Big Interview: Ian McMillan

You signed for Rangers when you were 27 as a somewhat experienced player, what was going through your mind when you signed?

IM: “Well, there was a big difference between playing for Airdrie and a club like Rangers.

“There was a slight dispute though that made me go to Rangers, because every five years the clubs were supposed to give you benefits.

“I was getting married the following year after the fifth year and when it came to the end of the 10th year I was asking for my benefit and they said, ‘No, you won’t get it until after your 11th year.’

“I thought it was a bit off after I’d served them for 10 good years, and although I enjoyed my football there I felt they weren’t playing fair so I didn’t sign for them.

“Alan Morton was a director at Rangers and he had seen that thing weren’t working out for me at Airdrie because I hadn’t been playing and he instigated the move to Ibrox.”

Did Airdrie’s reluctance to give you the bonus make your mind up for you?

IM: “Yes it did, and when I signed that night I was just happy because I knew I’d be getting a game of football.

“But on the way home I was saying to myself, ‘Am I good enough after playing at Airdrie to fit in at Ibrox when there are so many good players?’ There was joy and apprehension at the same time.

“I probably thought I was going to stay at Airdrie for the whole of my career but when I looked back on it I had six good years at Rangers, played in Europe and played in Russia instead of touring the Highlands with Airdrie. So I think that was quite a transformation.”

Did you settle in right away considering the big difference?

IM: “Well, I couldn’t train properly for a month-and-a-half so I wasn’t ready to go straight into the first team. I played two reserve games before my first game and that was against Raith Rovers.

“The whole XI were very helpful, even going into the dressing room and meeting them for the first time because I hadn’t trained through the week and only saw them on a Saturday. They really made me feel at home.”

And how was Scot Symon to meet for the first time? How was he as a manager?

IM: “He wasn’t like a modern day manager but he knew how to knit the team together, it is all about getting the jigsaw right and getting each position the way he wanted it.

“I think he achieved that with our Rangers team because it was really an outstanding team.

“He didn’t tell us very much about how to actually play, that was left to the individual players, but I think he commanded respect because he had been through it and had been a good player himself.

“My father used to tell me about him, he was an outstanding player and he was one of those who could pass the ball from one wing to the other and it never rose above the grass.”

The thing that is so interesting about you is that you were a part-time player, you trained on a Tuesday and Thursday night and played on a Saturday but you were also a quantity surveyor. Did you never think about playing for Rangers on a full-time basis?

IM: “When I went to sign for Rangers I thought they might have said, ‘If you are going to sign for us then we want you full-time.’ But that never came into the equation and I was quite happy because I was 27 and wasn’t young anymore.

“I trained three nights a week at Airdrie and came to Ibrox and was only training twice a week but was playing in Europe – unbelievable!

“The only consideration was that John Lawrence wanted me to work for his firm and in order to get away for European games I worked for him. Willie Telfer and Alex Scott were also part-time so we were the three who trained with the young boys during the week.”

Do you think that held you back at all?

IM: “In retrospect I feel I could have been a better player if I’d gone full-time. There is no doubt that if you’re training five days a week then you’re going to be fitter to play on the Saturday.

“I did miss out on some antics because when you heard what Baxter had been up to in the week, it was a miracle he wasn’t in the jail by the Friday night!”

It must have been odd working while you were playing top-level football?

IM: “I was always asked for autographs at work, at Lawrence’s about five of us went for lunch every day and people always stopped you which was nice.”

Your nickname was the ‘Wee Prime Minister’, how did that come about?

IM: “The Prime Minister at the time was Harold McMillan and because they said I was the general of the middle of the park and distributing the ball about, that’s how it came about.

“I was quite happy to be called that and I’ve had no regrets about it over the years.”

You got off to a great start at Rangers with a 4-4 draw against Raith Rovers and you got the opening goal that day, do you remember much about it?

IM: “Not really no, I can’t remember my goal either!

“I was just glad to get to get it over with because I was quite apprehensive, I was happy I’d played reasonably well and scoring was a big boost too.”

Rangers were going through a bad patch when you came in but after you signed they went 23 games unbeaten until the end of the season. You were credited with the turn around, did you think that was fair?

IM: “No, one man doesn’t make a difference, you can’t account for changing the whole complex of the game with one player.

“It just so happened that it worked well for us, football is all about the ups and downs and in that case things just knitted together.

“Once you win one or two it’s a confidence boost and then we just settled in together and sailed along quite well.”

You went on that season to win the league, was that the first trophy of your career?

IM: “At Airdrie I’d won a championship medal in the lower division so that was the only one I had.

“We lost the final two games of the season so it was a bit of an anti-climax [in 1958/59 with Rangers]; you don’t have much to strive for once you’ve won it so we slackened a bit.”

The following season you finished third which was a bit of a disappointment but you won the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win over Kilmarnock, was that a good day?

IM: “I can’t remember too much because it was a long time ago but it was my first Scottish Cup so it was a memorable one for me.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it and what I liked about playing for Rangers at Ibrox and Hampden was the big open spaces.

“When you played at Broomfield it was so tight and I didn’t know about that until I went with Rangers back to Airdrie.

“I liked it better when I had room to manoeuvre because the more room ball players get the better it is for them.”

You scored 20 goals that season too in 1959/60, not bad for a midfielder?

IM: “I was quite delighted to do that because I wouldn’t normally say scoring was one of my main assets.

“I think it goes back to the good team you’re playing with; they’re working the ball about in open space so you’re coming into open space.

“I just had to touch it in really so it really came down to playing with such quality.”

The 1960/61 season was unbelievable for Rangers, winning the league and League Cup and going all the way to the Cup Winners’ Cup Final. Some year wasn’t it?

IM: “It was a tremendous season with so many achievements in it and there were two games that stood out for me; the first one was against Wolves down at Molineux.

“It was a very wet and muddy night and they had outstanding players in that team.

“I remember distinctly playing against Ron Flowers who was an England international and during the course of the game he had a tremendous shot and I have never seen such a wonderful stop as Billy Ritchie produced.

“I think that save turned the game for us because we drew there and I felt that was an outstanding achievement, especially away from home.

“The other interesting game was the Borussia Monchengladbach second-leg at Ibrox and again it was a mucky field, and the muckier the better as far as I was concerned!

