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Jock Wallace: Rangers legend was left furious the day he arrived as fan to Ibrox only

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FORMER Rangers manager the late Jock Wallace was one of Scottish football's best known and successful coaches but after leaving Rangers he endured a challenging relationship with his old club.

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Former manager Jock Wallace gets a rousing reception from the Ibrox crowd.JOCK WALLACE won 10 trophies and two Trebles in his two spells as manager of Rangers.

It was a haul that made him a hero in the eyes of the Ibrox support long after his second stint ended in 1986.

Wallace never spoke about his reasons for leaving Ibrox weeks after delivering the Treble in 1978.

Nor did he publicly voice his dismay at being sacked in 1986 before short spells at Sevilla and Colchester brought his grand career to an end.

But there was one incident – on Saturday, April 2 1988 – that cut big Jock to the core – the day he was escorted out of Ibrox by stewards.

Rangers had lost 2-1 to Hearts and Wallace was standing outside the Blue Room looking for chief executive David Holmes.

He was approached by a red-faced commissionaire, who said: “Excuse me, but I have been instructed to escort you off the premises.”

Wallace asked the security man to repeat what he had just said and he did, word for word. Wallace replied with the question which under normal circumstances is the preserve of those of an egotistical nature – but on this occasion it was fully justified.

He said: “Do you know who I am?”

The commissionaire replied: “Yes, Mr Wallace, I do.”

Wallace asked who had given him his instructions, and he replied “Mr Hood” – referring to Rangers’ operations executive Alastair Hood although he was conspicuous by his absence at that moment.

A furious Wallace marched up to the members’ lounge and told his wife Daphne they were leaving.

The irony was assistant manager Walter Smith had left complimentary tickets for Wallace and his wife.

When the match finished he was making his way to the top of the marble staircase to head home when he was stopped by a steward and asked to look in to the members’ lounge.

There he met the comedian Mr Abie, former player Billy Semple and a host of other long-standing friends.

He stood chatting for 10 minutes, while Daphne did the same with a group of old friends.

Wallace decided then to seek out Ally McCoist, who hadn’t played due to injury, and made his way to the Players’ Lounge. He met Terry Butcher, who told him Coisty was still in the dressing room.

Big Jock then met the club’s vice chairman Jack Gillespie who took him by the arm and led him to one of the executive suites.

Everything was relaxed and friendly and Gillespie took him down to the foyer where he asked if McCoist was around. Wallace stood chatting to Sandy Clark, Davie McPherson, Davie Cooper and McCoist.

After a few minutes, he went back up the marble stairs, intending to return to the Members’ Lounge.

But bumped into Willie Waddell and his wife, and a few other familiar old faces. Again he enjoyed renewing old acquaintances. He checked to seeif his wife was okay then went back out into the foyer to see if he could find Holmes.

It was at that moment that he was approached by the commissionaire and thrown out of his beloved Ibrox.

The only thing on his mind was getting the hell out of there.

He shouted on Daphne and told her they were leaving. She knew that something was amiss and asked why the rush.

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Jock Wallace in the Rangers trophy room Wallace said: “I’ve just been told to leave the premises and that’s what we’re doing.”

Wallace was then reportedly forced to endure the humiliation of walking through the Members’ Lounge in front of so many people he knew, under escort, on his way out the door.

Later, he said: “I have never been so angry or disgusted with anything in my life.

“I was flaming mad and felt so sorry for my wife, who had been such a help to me in my days at Ibrox. She didn’t deserve this. She was shattered when I told her why we were leaving.”

Wallace drove straight home and took his phone off the hook. He was in no mood to talk.

He said: “I knew more than anyone there are no-go areas inside Ibrox but I had been invited into one of these areas by the vice-chairman.

“I thought it had all been an awful mistake – a blunder if you like.”

Ironically, a few days later, Wallace was given complimentary tickets for a Celtic match by his old adversary Billy McNeill and enjoyed the banter with the Hoops fans.

The teasing was relentless but good natured. Wallace replied “I’ve been flung out of better places than this” – referring to his exit from Ibrox – and the Celtic supporters loved it.

Wallace always steadfastly refused to criticise Rangers, even when he was sacked in 1986.

But this was different and he was in no mood to protect the club after such a humiliating experience.

More than a month had passed when Wallace decided to speak out.

Perhaps he hoped that an apology would have been forthcoming.

When it wasn’t, he said: “Until now I’ve kept my mouth shut, but my anger will not go away and I don’t think it ever will.

“I will never again ask Rangers for a ticket for a match. I’ve supported the club since I was a kid.

“I was a founder member of the Tranent Rangers Supporters’ Club in 1952.

“I’ve visited supporters’ clubs all over the world and have honorary memberships in places like Melbourne and Toronto.

“I have never criticised Rangers but I cannot ignore the dreadful treatment of Daph.

