Billy Gilmour has lifted the lid on a fateful moment that made his exit from boyhood club Rangers 'easier'.

The Scotland international left Rangers to join Chelsea in 2017 when he was eligible to turn professional aged 16.

The Ardrossan-lad moved for £500,000 as one of the country's top prospects earned a life-changing move to the Premier League.

Now playing for Brighton in the richest league in the world, Gilmour's career has gone from strength to strength. 

However, one thing he wishes he'd done was to pull on a Rangers shirt for a first-team appearance.

That said, it was a snub by interim boss Graeme Murty which, in hindsight, made it easier for the midfielder to leave Ibrox.

He was due to become Rangers' youngest-ever player at 15 years old in a Scottish Cup tie against Hamilton in March 2017.

Murty has indicated Gilmour would be on the bench and would let him fulfil his lifelong dream of playing for Rangers.

However, just hours before kick-off, the manager changed his mind, with Gilmour being left out of the matchday squad. The game ended 6-0 to the hosts.

Just two months later Gilmour sealed his move to Chelsea and was never to be seen wearing red, white and blue in Glasgow.

The now £9m player insists it was a tough pill to swallow at the time, but that it was probably for the best.

He said: “I was in one of the squads for a cup game at home.

“Graeme Murty’s basically pulled me before the game and says ‘Look, not on the bench, just in the squad.’

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“I felt like I was going to be on the bench and maybe even come on that game. It works in its weird ways, so it does, football.

“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.”