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Rangers Legends

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Glasgow Evening Times are doing a  Top 50 Rangers Legends,

 

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-legends-countdown-15-11-127861n.21376457

 

Todays are from 15 down to 11.

 

 

15 WILLIE WOODBURN

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1937-1955.

APPEARANCES: 325.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Four League titles, four Scottish Cups, two league Cups.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Going undefeated in three matches against England at Wembley.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Rangers have had a plethora of great centre backs during their 141-year history. Many knowledgeable judges believe Willie Woodburn to be the best of them all.

He was a rugged, combative and often volatile. But he was also a fine footballer who read the game shrewdly and distributed the ball intelligently.

The Edinburgh-born player broke into the Rangers first team in 1938. The Second World War robbed him of six years of his career.

But after the end of hostilities in Europe he enjoyed great success. He was part of the legendary Iron Curtain defence and won 10 trophies in seven years.

He also helped Bill Struth's side claim their first ever Treble in 1949.

Capped 24 times for Scotland, Woodburn's career came to a controversial end when he was banned sine die by the SFA for head butting a Stirling Albion player. The ban was lifted three years later. But by then he had retired.

14 DEREK JOHNSTONE

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1970-1983 and 1985-1986.

APPEARANCES: 546.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: One European Cup-Winners' Cup, three League titles, five Scottish Cups, five League Cups.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Scoring the winner against Celtic in the 1970 League Cup final at Hampden aged just 16.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Derek Johnstone, or DJ as he is better known, is the fifth- top scorer in Rangers history with 210 goals in 546 games.

It is an impressive personal haul of which the Dundonian should be proud. Only Ally McCoist has scored more league goals than him in the post-war era.

But when you consider the versatile star spent much of his career playing at centre-half or in midfield then his tally becomes even more remarkable.

Johnstone came to the attention of the football world when he scored the winning and only goal in the League Cup final against Celtic in front of over 100,000 fans at Hampden in 1970.

Two years later he was, at just 18, the youngest member of the Barcelona Bears team that won the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1972.

An injury to Colin Jackson meant he played at centre- half alongside Dave Smith in the 3-2 win over Moscow Dynamo.

He helped Jock Wallace's team end Celtic's dominance of Scottish football and win domestic Trebles in 1976 and 1978.

Johnstone is now a columnist with SportTimes and a pundit with Radio Clyde.

13 WILLIE WADDELL

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1938 - 1955

APPEARANCES: 301

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: four League titles, two Scottish Cups

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Managing Rangers to their greatest triumph, the 1972 European Cup Winners' Cup

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Few men will leave a legacy at Rangers like Willie Waddell. His service to the club spanned five decades, his glittering playing career only the beginning of a love affair that would shape the club. Two of his finest achievements came after he had hung up his boots as he transformed Ibrox in the wake of the 1971 disaster and lead the Gers to their famous triumph in Barcelona. His influence is still felt to this day but his impact sixty years ago was just as profound. Waddell won four League titles and two Scottish Cups during a 17-year playing stint, forming a seemingly telepathic relationship with Willie Thornton as the pair inspired their side and entertained the Light Blue legions. A strong, speedy winger, Waddell was one of the finest players of his generation and will forever be idolised at Ibrox.

12 BOB McPHAIL

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1927-1940.

APPEARANCES: 408

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Nine League titles, six Scottish Cups.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Scoring twice for Scotland in a 3-1 win over England in front of a crowd of 149,547 at Hampden in 1937.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Before Super Ally there was Super Boab.

Bob McPhail scored a staggering 261 goals in 408 games. His record of 230 league goals stood for over 50 years until Ally McCoist broke it in 1997.

But the inside forward from Barrhead holds another record that may never be broken. He won the Scottish Cup on seven occasions, six times with Gers. Only Jimmy McMenemy and Billy McNeill of Celtic can match that.

McPhail scored 74 goals in 109 matches at Airdrie and helped them win the Scottish Cup in 1924 aged just 18.

Lightning-fast, industrious and with a intuitive understanding of where the goal was, in his first season Gers landed the League and Scottish Cup double.

