JOHNNY HUBBARD was a tricky little winger and a huge Rangers star, one of the last surviving members of the great 50s side.
Known as ‘The Penalty King’ in recognition of his record 60 goals from 63 spot kicks, one of his goals was described by Sir Alex Ferguson as ‘easily the best I’ve ever seen!’
Aged just 18, he swapped the sunshine of Pretoria for the grey streets of Glasgow. Hubbard’s story provides an insight into life through a golden era in Rangers’ history and he also recalls his time with Bury when he was almost drawn into the world of match-fixing.
When Johnny gave up the game in 1964, he turned to community service and was rewarded for his good work with an Honorary MBE.
One of the last surviving members of Bill Struth’s great side of the 50s, Johnny Hubbard’s is a story that was born on Pretoria’s Orange River, flowing all the way to the River Clyde.
Looking back on his life and career, Johnny:
- Describes moving across continents aged just 18 to play the game he loved, adapting to a new style of football and a new way of life
- Talks fondly of the man he calls simply ‘The Boss’ – Rangers manager Bill Struth, who became a father figure to the young South African.
- Recalls his differing relationships with some of the biggest stars of the time, including Waddell, Young, Gillick, Shaw and Thornton
- Looks back on the change of manager that was to signal his Ibrox exit. ‘I left Scot Symon’, he says, ‘not Rangers!’
- Recalls his coaching classes which benefitted thousands of youngsters in a variety of sports, culminating in an MBE
- Maintains his ties and affection with Rangers – a Hall of Fame inductee who still attends almost every home game
About the Author
David Mason is a professional geologist who found himself increasingly drawn to his first love – the history of Rangers Football Club. As the Official Club Historian at Ibrox Stadium since 1986, he is one of the most authoritative writers on the history of the club. He has written for various football publications and has appeared on television and radio. David is the author of Rangers: The Managers and A Match to Remember and co-author of Mr Struth: The Boss