“You could dribble the ball and these fellas were sliding all about you. We had an outstanding victory of 8-0 at Ibrox which is unusual in European football – they were the champions of Germany at that time.”

You won the league by a single point that season, how important was that success?

IM: “It was a nail-biting one and to be true champions you have to go to the last game or winning it by one point, it’s a sense of being a true champion in that you can achieve that.

“To maintain the league form and play in Europe at the same time is quite an achievement.”

How disappointing was it to lose in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final to Fiorentina after such a good run?

IM: “It really was. The first game we could have done a little better because we missed a penalty and I think if we’d scored it would have made an awful difference.

“Again they were a good side and they had foreign players playing for them, it wasn’t just Italians.

“When we went to Florence for the final it was very warm there and that took the stuffing out of us considering we’d played a whole season and then our last game was in tremendous heat.

“It was annoying to get that far and not win it, looking back that is the only disappointment I have about being at Ibrox – that we didn’t win anything European in the time I was there.

This article was originally posted here

Webinar: MyGers

RANGERS’ Supporters Liaison Officer Greg Marshall and Senior Commercial and Marketing Executive Natalie Nairn have today taken part in a Webinar to provide an update and field questions on MyGers.

You can either watch it now in the link above, or click to listen to it here as a podcast either here or through your preferred podcast app.

We are in this together. Fan, Player and Club.

MyGers pays homage to the collective unity between this trilogy. We drive each other forward and together we are stronger.

MyGers allows fans to show their loyalty to Rangers, like never before.

Now, fans can be closer to our beloved club and access benefits such as a welcome gift, ticketing priority, access to Club discounts and access to exclusive competitions and experiences.

With MyGers we can be Always Rangers, Always Rewarded.

More information on the options and benefits available with MyGers can be found below.

Membership Benefits

Join Today

No matter whether you roar the team on from the stands at Ibrox or from the other side of the world, there is a MyGers option for you.

It’s well-known that the Rangers family is global which is why we have created a MyGers Membership for our international fans and our fans in the United Kingdom.

Experiences, competitions, discounts and ticketing priority is available to everyone who joins MyGers so no matter where you are in the world, you can feel part of the blue sea of Ibrox.

This article was originally posted here

Everyone Anyone: Jamie’s Story

RANGERS announced an exciting partnership with Bengaluru FC late last year and lifelong Bluenose Jamie Hare enjoyed the trip of a lifetime in January when he travelled to South Asia to check out the Indian Super League side.

Bengaluru FC were established in 2013 and since that time they have won three league titles, two federation cup titles and a super cup championship.

Based at the 25,000 capacity Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Jamie attended their 2-0 victory over Jamshedpur FC – thanks to goals from former Gretna player Erik Paartalu and one-time Rangers trialist Sunil Cchetri – and he put together an impressive video diary of his epic journey which can be viewed on the club’s YouTube channel.

During the two-year collaboration with Bengaluru FC, the Light Blues will enjoy a number of footballing and commercial opportunities.

A culture of knowledge sharing will also be fostered, with experiences and opportunities discussed across a number of different departments across both clubs.

The partnership also ties nicely into the club’s ground-breaking diversity and inclusion campaign ‘Everyone Anyone’ which was launched just last summer and Jamie, who works as a Technical Production Co-ordinator at Stirling University and also assists Rangers TV on matchdays, was delighted to visit India at the start of the year.

He raved:

“It’s a really positive partnership and I know they are super excited and proud of the association. It was just a brilliant trip and I can’t speak highly enough of the people I met when I was out there.

“Stirling University were very kind and gave me the holidays to go and it really was a once in a lifetime experience.

“When I got home I was so emotional. Something like that will never happen again but I will definitely go back to India. It was amazing.

“The people I met were all really friendly. They were all really nice people and the welcome I received was unbelievable. Rakesh Haridas was my guide and he looked after me so well.

“It is such a huge city and Bengaluru FC are a great club. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It was just amazing.

“I parked my car at Glasgow Airport on the Tuesday night and returned at 7.30pm on the Friday night so I managed to do as much in as possible during that time.

“The main day was the Thursday which was the matchday. It is a super busy city but it also has incredibly serene places with huge parks where people go to meditate.

“I met the head of Bengaluru media for a coffee and had a short car journey to see their offices at meet staff at their old stadium.

“They are all super passionate about their team. It has only been going for six years or so but they were telling me about some of their highlights so far. They play in the equivalent of the UEFA Cup in Asia and they have been to play games in places like North Korea and Bhutan so they have some really interesting stories to tell.

“I then went to Bangalore Palace then saw their stadium for the first time.

“I met some players, which included Erik Paartulu who actually played for Gretna against Rangers in 2007 –  he came on as a sub at Ibrox when we beat them 4-0.

“Then it was time for the game itself. They had posted pictures of me on their Twitter feed and so many people came up to me to say hello and get pictures. It was surreal. People were queuing up for a picture with me, it was wild!

“The fans were all chanting Rangers FC at the game. It was some experience.

“They won the game 2-0 and played very well. Ironically Paartulu scored the first goal and Sunil Chhetri, who was on trial at Rangers a few years back, also scored too.

“After the game they presented me with the Crown of Bangalore and lots of club merchandise. They gave me strips, polo tops, programmes – they were just so generous.

“I have to say it was overwhelming at times and their generosity was incredible.

“Everyone looked after me so well and I can’t thank them enough. I also tasted some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life.

“I tried to pay for some of the meals and they kept saying no. They treat guests like they are God and it was an incredible experience.

“They also did a really cool thing in their matchday programmes. For every game a player picks a cause that is important to them. An environmental theme that means something to them. Whether it’s clean air, recycling or save the tigers and they have a feature on the subject. I really loved that idea.

“Overall it was the trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful for the opportunity and to everyone who looked after me. Hopefully I can repay their hospitality one day.”

Jamie started following Rangers in the mid-80s when his dad took him to games for the first time. Since then he has seen the Light Blues in action more than 1000 times.

The 43-year-old from King’s Park recalled: “My dad took me and my brother along to a game v Dundee in May 1984 and I was hooked.

“I remember watching the cup final when Ally McCoist scored a hat-trick against Celtic and we just to watch it over and over.

“The following season, my dad said he was going to the football one afternoon and he took me along. That was me signed up for life.