He struck up a formidable partnership with Alan Morton as the Ibrox side won the title in eight of the following 10 seasons.

After hanging up his boots in 1940, McPhail coached the reserve team at Ibrox for nearly 50 years. took over as manager.

11 GEORGE YOUNG

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1941-1957.

APPEARANCES: 428.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Captaining Scotland on a record 48 occasions.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Six League titles, four Scottish Cups, two League Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? George Young was known as "Corky" due to the lucky champagne cork he carried in his pocket when he played.

Rangers certainly cracked open the bubbly on numerous occasions during the 16 years he spent as a player at the Ibrox club.

The 6ft 2in 15 stone defender was a collosus both on and off the ptich. He was a decent header of the ball, a good tackler and was supremely fit. He missed just five league games between 1948 and 1953.

His qualities as a captain were as important as those he possessed as a key member of the Iron Curtain defence. He commanded huge respect and enormous loyalty in those around him.

His ability to lead men also resulted in him captaining Scotland a record 48 times. He won 53 caps in total at a time when far fewer internationals were played.

Young was the first Scottish player to win over 50 caps. He once turned out for the national team in 34 consecutive matches.

He retired in 1959 and briefly managed Third Lanark before becoming a hotelier.

 

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10 DAVIE COOPER

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1977-1988.

APPEARANCES: 540.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Netting what was later voted 'The Greatest-Ever Rangers Goal' against Celtic in the 1979 Drybrough Cup final.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Three League titles, three Scottish Cups, seven League Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Davie Cooper is arguably the most naturally-gifted player Scotland has ever produced.

When he was in the mood, his mesmerising close control, balletic grace and elegant left foot combined to destroy defences.

Cooper signed for Rangers from Clydebank for £100,000 in 1977 and helped the Ibrox club win the treble in his debut season.

His most famous goal came in the final of the Drybrough Cup – a short-lived pre-season tournament – in 1979 when he chipped the ball over the head of four Celtic defenders before eventually sticking it in the net.

But there were so many magical moments from the supremely skilful winger in his 11 years in a Light Blue shirt.

He possessed a thunderous shot and his free-kick against Aberdeen in the League Cup final in 1988 gave Jim Leighton no chance.

He moved on to Motherwell in 1989 and helped the Fir Park club win a classic Scottish Cup final against Dundee United in 1991.

Davie Cooper died tragically of a brain haemorrhage aged just 39 in 1995.

9 ANDY GORAM

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1991-1998.

Appearances: 260.

Career highlight: Late penalty save from Pierre van Hooijdonk at Parkhead in November, 1996, as Rangers took a huge step towards another league crown.

Show us your medals: Five League titles, three Scottish Cups, two League Cups.

So what makes you a legend? 'The Goalie' will forever be a hero to the Light Blue legions, his passion for the jersey and years of sterling service making him the greatest keeper in the club's history. Walter Smith paid just £1million to bring him to Ibrox and he would go on to play an integral part in their incredible run to nine-in-a-row.

Goram was not tall for a goalkeeper at just 5ft 11in, but he had superb reactions and could read the game brilliantly.

He thrived in the heat of Old Firm battle and regularly broke the hearts of Celtic players, fans and managers during his illustrious Ibrox career.

He left in 1998 with 10 medals and his place in history.

8 PAUL GASCOIGNE

The Rangers Years: 1995 -1998.

APPEARANCES: 104.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Two League titles, one Scottish Cup, one League Cup.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Stunning hat-trick in the 3-1 defeat of Aberdeen in 1996 to win Rangers the title at Ibrox.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? It is fitting that the man who wore No.8 on his back and won Rangers eight-in-a-row should fit in at this position in the list of their all-time legends.

Like every great footballing genius, Gazza was a flawed character, but his ability and talent shone through during his memorable Rangers career. His time in Glasgow was never dull, on or off the field, as he courted controversy and lit up the national game in equal measure following his move from Lazio.

On his day, there were few better in the world and his wonderful array of passing and finishing and sublime close control will forever be remembered by those who saw him in action.

The midfielder left for Middlesbrough in March, 1998, breaking the hearts of the legions of fans who had grown to adore him and revel in his talents. Gazza's time at Ibrox may have been short, but it was certainly sweet for Rangers.

