Ten Of The Best

Club legend Richard Gough shares his Ten of the Best with your club website

Friday, 05 April 2019, 12:00

By: Rangers Football Club

If there was one man who epitomised the effort, drive and skill which led Rangers to nine successive championships during the 80s and 90s it is Richard Gough.

Captain and great leader of men, Gough was one of only three players to appear in all nine campaigns – Ally McCoist and Ian Ferguson were the others – and he alone received winners’ medals for all nine Championships.

The distinction marks him out as unique, but he was that sort of leader. An accomplished player, he was an excellent timer of a tackle. He also had a fine touch, which made him a careful distributor of the ball once possession was won, and he was commanding in the air.

But it was his calm authority under pressure, a refusal to panic, that transmitted confidence to those around him that made him not only a hugely successful captain but also one of the greatest.

We caught up with Gough for him to answer Ten Of The Best – scroll down to read below.

1

My Best Moment

I had so many good years playing for Rangers, 11 in total over two spells, but my best moment was winning the ninth league championship in a row in 1996/97.

It was a huge moment up at Tannadice when we beat Dundee United to clinch the title with Brian (Laudrup) scoring his famous header. After the game there is the photo of me holding the trophy and I’m close to tears but that is what it meant to me and I know all the players, management and coaches felt the same.

There was a lot of pressure on us to get to that point and to finally get over the line was very emotional. Another highlight for me from my time at Ibrox was being handed the captain’s armband from Graeme Souness. That was a very proud moment because I knew how many great captains there had been at the club before me.

It was a great honour and I always tried to give 100 per cent for the club.

2

Best Player Played Against

The best player I ever played against was Diego Maradona and to this day I feel lucky to have been on the same pitch as him.

I was picked by Bobby Robson to play for an English Football League XI against a Rest Of The World side at Wembley in August 1987 and it was a great experience. To be fair Maradona was just walking about but he was top quality and it was a great match to be involved in.

I was at Spurs at the time so qualified for the Football League side and we had Peter Shilton in goals, the likes of myself, Kenny Samson and Paul McGrath at the back, Bryan Robson and Chris Waddle in midfield and up top we had Clive Allen and Peter Beardsley.

We actually won 3-0 which was a good result given the team they had. Terry Venables was their manager and in his squad he had Gary Lineker, Michel Platini, Dragan Stojkovic, Andoni Zubizarreta and, of course, Maradona. I think over 60,000 fans travelled to Wembley to watch the game so it was a tremendous occasion and I was delighted to be asked to play.

3

Best Defender Played Against

In terms of the best defender I played with I would have to say big Terry Butcher.

We didn’t have long together but we had a good year at Rangers in 1988/89 and you can’t forget that when Graeme signed him in 1986, when he was 28, he was probably one of the best defenders in the world.

At that point he was an absolutely outstanding centre half who had everything. He was a great captain on and off the pitch and in games he was commanding and very strong. He also had that fierce desire to win which every great player has and you just have to look at his international career.

He made over 70 appearances for England and was the captain of his national side for a long time so Terry was a terrific footballer.

240187_butcher_01

210189_butcher_01

18121987_butcher

 

4

Best International Moment

Away from Rangers I also have a lot of great memories.

Being part of the only Dundee United team in history which won the Premier Division championship in 1982/83 was special and we could have won it a couple of times. But like most players who are fortunate enough to play for their country, being picked for Scotland was an amazing feeling and every time I pulled on a Scotland jersey it filled me with my pride.

I got 61 caps and I have a couple of best moments from my international career. The first was scoring the only goal against England at Hampden in the Rous Cup in May 1985.

Jim Bett played a cross in from the left in the 68th minute and I managed to loop a header over Peter Shilton; what an incredible feeling it was to see that go in. The second was captaining the team at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden, especially as I was born in Stockholm.

5

Best Career Decision

The best career decisions I made involved moving clubs, firstly from Dundee United to Spurs in 1986 and then from Spurs to Rangers in ’87.

The latter was a huge decision for me because I was the captain of Tottenham at the time and a lot of people were telling me not to do it. It’s easy to forget that English clubs weren’t in Europe back then and Rangers were putting together a really strong group of players.

