This week in part 4 of 9, I’m looking at players that from each of the 9 in a row seasons, that may not have got the recognition they deserve.
This was Walter Smith’s first full season in charge. In the summer big changes were afoot on and off the park, the club deck was being completed, and stalwarts like Chis Woods, Mark Walters and Trevor Steven (for now) were moved on. In their place entered future Rangers legends, Andy Goram, Stuart McCall and David Robertson.
This was a tough choice for me and split between 3 players, Peter Huistra, John Brown and the player I have opted for, yet again an Englishman.
These days Gary Stevens would never be at Ibrox I’m sorry to say. He was a cultured, hard tackling attacking full-back, a modern-day defender, he had everything only injuries stopped him becoming truly world-class.
Stevens had made his name in England with Howard Kendall’s Everton side, winning two league titles, a Fa cup and the Cup Winners Cup before Rangers came calling.
Moving to Ibrox in the summer of 1988, joining the English revolution, Stevens quickly established himself as the light blues first choice right back, memorably scoring the first goal of the 9 in a row era, away to Hamilton. Not only could Stevens defend, but he had a great range of passing and assurance on the ball, a real joy to watch.
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In his first 3 seasons at Ibrox Stevens was almost an ever present in the side but fate was cruel and injuries took its toll. The player had several short, stop, start comebacks but could never quite recapture his form of old, despite playing a huge part in the later 6 in a row campaign.
Stevens was eventually sold to Tranmere in the September of that season, after failing behind Alex Cleland, showing just how far injuries had taken their toll on the player.
At Tranmere, Stevens then played for another four seasons, displaying solid enough performances, helping Tranmere reach the playoff semi-finals on one occasion.
Season 1997/98 would be Stevens last, he brought the curtain down on a distinguished career that included a Cup Winners Cup medal, six Scottish League winners medals, a Scottish Cup and 46 caps for England, playing in all the games at Mexico 1986.
His impact should not be passed over, and all those who were lucky enough to see him play will testify just what a player he truly was.
Get in touch as always. Share your views, tell me if I made the right choice, in your opinion.