7 ALAN MORTON

the rangers years: 1920-1933.

Appearances: 440.

Career highlight: Inspiring Rangers to their first-ever double in season 1927/28.

Show us your medals: Nine League titles, three Scottish Cups.

So what makes you a legend? The original Rangers entertainer, it was in the colours of Scotland that Morton would earn his 'Wee Blue Devil' nickname as he stole the show in the 5-1 trouncing of England at Wembley.

The forward would enjoy a glittering international career, but it is at Ibrox where he truly shone. He hit 105 goals in his 440 games in Light Blue, a superb tally for a man who was more accustomed to providing pinpoint crosses for others.

He dazzled the Gers faithful during the glory years under Bill Struth and would later serve the club as a director for almost four decades until his death aged 78.

One of the first truly great Rangers players, Morton may have been a diminutive figure, but his stature is undoubted and he is still held in high esteem in the corridors and stands of Ibrox.

6 ALLY McCOIST

The Rangers Years: 1983-1998.

Appearances: 581.

career highlight: Seeing years of hard work paying off as Rangers clinched nine-in-a-row in 1997.

Show us your medals: Ten League titles, one Scottish Cup, nine League Cups.

So what makes you a legend?: Ally McCoist needs no introduction. Few men have served Rangers with more distinction and enjoyed more success than he has and his love affair with the club continues to this day.

For some, the current Ibrox boss in the greatest-ever Ranger. His record goal tally of 355 is unlikely to be bettered and he is one of only three men, alongside Richard Gough and Ian Ferguson, to have played in every season of the run to nine-in-a-row.

Once dubbed 'The Judge' because of the amount of time he spent on the bench under Graeme Souness, the striker would form a lethal pairing with Mark Hateley as Rangers dominated domestically and starred in Europe.

A broken leg in 1993 deprived him of the chance to surpass Sam English's landmark 44 goals in a season, but it was one of the few records McCoist didn't break during a 15-year playing career at Ibrox.

 
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The top 5.

 

5 DAVE MEIKLEJOHN

The RANGERS YEARS: 1919-1936

APPEARANCES: 563.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Scoring a penalty against Celtic that helped Rangers end their 25 year wait for Scottish Cup glory.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Twelve League titles and five Scottish Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Davie Meiklejohn joined Rangers from Maryhill Juniors in 1919 and was an ever present in the team for the next 18 years.

An astute half-back, the Govan man was also captain of Bill Struth's all-conquering side and led by example both on and off the pitch.

Meek helped Rangers lift the Scottish title on a staggering 12 occasions in his time at Ibrox.

The Scottish Cup eluded him until 1928 when he scored a penalty in a famous 4-0 win over Celtic. It was the first time since 1903 that Rangers had won the Scottish Cup. He would win it on a further four occasions.

Capped 16 times for Scotland, he retired in 1936 and became a newspaper columnist. He returned to football to manage Partick Thistle and died aged just 58 after a game against Airdrie in 1959.

4 SANDY JARDINE

The RANGERS YEARS: 1964-1982.

APPEARANCES: 674.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Scoring against Bayern Munich in the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: One European Cup Winners' Cup, three League titles, five Scottish Cups and five League Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Sandy Jardine had been at Ibrox for five years – and had played in a European final – before manager Willie Waddell decided he was best utilised in the ful-back berth in which he would become famous.

Jardine was a supreme athlete. He had the speed and skill to attack teams on the overlap. He would be an ever-present in the first team for the next decade.

His goal against the great Bayern Munich team of the 1970s helped book the Glasgow club's place in the final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1972.

That would be one of 14 trophies he would help Rangers lift in his 18 years at Ibrox. He was released in 1982 and moved on to play – and co-manage alongside his old team mate Alex MacDonald – for Hearts.

He was named Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year for the second time at the age of 37 in 1986.

3 JOHN GREIG

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1961 to 1978.

APPEARANCES: 755.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Captaining Rangers to their only European trophy in 1972.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: One European Cup-Winners' Cup, five League titles, six Scottish Cups, four League Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? When Rangers fans decided upon who the "Greatest Ever Ranger" was in 2001 there was really only one contender.