“I was in Australia for a couple of years but I have had a season ticket for about 25 years until I started doing some work with Rangers.

“I hit 1000 Rangers games at the recent Aberdeen game at Ibrox and that is some journey as I have been going regularly since I was at primary school.

“There have been some great games and great players at the club during that time.

“I remember the 2-1 Ian Durrant/Davie Cooper Cup final in the 80s that really set the Souness Revolution off.

“We had some great time with Souness and then Walter Smith as manager.

“I would say the season we beat Leeds Utd to get into the first ever Champions League was one of the best ever. There have been so many highlights though.

“The Dick Advocaat era was also enjoyable. The 1999/2000 season was probably one of the best teams I have seen and beating Parma was probably the best performance I have seen.

“Then there was the 2002 Peter Lovenkrands Scottish Cup Final. Just great days.

“I missed the treble-winning season in 2003 and when we won the league beating Dunfermline 6-1.

“But I was back from Australia three weeks before Helicopter Sunday in 2005 so that was a good one to come back for.

“I have also seen so many great players. I would say Ally McCoist was my all-time favourite. He is such a legend. I remember first seeing him when I was 7-years-old and I was nearly 22 when he left. I was devastated when he and that 9-in-a-Row team broke up. It was such a massive part of my life and Rangers still is.

“Ally will never be bettered he is a legend. He is a real life super hero he could do anything.

“I also liked watching Michael Mols –he was incredible when he first signed and if he hadn’t got injured against Bayern Munich who knows what we could have achieved with that team.

“I also loved Brian Laudrup – like all fans – and legends like Davie Cooper, Ian Ferguson, Ian Durrant and guys like Nacho Novo and Dado Prso.

“Dado was a warrior I loved watching him. Rangers fans love his type of character. I was In Sydney when he scored against Celtic watching the game a massive cinema screen. So many good memories.

“I also love Alfredo Morelos – he is up there. I hope he can win something with us.

“He is a really interesting character and really humble when you meet him.

“It has been some journey for the club in recent years and I have got to visit so many stadiums in Scotland I would never have been in.

“I am proud to be a Rangers fan and I am very lucky to be able to work with Rangers TV and the media team.

“It started a few years ago when I was at the University of the West of Scotland(UWS).

“They were looking to enhance their already excellent media coverage and were exploring the use of Go Pros. I was at the UWS and did some work with Go Pros so I got in touch with the club and had a meeting with the Rangers TV folks and it went from there. I was also able to bring up some students to games for work experience and I am happy to help my club in any way I can.

“I currently work at Stirling University helping students with technical support for media courses and I host workshops on editing, lighting and sound etc so it is a pretty cool job. I get to meet some really cool and interesting people and it was the same during my trip to India. The partnership with Bengaluru FC is really positive and was delighted to travel and document the journey.”

CLICK HERE to view Jamie’s trip to India.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Everyone Anyone campaign.

CLICK HERE for more information on the new Rangers Fans Charter.

This article was originally posted here

Derek Parlane Q&A Highlights

RYDC hosted a Twitter Q&A with Rangers legend Derek Parlane this week.

The King of Ibrox Park and Rangers Hall of Famer won three league titles, three Scottish Cups, three League Cups and was part of the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup winning Rangers squad during his spell in Light Blue.

He was delighted to take a trip down Memory Lane with supporters and here are the highlights of his session…

Q – Colin – Best memory of Big Jock Wallace please Derek?

A – I have so many great memories of Jock. I loved him. I can remember my first ever pre-season with Rangers, we were training at Ibrox and I had never seen anything like it.

We were doing laps of the track and had been running for ages without stopping and I had to fall out to be sick. He ran over, grabbed me and pulled me up by the scruff of the neck and said ‘hey son if you are going to be sick be sick running. Keep going!’

That’s a fond memory and typifies Jock Wallace. Another one I must say, and I have not shared this with many people.

When my dad died many years ago after I had left Rangers. I had been in the house  for two or three weeks as I hadn’t felt like going out as I was very down.

I was literally going out the door for the first time in weeks – and was feeling a bit guilty about going out – and the phone goes and it was Big Jock.

And in his big gruff voice he said ‘Listen son I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to call but I just heard your dad passed away. You go out tonight and celebrate your dad because he’s always going to be looking down on you.’

Again, that typifies for me what Jock was all about. If you were needing a cuddle he put his arm around you and if you needed a boot up the backside he would certainly give you that. But he was a great man.

Q – Ian Wright – Can you ask Derek who was the best Rangers player he played with?

A – I’ve got a massive choice to make because that squad of players in the 70s mostly ended up in the Rangers Hall of Fame. I’m very proud to have played with that squad of players.

But for me, probably the most skillful player was Davie Cooper and I know a lot of people say that.

Coop was very different in many ways. He was very quiet. He was quite shy actually and always shunned any publicity and didn’t want to do any interviews.

But I tell you what, on a Saturday when he was on that field – what a player! He was magnificent. I loved Davie to bits and thought he was a great Ranger.  He passed way too quickly as we know but I would say Coop was the best.

Q –  And who was the best player he played against?

A –That’s a simple one. We played Ajax in the Super Cup after we won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972. I had the pleasure of playing against Johan Cruyff and a lot of other great Dutch internationals in that iconic Ajax team.

I had never seen anything like it. They played Total Football with the full backs up the pitch crossing balls for the forward players and someone would fill in their defensive position until the defender got back.

We had never seen football like that before and Johan Cruyff was a massive part of that team. He was magnificent and was one of the finest players that I ever had the pleasure of playing against.

Q – D4Steven – Was at the Rangers do in Jersey last year. It was a superb speaker’s weekend. Had the pleasure of your company the full weekend as Jimmy is my best mate who runs it. How did the speakers do compared to others you’ve been too?

A – I remember it well. It was a great weekend. Jorg Albertz and I were guests of honour at a Rangers Supporter’s Club event in St Helier and it was brilliant. I can honestly say it was one of the best. The weather was beautiful, it was a lovely weekend and funnily enough the first time I had ever met Jorg.

Although I was a Rangers player for 10 years, and once you are a Ranger you are always a Ranger, I was excited like a wee boy waiting to meet Jorg for the first time. It was a pleasure to meet him, what a lovely lad. He smokes too much but he was the perfect gentleman. It was one of the best weekends I had ever had and I’m looking forward to an invitation to come back.

