John Greig was voted ‘The Greatest Ever Ranger’ by the Glasgow club’s fans in 1999 — and no wonder. The footballer spent his entire career at Rangers, leading from the front as a player, manager and director.
Born in Edinburgh in 1942, he signed for the Ibrox club in 1960 and made his debut the following year aged just 18. Starting his career as a forward, he was moved back to midfield and finally to left back, where he became renowned as a determined and forceful player, admired for his great leadership qualities.
In a 17-year playing career he helped Rangers win five League Championships – in 1963, 1964, 1975, 1976 and 1978 – and six Scottish Cups. The first triumph came in 1963, a 3-0 win over Celtic breaking a 35-year streak of losing finals to their Old Firm rivals.
John went on to be part of the team in another five Scottish Cup wins between 1963 and 1978 and played a key role in three domestic trebles in 1964, 1976 and 1978. He also captained Rangers to European Cup Winners’ Cup victory in 1972, when they beat Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in Barcelona.
John was also prolific in international football, winning 44 caps for Scotland, 15 as captain. He scored the late winner in Scotland's 1–0 victory against Italy at Hampden in 1965 and two years later captained the side that embarrassed new world champions England with a 3-2 victory at Wembley.
By the time he retired in 1978, John had made 755 official appearances for Rangers, including a record 496 league games. His scoring record was equally impressive, with 120 goals to his name. He was duly appointed Rangers manager, a position he held until 1983. Under his watch, the team won two Scottish Cups and two League Cups and reached the quarter-final of the 1979 European Cup.
John rejoined the club as a member of the PR team in 1990 and was closely involved in coaching and the youth teams from 1998. He also served on the club’s board of directors from 2003-2011 and was named honorary life president in May 2015.
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