Scot Symon is the almost forgotten manager of Rangers, and in recent years his contribution to the club has been woefully neglected. Now, in Great Scot, David Leggat examines his role in the history of Rangers FC and reveals not only a key figure in the development of the club but also a true giant of Scottish football.
Statistics don't lie, and in the 13 years he was manager at Ibrox, from 1954 onwards, Rangers won a remarkable 15 trophies and became the first British club to appear in a European Final. In fact, Symon took Rangers to two European finals and, had he won one, his place in history would have been assured. Instead, he became Ibrox's forgotten man.
His remarkable years as Rangers manager followed a successful playing career for the club under Bill Struth and an early management career that started with a bang when he led East Fife to two League Cup triumphs before taking Preston North End to the FA Cup Final. He later managed Partick Thistle, first as manager and then general manager, training more than half of the young Thistle team which beat Celtic 4-1 to win the League Cup in 1971.
But it is his time in charge of Rangers, which saw him sign such artists as Ian McMillan and Jim Baxter and led to a glorious era for the club, that defined him. And among the great and the good who have offered their tributes to James Scotland Symon in this book is the last signing he made for Rangers - the now Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. With such support, Great Scot sets out to show that it's now time to reevaluate James Scotland Symon's achievements and give him his rightful place in football history.
Published: 10th May 2012
Format: Hardback 234x156mm
Extent: 256 pages
David Leggat is a retired journalist. He started his career in 1966 with the Glasgow Evening Times and has worked for the Birmingham Evening Mail, the Daily Express in Fleet Street, the Sunday People, the Sunday Mail, Scotland on Sunday, the Scottish Daily Express and the Scottish Sunday Express. David Leggat lives in Glasgow.
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