Q – TFTB –How did you end up at centre forward?

A – To this day I don’t know how I ended up a centre forward because I joined the club at 16 and a half as a midfielder and sometimes played at centre half.

In the big game against Bayern Munich in the semi-final of the Cup Winners’ Cup early in my Rangers career I played a man marking job in the middle of the park against one of their players.

But then the following season when Colin Stein left, Jock Wallace called me into his office and I’ll never forget this. He threw a Rangers jersey at me and said ‘have a look at that Derek’. I held the shirt up and it had number 9 on the back. He said ‘we are selling Colin and you will be wearing his jersey this season’.

I thought he was having a laugh. Colin was my hero, my idol and a great centre forward for Rangers and I was getting his number 9 shirt.

But off I went and ended up scoring 27 goals that season and it worked out really well for me.

Q – And how confident were you going into that season to replace Colin Stein?

A – I was 18 and a half nearly 19 and I didn’t suffer from nerves. I’m not being big headed when I say that. I was young and was given an opportunity, so I had to grasp it.

I didn’t lose any sleep over it. I just got on with it and went and played. A big turning point for me was around Christmas time that year.

I had only scored about 7 or 8 goals by then and I can remember playing against East Fife in Methil two days before Christmas in 1972. I scored the fourth goal in a 4-0 win and the Rangers fans starting singing Parlane Parlane Born Was the King of Ibrox Park to the tune of Noel Noel.

I thought well I have been accepted and the song gave me massive confidence. In the second part of the season I scored over 20 goals.

So, I didn’t really suffer nerves. I just rolled my sleeves up and got tore in. Remember I was playing with great players round about me so they made it easy.

Q – Alex Rodger – Hi good to see you, you are my childhood hero. How does it still feel after 48 years winning your ECWC medal?

A – It was fantastic it really was. I made my European debut in the semi-final against Bayern Munich because John Greig was injured. Greigy was back for the final so I had to sit on the bench and I understood that obviously.

But to be there that night was very special. Unfortunately, it was ruined at the end as I still think the Spanish police over-reacted after the game and didn’t allow the trophy to be presented where it should have been in front of our fans. But it was marvellous and I put a post on my Instagram the other day marking the anniversary and I can’t believe it was 48 years ago.

Every one of those players are legends and in the Hall of Fame and it’s written in stone in Rangers history and it was a fantastic honour for me to be involved in that.

Q – Lee Quinn – Who was your biggest influence in the Ibrox changing room coming through as a youngster ?

A – Hi Lee. I would say John Greig was my greatest influence. The dressing room was a difficult place to grow up in there is no doubt about that. I joined at 16 and a half and it can be aggressive and threatening and all sorts of stuff.

If you don’t give as good as you get in a dressing room you can fall by the wayside. A few times I was maybe struggling a little bit with it all but Greigy would pull me aside and take me under his wing in the dressing room and he certainly did that on the field as well as I was growing up to be a Ranger.

So Greigy was a great influence and someone I admired and respected very much.

Q – 4LadsHadADream – Derek, Favourite Ibrox moment?

A – I’ve got to pick my Bayern Munich goal in the semi-final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. I didn’t even think I was going to be playing that night. I thought I might have been lucky to get a place on the bench because John Greig was injured.

I thought maybe somebody like Alfie Conn would have gone in and worn his shirt that night. But when I was picked to play and the team sheet was read out I nearly fell off the seat in the dressing room I can tell you that. But that goal that night has got to be my highlight at Ibrox for sure.

Q – That moment against Bayern, so young & a dream goal – can you talk us through it?

A – I could spend an hour talking through it. I remember Sandy Jardine – God love you Sandy, a great Ranger who left us far too early – scored in the first couple of minutes and settled us all down.

I can even tell you in the 21st minute we got a corner at the Broomloan Road end and Willie Johnston took it from the bottom left hand corner. He swung a great ball across and Sepp Maier the famous German goalkeeper was challenged by Colin Stein and punched the ball out.

I saw this ball looping in the air and I was a wee bit away but I thought if I sprint  towards this I thought I had a wee chance of getting to it. And if I get to it first I’m just going to hit it as hard as I can. And I hit it with my left foot ,which was normally the foot I stood on and wasn’t my best, and it flew up into the top left hand corner of the goal.

The hairs have just come up on the back of my neck again as I am talking about it.

I will never forget the noise 80,000 Rangers fans made in the ground that night. They made a noise that will live me until the day I die. It was incredible.

I’m going to be dramatic and I didn’t know it until further down the line but my world changed that night.

My whole world changed. That was the goal that launched me, no doubt about it. That’s the goal that made people aware of me and put me in the public eye.

I wasn’t to know until the beginning of next season when I was given the opportunity to wear the number 9 jersey but that goal definitely changed my whole life.

Q – Fleshers Haugh – If you had to pick one of these players as the perfect strike partner who would you choose ? Big DJ, Super Ally, Mark Hateley, Colin Stein

A – What a strike force – I would play all four, one could play on the wing and we could score some goals!

That’s such a difficult question. Every one of those boys are magnificent. They have all done the badge justice over and over again.

Obviously, Ally has a great reputation and has scored the most goals and big Mark was a fantastic player but I’m going to be loyal to the boys I played with in the 70s.

Big DJ is going to give me pelters over this, sorry DJ, but I’m going to say Colin Stein. I thought he was a great striker. He could handle himself and he taught me a lot watching him as I grew up as a Rangers player as well.

Me and Steiny up front would score some goals.

Q – Fleshers Haugh – Who was the quickest up the sand dunes at Gullane?

A – I get nightmares thinking about it now. We had a hill at Gullane, that was called Murder Hill, where we finished our sessions and it was so tall.

The first time I saw it I thought I would need rope and a harness to get up it as it was so tall. Wee Bud (Willie Johnston) was lightening and I wasn’t so bad myself but it was horrendous.

I remember the first time we all went. We got a bus from Ibrox and thought this is great we were having a wee day out in Edinburgh. We stopped off for breakfast at a café outside Edinburgh then got back on the bus. An hour later we all saw the breakfasts again.

It was horrendous but we climbed Gullane Sands and what a feeling the next day and the weeks ahead. You felt as if you could run through anything. It was a fabulous exercise to get you fit but it was bloody horrendous at the time.

