DJ RYDC Twitter Q&A

Rangers legend Derek Johnstone took part in an exclusive Twitter Q&A for the Rangers Youth Development Company recently and was delighted to take a trip down Memory Lane.

DJ, a Rangers Hall of Famer who won every major domestic honour plus the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup with the Light Blues,  enjoyed reminiscing about his phenomenal career.

Check out the highlights of his session…

Q – Colin – What is your abiding memory of Jock Wallace?

A – Probably one of the biggest Rangers fans you’ll ever meet – he cared passionately about the club and managed that way. If you were slack he was on top of you like a ton of bricks. He always drilled it into you about the will to win. Never give in to anyone

Q – Borna Barisic Loyal – Greatest moment as a Rangers player?

A – That is very difficult – there were so many wonderful moments. My first game against Cowdenbeath when I scored twice, the Cup Final v Celtic – I dreamt of scoring the winner and dreams came true – and the 1972 Cup Winners’ Cup Final. All very memorable for me

Q – Bathgate Ranger – Best headed goal between Aberdeen in the 1978 Scottish Cup Final 1978 or v Wales 1978?  Did either beat the League Cup winner v Celtic where you out jumped Billy McNeill?

A – The Aberdeen goal – that was my bread and butter. My club and an important cup final. Both decent goals. Wonderful scoring for your country but scoring for Rangers was my club and I was passionate about it. I think the winner in the cup final was better – it was my first Old Firm game and we hadn’t won a trophy in a few years. It was a good header and great ball from Willie Johnston

Q – Boab Stewart – Why aren’t there more centre forwards in your mould anymore? As a kid I loved watching the way you played. The greatest header of a ball I’ve seen.

A – Football has changed dramatically now – it’s all about balls to feet in the box and nippy strikers. But there is nothing better than a ball going into the box and your big striker heading into the net. Kyle Lafferty can give us something like that

I was always good in the air. The way I played at centre half or centre forward you had to be good in the air. I used to practice at the old Albion with a swing ball – it is an art though

Q – Euan – How far do you think Rangers will get on the Europa league

A – We have to be realistic, getting to the group stage was a great achievement. It will be a good learning curve for the players. You never say never though and it was a great start in Spain against Villarreal

Q – Cairo Kearney – Greatest memories being a Rangers player?

A – All the trophies – two trebles in the mid 70s. 3 league titles, 5 league cups, 5 Scottish cups and the Cup Winners’ Cup. I could give all my six brothers a medal. The whole family shared in my success

Q – Blue Sea of Ibrox – Favourite goal you scored for Rangers?

A – I had forgotten but I watched it on YouTube recently. It was against Hearts at Tynecastle. Not a header, it was a left foot volley from about 25 yards into the top corner. The goalkeeper never had a chance

Q – Blue Sea of Ibrox – Best manager you played under?

A – No danger it was big Jock – he made me the player I was. All the hard work on the sand dunes and the training pitch. All my success was down to him.

Q – Colin – How confident were you as a 16 year old playing in the League Cup Final?

A Very nervous like any 16 year old would be. 106,000 at the game but John Greig calmed me down. He told me I had earned the right to be there and it worked out well in the end

Q – Stephen – If you had the choice would you rather have played when you did or today?

A – I played in the 70s and 80s and enjoyed plenty of success with the club I loved and I enjoyed my time at Rangers.

Q – Gary – In the 1977/78 season you were top goalscorer, a treble winner and scored against N. Ireland & Wales but was dropped for England and the World Cup games. Any reason why and how did you feel?

A – We had great strikers back then. A plethora of great strikers so if the others were fit they would get in. Even though I scored 41 goals and won the treble and lots of player of the year awards I still couldn’t get a game! Thanks Ally

Q – Dougie – Where would you see yourself in current team – up front or at the back?

A – Playing 546 games and scoring 210 goals for Rangers I would say up front. With the wingers nowadays there are so many balls into the box. Everyone likes to score goals – I thought it was easier to play at the back but I was at my most comfortable scoring goals

Q – Revan – Best moment playing for Rangers?

A – Finest moment ever is winning the Cup Winners’ Cup. It was history and has never been repeated. All these years later and fans still talk about it

Q – Ronnie – Did you prefer playing centre half or centre forward?

A – I enjoyed both – Dave Smith told me just to win the ball and he would cover me in Barcelona in 1972 and I found it easier to play centre half. Always harder to play up front but I enjoyed scoring the goals. 210 goals, McCoist has more but I didn’t take penalties!!

Q – Dean Urban – Who was the best player you ever played with?

A – There is no argument – it was Davie Cooper. Sandy Jardine, John Greig and Willie Johnston were all great players but Davie was special. If you were in trouble you just gave him the ball and he would go on a wander for 10 minutes

Q – Robbie – How did it feel when you put on the famous jersey?

A – Strange at first because I grew up a Dundee Utd fan but actually when you come through the front door at Ibrox and learn the history of the club and see the supporters it is special. I was invited into the Rangers family and it was a joy to wear the jersey.

Q – Richard – Scoring that winning goal at only 16, who was the biggest influence in keeping your feet on the ground and not being a Mr Big Time at a young age?

A – John Greig kept my feet on the ground and looked after young players like me. He would explain things during the game and was the biggest influence. Sandy Jardine and Wee Doddy too

Q – Alex – Best team you played against?

A – The best team I played against was Bayern Munich – three quarters of the German national side at the time. A great team. Either that or the Rangers Reserves at the Albion!

Q – Dex – Who were your footballing heroes growing up?

A – As a kid and a Dundee Utd fan my hero was Finn Dossing – a wonderful player and striker. I watched him in 67 when Dundee Utd beat Celtic twice and he was my big hero. John Greig too – he was Scotland captain and an inspiration. He had my full respect

Q – James – Best player you played against?

A – Franz Beckenbauer or Johan Cruyff – Cruyff was at a dinner in Glasgow once and recognised me. That was the closest I ever got to him as he was too good on the pitch! I was also lucky enough to play against Diego Maradona, George Best and Eusebio

Q – Colin – who were the great characters in the Rangers team when you played?

A – Plenty of characters – but the funniest was Jim Denny. The older generation will know him. He got a lot of stick but I remember a game at Ibrox v Celtic, it was 0-0 late in the game and Sandy Jardine was down injured. Jock told Jim to warm up as he may go on. When he returned Big Jock looked at him and asked the question – why on earth did you do warm up at the Celtic end? To which Jim replied – because I get less stick at that end!!! True story, funniest thing ever.

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