IF there was every a man who was born to captain Rangers, it was Davie Meiklejohn.

Born in Govan, Meiklejohn was one of a long line of great Rangers captains and probably the finest skipper of the pre-war generation.

A positionally-astute defender and one of manager Bill Struth’s ‘gaffers on the park’, he was a vital member of the highly-successful Rangers sides of the 1920s and ’30s.

The late Willie Thornton, a Rangers legend himself, paid Meiklejohn the ultimate tribute when he called him ‘The greatest player I ever saw’.

Signed from Maryhill Juniors in 1919, ‘Meek’ spent eighteen years at Ibrox before retiring in 1936.

During that time, he amassed an astonishing haul of twelve championship medals and five Scottish Cup badges.

His finest moment came in the 1928 Old Firm Scottish Cup Final when Rangers ended their barren spell of 25 years without a cup triumph in front of a then record crowd of 118,115.

With regular captain Tommy Muirhead injured, Meiklejohn assumed the role and was outstanding in the first half when Celtic pressurised the Rangers defence.

With 55 minutes of the match gone, Allan Morton’s cross left picked out Jimmy Fleming and his shot beat precocious Celtic keeper John Thomson and looked to have clearly crossed the line before Celtic captain Willie McStay punched it away.

These days McStay would have been sent off but Rangers were awarded a penalty and their supporters held their breath.

Under enormous pressure, ‘Meek’ took a short run up and coolly converted the spotkick, drilling it into the corner of the net. It inspired Rangers to a famous 4-0 win and gave them the League and Cup double for the first time.

He said at the time: “I saw, in a flash, the whole picture of our striving to win the Cup. I saw the dire flicks of fortune which had beaten us when we should have won.

“That ball should have been in the net. It was on the penalty spot instead. If I scored, we would win; if I failed we could be beaten. It was a moment of agony.”

Meiklejohn also won 15 caps for Scotland and twice captained his country against England, most memorably when he led the Scots to a 2-0 win over the Auld Enemy at Hampden in 1931.

The Scots were given no chance as England crowed about the abilities of Everton’s Dixie Dean, but Meiklejohn shackled Dean and the Scots celebrated.

Meiklejohn retired at the end of the 1935/36 season and initially became a newspaper columnist, working with the Daily Record.

He returned to football as manager of Partick Thistle in 1947. Tragically, he collapsed in the directors box at Broomfield after Thistle’s game with Airdrie on August 22, 1959 and died on the way to hospital. He was just 58 years old.

Over 2000 mourners attended his funeral at Craigton Cemetery near Ibrox. Former team mate and then Rangers director Allan Morton said: “No cause was ever lost when Davie was behind you. He will go down in history as one of the greatest Rangers to wear the colours.”

(1919-1936)