Ally McCoist was a prolific marksman for club and country, scoring 405 goals in a footballing career that propelled him to fame as a TV personality, manager and pundit.
Born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Ally started his professional career at St Johnstone where his talent was quickly evident as he scored 22 goals during his two years in Perth. After catching the eye of several clubs, the young striker spent two seasons south of the border at Sunderland, where he notched nine goals for the struggling Black Cats.
His career really took off when he returned to Scotland and was signed for Rangers by John Greig in 1983. He would remain at Ibrox for the next 15 years, playing in 581 matches and scoring 355 goals to become the club’s highest goalscorer.
‘Super Ally’ helped the Light Blues to ten League Championships, one Scottish Cup and nine League Cups. His exploits in the box saw him crowned Scottish PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1992 and he became the first player to win the European Golden Boot back to back, in 1992 and 1993.
After playing for Scotland under-19s and under-21s between 1980 and 1983, he made his senior international debut in a 0-0 friendly against the Netherlands in 1986. It was the first of 61 caps that saw him notch 19 goals, putting him fifth in the list of all-time scorers after Kenny Dalglish, Denis Law, Hughie Gallacher and Lawrie Reilly.
Memorably he scored the goal in a 1-1 draw with Norway at Hampden in 1989 that sent Scotland to the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, and towards the end of his career he scored a sensational winner against Switzerland at Euro ’96 in England, albeit Scotland were eliminated by the Netherlands on goals scored.
In June 1994, Ally was awarded an MBE for his services to football and two years later joined the Scotland national team roll of honour after winning his 50thcap. His last appearance in a Rangers jersey came in the 1998 Scottish Cup Final when he scored in a 2-1 loss to Hearts.
After three seasons at Kilmarnock, Ally hung up his boots, returning to Ibrox as assistant manager in 2007. In 2011 he stepped up to the top job, spending three seasons in charge during a tumultuous period in the club’s history, before stepping down.
Having already proved he had the charisma for television by captaining a team for many years on BBC’s A Question of Sport, he moved into commentary and punditry and has won widespread praise for his work.
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