He had come to Rangers as assistant to manager Scot Symon as part of what was meant to be a grooming process, giving him time to learn the ropes and taking over when he was ready.
It didn’t turn out that way. Symon’s hand was forced and he was dismissed in 1967 after rejecting a move to make him general manager with White in charge of team affairs.
It had been hoped that Symon would accept and that White would have an experienced man around for help and guidance. As it was, the responsibility came too early. White was on his own and in charge after just five months at the club.
The decision was a mistake and the price White paid was to have the misfortune to be the first Rangers manager not to win a major trophy.
White had been a wing-half who had spent all of his career at Clyde. He graduated to player-coach with the club and in 1966 became their manager, taking them at one point to third in the League.
The lack of honours during White’s reign at Ibrox, however, masks the fact that he did improve the team during a difficult period. Celtic, under Jock Stein, were at the peak of their success and White, as Rangers’ first track suit manager working on the pitch with the players every day, did not fail through any lack of tactical knowledge.
In his first season as Rangers’ fourth manager, the team suffered only one defeat – 3-2 at home to Aberdeen in the final game. Rangers finished runners-up in the Championship.
In Europe, White’s team enjoyed two good runs in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in successive years.
In 1967-68, Rangers reached the quarter-finals, losing to Leeds United 2-0 on aggregate.
The following season they went one better and got to the semi-finals where they again went down 2-0 on aggregate, this time to Newcastle United.
That year Rangers also reached the Scottish Cup Final, only to lose 4-0 to Celtic.
And that was the nub of White’s difficulties. Not only were Rangers, with their high standards and great expectations, not winning trophies, their major rivals were having huge success at home and in Europe.
Matters came to a head with defeat in the following season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup competition. Rangers were twice beaten 3-1 by Gornick of Poland and White was sacked on the morning after the disappointment of the second-leg result at Ibrox.
White later managed Dundee and in 1973-74 had the satisfaction of taking them to a League Cup Final victory over the team which had caused so many of his problems – Celtic.