“They may have thrown me out of Ibrox but they won’t stop me watching Rangers.

“I took Daph, my daughter and her fiance and his parents to a match with Aberdeen at Ibrox and paid £30 at the turnstiles.

“The guy at the gate said: “Mr Wallace, you should never pay to see Glasgow Rangers.”

Never a truer word was spoken.



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Ally shares his memories of Jock Wallace

How would I describe my first impressions of big Jock? I hate to use the word fear because it wasnÂ’t fear. I was more in awe.


He was a big, massive, powerful man. He just commanded total respect. When you meet someone like Jock for the first time in your life you certainly donÂ’t forget him.


He didnÂ’t have any favourites as such but he loved when all his boys were together, having a few drinks and engaging in a wee sing-song. He was really big on camaraderie and team spirit, a good solid unit which I thought was fantastic.


His first trophy when he came back to Ibrox was the League Cup, and I scored a hat-trick in the final. IÂ’ll always remember seeing Jock bursting with pride.



After the game, he gave me the biggest bear hug possible and I was dangling in mid-air for what seemed like an eternity. That was the classic moment when the guy from STV tried to interview him after the game and he kept the big man waiting and he was becoming irritated.


There is a clip of it on Youtube and itÂ’s the funniest thing, but in JockÂ’s defence, he was desperate to get into the dressing room to celebrate with his players. That just summed him up.


I thought he was very unlucky in his second spell at the club. We were sitting having a cup of tea a few years later and he told me of his plans for the team. He had wanted to buy a young Gordon Durie and Craig Levein, who were two top players at the time but said he wasnÂ’t given the money.


I was going through a rough patch and he called me into his office one morning. He said: “I’ve had Cardiff City on the phone, what do you wanna do?” I told him: ‘I don’t wanna go anywhere.’”


He said: “Okay, I’ll pass that on.” I walked out the door but the more I thought about it the more I thought he was bulls******* me, I really do.


I think he just wanted to see my reaction. To this day, I still donÂ’t believe Cardiff were on the phone and I think he wanted to see if I wanted to stay and fight or take the easy option. It was brilliant and I think a fantastic bit of management.


He was a very clever man. Because of the image he had I think a lot of people underestimated him both in life and with his football but there was more substance to him than that.


I remember Jock took us to Baghdad on a mid-season tour, and the airport got closed the day after we left because it got bombed. I think big Jock was just looking for a fight - but thatÂ’s only my opinion.


We played the Iraqi national team in Baghdad, and Jordan in Amman. That was definitely a proper adventure. It was another classic Jock tactic because it certainly took the sting out of what had been a bad period for us and our destination was also well thought out.


The easiest thing would probably have been to say “let’s go to Torremolinos and play a few games over there” but I think we had to all be together going into some of the places we visited on that tour.


JockÂ’s man-management skills were brilliant and something I learned from him is that you canÂ’t treat all players the same. Some people needed a kick up the backside, others need an arm round them because individuals are different. There are different ways to manage different people and he was exceptionally good at that as well.


He worked hard and played hard, in that order. I remember we went on a world tour, we were at Glasgow Airport and I was in the newspaper shop. IÂ’m a minute or two late and IÂ’m looking for the rest of the squad.


Someone told me they were already up at the departure gate. I run up and big Jock grabs me and says: “You’re late – that’s you on your last warning.”


We get to Heathrow and there is a bus taking us from one terminal to the next and I got lost. I missed the bus and ended up at the wrong terminal and they were all on the bus waiting for me.


I couldnÂ’t even begin to give you an indication of the fear that was running through my body, so he comes off the bus and grabs me by the scruff of the neck and heÂ’s tearing into me. HeÂ’s telling me that one more misdemeanour and IÂ’m right back up the road. I look over his shoulder and guys like Ian Redford, Bobby Williamson and John Macdonald are up the back of the bus giving me pelters and making rude gestures, as you can imagine.


So we arrive in Melbourne at 5am and Jock said: “Right, everyone get to bed for a few hours and be downstairs no later than 8am for a meeting and breakfast.” I’m rooming with Bobby Williamson and we wake up at 8.10 and I just think “Oh my god” and start packing again, because when Jock said eight, he meant eight. Anyway, we went down for breakfast and walked in slowly in case he didn’t notice us.


We sneaked a glance at him and his head came up ever so slightly and his eyes cast a sideways glance at us and his head went back down to his cereal. Me and Bobby sat down and I said to him: “What happened there, do you think we got away with that?”


Big Colin McAdam and Davie Mitchell were sitting next us and Colin said: “You’re the luckiest b****** alive.”


We looked over at the door and there was Alex Totten, the assistant manager, just walking in and he was five minutes later than us. I looked over at Totts and said: “You’ve just saved my life.”

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