Former Rangers defender Alex Cleland has told an incredible story about how he was taken to Glasgow from Dundee United for “signing talks” – but didn’t have a clue which club he was going for talks with.
The defender joined the Gers in a double deal with Gary Bollan, becoming a key part of the nine in a row side, but could have been heading for talks with Clyde or Partick Thistle until Jim McLean drew up outside Ibrox.
“Two of us, me and Gary Bollan, were told by Jim McLean he’d be picking us up right after training and driving us through to Glasgow for ‘signing talks,’”
“But he didn’t tell us which club. This could have been Clyde or Partick Thistle or maybe some amateur mob. When we drew up outside Ibrox I was pretty pleased. I’d supported Rangers as a boy.
“I didn’t really know Walter, he’d left United before I’d come through. Me and Gary were told: ‘Here’s your contracts – they’re non-negotiable’.”
Cleland would eventually leave Rangers to join Everton but saw his time in England seriously hampered by injuries.
Despite being far from the most glamorous players in the squad at the time, the right-back was always dependable and was a consistently good performer under Walter Smith.
So much so that when Smith headed to Everton, he came back to Ibrox to bring Cleland with him after the right-back’s brilliant stint with the Gers.