William Wilton ( 1899 - 1920 )
William Wilton joined Rangers in 1883, and within six months
was appointed secretary. At that time the team operated without a manager.
Even after his appointment in 1899, sixteen years after he joined the club,
the tactics were left to the senior players. As the first Rangers manager,
Wilton, along with his assistant Bill Struth,
League (10) - (1890-91), (1898-99), (1899-1900), (1900-01)
(1901-02), (1910-11), (1911-12), (1912-13)
Scot. Cup(3) - (1894), (1897), (1903)
instilled a strict code of discipline in the club and was instrumental
in laying the foundations of Rangers pre World War Two dominance.
Sadly in May 1920, he drowned in a boating accident and did not live
to see it. He was replaced by Bill Struth.
William Struth (1920-54)
Bill Struth, Rangers second manager, probably shaped the club more than any
other manager. Born in Edinburgh, he worked as a trainer with Clyde and
Hearts, before becoming William Wiltons assistant in 1914. When Wilton
drowned in 1920, he was appointed manager.
League(18) - (1920-21), (1922-23), (1923-24), (1924-25),
(1926-27), (1927-28), (1928-29), (1929-30),
(1930-31), (1932-33), (1933-34), (1934-35),
(1936-37), (1938-39), (1946-47), (1948-49),
Scot.Cup(10) - (1928), (1930), (1932), (1935), (1936),
(1948), (1949), (1950), (1953).
League Cup(2) - (1946-47), (1948-49)
Struth was a strict disciplinarian, who instilled in his players how special
it was to play in a Rangers jersey. He insisted that the team travelled
first class, but in return they had to wear a collar and tie and dress
smartly at all times. They were representing the club. His values were to
influence his players. In particular two future
Rangers managers, Scot Symon and Willie Waddell.
Under Struth Rangers dominated until 1939. Including a five in a row
title sequence between 1926-31, the first ever league and cup double of
1927-28 and the first ever treble in 1948-49. Under his managership the club
won in total 18 League Championships, 10 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups.
In 1947 Struth became a director. On his retirement in 1954 he
was appointed Vice Chairman. He died in 1956, aged 81, having served
the club for over 40 years.
James Scotland Symon (1957-67)
Symon was a quiet man. He had played under Struth and carried on
his traditions. Born in Perth, he turned professional with Dundee
in 1930, before going to Porstmouth in 1935 and finally signing for
Rangers in 1938. He was the first man to play both cricket and
football for Scotland. He only played 37 Scottish League games
for Rangers, because the outbreak of the second world war meant
a suspension of the league. He retired in 1947.
League(6) - (1955-56), (1956-57), (1958-59), (1960-61),
Scot.Cup(5) - (1960), (1962), (1963), (1964), (1966).
League Cup(4) - (1960-61), (1961-62), (1963-64), (1964-65)
He had started his managerial career with East Fife, gaining them
promotion to the old First Division in his first season and winning
the League Cup in 1945. As a manager of Preston, he lost the final
of the FA Cup to WBA in 1953.
When he returned to Rangers in 1954, to take over from Struth,
he won the clubs second treble as well as 6 League Championships,
5 Scottish Cups and 4 League Cups. Symon was the first Rangers
manager to lead the team into Europe. Taking them to 2 Cup Winners
Cup finals, losing to Fiorentina in 1961 and Bayern Munich in 1967.
In November 1967, Symon was surprisingly sacked after refusing
the clubs attempts to move him upstairs to the General Managers
role. His assistant, Davie White, replaced him. He later became director of
Dumbarton and manager of Partick Thistle.
He died in 1985.
Davie White (1967-69)
The surprise sacking of Scot Symon in November 1967 lead to the
appointment of his assistant Davie White as the new manager.
The appointment probably came before he was ready for it.
The club had intended to move Symon to the General Managers
position, leaving White in charge of the team, but with Symon
passing on his knowledge and advice to the new young manager.
However with Symon's refusal to move upstairs, he was sacked
leaving White on his own, with no help.
Honours - None
Davie White had spent his entire playing career with Clyde and
became their manager in 1966 before moving on to Rangers as
He did improve the team and in his first season they suffered
only one defeat. A 3-2 loss to Aberdeen. They also had to good
Fairs Cup runs, reaching the quarter final and semi final stages.
