MOST players may go a full career and never win a Scottish Cup winners’ medal.

Others are more lucky and win the world’s oldest national football trophy on a number of occasions, but few, if any can claim to have won it four times by the age of 22.

That’s exactly what Rangers legend Willie Henderson can boast of however, having been victorious in 1962, 63, 64 and 66 as part of arguably some of the greatest Rangers teams of all time.

We asked Willie to recall his memories of those finals ahead of this Saturday’s clash with Hibernian at the National Stadium, while he also gave his thoughts on the job Mark Warburton has done this season with the Light Blues.

 

1962 – Rangers 2 St Mirren 0

“I remember being so young and playing in front of 130,000 at Hampden, I was floating on an unbelievable cloud.

“It was a really, really good team. The forward line was Henderson, McMillan, Millar, Brand and Wilson, and the rest of the team was Ritchie, Shearer, Caldow, Davis, McKinnon and Baxter.

“It was one of the greatest Rangers team I played in, and definitely one of the best Rangers teams of all time.”

RANGERS: Ritchie, Shearer, Caldow, Davis, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, McMillan, Millar, Brand, Wilson.

GOALS: Brand, Wilson.

 

1963 – Rangers 0 Celtic 0; Rangers 3 Celtic 0

“Rangers played the first game, and George McLean was the inside right and ‘Jinky’ [Jimmy Johnstone] was on the right wing for Celtic.

“There were 125,000 people at the first game, and then 125,000 people at the second game – so you had a quarter of a million people watching two games of football which was just incredible.

“The difference between the Saturday and the Wednesday was, for some reason, Celtic decided they were going to leave Jimmy Johnstone out and play a guy called Bobby Craig.

“Rangers decided we were going to leave George McLean out and bring in Ian McMillan – and that proved to be the difference.

“I would say that is the greatest team performance in all the Rangers and Celtic games ever played as we won 3-0.

“Rangers were sensational that night.”

RANGERS: Ritchie, Shearer, Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, McLean, Millar, Brand, Wilson.

RANGERS (REPLAY): Ritchie, Shearerm Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, McMillan, Millar, Brand, Wilson.

GOALS: Brand x2, Wilson.

 

1964 – Rangers 3 Dundee 1

“The week before, my father had a really serious brain injury and wasn’t expected to live. In all the build-up to the game, it was weighing heavily on me, and in the game, it was 1-1 with four minutes to go.

“I remember there was an ambulance man standing at the side of the park, and I asked him how long there was to go – “three minutes Willie” he said.

“And then in the last three minutes I laid on the two goals. That would be the greatest Cup Final I ever played in. The one against the Celtic was the greatest against the Celtic, but the Dundee final was the greatest ever final.

“I played against a guy Bobby Cox who was a very good player, and he gave as good as he got, but I really nailed him that day.

“Dundee were a superb team. The season before they were in the European Cup semi-final with AC Milan, and they had players like Ian Ure, Alex Hamilton, Alan Gilzean and Andy Penman. They really were a right good team.”

RANGERS: Ritchie, Shearer, Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Baxter, Henderson, McLean, Millar, Brand, Wilson.

GOALS: Millar x2, Wilson.

 

1966 – Rangers 0 Celtic 0; Rangers 1 Celtic 0

“Nobody gave us a chance in that game as Celtic were really flying at the time. They were big favourites with the bookies, but we played really well that night.

“It was a sensational goal from Kai Johansen to win the game. My shot was cleared off the line, but it went straight back out to Kai, and he lashed it in.

“All these finals have memories of their own, but that was a big one.  Everyone fancied Celtic but Rangers turned it on that night.”

RANGERS: Ritchie, Johansen, Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Watson, Henderson, Millar, Forrest, Johnston, Wilson.

RANGERS (REPLAY): Ritchie, Johansen, Provan, Greig, McKinnon, Watson, Henderson, McLean, Millar, Johnston, Wilson.

GOALS: Johansen.

2016 – Rangers v Hibernian

“How many people have played in a Scottish Cup final and never won a medal? It was a huge, huge thing.

“We have had a great season, but we have to remember the Celtic game was only the semi-final. They need to turn up with the same attitude and professionalism they showed against the Celtic to give themselves the best chance of beating Hibs.

“The team are very, very fit, and both Mark and David are obviously very, very professional. They have done a great job, and if I have a worry, then it would be keeping him.

“But he’s been brilliant and I’ve been so impressed. That first half against the Celtic – my goodness me.

“But for that day to maintain the importance it had that day, we have to go on and win the cup.

“Rangers need to be in Europe. This is a club that has been in Europe for many, many years, and getting back in would be the icing on the cake.

“Getting the big teams here would mean some fantastic games and great atmospheres.”

 

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