Ralph Brand was a goal machine. He scored 206 goals in 317 games for Rangers and stands third in the Ibrox post-war strikers’ list behind Ally McCoist and Derek Johnstone.

He is the only man to have scored in three successive Scottish Cup Finals – and you can make that four if you include the fact that one of those finals went to a replay and he scored in that as well!

Brand was one of the first footballers to be brought to the public’s attention through the power of TV.

As a 15-year-old he played for Scotland against England in a schoolboy international at Wembley in 1952.

These were the early days of television, but the match was broadcast and among the viewers was Bill Struth, the legendary Rangers manager.

Struth already knew about the young Brand from his scouts and signed him on a provisional contract that Summer.

He turned professional in the Spring of 1954 and made his debut at the age of 17 at outside right against Kilmarnock on November 6 that year. It was some debut and Brand scored twice as Rangers won 6-0.

Brand was born in Edinburgh on December 8 1936. And so, at the age of 18, he was called up by the armed forces to do his National Service and missed the next two seasons.

He returned in December 1957 and quickly established a striking partnership, known as M and B, with centre forward Jimmy Millar. Brand scored 14 goals in 28 games that season.

But his best was yet to come. In 1960-61 he was ever-present in the League and scored 24 goals in 34 matches.

He finished the season with 44 goals in all competitions – the highest mark of his career.

His strikes included five goals as Rangers reached the Final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup (losing to Fiorentina 4-1 on aggregate in May 1961).

Amongst them was a hat-trick in the 8-0 destruction of German team Borussia Monchengladbach.

Brand was a natural predator anywhere near his opponents’ goal. He thought deeply about the game at a time when tactics and strategy were still unsophisticated.

He had great balance, was fearless and possessed great speed off the mark. And though only 5ft 7ins tall, he was also good in the air.

Brand scored four in a match three times – against Hibernian in a 6-1 League Cup win in 1959, in a 6-0 League victory over Raith in 1961 and against East Stirling in a 7-2 Scottish Cup tie in 1963.

Such was his form in that 1962-63 season that he also scored hat-tricks in consecutive League games against Kilmarnock and Raith.

Brand played in four Championship winning teams – 1958-59, 1960-61, 1962-63 and the Treble winning side of 1963-64.

But it was in the Scottish Cup that he left a record goal scoring mark. In the 1962 final, he scored the opener as Rangers beat St Mirren 2-0.

The next year he got the Rangers goal in the 1-1 drawn Final with Celtic. In the replay Jim Baxter gave one of his memorable performances as Celtic were torn apart. Brand scored twice – one of them from 25 yards – as Rangers won 3-0.

Then in 1964 Brand wrote himself into the history books by getting another goal as Dundee were beaten 3-1 in the Final.

Brand also won four League Cup winners’ medals – scoring against Kilmarnock in 1960-61’s 2-0 victory, and again as Hearts were beaten 3-1 in a replay in 1961-62. He did not find the net in the two other successful Finals when Morton were thrashed 5-0 in 1963-64 and Celtic were beaten 2-1 in 1964-65.

In all, Brand played in seven Finals for Rangers, scoring six goals and never finishing on the losing side.

He won eight Scotland caps, making his debut against Northern Ireland in 1961, and scored eight times.

Denis Law was in possession of the No.10 jersey for Scotland at the time and Brand got few opportunities.

His last match for Rangers was on April 23 1965 when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 defeat of Third Lanark in the last League game of the season.

Brand was transferred to Manchester City in August 1965 for a £30,000 fee. Two years later he moved to Sunderland and ended his career at Raith Rovers. He retired in 1970.