Iron Curtain (football)

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The Iron Curtain was the defensive line of Rangers F.C. during the late 1940s and early 1950s.[1] The normal line-up in the early 1950s consisted of goalkeeper Bobby Brown, full backs George Young and Jock Shaw, centre half Willie Woodburn and wing halves Ian McColl and Sammy Cox.[2] These positions refer to the old 3-2-5 formation, where the three defenders would mark the two opposing wingers and centre forward, while the wing-halves dealt with the opposing inside forwards. These direct match-ups meant that Rangers' Iron Curtain had several great confrontations with Hibs' Famous Five forward line of Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond.[3]

The lineup in the mid-1940s of Jerry Dawson, Dougie Gray, Shaw, Scot Symon, Young and Cox was also commonly referred to as the Iron Curtain.[4] This was done to the extent that most young people in Scotland would associate the term with Rangers, rather than the geopolitical situation.[4]

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