This week in part 2 of 9, I’m looking at players that, from each of the 9 in a row seasons, may not have got the recognition they deserve.

Season 1989/90

This season will always be best remembered for the close-season capture of a certain Maurice Johnston. Also arriving with less fanfare and all around media attention were 3 Englishmen; Trevor Steven, Chris Vinicombe and the third whom we focus on today.

NIGEL SPACKMAN

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Spackman had learned his trade at Chelsea, before making the move Liverpool, filling in the midfield role Ronnie Whelan had occupied for so long. After being dropped for the fit-again Whelan, Spackman moved to QPR before moving up North as a replacement for the cultured midfielder, Ray Wilkins.

Spackman made his mark on the side, this despite only arriving late on in the season, notably in not only scoring but starting the move that led to his debut goal in the January Old Firm fixture at Parkhead.

His ability to stay calm and recycle the ball along while also sensing danger was a key ingredient in crucial games for us.

In the modern game, Spackman would best be described as a defensive midfielder, somebody who breaks up play, passing it off to the more creative roles within the side. But he was more than that, a leader of men who would go on to captain Rangers on more than a number of occasions, including Old Firm games.

It is Spackman’s assurance in the centre of the park, and all around ability to stave out danger that makes him my choice for this year.

His presence gave the Rangers midfield a more balanced feel to it, allowing more cultured players like Steven and Walters to have the freedom to create and express themselves, without having to worry too much on defensive duties.

Spackman stayed at Rangers until 1992, when a combination of the 3 foreigner rule, and the capture of Stuart McCall (his replacement) led to him heading back to Chelsea.

He might not have been at Ibrox long, but he played an important role, a role that sometimes gets all too easily forgotten.

Please as always get in touch.

@steven_harriga
@rangersnewsuk

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