RANGERS Director John Gilligan travelled to Belfast recently to attend the unveiling of a mural in memory of former striker Billy Simpson.
A former Northern Ireland and Linfield star, who has a place in Rangers Hall of Fame, Billy passed away at the end of January and will always be remembered by fans on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Mr Gilligan attended the ceremony along with Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew, club chairman Roy McGivern and other representatives from the 1st Belfast RSC and Linfield. “Billy Simpson epitomised our values,” Mr Gilligan said. ‘’He was a great servant to Linfield, Rangers and of course Northern Ireland.
“It is a privilege to be a Director of Rangers FC and a real privilege to have known Billy. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with fellow fans in Northern Ireland and we won’t take their support for granted.’’
Bill Struth brought Billy Simpson to Ibrox in October 1950 for a club record fee of £11,500 and he proved to be one of the legendary Rangers manager’s best pound for pound signings as he went on to score 163 goals in 239 appearances for the club.
At international level Billy made 12 appearances for Northern Ireland, scoring five goals, including the winner in a famous 3-2 victory over England at Wembley in November 1957.
After winning three league titles and scoring the winning goal against Aberdeen to lift the Scottish Cup with Rangers in 1953, he joined Stirling Albion in March 1958 before playing for Partick Thistle and Oxford United