John Greig

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John Greig
Johngreig.jpg
Statue of John Greig at Ibrox Stadium, part of the memorial to the Ibrox Disaster in 1971
Personal information
Full name John Greig
Date of birth (1942-09-11) 11 September 1942 (age 72)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1978 Rangers 498 (87)
National team
1964–1975 Scotland 44 (3)
1963–1970 Scottish League XI 13 (1)
Teams managed
1978–1983 Rangers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Greig MBE (born 11 September 1942 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish former professional football player who spent his entire career with Rangers as a player, manager and director. Greig was voted "The Greatest Ever Ranger" in 1999 by the club's supporters[1] and has been elected to Rangers' Hall of Fame.

Playing career[edit]

Club career[edit]

A determined, forceful player, recognised for his great leadership qualities, Greig made 755 official appearances for Rangers (498 league appearances, 72 Scottish Cup matches, a club record 121 League Cup games and 64 in European Cup). He scored 120 goals for the club and won three domestic trebles. Greig actually started his career with Rangers as a forward, prior to being moved back to midfield – playing initially alongside another Rangers legend in Jim Baxter – and finally to left back. It was therefore in those initial years that he scored the majority of his goals for the club.

Greig was captain when Rangers won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 beating Dynamo Moscow 3–2 in Barcelona. Although Greig's was an enormously successful playing career, his captaincy coincided with a period of sustained success for Rangers' city rivals, Celtic, from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. Greig's fortitude during that period further cemented his reputation as one of Rangers' most celebrated captains.

International career[edit]

Greig played for Scotland on 44 occasions, 15 as captain, between 1964 and 1971. He scored the late winner in Scotland's 1–0 victory against Italy at Hampden Park on 9 November 1965 and in 1967 achieved the distinction of captaining the Scottish side who beat England 3-2 - their first defeat as World Champions - at Wembley. Greig also represented the Scottish League XI 13 times.[2]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 27 May 1965 Helsinki, Finland  Finland 2–1 2–1 1966 World Cup qualification
2. 9 November 1965 Glasgow, Scotland  Italy 1–0 1–0 1966 World Cup qualification
1. 24 November 1965 Glasgow, Scotland  Wales 4–1 4–1 British Home Championship

Managerial career[edit]

Greig's playing career ended in 1978 when he was appointed manager of Rangers, replacing Jock Wallace. His time as Rangers' manager was reasonably successful, but not enough for Scotland's most successful club. The club failed to win the league championship during Greig's time as manager, finishing no higher than the second place achieved in his first season. However, Greigs team in his first season came close to winning a domestic treble and his European performance was admirable. In his first season, Rangers performed creditably to reach the quarter-final of the European Cup, defeating Italian champions Juventus and becoming the first club to win in European club competition at PSV's Philips Stadion, before eventual elimination to Cologne. There was also the partial compensation of success in domestic cup competitions, with two Scottish Cups and two League Cups secured over the course of Greig's five full seasons as manager. Greig was also responsible for signing Rangers' greatest ever goalscorer Ally McCoist from Sunderland. However, these were isolated achievements, and Greig – under intense pressure from the Scottish media, Rangers supporters and the club's directors – resigned in October 1983, replaced by the returning Wallace.

Post football career[edit]

After leaving Rangers, Greig worked as a pundit for Radio Scotland and BBC television. He was re-employed by Rangers from 1990 as part of the club's public relations team. Dick Advocaat, manager of Rangers from 1998–2001, re-involved Greig in football coaching, and he continues to contribute to youth development. In 2003, he joined the Rangers board of directors.[3] Greig resigned this position in October 2011, soon after the takeover of the club by Craig Whyte.[4] Greig and John F. McClelland, who resigned at the same time as Greig, stated that they had been excluded from the corporate governance of the club since Whyte had taken control.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1961–62 Rangers Division One 11 7 1 0 2 1 1 0 15 8
1962–63 27 5 7 0 5 5 2 0 41 10
1963–64 34 4 6 2 10 0 2 0 52 6
1964–65 34 4 3 0 7 0 7 1 51 5
1965–66 32 7 7 0 10 1 0 0 49 8
1966–67 32 2 1 0 8 1 9 0 50 3
1967–68 32 11 4 2 6 0 6 1 48 14
1968–69 33 6 5 1 6 0 9 2 53 9
1969–70 30 7 3 2 6 0 4 0 43 9
1970–71 26 7 8 0 8 1 2 1 45 10
1971–72 28 8 6 1 6 0 8 0 48 9
1972–73 30 7 6 0 10 3 2 0 48 10
1973–74 32 6 1 0 10 2 4 2 47 10
1974–75 22 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 1
1975–76 Premier Division 36 2 5 0 10 1 4 0 55 3
1976–77 30 0 5 0 11 1 2 0 48 1
1977–78 29 2 5 1 5 1 2 1 41 5
Total Scotland 498 86 73 9 120 17 64 7 755 120
Career total 498 86 73 9 120 17 64 7 755 120

Personal life[edit]

Greig was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) on 15 November 1977. In June 2008, he was awarded honoris causa, from Glasgow University.

Honours[edit]

Player:

Manager:

Individual:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Greig". STV Sport. STV. 1 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". Londonhearts.com (London Hearts Supporters' Club). Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Greig joins Rangers board". BBC Sport. 26 December 2003. 
  4. ^ a b "Rangers directors John Greig and John McClelland step down". BBC Sport (BBC). 17 October 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 

External links[edit]