ON THIS DAY in 1940, Hall of Fame defender Ronald “Ronnie” McKinnon was born in Glasgow.
Perhaps the best Rangers centre-half since Willie Woodburn, McKinnon had outstanding pace, great composure and tremendous authority.
The events of November 3, 1971 will always be remembered as some of the most remarkable in Rangers’ history but for Ronnie McKinnon it was the night his Rangers dream died.
On an amazing night in Lisbon, Rangers lost 4-3 after extra time to Sporting in the Jose de Alvalade Stadium in the second leg of their European Cup Winners Cup second round tie.
Having won the first leg at Ibrox 3-2, the tie had finished 6-6 on aggregate and Dutch referee Laruens van Raavens wrongly ordered a penalty shoot out.
Rangers promptly missed four of their five penalties – does that sound familiar? And the Portuguese celebrated what they thought was a dramatic victory.
Manager Willie Waddell checked his rulebook on the advice of John MacKenzie, his former colleague at the Scottish Daily Express, that extra time goals count double in the event of a level aggregate score.
The rule had just changed that summer and the referee had forgotten. The penalty shoot-out verdict was overturned, Rangers were declared the winners and the rest is history as the Light Blues went on to famously win the trophy in Barcelona the following May.
It was a night of unbridled celebration in the Portuguese capital but for McKinnon it was as if his world had completely collapsed.
The centre-back, who had been a rock for Rangers and Scotland during the sixties, suffered a double fracture of is right leg and he never played for the club again.
He won nine major honours and played 473 games for Rangers and was undoubtedly a main element in the great side of the early 1960s which fans of the time can recite in their sleep: Ritchie; Shearer, Caldow; Greig, McKinnon, Baxter; Henderson McMillan, Millar, Brand and Wilson.
He was also a Scotland regular and played in the famous 3-2 win over then World champions England at Wembley in 1967.
And although he was devastated to have his career cut short at the age of 31, McKinnon was philosophical enough to recognise what he had achieved.
Rangers let him go and he moved to South Africa where he played for Durban United and then became a car salesman before returning to Scotland. He now lives in Lewis.