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TOPIC: Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero

Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero 9 years 10 months ago #458

A few years ago as part of my university studies the tutor announced we were to begin a project entitled ‘Heroes’. Having arrived at University in my late twenties and being a typical hairy chested Scotsman I immediately squirmed in my chair. The thought of participating in some dramatic personal divulgence with a group of teenagers (yes I was very much the elder of the group) seemed preposterous to me. 

For a start I was far too old for heroes…It had been many years since my bubble had been burst with the news that Superman and Michael Knight with his talking car were indeed fictional.

Secondly I was a grown ass man! Grown men shouldn’t have heroes should they?

The tutor went from person to person and with each answer my grunts of disgust became louder.

Did someone really just say Jessie J? 

As I mumbled profanities under my breath I suddenly heard my name…taken aback for a second my mind went blank but then I smiled and I replied,

“Ally McCoist”.

It was, however, said slightly off the cuff as he was for me a footballing hero…a boyhood idol.   A hero in the true sense is generally perceived as someone who has shown courage or performs an extreme act of bravery...I couldn’t in all honesty deem scoring goals for Rangers as being a feat of heroism.

I was lucky enough to grow up watching McCoist representing Rangers and Scotland as only he could…a goal scoring machine that broke records for fun. Goals that brought multiple league titles to Ibrox during his time as a player.

 I was lucky to watch as he scored against Leeds in ‘The Battle of Britain’ – to watch him score thatoverhead kick Vs. Hibs in the cup final and thatlong range drive Vs. Switzerland at Euro ’96.

Super Ally’s contribution to Rangers and Scotland as a player was truly remarkable; he represented the club with a smile and certainly his playing feats alone will never be forgotten – his place in The Scottish Football Hall of Fame is a testament to that.

After making ‘A Question of Sport’ watchable for a few years and after successful stints as a football pundit (we won’t mention the movie career) McCoist made his way back to Rangers working under the wing of Walter Smith. Not long after he took the reins from The Gaffer and I for one could not have been happier.

His reign began with disappointments, we were unaware of what was truly happening behind the scenes with Craig Whyte as we watched as he failed to sign target after target in his first transfer window. Poor results in Europe followed but despite receiving strong criticism - domestically his Rangers team started the season very well. When the inevitable injuries came along, in particular the loss of Steven Naismith, the small squad struggled to stay consistent and this led to further criticism.

Then the proverbial merde hit the fan…

Rangers were in administration, the clubs owner decided it was time for him to go home to Monaco and he left McCoist alone to try to hold the club together.

When the true details of Whyte’s misdemeanours became public it was widely reported in the media that McCoist would pack his bags and leave Ibrox. This lead to McCoist coining a phrase that will reverberate with Rangers fans for years to come – much like the famous speech of another Rangers legend Bill Struth.

“We don’t do walking away.”

Five words that so perfectly embodied the spirit of every true Ranger.

Five words that McCoist has gone on to prove to be true - time and time again over these past few months.

I’ve watched the drama unfold like every other Rangers fan with both bewilderment and anger – but through it all the one glimmer of light has been Ally McCoist.

The smile may have faded at times but his dedication has never wavered, he has carried the fears and the anxieties of the Rangers support firmly on his back and never once buckled.

Bill Struth was no Nostradamus, but you could be forgiven for thinking as such for Struth’s famous speech decades later could easily be used as a checklist for McCoist and his reign as the manager of Rangers.

Times of stress

Unstinted support

Unbroken devotion to our club

Calmness in adversity

True in their conception

Never hide

Never fear

Tolerance and sanity

Trials to overcome

Ally McCoist has shown us, and perhaps reminded some of us, exactly what it is to be a modern day True Ranger.

Recently, thinking back about that day in University I realised that if asked again who my hero was the answer would be the same but the sentiment behind the answer would have changed.

I would no longer say it as an off the cuff statement and there would be no sign of jest on my face.

My boyhood footballing idol has turned into a real life inspiration.

He has shown the courage and bravery required to be truly deemed a hero.

When the dust has finally settled in this Rangers saga I feel we will all look back and realise that the true saviour of the club we all hold so dear wasn’t those who paid millions of pounds to control it - but it was actually the man that held it together when it was in the most fragile state in its history.

No man is bigger than the club but Ally McCoist embodies everything the club stands for. 

His dedication and sacrifices should never be forgotten and I doubt very much they ever will be.

I hope that whatever happens in the coming weeks that Ally remains the manager of our club, with the trials overcome it is my belief he will go from strength to strength and he will lead Rangers back to the top of the mountain where they belong.

He is a hero in every sense of the word.

You can follow Scott on Twitter @st2oh

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Re: Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero 9 years 10 months ago #460

  • iaincampbelli
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Well said.

Super Ally has also been my boyhood hero along with Dave Cooper they always seemed to sum up what Rangers is to me.
But Ally has now become more than that as you decribed better than i could without waffling. Ally has been a leader of the club rather than a follower throughout the crisis. He has said much more than he was required to and obviously decided at an early stage of the crises to speak out on behalf of the support and engage with their concerns over the events. Ally is now up their with Struth in my eyes and above Smith because of the way he has conducting himself throughout. Ally could have easily walked away and may still do so, though i doubt it until the end of next season. For a man who is obviously financially secure to do this when he could be in a cushy media job shows the mark of the man he is. I urge everyone to support Ally next season irrespective of results because of the piviol role he has taken in securing the future of the club. If he had allowed the cuts proposed by d&p to tale place the road back to the top would definately have been much long and windier. Only once the crisis is over whenever that is will we all fully appreciate this i strongly believe. Ally i salute you as a man of outstanding integrity as well as a very lucky striker. Super Ally!
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Re: Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero 9 years 10 months ago #468

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A whole lot of man love for Super! And duly earned at that.

But 'lucky striker'?
Wash your mouth out with soap young man! ;)
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Re: Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero 9 years 10 months ago #469

  • The Blue Yak
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it shouldn't be super ally

it should be amazing ally
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Re: Ally McCoist – from boyhood idol to real life hero 9 years 10 months ago #472

  • Konterman15
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Great Article Scott. Read it at work today and was reminded of so many happy memories. Started going to Rangers with my mates on the local supporters bus about 1982, so grew up watching Ally plying his trade for Rangers. When people ask supporters of differn't generations "who the fav player is" you get answers for the greats like George Young, Miller, Brand, Baxter, Greig, Cooper, but for me it was and is Alistair Mccoist MBE!
The way he has handled his self since February is all I have come to expect from the man. The word legend and hero is banded about too often, especially in football, but I do think Mr Mccoist can count himself as a great and not matter what happens with the club and the uncertain future he will always be Ally Mccoist of Rangers!!!!!
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