VOTED the greatest Rangers keeper of all time and there are few dissenters.

A crucial figure in the nine in a row run so much so that Tommy Burns, then Celtic manager said, “On my gravestone it will read Andy Goram broke my heart”.

A brilliant shot-stopper with magnificent positional sense.

During the 1992-93 season, Rangers enjoyed a remarkable run of 44 games without defeat lasting seven months in both Scottish and European competition.

Crucial to that achievement were the heroics of Goram in goal. He played in all 44 of those games and conceded just 30 goals (in the League it was 18 in 34 matches).

Another way of measuring his outstanding talent is that he kept 107 clean sheets in his 258 games for Rangers. A brilliant record by anyone’s standards.

Goram was in goal for the last six of Rangers Nine-In-A Row Championships. He was the rock which gave Rangers’ defence the confidence to know that even when their lines had been breached, Goram would often pull off the impossible.

He wasn’t tall for a keeper in today’s terms, standing 5ft 11ins, but he had superb anticipation, fast reflexes and courage.

Despite a preference for punching away crosses and corners rather than coming off his line to catch them, he was technically well equipped. Above all he had a great sense of positional play which made him quick to confront danger. He was clever at closing down angles to reduce a striker’s options and had amazing shot-stopping ability.

Left one-on-one with an advancing attacker, he would impose himself on his opponent, either standing up tall to beat off the shot, or advancing bravely to dive at his feet.

Goram was born in Bury on April 13 1964. He joined Oldham Athletic as a teenager and stayed their seven years, winning the first of his 43 caps for Scotland.

He joined Hibernian in October 1987, playing 138 League games in four seasons. He also achieved the distinction of scoring a goal in his first year at Easter Road.

While with Hibs he became a double international, representing Scotland at cricket. (Incidentally, the first man to achieve this was former Rangers’ manager Scot Symon).

Rangers bought him for £1 million in June 1991 – one of Walter Smith’s first transfer deals – as a successor to Chris Woods. Though it took a while for him to settle in, he completed the remarkable record of playing in all 55 of Rangers’ competitive matches during his first season as Rangers won the title and the Scottish Cup, beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Final.

The next season was the year of the Treble and Rangers’ finest run in Europe since the 3-2 victory over Moscow Dynamo in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1972. Goram played in all 10 matches in the Champions’ Cup, including the two “Battle of Britain” defeats of Leeds, and conceded just seven goals.

Goram was magnificent as Rangers never lost in that European run and only just missed qualifying for the Final.

He took part in two Cup Final victories that season, though, as Rangers beat Aberdeen 2-1 in both the Scottish and League Cups.

Another League title beckoned in 1993-94 and Goram won his second League Cup winners’ medal with a 2-1 Final victory over his old club Hibernian.

But in December 1994 he suffered a serious knee injury which was to trouble him throughout the rest of his Rangers career and he missed half the season.

He won another Championship in 1995-96 and played in the Double-winning Cup Final when Hearts were hammered 5-1. Finally, the icing on the cake came when he played in 25 of the League games as Rangers made it Nine-In-Row in 1996-97.

Goram had known nothing but success at Rangers. He had broken Celtic’s heart in the long unbeaten run of Old Firm games between September 1995 and March 1997. He had not known what it was like not to win a Championship. He had won three Scottish Cups and three League Cups to add to his six titles.

When season 1997-98 ended in disappointment, it was the first time Rangers had failed to win one of the three major domestic trophies for 12 years.
Goram, a fun-loving character, left the club at the end of the season. His last game was in the Scottish Cup Final when Rangers lost 2-1 to Hearts.

There was one further note of controversy, however, when Goram withdrew from the Scotland squad for the 1998 World Cup in France.

He has since played for other clubs, including Notts County and Sheffield United.

But no one should be in any doubt that Goram was a supreme goalkeeper, the best Rangers have ever had.