GEORGE NIVEN was a key component of the Rangers team of the 1950s and he won five league titles with them during his time at Ibrox.

Signed from junior outfit Coupar Angus by Bill Struth, he had to bide his time for his break with the club.

It wasn’t until the final game of the 1951/52 season that he got to play for the team, making his debut in a 2-2 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

The following campaign, however, Niven was an ever-present in the league and his presence helped Gers to a first championship in three years.

He was also a Scottish Cup winner that term against the Dons and spent most of the next five seasons as the regular number one having replaced Bobby Brown in the team.

For three years Rangers won nothing but when they took the Scottish crown again in 1956, Niven had once more been a fixture between the posts as he missed just three games.

The title was retained a year later with the goalkeeper playing every minute but in 1957/58 it was Billy Ritchie who was the man beneath the crossbar more often than not.

Niven won his place back after the summer of 1958 and won what would be his final title 34 games later.

The Blairhall-born player didn’t enjoy the same success in knockout competitions but he did win a second Scottish Cup in 1960 against Kilmarnock.

Six months later, in the following season, he also got his hands on the League Cup at last as the Ayrshiremen were beaten at Hampden again.

What is notable about Niven’s three domestic cup successes is that he kept a clean sheet in the deciding game each time.

He left when he lost his place to Ritchie and joined Partick Thistle, staying there from 1961 to 1969.

Remarkably, despite making 328 competitive appearances and winning eight major prizes with Rangers, Niven was never capped by Scotland.

He was called up by them twice but on each occasion had to withdraw due to injury. He did, however, represent the Scottish League XI seven times.

George Niven (1947-61)
Appearances: 328.
Honours: five league titles, two Scottish Cups, one League Cup.