John Greig is not, by his own admission, the most gifted player ever to don a Light Blue jersey.But few, if any, before or since have possessed his sheer will to win or his dedication to the Rangers cause.

He won 16 trophies in his remarkable 17 year career at the Ibrox club. With 755 appearances he has played, by some distance, the most first-team games for the Govan giants.

He was a great ambassador for Rangers for many years, first as club captain then as manager and later on as a director. Undoubtedly, his most memorable moment came when he skippered Rangers to the European Cup-Winners' Cup in Barcelona in 1972.

He succeeded Jock Wallace as manager in 1978. He won the League Cup twice and the Scottish Cup twice, but the League eluded him and he resigned in 1983.

Greig returned to the club in 1990 and worked in a variety of roles before resigning as a director after Craig Whyte took over in 2011.

2 BRIAN LAUDRUP

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1994-1998.

APPEARANCES: 151.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Heading the goal that clinched Nine-In-A-Row.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Three League titles, one Scottish Cup, one League Cup.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? Brian Laudrup only spent four seasons at Rangers but the Dane is the finest player to have worn the jersey in the modern era.

Signed by Walter Smith for £2.3million in 1994 from Fiorentina, Laudrup went into a team that had won the title six years running.

But he enhanced the side tremendously. His close control, his blinding pace, his ability to unlock defences with an inch-perfect pass and his eye for a goal combined to destroy opposition teams.

Laudrup ensured Rangers won the Scottish title comfortably in his first two seasons and was then instrumental in them completing Nine-In-A-Row in the 1996/97 campaign.

He was the first foreigner to be named Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year at the end of his debut season in 1995 and won again in 1997.

He moved on to Chelsea after Gers had finished the 1997/98 season – the last in Smith's first spell in charge – trophyless. He had spells at Copenhagen and Ajax before retiring due to injury.

1 jim baxter

THE RANGERS YEARS: 1960-1965 and 1969-1970.

APPEARANCES: 254.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Playing keepy- uppy as Scotland beat world champions England 3-2 at Wembley in 1967.

SHOW US YOUR MEDALS: Three League titles, three Scottish Cups, four League Cups.

SO WHAT MAKES YOU A LEGEND? For Rangers fans who were blessed enough to see Jim Baxter play in the flesh there is no debate about who is the Ibrox club's greatest player. For them, Slim Jim is Simply the Best.

And it is not just the supporters who think so. No less a judge than Sir Alex Ferguson is of the same opinion. "Jim Baxter was Rangers' greatest ever player," he once said. "He is arguably the best player ever to play in Scottish football."

Baxter joined Rangers from Raith Rovers for a £17,500 fee in 1960. He did not take long to justify the record transfer fee and helped his club win the Scottish title in his debut season. It was the first of 10 trophies he lifted in his first five-year stint with the Govan club.

It was the swagger that the Fifer played with as much as his undeniable talent that so endeared him to Light Blues followers.

Baxter was notorious off the pitch as well as on it. But the stories of his exploits away from the game simply succeeded in adding to his legend.

He left Rangers in 1965 and had spells at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest. He returned to Rangers in 1969, but, by then, his demons were taking their toll. He retired the next year aged just 31.

His time at Rangers was brief but utterly brilliant.

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Davie Cooper only 10th??? Much as I loved Gascoigne and Goram while they were at Ibrox, no way were they better than Cooper!

 

Still, it's one of those subjects that nobody's going to totally agree on, and it's a great article. I'd have liked to have seen Derek Johnstone and Willie Johnston placed higher, but then I never saw some of the players from earlier years so I can't really compare.

 

Nice one, erskblue!

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It is a decent article by this newspaper.. Pleasantly surprised by it.

 

Agree no way were Goram and Gazza better than Davie Cooper.

 

Cooper 'carried Rangers' for much of the early 1980s.

 

Back in 1920s and early 30s Alan Morton was a World class Player. '

 

Nicknamed The Wee Blue Devil' by an Engilsh sport writer after the 1928 England v Scotland game.