We went on to have 10 or eleven years of real, real success so, of course, I’ve never had any regrets about making the move back to Scotland because it all worked out so well.

Moving to London to join Spurs from United was also a great experience as we got to the final of the FA Cup, the semi-final of the League Cup and finished third in the league and Spurs haven’t finished higher than that since then. So that shows what a good team we had with Hoddle, Waddle, Ossie Ardiles and Clive Allen – who scored 49 goals in total in 1986/87 – and what a big decision it was for me to join Rangers.

They had tried to sign me before I moved to London but after a year down there Graeme came back in for me and I decided to accept the club’s offer.

6

My Best Manager

The best manager I worked with was Walter Smith which is probably an obvious answer given the length of time we were together at different clubs.

When I was at Dundee United in my younger days Walter was Jim McLean’s assistant and even back then you could see he was going to have a successful career in coaching and management.

Of course he then joined Graeme Souness at Rangers and when I moved up to Ibrox we went on to enjoy great success at the club with Walter taking the club to nine-in-a-row and we won a lot of domestic cups along the way. After my two spells at Rangers I then joined up with the gaffer again at Everton in 1999 and I had a couple of seasons at Goodison and also captained the club as well.

So what Walter achieved in the game was incredible and our paths crossed on several occasions which was great for me.

wsmith

SOUNESS_SMITH_06

7

Best Stadium Played In

The best stadiums I played in – if I’m not allowed to pick Ibrox – were Madrid’s Bernabeu and the Nou Camp in Barcelona.

I actually made my debut for Tottenham in the Nou Camp when the club went over there to compete in the Joan Gamper Trophy which is a tournament hosted by Barcelona.

Every year they invite three teams and in 1986 it was Spurs, PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan. It was the first time I got to see Ruud Gullit play for PSV and he got a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Everybody thought Barcelona were going to sign him after that but it was AC Milan who eventually got him. What a player he was though, incredible.

As for the Bernabeu I played there for Scotland against Spain in 1988 and we drew nil-nil against a very good side. You know you have done ok in football if you get to run out at these two grounds.

8

Best Advice For A Defender

The best advice I could give to a young defender is simply to work hard at their game and in training, look after themselves properly and try to learn from the experienced players at their club.

I always tried to eat the right food and get the right amount of rest so I was ready for games so maybe I was ahead of my time a wee bit.

I can remember Davie Weir watching me at Everton when I was at 38 and 39 and he maybe picked up a few things from me. Davie managed to keep going to 41 so he was a great role model for young players coming through. I always remember Ray Wilkins saying to me “Your body is your bank” and he told me never to forget that.

What he was meaning was that when your body stops working you are not going to make any money. Ray also went on to play for a long time so looking after yourself is so important and that’s the advice I would give to any young player

rwilkins

dweir

9

Best Childhood Memory

One of my best childhood memories is coming over to Scotland when I was 15 and I got tickets to watch an Old Firm game at
Ibrox.

It was September 1977 and I was on holiday at my granny’s house so I walked from Hillington over to the ground and it was a game I’ll never forget. Celtic went two goals up with Edvaldsson scoring them both in the first half. Derek Johnstone then pulled one back after half time and then Gordon Smith netted twice to win the game.

Being a young lad in the stands that day was unbelievable and the atmosphere was electric. Back then, of course, I could never have imagined I would go on to play against Celtic over 40 times, that sort of thing would never have entered my head.

As a fan I loved watching those games but, believe me, it’s even better when you play in them…but only if you win!

celtic_1977_forsyth

10

Best Rangers Goal

My best goals for Rangers, or certainly my favourite, are my four against Celtic. In 1990/91 I scored the winner in the 2-1 League Cup final victory and that was the first trophy I won as captain so it is a special memory for me.

In the September of the nine-in-a-row season I also scored with a header from an Albertz corner to make it 1-0. Gazza then scored with another header right at the death which gave us a memorable 2-0 victory. I really enjoyed my goal in that game though because I got above John Hughes to connect with the ball perfectly and they had a very good team at that particular time.

They were flying so we put them in their place at Ibrox that day and scoring in games like that, when you go on to win, is something you never forget.