He was unfortunate though to be manager of Rangers at a time when
Celtic were the dominant force. He was sacked in 1969 after a
2nd leg European Cup Winners Cup defeat by Gornick of Poland and
was replaced by Willie Waddell.
He went on to manage Dundee, leading the team to a League Cup final
victory over Celtic. But remains the only Rangers manager never
to have won a trophy during his reign.
Willie Waddell (1969-72)
Willie Waddell served Rangers for nearly 50 years as player,
manager and executive.He had played under the legendary Struth,
an outstanding outside right. He first played for Rangers as a
15 year old in a reserve game and made his first team debut
two years later. He was a fast and powerful player, who could
both score and make goals.
European Cup Winners Cup - 1971-72
League Cup - 1970-71
In 1956 he retired from playing and became manager of Kilmarnock,
taking them to their only ever championship in 1964-65, and also
worked as a journalist.
Waddell had been highly critical of Davie White's reign at Rangers
and in December 1969 when White was sacked Waddell was appointed
manager. He began to rebuild Rangers, changing both players and
staff (he appointed Jock Wallace as a coach) and got the club
back on course.In the aftermath of the Ibrox disaster in 1971,
Waddell provided strong leadership, acting as club spokesman
and ensuring that the club was represented at the funerals of the
victims. He set about rebuilding Ibrox, determined to retain
the tradition of the club, but modernising it to make it both
safe and comfortable for the spectators. The Ibrox of today is
a testament to the work that Waddell started.
Under Waddell Rangers won the 1970-71 League Cup, but perhaps
one of the clubs finest moments was in 1972, when they lifted
the European Cup Winners cup, beating Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in
the Barcelona final. He handed over the managership to his assistant
Jock Wallace in 1972,but he had laid the groundwork that gave the club
success under Wallace. He later became General Manager, Managing
Director and Vice Chairman. He died in 1992.
Jock Wallace (1972-78) & (1983-86)
Born in Midlothian, Jock Wallace was a goal keeper with Airdrie,
WBA, Berwick Rangers and Hereford & Bedford. He was in goal
on the day of that Berwick defeated Rangers in the 1967 Scottish
Cup. Perhaps the most humiliating day in the clubs history.
He is the only Rangers manager to have managed the club twice.
He was appointed as a coach at Rangers in 1968 by Willie Waddell,
and when Waddell retired in 1972 Wallace took over as manager.
He was known for his hard training methods, making his players
run up the Gullane sand dunes. However many of his players
felt that Wallace's training methods, helped to prolong their
Scotscup(3) - 1973, 1976, 1978.
LeagueCup(4) - 1975-76, 1977-78, 1983-84, 1984-85
During his first spell as manager he led the club to trebles in
1976 and 1978. In 1978 he surprisingly resigned as manager after
a dispute with the board. He was replaced by John Greig. He went
on to manage Leicester, taking them to the old first division,
and in 1982 he became Motherwell manager.
When John Greig left in 1983 he was re-appointed as Rangers
manager, winning two League Cups in 1983-84 and 1984-85. It
wasn't enough to satisfy the support and in April 1986 he left
the club again, this time he was replaced, somewhat surprisingly,
by Graeme Souness.
Jock Wallace went on to manage Seville and Colchester United and
died in 1996. He will remembered as a great motivator.
John Greig (1978-83)
After the surprise resignation of Jock Wallace, John Greig stepped
straight from the dressing room to the managers office. Greig
was a massive figure at Ibrox during his playing days and was the
captain who lifted the Cup Winners Cuo in 1972. He could have
left Rangers during the difficult times of Celtic dominance,
but chose to remain loyal to the club. He was awarded the MBE
for services to Association Football.
Scotish Cups(3) - 1979, 1981
League Cups(2) - 1978-79, 1981-82
During his first season as manager, he won the League Cup and
Scottish Cup double and had a good run in Europe reaching the
quarter final of the European Cup. The club won the League Cup
again in 1981-82, but failed to win the championship. He resigned
in 1983 and was replaced by Jock Wallace.
