Willie Waddell

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Willie Waddell
Personal information
Full name William Waddell
Date of birth (1921-03-07)7 March 1921
Place of birth Forth, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Date of death 14 October 1992(1992-10-14) (aged 71)
Place of death Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Outside right
Youth career
Forth Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1939–1955 Rangers 201 (39)
National team
1946–1954 Scotland 18 (6)
1947–1951 Scottish League XI 5 (1)
Teams managed
1957–1965 Kilmarnock
1969–1972 Rangers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William "Willie" Waddell (7 March 1921 – 14 October 1992)[1] was a professional football player and manager. He was born in Forth, Lanarkshire.[2]


Playing career[edit]

As a player, Waddell only played for Rangers. He made his debut at the age of 17 in a friendly match against Arsenal.[1] Waddell went on to win five League titles, four Scottish Cups and 17 caps for Scotland.

Managerial career[edit]

He became manager of Kilmarnock in 1957. Waddell guided Kilmarnock to their only league championship to date, in 1964–65. This was achieved with a final day victory against their nearest rivals Heart of Midlothian.[1] On leaving Kilmarnock in 1965 he traded the football world for journalism, becoming a sportswriter for the Evening Citizen and Scottish Daily Express.[1]

From the mid-1960s Scottish football was dominated by the Celtic side managed by Jock Stein.[1] In 1969 Waddell returned to Rangers as manager, following the sacking of Davie White.[1] The team did not win any League Championships with Waddell as manager, but won the Scottish League Cup in 1971, ending a run of six years without a trophy. In 1972 Waddell led Rangers to a Cup Winners' Cup win, beating Dynamo Moscow 3–2 in the final in Barcelona. Later in 1972 he handed the management reins to his assistant, Jock Wallace, Jr.

Later career[edit]

Waddell went on to serve Rangers in general manager and vice chairman roles.[1] During Waddell's time as manager, Rangers had suffered the 1971 Ibrox disaster, when 66 fans lost their lives.[1] Waddell was credited with the reconstruction of Ibrox Stadium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which made it one of the most modern grounds in Europe at the time of his death.[1] He became general manager in 1972, after leaving his role as first-team manager,[3] and latterly took up the role of vice chairman in September 1975.[4] After four years he resigned his position, to be replaced by Lawrence Marlborough, and took up the role of consultant at the club. However, he left this role on 27 June 1981,[3] after Rangers decided not to renew his £15,000-a-year (equivalent to £52,000 in 2015) contract[4] but remained a director of the club until his death.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 27 November 2013
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Kilmarnock Scotland 1957 1965
Rangers Scotland December 1969 May 1972 146 83 28 35 56.85
  • No statistics currently available for Kilmarnock.







  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shaw, Phil (16 October 1992). "Obituary: Willie Waddell". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Reynolds, Jim (15 October 1992). "A doddle for The Deedle". The Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "On This Day: Jun 27". Rangers Football Club. Rangers.co.uk. 27 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Rise and Fall of the Ibrox three". Allan Campbell. The Herald (Glasgow). 12 February 1986. 

External links[edit]