WHEN your career takes you from working down a mine aged 19 to winning a European medal in the Nou Camp a decade later then you can probably cope with the odd jibe about being one-footed.

Willie “Wan Fit” Mathieson completed that circuitous journey with a right foot which, by his own admission, was only good for standing on.

His left, it seemed, was more than capable of doing a decent job all on its own. Mathieson was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside the two other remaining Barcelona Bears – Alfie Conn and Dave Smith – who had not already been included on that illustrious list of famous Rangers players of past and present.

For Mathieson, that famous Cup Winners Cup Final victory over Moscow Dynamo in Barcelona in 1972 was the pinnacle of his 15-year involvement with the Ibrox club.

He was still working at the Dundonald colliery as an apprentice electrician when the opportunity arose to sign for Rangers as a part-time player in 1960.

Two years later he became a full-time player and made his debut in the first-team, alongside his hero Jim Baxter, three years on from that in 1965.

He was one of just five players to feature in every round on the way to that famous victory in the Nou Camp and followed that success by claiming a Scottish Cup medal the year after in a match best remembered for Tam Forsyth’s two-yard winning goal against Celtic.

If his was an unflashy career played largely in the shadows of those with greater ability and egos, then it was no less worthy as a result.

His recent inclusion in the Hall of Fame is certainly deserved and he revealed it means as much to him as that night in Barcelona or his first experience of the famous Ibrox marble staircase.

“It’s a great honour to get in the Hall of Fame and it’s up there with Barcelona that one,” he said.

“I was hoping I would get in one day as the majority of the 1972 team was already in and now that it has happened I’m really delighted, as is the whole family.

“The dinner is not until next year but I don’t mind waiting! It’s just nice to be inducted this year.

“It’s quite timely as it’s the 35th anniversary of the Cup Winners Cup success. I would have to say that that night in Barcelona was one of the best nights of my career, if not my life.

“That, as well as walking up the famous marble staircase at Ibrox for the first time, are both occasion that stay with you forever.

“Coming out of the mines to play for the Glasgow Rangers was a boyhood dream really.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club and you were getting paid for doing something you loved.”