Walter Smith once said that God gave Davie Cooper talent.

He also said that the big man upstairs would not be disappointed with how he used it.

As Rangers travel to Fir Park to face the Motherwell, it’s a chance to reflect on and celebrate the life of one of Scotland’s all-time most gifted players. And also raise a toast.

To Davie “Super” Cooper.

Davie Cooper and Ally McCoist playing at Ibrox in 1989. Mandatory Credit: Chris Cole/Allsport

A player of the highest quality

The mazy winger could create goals, score goals, and win matches. He was a rare talent the likes of which have scarcely been seen in Scotland since.

This was no better displayed than against Celtic in the Drybrough Cup Final of 1979. The winger took the ball on his chest with has back to goal, flicked the ball in the air four times, taking it past four Celtic players and putting it into the back of the net. It had shades of Pele in the 1952 World Cup final. Probably even better than that.

If ever a goal summed up the audacity, the brilliance and technique of the man, this was it. It was also voted the Greatest Ever Rangers Goal by fans.

It’ll take a lot to beat it.

A Rangers man through and through

Nicknamed the “Moody Blue” for his sulking character, Cooper played 540 games for Rangers and is etched into the history of the club. He won three league titles, three Scottish cups and three league cups, even staying with the club during a difficult period in our history. It of course eventually paid off.

Born in Hamilton, Cooper started his career at Clydebank. His talent attracted the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Coventry to the winger, but he was waiting for one move and one move alone. Rangers.

1989: Davie Cooper of Rangers in action during a match against Aberdeen at the Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland. Aberdeen won the match 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport

After impressing against Rangers in the League Cup in 1976, Jock Wallace paid Clydebank £100,000 for his services in 1977. He would stay there for 12 years. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Cooper also played for Motherwell for four years, forging a special relationship with the Lanarkshire club and playing a major role in their 1991 Scottish Cup winning team. It is also a shame he never added to his 22 caps for Scotland.

He had the ability to play at the highest level

Tragically, whilst plying his trade with Clyde, Cooper died of a brain haemorrhage in March 1995. He was only 39.

His ability earned him plaudits at home and abroad. Smith, Souness, McCoist – anyone who played with him loved and respected his talent. Ruud Gullit named him in his greatest ever XI.

When a journalist asked him if he regretted never taking his talents to a bigger stage abroad, Davie Cooper had an answer that means so much to Rangers to this very day.

“I played for the club I loved”.

DAVIE COOPER 1956-1995

1989: Davie Cooper of Rangers in action during a match against Port Allegre at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Chris Cole/Allsport
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