Big Interview

David Robertson

Monday, 01 January 2018, 09:00

By: Rangers Football Club

On RangersTV supporters can watch in-depth one-to-ones with a lot of the club’s greatest stars as they discuss their football careers and years at Ibrox.

Today, marauding left-back David Robertson, who featured in Gers’ famous nine-in-a-row title run, looks back on his six sensational seasons at Ibrox.

Robertson was impressive left-back who enjoyed the best years of his career in Glasgow after joining Rangers in the summer of 1991.

In his six years at the club Robertson won the title every season and was there as the record ninth Championship was secured in 1997. The defender also picked up three Scottish Cups and three League Cups in his time at Ibrox.

Robbo was also part of the first British team to make it to the Champions League group stages in 1992, when Rangers beat Leeds United over two legs, and he moved to the Yorkshire club in 1997 to play in the English Premiership before becoming player/manger of Montrose in 2001. He now lives in the United States.

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW ON RANGERSTV HERE

NAME
DAVID ROBERTSON

DOB:
17-10-1968

POSITION :
FULL-BACK

RANGERS CAREER
APPS 250 (1991-1997) GOALS 19

CLUBS PLAYED FOR
ABERDEEN, RANGERS, LEEDS UNITED, MONTROSE

INTERNATIONAL
3 APPS (SCOTLAND)

You joined Rangers on the crest of a wave didn’t you?

DR: “My last game for Aberdeen was the title decider [against Rangers in May 1991] and I had a slight inkling I might be going to Rangers in the summer but I still went out and gave my all.

“In hindsight it was the best result for me because we ended up in the European Cup the following year.

“There were a few other clubs in England that were keen at the time but when a club like Rangers come in then there is only one answer you can give.

“I thought I’d missed out when Graeme Souness went to Liverpool but Walter Smith continued the deal for me. It turned out to be the best six years of my career.”

How big a moment in your life was signing for Rangers?

DR: “The biggest thing on the day I signed for Rangers was that it is like a little city, there is something going on in all four sections of the ground.

“The size of the club drew me in and the first day I walked into the changing room at Ibrox there was Chris Woods, Mark Hateley and Ally McCoist.

“For someone like myself, who was still relatively young, I was in awe of it at the time but I soon found out there were no superstars.”

When you arrived Rangers had already won three titles in a row. Could you sense something special was brewing?

DR: “It was something you could have never dreamt of, the first three championships were already in the bag and nn my first day I was met by a commissioner who took me through to the dressing room at Ibrox. At Aberdeen you snuck through the back doors!

“So I could sense I was at a huge club but I was made to feel very welcome. My kit number was Terry Butcher’s who had just left and I remember Jimmy Bell saying to me “You’ve got the number six so it’s a hard act to follow.

“That made me a bit nervous at the start but I soon got used to it.”

robertson_3

You couldn’t have asked for a better first season could you? You won the league and won the Scottish Cup against Airdrie.

DR: “Yes, it showed the standard the players had shown in a short spell.

“We won that final 2-1 and everybody came off the pitch as though we’d lost because it was a poor performance!”

That was the first of your six league medals. To win six in six seasons is an incredible record isn’t it?

DR: “Obviously it is unexpected. Rangers had won the previous three years and you go there expecting to pick up medals but I never dreamt that it would be six Championship medals – it was a bit special.

“The first was the most special though, it was the first time I’d done it and it was a great achievement.

“The next five after that were more of a relief than anything because at Rangers you know you have to win, runners-up isn’t good enough.

“At Aberdeen if we lost in a cup final it was maybe accepted, but at Rangers second place was no use to them.”

Is witnessing nine titles won in a row something we may never see again? 

DR: “I think it would be hard to get it again. I must admit it wasn’t until about the seventh or eighth that people started to think that maybe there was a chance of creating history.

“To be part of it was great, there has been a lot of spin offs since then but you’re always remembered in good spirit by Rangers supporters.

“To actually play in the ninth title winning game at Tannadice was special and it was a great way to finish my career there.”

robertson_4

Rangers won a Treble and had that fantastic run in the Champions League in 1992/93. Looking back what a magic season?

DR: “It started off really well and I think we beat Celtic, then Leeds to qualify for the Champions League and then Aberdeen in the League Cup.

“That week was probably the most memorable in my time at Rangers; we produced the goods against three very good teams and ones that were going to give their all against you.

“To become the first British team to get into the Champions League was a great achievement.

“It’s not until now that you realise what the competition is all about, at the time it was new and it was a great experience. Now you see the hype of it and how big it has become.

“That season we went 40 or 50 games unbeaten until Celtic beat us at Parkhead, but the amount of times we went a goal or two goals down and we still had the belief to come back and win.

“There have probably been technically better players at Ibrox than there were during the six years I was there. Gascoigne and Laudrup were a bit of an exception but we just had the will to win and a togetherness.

“We knew we had to win and that is the biggest thing about playing for Rangers, you’ve just got to win.”

How special was the Champions League run for you in 92/93? You were still young at the time so it must have been an awesome experience?

DR; “The Leeds United game was probably the highlight. They came to Ibrox and Gary McAllister scored in about the first 10 seconds and then we got it back to 2-1.

“Even the English press said we had no chance of winning and had written us off before we got to Elland Road.

“As soon as Mark Hately scored it was game over really and we came off the park at the end and we got cheered by the Leeds fans. That was a special occasion and we went back to Manchester that night and had a celebratory drink or two!

“That night helped everything, we all felt together; even the players who hadn’t played that night felt part of it. That was the unique thing that Rangers had.

“We qualified and were drawn against Marseille, Bruges and CSKA Moscow. That first game when we were two down against Marseille and came back to equalise just typified the whole Rangers set up then.

“Yes, we could do it against teams like Falkirk and Dundee United in our own league but to do it against one of the top teams in Europe who eventually went on to win the European Cup was amazing.”

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In your last two seasons at the club you won the league again – at that stage you must have been thinking you were invincible?

DR: “We were expecting to win the league every year and by all accounts Celtic weren’t as strong as they went on to become, which went in our favour a bit, but you can’t take away what we achieved.

“In the 1994/95 season all we did was win the league and that was a disastrous season, it was the year Falkirk knocked us out of the League Cup and we lost to AEK Athens in the Champions League.

“People were calling for the manager to go but people have short memories. Walter Smith rebuilt again and managed to get the nine-in-a-row and we won the Scottish Cup and the League Cup again after that.”

You moved on in the wake of nine-in-a-row, was it a case of you thinking this is as good as it’s going to get?

DR: “In a way yes and I also had a funny feeling Walter Smith would move on and try something new and a few other might drift away. It was Goughy’s last game as well.

“I didn’t really want to be part of a team falling apart and at the age I was at, 27, then if I was going to move somewhere else then it was a good time to do it.

“If I’d stayed longer a new manager might have come in who didn’t fancy me and I could have slipped into the reserves and that’s not the way I would have liked to have finished my Rangers career. I decided it was time to move on after a great six years.”

WATCH FULL INTERVIEW ON RANGERSTV HERE