In 1990 he returned to Ibrox as PR officer and when Dick Advocaat
became manager, Greig has become involved with football matters
again. He was voted ''Greatest Ever Ranger'' by a poll of Gers
fans, and is seen as a vital figure in maintaining the clubs
Graeme Souness (1986-91)
Graeme Souness was a world class midfielder, with a winning mentality, but
was a shock appointment as Rangers first ever
player manager in April 1986.
Leagues(4) - 1986-87, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91
LeagueCups(3) - 1988-87, 1988-89, 1990-91
Souness shook up not just Rangers, but Scottish football, by
reversing the trend of the best players heading south. He
purchased some of the best English players in England captain
Terry Butcher, Chris Woods and Trevor Steven.
In his first season at Ibrox, the club won the League and League
Cup. With the intoduction of David Murray as Rangers chairman,
more money was available to fund the Rangers revolution, and
when Rangers won the league in 1988-89, the march towards 'Nine
In A Row' began. Under Souness the Gers won 3 League cups and
4 League Championships. However he did not enjoy the easiest of
relationships with the media or the SFA. In April 1991, Souness
had had enough and decided to quit Rangers to join Liverpool as
manager. He was replaced by Walter Smith, his assistant.
Walter Smith (1991-98)
Walter Smith was brought up in Carmyle, Glasgow, and was an
avid Rangers supporter. He joined Dundee United in 1960 as
a part time player and continued his apprenticeship as an
electrician. By Smiths own admission he was an average player.
When he was aged 29, his career was cut short by a pelvic injury
and he joined the United coaching staff, whilst still taking
part in some reserve games.
Leagues(6) - 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95,1995-96, 1996-97.
Scot.Cups(3) - 1992, 1993, 1996.
LeagueCup(3) - 1992-93, 1993-94,1996-97
He came to Rangers in 1986 as assistant manager to Graeme Souness.
When Souness left the club in 1991, Smith was appointed his successor.
There were five games left and in a tense final game, Rangers beat
Aberdeen to be crowned champions.
In his first full season in charge, Rangers won the double. The
following season, 1992-92, was a tremendous for the club. The
treble was secured, and the team remained unbeaten during a seven
month 44 game unbeaten run, including 10 matches in the Champions
League, as the Gers narrowly missed out on the European Cup final.
Walter Smith was repsonsible for signing world class players such
as Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne and in 1997 the club equalled
the record held by their bitter rivals Celtic - 'Nine In A Row'.
Smith was warded an OBE for services to Association football.
The clubs attempt to reach ten titles in a row proved a bridge
to far and Walter decided to leave Rangers at the end of the 1997-98
season, to be replaced by Dick Advocaat. He is now manager of Everton. But
is probably the most successful manager is Rangers
Dick Advocaat (1988 - present)
On the 1st July 1998, Dick Advocaat took over as Rangers manager.
Born in the Hague on 27th September 1947, in his playing days
he had been a powerful midfielder. Having made his debut aged 19
for ADO he went on to play for Den Haag, JC Roda, VVV and in
the late 1970's in America with Chicago Sting. He moved back to Holland in
1980 and Sparta Rotterdam, after a short spell in
Belgium at Berchem he moved to Utrecht, where he finished his
playing career. At this time he moved into coaching and was
appointed as assistant to Rinus Michels with the national team.
In 1997 he became coach at Haarlem, while also helping the Dutch
team that won the European championships in 1988. In 1989 he moved on to
SVV where he teamed up with Wim Jansen.
Leagues(2) - 1998-99, 1999/2000
ScottishCup(1) - 1998-99.
League cup(1) - 1998-99
By 1992 he had succeeded Leo Benhakker as coach of the Dutch side,
and took the team to the quarter finals of the 1994 World Cup,
where they were beaten 3-2 by eventual tournament winners Brazil.
Shortly after the world cup, Advocaat was offered the post as PSV
manager. He led them to a league and cup double in 1996
When he arrived at Ibrox in July 1998, he had to rebuild the team,
bringing in quality players such as Numan, Van Bronckhorst and
Kanchelskis. He won his first trophy as Rangers manager in November
1998, when the team defeated St Johnstone in the League Cup Final.
The League was sealed with a 3-0 win over Celtic at Parkhead, and a
1-0 victory also over Celtic at Hampden in May 1999 secured a
glorious treble in Advocaats first season. To be continued.....