaster.

So far the project has helped 21 families from the 1971 disaster.

Previously Iain and his team had also stepped in to the restore the headstone of Gourock man Tommy Thomas.

The 29-year-old died 10 years previously in another crush at Ibrox Stadium.

At George's grave, the fans group also left flowers with a message which reads: 'Absent Friends, gone but never forgotten, always in our hearts.'

Vicky added: "I just want to thank Iain very much.

"He does an incredible job and it is a lovely way to remember them."