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Just found this about Rangers Legend, Harold Davis. What a man.

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/real-life/heroes-2014-soldier-who-cheated-3440222

 

Our Heroes 2014: The soldier who cheated death in Korean War and then played for Rangers

 

 

PETER JOLLY NORTHPIXharold.jpg
Harold Davis during the Korean War{C}{C}

FORMER Rangers player Harold Davis cheated death after being badly wounded when he came under heavy machine-gun fire during the Korean War.

Unlike many of his comrades, he lived to tell the tale of his experiences on the front line in Korea back in the 1950s.

Harold, who served with the Black Watch, can recall bullets leaving his stomach and legs riddled with wounds.

And as life slipped away, it was the work of American medics who sprang into action that brought him back from the brink.

Harold, 80, said: “What we went through during the war was truly awful. I went in with a smile on my face but didn’t come out with one.

“I almost didn’t make it and the bullets just missed my vital organs. I owe my life to the medics.

“They didn’t give up on me. Looking back, it was pretty scary.

“I remember losing a lot of blood and thinking my time was up. I was one of the lucky ones as there were plenty of young men who never made it back. Korea was brutal at times and I saw things I never want to see again.â€

Harold was pieced back together in hospital and he later defied medics to return to his career as a professional footballer, building a reputation as one of Scotland’s most feared defenders.

He played for Rangers from 1956 to 1964 alongside legends such as John Greig and George Young and has written a biography – Tougher Than Bullets. Now his bravery has seen Harold nominated as Senior Hero at Our Heroes Awards 2014.

 

Daily RecordGL1021845.jpg
Harold Davis shakes hands with with a Moscow Torpedo player after a game in December 1962

 

Harold, who lives in Gairloch with wife Violet, 78, said: “It is a huge honour and one I never expected.

“Our Heroes pays tribute to the great and good across Scotland and I’m so pleased to be part of it.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a great football career but I owe a lot to my first club, East Fife.

“They gave me a contract even though they knew I wouldn’t be able to play because I went to war. They kept me on their books despite my injuries, even when I wasn’t sure if I would kick a ball again.

“It took two years to get my fitness back and signing for Rangers was a dream come true. I stayed for eight years and during that time we played some terrific football. Getting the chance to play in Europe was a huge privilege.

“My family were all so proud and lifting the Scottish Cup with Rangers in 1962 is a moment I’ll always remember.â€

After leaving Ibrox, Harold became a coach at East Fife and Dundee before moving to the north of Scotland to enjoy his favourite hobby, fishing.

He said: “I wanted a quiet life but I kept my eye on football. It’s a passion that has stayed with me.â€

Harold now spends much of his time raising funds for the veterans’ charity Erskine and pays regular visits to their base in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

 

PETER JOLLY NORTHPIXharold1.jpg
Harold Davis with his football medals

 

He said: “It all started when I was approached by a couple of lads who run the Rangers Supporters’ Erskine Appeal. They thought that, due to my forces background, I would be the ideal guy to front it.

“I thought it was a great idea and, since then, I’ve taken part in loads of fundraisers, many of them alongside former Rangers players.

“I take people fishing up north and my wife makes marmalade and jam, with all profits going to Erskine.

“I’ve recently had one of the rooms at Erskine named after me and I was invited along for the opening. It was touching and the work being done by staff there is incredible.â€

Harold knows better than most just how important the charity is.

He signed up for national service and found himself being shipped out to Korea, a journey which took weeks. He said: “We were in trenches and it was hard going. You think of home and little things you miss like a nice cup of tea.

“It was frightening but war is. When I was shot, it happened so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to think.â€

Harold was flown to a military hospital in Japan where doctors battled to save his life.

After weeks in hospital he was finally allowed home but it took two years to fully recover.

He said: “I went from being a young, healthy lad to lying in a hospital bed.

“My legs were badly damaged and one of the bullets just missed my Achilles heel. If it had hit I don’t think I would have been able to walk again.

“At times I wondered if I would ever kick a ball again.â€

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That Harold Davis book is a great read . He doesn't hold back his views on a  couple of well known Rangers players from the past.

Thanks. Will buy the book.

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