THE PRODIGIOUS talent possessed by Willie Henderson could not have been better placed than in the Swinging Sixties. In football terms he had the same appeal as any of The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.

Known as Wee Willie, which was hardly the most inventive nickname as he stood just 5ft 4ins, Henderson was indeed a Boy Wonder as he made his Rangers debut at just 17 and played for Scotland a year later.

He forced Alex Scott – a fantastic winger in the 1950s – out of the side and on to Everton and the fans lapped up his glittering array of talents.

Those who saw him, and most notably played against him, have never encountered a quicker player but there was more to his game than lightning pace.

His skill at beating defenders was marvellous to watch, his crossing was invariably accurate and he scored important goals too – particularly against Slavia Sofia in the semi-final of the 1967 Cup Winners Cup.

He dominated the first half of the decade and then Jimmy Johnstone of Celtic assumed the mantle in the late 1960s when the Parkhead club was on the ascendancy.

They were very similar players and Scottish football was a hugely entertaining place with the two of on fire at the same time.

The joke of the time used to be What a player Willie would be if he could see! Henderson had some eyesight difficulties and used to wear contact lenses.

Legend has it that late on in a crucial Old Firm match he inquired of the sidelines: “How long to go, how long to go?” Jock Stein then replied: “Go and ask the other dugout, you bloody fool – this is the Celtic bench!”

Henderson was part of the famous early 1960s side which many regard as the finest Rangers have ever had. A clean sweep of the honours in 1964 was indicative of that.

The strikers – Jimmy Millar and Ralph Brand – gorged on his supply of crosses and clever passes.

There was a sad end to his Rangers career, however, as Henderson missed out on becoming an European winner when he left the club under something of a cloud before the famous 1972 Cup Winners Cup Final in Barcelona.

He had played a leading role in helping Rangers on their travels, most notably with an extra time goal in the quarter-finals against Sporting Lisbon.

However, he had a fall-out with manager Willie Waddell and was sitting on a beach in South Africa as his former team mates wrote their names into the club’s history by beating Moscow Dynamo 3-2.

He had a spell with Sheffield Wednesday and then Hong Kong Rangers and currently runs an hotel in Lanarkshire. On match days he works for Rangers in their Hospitality Department and he invariably lights up proceedings with his stories and quips.