Q – Fleshers Haugh – How on earth did you find yourself in Hong Kong in 1983 and how was the experience?

A – It was quite simple. I was at Leeds Utd and Eddie Gray was the manager and I had been struggling with a bad ankle injury. I had been out and was struggling for fitness and couldn’t get back in the team. Eddie called me in one day and said there was an opportunity to go to Hong Kong for three months to get my fitness.

This was the start of November until January. I thought he was having a laugh but he persuaded me to go and I went out and I was enjoying it so much they couldn’t get me back!

He phoned me in mid-January to ask when I was coming back but I said I was staying for the rest of the season. I scored goals for fun there and it was good for me to get my fitness. The weather was very hot and humid and I came back really fit and my ankle injury was healed. That was Hong Kong and I enjoyed it. it was good for my career.

Q – Swigalot – What’s the best goal you have seen scored at Ibrox?

A – I’m not sure if many supporters would remember this goal but we played Arsenal in 1973 in front of a full house and I scored a goal which was probably the best I ever scored.

Wee Tommy McLean crossed and I had my back to goal and I hit it on the drop with my back to goal and Bob Wilson the famous Arsenal goalkeeper was playing and it went over him and into the far corner of the net. That was certainly one of my finest goals.

And any goal against Celtic would be the best goals scored.

Q – Charlie – Derek, do you still consider yourself King of Ibrox Park? #legend

A – Once you get called the King of Ibrox Park it never leaves you and I love it.

From a young lad at 16 and a half who was a Rangers supporter & dreamed of playing for Rangers to breaking into the team, scoring against Bayern Munich, getting the number 9 shirt, scoring 27 goals in the first season and hearing the fans sing Parlane Born Was The King of Ibrox Park.

Of course I will keep that. It’s something that will never leave me and I love it. It’s something that I’m not blasé about. I’m very proud of it and I love it to bits.

Q – BattleFeverPod – Derek who was the best player you played with at Rangers?

A – Davie Cooper as I said before but it is a hard one as I played with so many Rangers Hall of Famers like John Greig, Sandy Jardine, Alex MacDonald, Dave Smith etc. All great players but it has to be Coop.

Q – And what’s the secret to the hair? #AKingsBarnet

A – I take it off at night, give it a brush in the morning and put it back on! I don’t know I have just been blessed with a good head of hair. My dad – God love you dad – was the same so I have probably taken it after him.

Q – Andy – Will you ever do more co-commentary on Rangers TV?

A – Aye, I did enjoy it. I would probably do a lot more if I lived in Scotland but I live south of the border. I’d probably be involved in more things at Ibrox if I lived in Scotland but I did enjoy it and if asked in the future then of course I would consider it.

Q – This is Ibrox – Derek, what influence did your father have on your career? Did you manage to watch any of his games for Rangers?

A – I never saw any of my dad’s games as I wasn’t born but he had a massive influence on my career. Something I am really proud of though is the fact we both played and scored goals for Rangers against Celtic. My dad’s debut was against Celtic and he scored and I scored a load against Celtic so I am very proud of that.

We are the only father and son to do so.  I’m so chuffed with that and it gets a few cheers at Rangers Supporter’s Clubs.

My dad was brilliant for me. My dad and Jock Wallace were great mentors through my Rangers career but my dad was my everything really.

Q –  Also, what was it like to play for William Waddell, Jock Wallace and John Greig during your time at Rangers?

A – Not a bad list. Willie Waddell and Willie Thornton came down to the village of Rhu to sign me and then after Willie it was Jock. The big man was brilliant and I loved him to bits. I’m very proud to have played under him.

And then Greigy at the end of my career. He had a bit of a hard time as manager and didn’t get the success he would have wanted but I still admired him greatly. I am very fortunate to play under three great Rangers people.

Q – Wilf Marshall – Hi Derek. Having done a few functions with a number of former players from more recent times how do their dressing room tales compare to what you guys got up?

A – Hi Wilf, nice to hear from you. I don’t think dressing rooms change. It’s part and parcel of football and the character of footballers and camaraderie and mischief that goes on.

Some of it I can’t even tell as I would be censored of course but it’s all about building up camaraderie. I was pulled aside early in my career and told I would need to get involved. I came back from training one day and my clothes were floating in the bath and my shoes were nailed to the floor.

As a 16 year old I had never been involved in mixing with adults and mixing with men like that but we had a great bunch of lads. You hear stories about what Gazza got up to and we were probably up to the same sort of thing.

We had some comedians. Colin Stein was one of the best and the worst and he was a blinking nuisance to be honest with you!

He was always doing silly things around us but it all added up to the team spirit, character and camaraderie we had in the 10 years I was there.

Q – Jamie – Hello Derek, Bayern Munich apart what’s your best memories as a Rangers player?

A – Every goal I scored against Celtic was a great memory. But that first day walking into the dressing room was a great memory.

I was a Rangers supporter and I had colour posters of all the Rangers players up on my bedroom wall – along with world stars like Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer.

So to go up that day to Ibrox. I remember my dad seeing me off. I had packed my own little bag with my boots and socks as I didn’t know I was getting training kit.

I got the bus from Rhu to Helensburgh then the train up to Glasgow then the underground to the Copland Road and I walked round to the front door.

Then being told to go to the first-team dressing room and opening the door and seeing all the players I had up on my bedroom wall right in front of me. You can imagine how I felt.

Sitting beside Colin Stein and Willie Johnston and wee Willie Henderson. I should have brought my autograph book!

That for me was such a great memory. Walking into that dressing room for the first time and seeing all these lads that I idolised.

You can’t take that away from me.

Q – Who were your heroes growing up?

A – My dad was my everything. He used to take me to Ibrox, mainly midweek games, to see Rangers and I would see John Greig and Willie Henderson. I still love seeing Willie about Ibrox he was one of my idols.

Also guys like Davie Wilson, Ralph Brand, Jimmy Millar and Bobby Shearer. Just to see these boys was phenomenal. And to one day be involved in it all was just a dream.

Q – Who is your favourite current player?

A – I think Ryan Jack has a great future at Rangers. I like Ryan Kent and hopefully he can show a little bit more as he has so much potential. He is a young lad growing up.

Allan McGregor is a smashing goalie – he’s done really well for us since he came back but I’d say Ryan Jack.

