HE gave Rangers fans some of the most unforgettable occasions in the club’s history – and now Alex McLeish is thrilled to be managing his boyhood club again on what should be another memorable afternoon.
McLeish will lead the Gers side in Saturday’s legends match with Liverpool meaning he’ll make a return to the Light Blues’ dugout where he masterminded so many wonderful days.
From the 2002 Scottish Cup Final where Peter Lovenkrands netted an injury-time winner against Celtic; to clinching the title on goal difference the following season; then the events of ‘Helicopter Sunday’ two years later before being a heartbeat away from the Champions League quarter-finals – McLeish’s time at Ibrox will always be remembered fondly by supporters.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” he told rangers.co.uk, “and it probably couldn’t have come at a better time in terms of Rangers being at the top of the league!
“We would expect the crowd to perhaps be even bigger given the results at the weekend.”
To this day, he still smiles when recalling his spell with Rangers, continuing: “It was just amazing. It was an absolute honour to be asked to go to that magnificent club, especially since as a kid I was a Rangers fan.
“I have absolutely nothing but enormously brilliant memories from being at Ibrox. It wasn’t all plain sailing – we had some downs as well, but by and large over the five years, it was a very successful time.”
McLeish has had a number of assistant managers over the years, and this weekend, he will be joined in the dugout by fellow Rangers legend Ian Durrant.
“He’s brilliant is Durranty,” he added. “I just loved him as a player and I thought he was going to be one of the world’s superstars, but getting the bad injury hampered his career a bit.
“But what a player, and it will be brilliant to work beside him in the dugout though I’ll let him do all the running up and down the track!”
Both sides are packed with so much talent – and looking to the other side of the fence, there’s one man in particular who has McLeish concerned.
“I know Steven Gerrard is still ripped and very mobile,” he said, “so it will be great to see him in action and strutting his stuff – he is a big danger man who I will maybe get man-marked!
Of course, Gerrard has dropped a rather large hint that he may swap his red jersey for a blue one at some stage in the afternoon, and McLeish joked: “I don’t know if he’ll get a game with us!
“He’s one I would have loved to have had in my managerial career – imagine a player of his quality in midfield alongside a Barry Ferguson in that brilliant Rangers treble-winning team that we had?”
Saturday 12 October will see a host of Rangers and Liverpool greats face off in star-studded legends match at Ibrox Stadium in a 3pm kick-off and tickets are on sale now!
Tickets are priced at £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for children and supporters can purchase tickets online HERE or in person at The Rangers Ticket Centre or by calling 0871 702 1972*
*calls cost 13p plus network extras