Ally McCoist: Rangers' Hero
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Ally McCoist is one of Scottish football's best-loved characters. In a two-decade career, he won the hearts and minds of legions of fans as he established himself as one of the most popular sporting personalities in the UK. A school boy prodigy, it was always clear that McCoist was destined for top flight football. At just 16 he signed his first professional contract with St Johnstone, shooting to prominence in the 1980/81 season, scoring 22 league goals and playing a starring role for the Scottish youth team. He was soon hot property. After two years of mixed fortunes at Sunderland, McCoist returned to Scotland and signed for his boyhood heroes Glasgow Rangers. Over the next fifteen years, he established himself as arguably the greatest goal-scorer ever to play for the club. He not only gave heart and soul for Rangers but was also capped 61 times for Scotland. An authoritative and affectionate portrait of this much-loved sportsman, Ally McCoist - Rangers' Hero charts the highs and lows of a fascinating career, culminating in McCoist reaching legendary status. It also looks at the events that helped to shape his life - overcoming homesickness when first playing for an English club and how he coped when his young son had to undergo several life-saving operations. Having hung up his boots, Ally's vibrant personality made him a natural for the television screen. Now, however, he has come full circle and returned 'home' - after a successful spell as assistant manager at his beloved Rangers, he has taken over the reins to become manager. This wonderful book is a must-read for any football fan or indeed for anyone captivated by this large-than-life character.
initially joined up at Ibrox. ‘When I arrived in 1983, Davie Cooper was already an established superstar and I was the youngster,’ he said. ‘I watched and learned from him. I would have liked to have copied him, but that was mission impossible. Davie also taught me the importance of strength of character.’5 He then concluded what many called ‘the most moving tribute of the day’6 by saying that Cooper was: ‘a remarkable talent and a fine, fine man. God bless you, Davie.’7 The memories of Davie
that once again illustrated that a side that were masters of all they surveyed in Scotland were still some way short of the standard required to achieve success in Europe’s premier competition. In order to gain a passport back into the Champions League for the 1997/98 season and silence their critics, Rangers had to capture a ninth successive Premier Division title, and Smith’s men were firing on all cylinders, leading Celtic by five points after fourteen matches. Match fifteen brought
minutes before the end of the match. Amid the mayhem, McCoist replaced Durrant with two minutes remaining, just in time to soak up the atmosphere on another momentous day in Rangers’ history. Although they contrived to lose their next league match 2-1 at home against Kilmarnock, Rangers eventually secured their ninth successive championship, finishing five points ahead of nearest challengers Celtic. After the champagne fell flat when Motherwell gate-crashed the first opportunity to clinch the
Unfortunately things did not quite proceed as planned, and despite a promising start that saw him net five goals in a 7-1 league win over St Mirren and the opening goal in the 2-2 Champions League draw with Monaco at Ibrox, Miller found a regular place in the first team hard to come by and was eventually shipped out to Wolverhampton Wanderers, initially on loan and then on a permanent basis following the appointment of Alex McLeish to the Rangers manager’s office. It was during the spell at
ecstatic and emotional McCoist took the acclaim of the Rangers supporters and his team-mates in front of the famous Parkhead ‘Jungle’. Thus, for the umpteenth occasion, Ally McCoist had woven his name into the fabric that makes up the rich tapestry of this wonderful football club. His stunning goal meant that the League Cup was again bedecked in red, white and blue ribbons, and the successful retention of the trophy reaffirmed Rangers’ status as the dominant force in Scottish football. Walter