Q – Finally, what was your experience of playing in Hong Kong like? Cheers

A – Hong Kong was bloody hot and humid. I remember being told one game to play on the wing as it was in the shade. It was a unique experience and one that I really enjoyed.

Q – John Gracie – Hi Colin, had Derek at our restaurant in Spain with big john and heather , gave me a signed picture for my Dad. What was his favourite goal scored? Cheers Johnny

A – Very close to my Bayern Munich goal was my goal against Celtic in the Centenery Scottish Cup Final and was attended by royalty. It was on my 20th birthday and I scored the first goal which was my 27th of that season.

Q – Tom Miller – Derek, what would be your 5 a-side team be from your former Rangers team-mates?

A – Hi Tom I hope you are well mate but that’s such a difficult question.

Right here we go. I have to say big Peter McCloy in goals, nobody is scoring past him at 5 a sides. No chance. Sandy Jardine has got to be in that team. Davie Cooper has got to be in that team. Alex MacDonald too. If you cut Wee Doddy he would bleed blue blood so I am putting him in my team. I am going in that team too, I have to be scoring the goals Tom.

But I have left out so many great players. Greigy, DJ, Steiny but that’s my team.

That’s me finished – thank you for all the support and wonderful memories. I really enjoyed talking about them. As I said before once a Ranger, always a Ranger. Stay safe and well and thanks again for sending in your questions.

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Hagi So Happy To Be A Ranger

IANIS HAGI has expressed his delight at putting pen-to-paper to become a permanent Rangers player.

The 21 year-old initially arrived on-loan in January but Gers have now made him one of their own by agreeing to transfer him from KRC Genk.

The news, when it was announced last night, was greeted with huge excitement by Rangers fans – and that buzz is one that is shared by Hagi.

Speaking to RangersTV, he explained: “It means a lot. Finally, I am in the Rangers Family officially so I cannot wait to start again, meet the boys again, train with them and start the new season.

“I was just focused on my training and just trying to be fit. I had faith and I knew that my agent would help bring me to where I wanted to be.

“It is finally done, so I am happy that my agents have done a good job, and Rangers have been excellent with me, so I am just really happy that everything is finished.”

Hagi’s initial spell of 12 matches with Gers saw him net three times – two of those coming against SC Braga – as he made a massive impact on the side.

He continued: “I didn’t end 2019 really good, so I wasn’t that happy coming into 2020, but having this experience with Rangers has just turned around really, really fast.

“I can say also, my career turned really fast in a positive way, so I have really enjoyed it a lot, especially the games we played in the Europa League – they were awesome – especially the comeback against Braga at home.

“But I can’t forget also the games in Scotland that we had – difficult ones but even though we didn’t get the results we wanted, we still had some good games.

“We had some ups and downs – obviously the last month we played the consistency wasn’t there, but definitely, looking at the game with Braga, and also the game with Leverkusen, it wasn’t that bad but in small details, we made some small mistakes.

“But we can see that the team has a lot of potential so I think we are safe to say that training 100 per-cent every day, everything will be good.”

It was mentioned Hagi had offers to perhaps play his football elsewhere next season, but he insists Ibrox was only ever the place he wanted to play, adding: “The top priority was Rangers and this is what I said also to my agent. Right now, it is the only thing I think about and I am really happy that everything is done.”

The relationship between Hagi and the support is one which has blossomed quickly, and on that, he said: “Not just the support they give us, but also the pressure they put on us – me personally, I just love it and it just gives me the adrenaline of just going day-in and day-out to train 100 per-cent, come into the games 100 per-cent and give everything I have on the field, so it has just taught me how you live for football.

“It is perfect. I just can’t wait to meet them again and just feel that heartbeat again when I score or when the team wins.

“I can’t wait for amazing things to happen this season.”

Hagi has also enjoyed working alongside manager Steven Gerrard – and that is a partnership he is looking forward to rekindling, explaining:  “It is amazing as you learn every single day. I am just at the beginning of my career, so I learn a lot, not only from the Gaffer but all of the coaching staff that are prepared 100 per-cent and they give us everything we need as football players.

“So we just have to go out there and perform and it is amazing to work with such a good coaching staff and especially with the Gaffer.”

This article was originally posted here

Rangers Sign Ianis Hagi

RANGERS can confirm that Ianis Hagi has agreed to join the club on a permanent, long term deal, with the Light Blues having negotiated their option to buy.

Full Romanian International, Hagi, 21, featured for Rangers on 12 occasions, scoring three goals including a memorable brace in the Europa League v Braga to take Rangers to the last 16 as well as a winner against Hibernian. During his spell, Hagi was able to make a significant impact in front of the Ibrox faithful.

Hagi has established himself as a senior international with 10 caps, having risen through the under age ranks of Romania. Twice nominated for the European Golden Boy, Hagi is seen as one of the most exciting young talents in European football. Hagi starred in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, scoring against Croatia and England, helping Romania progress to the semi finals.

Ianis quickly established himself as a fan favourite in his short loan spell at Ibrox. He will join up with Steven Gerrard’s squad when the team return for pre-season training ahead of finally completing the transfer when the summer window opens.

Sporting Director, Ross Wilson, commented, “We are delighted that Ianis has chosen to continue his career at Rangers. I have had numerous conversations with Ianis and his representatives and he made it clear that continuing with Rangers was his absolute focus.

“He is not only a huge talent but also a top young professional who is determined to be successful. We are sure our investment in him will be an effective one as we believe in his ability now whilst also being excited that at 21 years old there is significantly more development to come from him. When Ianis arrived in January we quickly developed a strong relationship with him and I know how much Steven and the coaches enjoy working with him every day.

“The formality of the transfer won’t complete until the transfer window opens but we look forward to welcoming Ianis back to Glasgow in the next few weeks alongside the rest of the first team squad. Finally, I thank KRC Genk for their openness, flexibility and creativity in all of our discussions.

“We secured an exclusive option in January and in recent weeks we have worked with Genk to find a new solution that works for everyone now, given how much the world has changed in the last few months.”

First Team Manager, Steven Gerrard said, “Ianis is recognised throughout Europe as a young, exciting player so to have him join Rangers on a permanent basis is great news.

“I was able to develop a relationship with Ianis very quickly, he is a pleasure to coach as he is willing to learn and become better every training session. He has already experienced the pressure and expectation of Ibrox, I know he is ready for next season.”

