Mark Hateley

By Adam Robertson
 September 23, 2020

Mark Hateley - Rangers Hero

Mark Hateley - Rangers Hero

If nine-in-a-row was to define the 1990s for Rangers then it was never in more jeopardy than on the morning of Saturday 11 May 1991 as Aberdeen, in red-hot form with 23 points from the last 24, came to Ibrox needing only a point against a bandaged-up Rangers side rocking on their heels. Perhaps if Motherwell hadn't caught us on the break for that third goal the week before, history would have been very different because Aberdeen would have needed to win. Caught in two minds, Alex Smith blinked and changed the 4-3-3 that had smashed 25 goals in 12 games to a more sturdy formation. It handed Rangers the initiative and Mark Hateley capitalised. 

The first sign was the fact that McLeish and co looked the other way when Hateley charged into the young Michael Watt in the opening minutes. "We cannot lose this game" Hateley thought to myself straight away. Two goals either side of half time sealed it and a new Rangers hero was finally accepted. 

His alchemy with Ally McCoist made the following two seasons very special but it is arguably season 1993/94 that Hateley should be lionised for more than any other. A flat and exhausted side, lacking ideas and inspiration, were carried on Hateley's back to a league championship. If Rangers could afford to coast that season it was because they had the rest of the country beaten before a ball was kicked and no player typified that more than Hateley, as he terrorised defences the length and breadth of the country. 

Mark Hateley wasn't simply foil to goal scorer supreme. He was the player that Graeme Souness knew Rangers needed from day one and an era of dominance wouldn't have been possible without him.

Martyn Ramsay - @hobbes_ff

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