The Greatest Number 9s - Rangers FC

By This Is Ibrox
 February 16, 2020

I'm sure I was not the only one who grew up kicking a ball around the house pretending to be the next big Rangers star. For me I was always the goalscorer, the number 9. Luckily we have had a lot of players that have worn that number to idolise.

I grew up around the time that Mark Hateley, Ally McCoist and Gordon Duire wore the famous number 9. Then once I had started playing football myself it was the likes of Michael Mols, Tore Andre Flo, Dado Prso and later Kris Boyd who wore the number on their back.

My grandad always told me stories of the past greats. Players such as Colin Stein and Derek Johnstone would always feature in my his stories, particularly of that night in Barcelona in 1972.

I've decided to take my passion for the number 9 and write about five of the greatest players that wore it for Rangers. Please remember this is my own opinion, yours may be totally different.

| Michael Mols

Michael Mols was undoubtedly one of the most gifted strikers that has ever played for the club. The Dutchman joined from FC Utrecht in 1999 for £5.7million, its crazy to think that Mols was 28 at the time.

Mols settled right into the team immediately, scoring 9 goals in his first 9 league matches. However, as we all know he unfortunately collided with Bayern Munich's Oliver Khan in a Champions League match, causing a serious knee injury, Mols would never be the same again.

In his time at Rangers Mols made 113 appearances scoring 48 goals. He also managed to pick up a total of six trophies; Scottish Premier League (2), Scottish Cup (2) Scottish League Cup (2).

| Colin Stein

Colin Stein comes in at number four, even though Stein was way before my time I think its fair to say he's one of the greatest number nines for a few reasons.

Stein become Scotlands first £100,000 player when he joined Rangers from Hibernian in 1968. He also started his Rangers career in fine form scoring three goals in just eleven days against Arbroath, Hibernian and Dundalk.

Stein enjoyed four seasons at Ibrox, finishing the clubs top goalscorer in 1969/70 with 27, 1970/71 with 20 and in 1971/72 with 25.

There is one goal that Stein is well known for scoring and that just so happened to be in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972. Stein scored the opening goal in the Final against Dynamo Moscow at the Camp Nou, Barcelona. Rangers famously went on to win the game 3-2.

Stein went on to play 177 games for the club scoring 93 goals.

| Mark Hateley

As a fellow Englishmen, I grew up knowing a lot about Mark Hateley, not only was he my dads favourite Rangers player he also played for my home town club Coventry City.

Hateley is regarded as one of the most deadliest strikers to play for the club, widely known for scaring the living daylights out of opposition defenders. He joined the club from Italian giants AC Milan in 1990 for just £1million.

Hatelely formed an incredible partnership with Ally McCoist where they scored a combined 115 goals in 222 games. They don't make partnerships like that anymore. His powerful and aggressive nature seen him become a firm fan favourite during his time at Ibrox.

The Englishman had a very successful time in Scotland, not only did he go on to score 112 goals in 208 appearances for Rangers he also lifted a total of eleven trophies; Scottish Premier League (6), Scottish Cup (2) and Scottish League Cup (3).

| Derek Johnstone

Derek Johnstone signed for Rangers as a schoolboy in 1968. Two years later in 1970, he captured the hearts of the Rangers faithful scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final at just 16 years of age.

Johnstone was an extremely versatile player, as he could play centre back and also in midfield. In 1972, Johnstones versatility came in handy, when he starred in defence alongside Sandy Jardine, John Greig and Willie Mathieson in the European Cup Winners' Cup.

After the departure of Colin Stein, Johnstone become a regular in the number 9 shirt. He was an integral part of the clubs clubs historic treble winning season of 1975/76 scoring 31 goals in 51 appearances.

Johnstone yet again was vital to Rangers second treble winning season of 1977/78, scoring 38 goals and picking up the Scottish Football Writers' Player of the Year Award.

Johnstone went on to score 210 goals in 546 appearances for Rangers over two spells. He also managed to pick up fourteen trophies during his time at Ibrox; European Cup Winners' Cup (1), Scottish Premier League (3), Scottish Cup (5) and Scottish League Cup (5).

| Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist, easily the first player to come to mind when I think of a Rangers number 9. A legend of his own right, McCoist is simply the best number 9 to ever play for Rangers.

McCoist joined Rangers from Sunderland for £185,000 in 1982 after an unsuccessful period south of the border. McCoist went on to score 20 goals for Rangers in his first season, however it was a season to forget with the club finishing fourth in the league and picking up runners up medals in both the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup finals.

McCoist enjoyed fifteen season with Rangers and broke every goalscoring record in sight. McCoist was the clubs leading scoring in nine of his fifteen seasons. He reached his highest goal tally of 34 goals three times in 1986/87, 1991/92 and 1992/93. He also won the European Golden Boot in 1991/92 and 1992/93, becoming the first and only Scottish player to win this accolade. McCoist also scored no fewer than 28 hat-tricks during his Rangers career.

Super Ally scored many important goals, included the 27 that he scored against Old Firm rivals Celtic, making him the second highest Rangers scorer in Old Firm games, 8 behind R.C. Hamilton. As mentioned previously McCoist formed part of a deadly partnership with Mark Hateley, with the duo scoring 115 goals in 222 games.

McCoist is one of only three players to play in all of the nine-in-a-row season, the other two were Richard Gough and Iain Ferguson.

McCoist scored a massive 355 goals in all competitions during his Rangers career and also won a huge twenty trophies; Scottish Premier League (10), Scottish Cup (1) and Scottish League Cup (9).

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