Ianis Hagi underlined his delight at joining Rangers on a permanent deal, “I am excited about re-joining the squad for pre-season and putting on the famous shirt once again. There was interest from other clubs, but my priority was always to return to Glasgow and play for Rangers.

“I really enjoyed my loan spell at Ibrox and look forward to playing in front of our fans very soon, but for now I hope all of the Rangers fans and your families are staying safe and well.”

This article was originally posted here

Cap Collection #9: Jonatan Johansson

WE’RE joined once again on the Cap Collection by Archie Knox, and today, we’re discussing a man who netted 24 times in 74 appearances for Rangers, Jonatan Johansson.

A man for the big occasion, JJ was signed by Knox and Walter Smith in 1998, and as well as his Ibrox success, he was capped an incredible 106 times by his native Finland.

Click to listen now in the player above or subscribe through your preferred podcast app.

This article was originally posted here

MyGers Achieves Over 10,000 Members

RANGERS are delighted to announce that MyGers Membership has now achieved over 10,000 members.

To achieve this level in such a short-time frame is once again testimony to the incredible loyalty shown by Rangers fans and we are delighted to see such a strong uptake of MyGers across the UK and globally.

In only three weeks, MyGers has become the biggest membership programme in Scottish club football and we look forward to growing and expanding the programme together.

MyGers Members can look forward to an exclusive welcome pack, discounts across a range of Club products and exclusive experiences and competitions. MyGers Members will also access a special 2020/2021 home kit pre-order window.

MyGers Members will also shortly receive the first monthly MyGers newsletter which contains exclusive content and prizes.

With MyGers, supporters can be Always Rangers, Always Rewarded and we would like to thanks fans for all of the support shown so far.

This article was originally posted here

The Top Ten: Scottish Cup Goals

WE’VE picked out what we believe to be some of the best Scottish Cup goals in Gers history.

10) BRIAN LAUDRUP v Celtic – Scottish Cup SF – 7 April 1996

2016 begins in much the same way as 2015 ended as we in the Rangers media team bow to the magnificence of the sensational Brian Laudrup.

We make no apologies for that, and this goal in the Scottish Cup semi-final of 1996 truly was stunning both in terms of its quality and its importance.

Interchanging beautifully with Gordon Durie in midfield, Laudrup controlled the ball on his chest to send him clean through on goal before dinking the ball over advancing Celtic goalkeeper Gordon Marshall.

It’s another goal to add to the Laudrup list of stunners in Light Blue, and it handed the Gers a 2-0 lead in a match they eventually won 2-1.

9) FERNANDO RICKSEN v Celtic – Scottish Cup R3 – 9 January 2005            

RANGERS may have gone on to lose this third round tie at Celtic Park, but Fernando Ricksen scored something of an iconic goal to silence the home supporters.

Trailing 1-0 to a Chris Sutton goal, the second half began as it usually does at Parkhead with the home support droning along to Liverpool’s anthem.

It didn’t take long for them to be silenced however. Straight from kick-off, Alan Hutton hared down the right wing in trademark fashion before delivering a perfect cross into the area for Ricksen to plant beyond the reach of Rab Douglas.

The scarves held aloft in the home end dropped like lead balloons with the roar from the Rangers end drowning out those still chanting away to themselves.

8) JAMIE NESS v Celtic – Scottish Cup R5 – 6 February 2011           

THIS is another tie that Rangers were eventually to lose, but Jamie Ness – remember him – got it off to the most phenomenal of starts with the most incredible goal.

Making his debut, most of the attention pre-match was on new Gers loan signing El Hadji Diouf, and he received predictable pelters from the hooped mass in the Broomloan Stand as he went to take a corner inside the first two minutes.

His ball was cleared by the Celtic defence, but only as far as Ness who was lurking 25 yards out from goal.

Taking a touch to steady himself, he then unleashed an absolute thunderbolt right into the top corner and beyond Fraser Forster before he could even move. Quite simply, incredible.

7) JORG ALBERTZ v Celtic – Scottish Cup Semi Final – 5 April 1998

DESCRIBED as a “picture-book goal” by match commentator Rob Hawthorne, German hero Jorg Albertz scored this quite fabulous goal to seal Rangers’ place in the 1998 Cup Final.

Having already provided the assist for Ally McCoist’s opening goal, Albertz picked up the ball inside his own half and immediately began the charge for goal.

Leaving defender after defender in his wake, he entered the penalty area and slammed a typically emphatic left-foot shot beyond the reach of Jonathan Gould.

Craig Burley pulled one back for Celtic in injury time, but Rangers secured a 2-1 victory to progress through to the final. The less said about that, however, the better.

6) ALLY MCCOIST v Celtic – Scottish Cup SF – 31 March 1992         

PLAYING 80 minutes with 10 men is pretty much a nightmare scenario, but doing it against Celtic in the semi-final of a cup Rangers hadn’t won in 11 years took that to an entirely new level.

Sent off incredibly harshly for a body check on Joe Miller, David Robertson left his teammates with a mountain to climb – but climb it they did in some style.

Bearing all the hallmarks of the Rangers side of the 1990s, they were gritty and determined, and when it mattered most, they had quality in the final third to grab the winning goal.

Intercepting the ball in midfield just shy of the interval, Stuart McCall charged forward down the right and squared the ball into the ‘D’ where Ally McCoist was waiting to sweep the ball beyond Gordon Marshall in the Celtic goal.

5) NACHO NOVO v Falkirk – Scottish Cup Final – 30 May 2009      

IN the searing Hampden heat, Nacho Novo won the Scottish Cup for Rangers just seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute.

After an uneventful first half, manager Walter Smith decided to replace top scorer Kris Boyd with Novo, and it proved to be an inspired substitution.

From the restart, Rangers immediately poured forward and won a throw-in deep in the Falkirk half. Novo immediately rushed to take it, but chose to leave it for Sasa Papac – and that was just as well, as Papac found Novo 30 yards from goal.

He allowed the ball to bounce once, before curling a stunning effort over Dani Mallo in the Bairns goal.

Rangers held-out for the remainder of the half and lifted the Cup to end the season with a double.

4) LORENZO AMORUSO v Dundee – Scottish Cup Final – 31 May 2003

ITALIAN defender Lorenzo Amoruso scored what proved to be the winning goal in his final game for the club to secure both the Scottish Cup and the Treble for Rangers.

