Today I have picked another significant event in time, and the Rangers game that follows it.

DATE : 11th February 1990, Cape Town, South Africa

EVENT : After 27 years Nelson Mandela is released from prison.

Nelson Mandela. His presence and dignity alone gave hope, and a voice to so many, helping heal a country.

In 1961 Mandela had led a sabotage campaign against the South African government’s policy of apartheid (a system of racial segregation, that strongly favored whites). In 1962 he was arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

After intense growing domestic and international pressure, along with the very real fear of a racial civil war , Mandela was released. Mandela then helped negotiate an end to aphertied, becoming President in 1994, despite his treatment, Mandela preached and emphasized reconciliation between the countries racial groups. A truly remarkable man.

Rangers first game after this world event was at home to Hearts.

DATE : 17th February 1990

VENUE : Ibrox Stadium , Glasgow

SCORE : 0-0

COMPETITION : B&Q Premier Division

Rangers knew heading into this encounter that even a defeat wouldn’t knock them off top spot, a comfortable margin of seven points was the difference between the Ibrox side in first place, and Aberdeen in second, the Dons also facing a tough test to forth placed Celtic that same weekend.

It was afternoon where Chris Woods in the Rangers goal could have turned up with his deckchair, and nobody would have noticed.

In a decidedly poor affair, between the sides it was a game in which Rangers had the majority of the ball, but to great avail. Hearts for their part attempting to hit on the break to no great effect.

Rangers won the battle in more ways than one, first on the corner count, and then sending Hearts best player on the day, David McCreery riving in agony, after being on the wrong end of Gary Stevens elbow.

The fans thought they had left seeing a bit of history, Ally McCoist, having the ball in the back of net, in turn breaking Derek Johnstone’s, record for league goals, only for the celebration to be put on ice after Mark Walters was flagged for offside.

It is no coincidence that Rangers best player’s in the match were all defensive minded, Gary Stevens and John Brown being the pick of the bunch.

In the end the result was not a disaster, with Aberdeen drawing one each with Celtic, on the same afternoon, it was a case of as you were.


Woods, Stevens, Munro, I. Ferguson, Spackman, Butcher, Steven, Brown, Walters, McCoist, Johnston


Smith, Kidd, McKinlay , Levien, McCreery, McPherson, Colquhoun , Mackay , Robertson, Crabbe , Bannon,( Sanderson)

MOTM: Spackman