Ally McCoist

By Adam Robertson
 September 11, 2020

Ally McCoist - Golden Boots
Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist - Golden Boots

As someone whose first memory of Rangers is the arrival of Graeme Souness in 1986, I was spoiled for choice when it came to childhood heroes. Sure, you'd love to pretend that you had the skill of Cooper, the bravery of Butcher or Gough or the sheer gallus swagger of Souness himself, but in the playground it was goals that mattered and that meant Ally McCoist. It wasn't just the sheer weight of numbers or variety of his strikes, it was that he did it with such personality, the 'smiling assassin' who just kept on filling his golden boots.

He won two of those, of course, in 1992 and 1993, the height of his alchemic partnership with Mark Hateley, before he suffered a broken leg on international duty. Only Ally could return in the fashion that he did however, lacking fitness but not ability, as he won the League Cup with a late overhead kick. He never reached those heights again as injuries and a changing game threatened extinction for the penalty box poacher. Walter Smith sought replacements in Salenko, Jardel, Vialli, Rozenthal and Negri but still, it was McCoist upon whom he relied to score important goals when no-one else could find them, right up until the very end when the fairytale to end them all slipped agonisingly away.

I find it interesting that, when doing live shows with Heart and Hand, no topic initially splits a room like McCoist. There is still some negativity surrounding him, probably more to do with his choices as a shareholder than his ill-suited appointment as manager. But then the warmth returns eventually, as it always does. Memories of that grin and those goals. The greatest striker Rangers ever had.

Martyn Ramsay - @hobbes_ff

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