Neil McCann, so often the provider of terrific deliveries into the area, came up trumps again with a superb ball onto the head of Amoruso to nod beyond Julien Speroni in the Dundee goal.

The Light Blues were by no means at their best against the men from the City of Discovery, but they did enough to secure a record seventh Treble, and the emotion of the day certainly got to Amoruso at full time.

He bawled his eyes out, even when going up to claim his winner’s medal, as he brought his excellent Rangers career to a close in style.

3) ROD WALLACE v Celtic – Scottish Cup Final – 29 May 1999

ROD WALLACE wrote his name into Ibrox folklore with the winning goal against Celtic in the 1999 Scottish Cup Final.

In a tense affair, Rangers took the lead just after half time when an Arthur Numan cross was diverted into Wallace’s path by Gabriel Amato.

He took time to steady himself, and from six yards out, he fired the ball beyond Jonathan Gould.

It secured yet another Scottish Cup success for Rangers and also won the club their sixth Treble.

2) TAM FORSYTH v Celtic – Scottish Cup Final – 05 May 1973

TAM FORSYTH’S nickname ‘Jaws’ was born as he grabbed the winner in the Centenary Scottish Cup Final.

In a quite incredible game, Rangers led 2-0 thanks to Alfie Conn and Derek Parlane before Celtic levelled through a George Connelly penalty and a Kenny Dalglish strike.

But as time ticked down and a replay looked more and more likely, a long ball into the area was headed towards goal by Conn before it rebounded off both posts and into the path of Forsyth who was stood a yard out from goal.

He poked the ball into the net and set off on a mazy run of celebration, with his mouth completely agog at the magnitude of his achievement!

1) PETER LOVENKRANDS v Celtic – Scottish Cup Final – 4 May 2002

OLD FIRM goal specialist Peter Lovenkrands wrote his name into Ibrox folklore with a last-gasp winner in the 2002 Scottish Cup Final.

After a dramatic match where Rangers twice had to come from behind – firstly through Lovenkrands and then through a stunning Barry Ferguson free-kick – the Danish winger struck in injury time to secure a thoroughly deserved 3-2 win for Alex McLeish’s rejuvenated side.

The Light Blues had dominated the second half, but with extra time approaching, Neil McCann delivered superb ball into the box from the left which Lovenkrands headed down into the ground before it went beyond the reach of Rab Douglas in the Celtic goal.

The victory went a long way to making up for a disappointing league campaign where Rangers finished 18 points behind their rivals.

This article was originally posted here

Gers In America: 1928 #2

RANGERS travelled to America this morning for a training camp followed by two matches in the Florida Cup against Brazillian opposition.

Throughout the history of the club, the Light Blues have traveled to America on many different occasions and across the next week, we are going to be remembering those trips across the pond in a series of articles.

The first trip we are going to remember is the tour of 1928 and we’ll have five different articles remembering the games from those pioneering Gers players 90 years ago. Enjoy the second part below and look out for the third part at the same time tomorrow:

Rangers were back on the road after their dominant performance against Eastern Pennsylvania and made the 95-mile journey north along the East Coast of the United States where they would base themselves in New York for the three days.

Over 20,000 enthusiastic fans came out to the see the Light Blues in action at Ebbets Field in the ‘Big Apple’ for their clash with Brooklyn Wanderers.

The same starting eleven took the field in New York (June 2nd) and they produced another scintillating performance with the impressive Jimmy Fleming score all four goals in the victory over Brooklyn Wanderers.

Fleming’s contribution against Brooklyn was somewhat shadowed, if that is possible when you score four times, by the impressive winger Alan Morton who had his praises sung by the Boston Globe.

A reflection of the true athleticism and professionalism of Struth’s champions was that the eleven players who had just played two games in three days, started again the day after (June 3rd) for their match with Fall River in Massachusetts.

The Light Blues arrived in the port of Fall River on the famous Cunard cruise liner from New York and took on Fall River Marksmen in front of 15,000 local supporters.

Rangers were up against a very decent outfit who were the best team in the American Soccer League. The hosts had won three ASL championships in a row between 1923 and 1926 and added another four consecutive titles in the late 1920s.

The Providence News played this clash between the finest clubs in Scotland and the United States as a “high-grade soccer clash” which Fall River “outplayed the Rangers for 75% of the match”. The hosts had the better of the chances, and had nullified the strengths of Rangers but neither side could take the spoils as it ended 0-0.

After the two comfortable victories, the Light Blues found it tough and the ever-impressive Alan Morton, who had been building a glowing reputation in the USA, was stifled by Fall River’s defenders in an aggressive manner.

However, the local press was very complimentary about the “gallant defence of Rangers” and that Davie Meiklejohn was “the greatest exhibition in centre half work”.

‘Gentleman John’, as the Americans called him, played 563 times for the Ibrox club, winning 12 league championships and five Scottish Cups.

Meiklejohn is remembered as one of the finest central-defenders with an imposing presence, as well as, a classy style of play. He was inducted in to the Rangers Hall of Fame and is regarded by many as the definition of a true Rangers captain.

Another player who was receiving rave reviews by the local media was midfielder Tom ‘Tully’ Craig who had played the first three games on the tour of North America.

Craig was a former Celtic player who was signed by Mr Struth in 1923 and went on to enjoy a glittering career at Ibrox in the 1920s where he picked up five Scottish championship medals.

The travelling Rangers party were back on the cruise liner that was shipping them from port-to-port and after struggling against Fall River, the team had a welcome five days to prepare for their next match against Western Pennsylvania All-Stars.

Pittsburgh Press columnist Ralph Davis described the clash on June 9th as “one of the outstanding sport combinations of the world”. Davis told the all-stars to cherish the chance to play against Rangers’ talented stars.

Davis points out that the Brooklyn Eagle said: “They are genuine machine. There is a place for every man and every man finds his place,

“Each man has a sympathetic touch with his fellow players and seemed to have an uncanny understanding as to where the ball would go when the possessor was ready to part with it.”

Davis concluded: “Those at Ebbets Field will have something to tell their grandchildren about in after years.”

Part Three follows Rangers to Pittsburgh and Detroit where they conclude the first stint in the United States before arriving in Canada.

This article was originally posted here